Kickass torrents (aka KAT), one of the most visited websites on the internet has been taken down by the US government. This follows years of investigations by the US department of Homeland Security. According to reports, KAT receives more than 50 million unique monthly visitors and is estimated to be the 69th most frequently visited website on the internet. The complaint also states that KAT operates in approximately 28 languages, has a net worth of more than $54 million, and generates an estimated $12.5 million to $22.3 million in annual advertising revenue.
Artem Vaulin, the 30 year old alleged founder of Kickass torrents was arrested in Poland and is charged with criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. In addition, a federal court in Chicago has ordered the seizure of several KAT domain names. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
How zimbabweans will be affected
According to a research by BSA Global Software study, Zimbabwe together with Libya are the champions or rather villains of pirated software. The two countries share spoils for having the highest rate of pirated software in the world. While we could not find any data on other pirated materials like movies, books, music etc., it is not far fetched to assume we are among the top. With the current economic situation in Zimbabwe, not many can afford to buy genuine software, movies, games, music etc. This renders the taking down of pirate sites a disadvantage for many in Zimbabwe. While torrent file are free, easy to access and thus convenient, they are not all bliss. Lets take a look at a few of the cons of pirated material:
Disadvantages of pirated material
- Quality is not guaranteed
- Free file-sharing sites often transmit viruses and ad-ware.
- Copyright infringement is a criminal offence
- No tech support for software. You have to be cautious about which crack/activator you use