Justice Department charges alleged owner of the highest traffic illegal file-sharing website with criminal copyright infringement

July 20, 2016

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities today announced the arrest of a Ukrainian man charged with owning and operating Kickass Torrents, the world’s highest traffic illegal file-sharing website, and seized the associated domain names. Artem Vaulin, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, was arrested on a charge of criminal copyright infringement and held in Poland, pending extradition. Kickass Torrents was responsible for distributing over $1 billion of copyrighted materials, according to the Department of Justice.

The following is a comment from Senator Chris Dodd, Chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA):

“This criminal case is a major step to reduce illegal theft of creative content by large-scale piracy sites. Actions like these help protect the livelihoods of the 1.9 million hard-working Americans whose jobs are supported by the motion picture and television industry – and a legal market that generates $16.3 billion in exports for the U.S. economy. We thank the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, and other law enforcement agencies in the United States and Europe who cooperated in making this arrest.”

About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation; Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

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For more information, contact:

MPAA Washington, D.C.
Chris Ortman
(202) 293-1966