Kickass Torrents may breathe new life into the torrent scene come February 2017, when the famous torrent indexing site may return to market as KAT.cr.
Nothing's for certain just yet, but the latest rumors suggest that Kickass Torrents will be back in business once owner Artem Vaulin is released on bail in mid-February next year.
Vaulin was arrested back in July and charged with copyright infringement, among others. Kickass Torrents (KAT) shut down shortly after that, shaking the torrent scene to its core. Several torrent sites tried to fill KAT's place, such as 1337x, The Pirate Bay (TPB) and ExtraTorrent, but it's not exactly been smooth sailing.
The legal team in charge of Vaulin's defense, led by Ira Rothken, has been trying to get the charges dropped but was unsuccessful so far. Earlier this month, a U.S. court denied the motion to drop the charges against Vaulin and argued that KAT operated like a "flea market for infringing content."
Defense Team Files New Brief
Vaulin's defense team submitted a new brief [PDF] late last week, arguing that the government's response failed to tackle the fatal flaws highlighted in the indictment. The defense team argued that KAT operated simply as a search site indexing torrents, yielding results in a similar manner to Google search. Its operations were not criminal in nature, and KAT did not actually infringe on anything, the lawyers argued.
"The failure of the Response to address defendant's showing of an improper indictment tacitly admits the impropriety," Vaulin's defense team wrote in the latest brief.
The defense further pointed out that the United States does not classify streaming as a felony, nor does it consider it a crime to share a non-copyrighted torrent file. Consequently, suggesting otherwise would mean that the government is in violation of its own criminal guidelines.
Video Streaming Is Not A Felony
"The general video streaming alleged in the indictment cannot be prosecuted as a felony. There is no crime of making available a torrent file. This prosecution violates guidelines set forth in a 'Prosecuting IP Crimes Manual' publically posted by the Department of Justice," adds the defense team.
The lawyers also argue that many of the accusations against Vaulin are not criminal in nature or they lack essential details.
The brief offers several other compelling arguments, but it remains to be seen how the case will pan out. The Illinois District Court has to decide how to proceed, and depending on its ruling, we'll see what happens next. Vaulin's defense team aims to get the case dismissed, but the United States wants to push forward.
Bail Denied, Detention Extended
In the meantime, Vaulin remains imprisoned in Poland, with his detention extended. The court denied bail and ruled that Vaulin should remain in custody until mid-February.
With this timeline, a separate report from Yibada speculates that Kat.cr may hit the scene in February 2017, once again competing on the torrent scene. If Vaulin's team manages to prove that KAT did not violate criminal laws, there's a good chance that it can make a comeback next year as Kat.cr.
Until official news, however, take all reports with a grain of salt.