Anybody who knows what torrents and file sharing has probably visited the Kickass torrent website at some point. Although torrents themselves are technically legal it is still illegal to infringe copyright laws. The distribution and use of another person’s intellectual property without their permission is still illegal.
So Where is Kickass?
Kickass, or kickass.to, always claimed that it did not host any of the copyright material on its own websites or servers. They even insisted that they complied with any Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notices to remove any links from their kickass.to websites that infringed these laws. Sadly it was more the case that they would make it extremely difficult for the DMCA to see action from their notices. Often when claims against kickass torrents were made they were replied with timewasting tactics.
A Kickass torrent that linked to copyright material was rarely ever removed as kickass would counter any claims with a list of demands.
Some of the kickass.to demands are:
- The content in your claim is listed on an external website
- Your claim contains too many torrents, please send future claims in smaller amounts
- There is no evidence in your claim that the content is illegal. Please provide such proof
- Your claim does not provide proof that you are the copyright holder
- Your claim is written in an unfamiliar language
Did this countermeasure work for Kickass Torrents?
The simple answer is No. Kickass is closed down and you can no longer download a Kickass torrent from any of their sites across the world. July 20th, 2016 the owner of kickass.to was arrested in Poland on multiple charges, such as:
- Copyright charges – Which can have a maximum of 5 years in prison
- Money Laundering – A maximum of 20 years in jail!
With the shutdown of all Kickass sites, you can no longer download a kickass torrent. But there are plenty of alternatives in 2018 to access your favorite media online. Kickass torrents once ruled the file-sharing world but as one website shuts down, another one opens. Below is a list of some of the latest websites offering torrent and magnet sharing services.
Now the largest torrent website since the fall of Kickass torrents, ExtraTorret offers a huge list of links almost as extensive as Kickass. Still not as good as Kickass, and lacking the community support that KATs had, it still gives you the access you need to torrents while also sharing with you quality, user comments and if viruses are on the other end.
The Pirate Bay (TPB)
TPB has been around for a long time and was subject to their own legal problems in 2014 when their headquarters were raided. It is a well organized and well-indexed site which recovered from their legal issues quickly. Although not as extensive as KAT at its height the fact that is still running is a testament to their determination. A positive cause of their raid is that the annoyingly huge amount of X-rated ads has significantly dropped and although you are still prone to pop up ads it’s certainly not as bad as it was.
Mainly indexing the generalized torrents people download it still boasts a large selection of content. It is a nice looking site with no ads so is a lot less stressful to use than others on offer, yet with the threat of legal action fresh on everyone’s mind, we have seen a lot of developers leave the site. For now, an easy to use, ad-free, torrent site which is still operational but who knows what the future holds.
Originally based in Bulgaria this now Amsterdam based file sharing site has an active community. RARBG offers a large selection of torrents and it remains up-to-date while its users keep a lively discussion on each torrent.
While most file sharing sites offer the opportunity for users to download files with today’s internet speeds it is no longer necessary. Popcorn Time is a modern variety where you can stream content using the BitTorrent P2P protocol. You can watch HD movies without the need for owning a high-speed internet. It has a great interface and is simple to use.
Known as YIFY and updated to YTS this is a traditional downloading website who used to release their own HD, low bitrate copies of new releases. YIFY sadly shut down but YTS is aiming to take their place. YTS.ag is even used by other websites mentioned in our list as a source of their file indexing.
Competing with the better known Kickass and Pirates Bay over the years it has established itself as a worthy opponent. A large selection of files is available all while offering user privacy and library statistics. It also provides its own torrent client.
Will Kickass Ever be Back?
With a wide variety of alternatives currently running online, I don’t think the arrest of the Kickass founder and the closing down of all their operations is something the average file sharer needs to worry about. Vaulin, the founder is expected to be deported to America where they will look to put him on trial.
To run Kickass for so long the KAT team ran the service from numerous servers all over the world. At one point they were based on servers in America and Canada, hence the possible extradition to go on trial in the US. Ultimately all Kickass Torrents website are shut down. This includes all their mirroring websites. So far it has only been Vaulin who has been arrested, with no known employees being named.
Please note that downloading copyrighted material is illegal and can get you into serious problems. ISP can report people they suspect of breaking laws and your IP address can be monitored. If you don’t like the idea of your IP address being monitored you may be interested in getting a VPN. These are the ones we recommend for torrenting:
VPN’s protect you by:
- Your IP address is kept confidential
- Anyone observing will only see the VPN IP address
- VPNs will bypass any regional blocks on torrent sites
- All usage through a VPN is confidential
- Some VPNs offer anonymous identities
I hope this article answers any questions you had beforehand. Always try to stay safe when online and please read our other articles.