Should KickAss Torrents founder be freed? Piracy fans start online petition to free Artem Vaulin

By: | Published: July 25, 2016 7:01 PM

If internet piracy fans are to be believed, his arrest amounts to "another attack on freedom and rights of internet users from all around the world."

KAT-LArtem Vaulin (30) was arrested in Poland on July 20 by the US officials for copyright violation in connection with distribution of movies, video games, music and other content worth over billion.

Should the KickAss Torrents (KAT) founder Artem Vaulin be freed, and why? If internet piracy fans are to be believed, his arrest amounts to “another attack on freedom and rights of internet users from all around the world.” As of writing this report, an online petition started by the fans and followers of Vaulin on Change.org has been signed by 39,345 “supporters.” A petition started by one Peter Milosh states:  “In the world where terrorist attacks is a monthly issue, where global corporations are swimming in money and millions dying because of diseases and hunger every single year, do you really think torrents deserve attention, money and human resources you spend on them? Do you really think it’s the most important thing on our hands right now? Our freedom to share is the human right which Artem Vaulin has been providing to millions of users. By arresting him our rights are violated.”

Vaulin (30) was arrested in Poland on July 20 by the US officials for copyright violation in connection with  distribution of movies, video games, music and other content worth over $1 billion. However, not only on change.org, several forums on the internet including Quora are flooded with arguments supporting Vaulin for doing the “good work”. Some even claim that running KAT cannot be considered illegal. Supporting Vaulin, one user Umar Mohsin writes on Quora, “It’s (KAT) back at https://dxtorrent.com/ … don’t know why our authorities don’t fix the underlying causes of piracy rather than going after the systemic responses arising. It’s just one more site out of hundreds more and hundreds more in the wings…”

Another user Dipesh Yadav, a Java Developer, writes, “Nothing will happen to them. Remember that nobody will stop legends and there is no nobody in the world. It’s all about some obstacles comes in their path and they know how to tackle it in a best possible way…Goodluck and keep serving common people.

User Sajid Ali questions if it is illegal to host Torrent files. “…if I understand it correctly, KAT does not illegally host copyrighted content. KAT only hosts Torrent files which are data files that provide information on where to find other files (which may or may not be copyrighted) hosted legally or illegally elsewhere. There may be legal precedent from other cases (like Pirate Bay, and other Torrent sites) but purely speaking, KAT’s hosting of Torrent files is really just hosting files containing instructions, not the content (copyrighted or otherwise) itself.”

While the fate of Vaulin would now be decided by court, it is true that previous attempts at stopping internet piracy has failed across the world. Whether in jail or out, several other Vaulins have already started running clones or mirror sites of KAT. And this is something the court and the US authorities would have to think about, before deciding if Vaulin should be freed.

Even as piracy fans claim the right to share as a human right, sharing creative works of people without their permission on the internet is illegal and in many ways unethical. There is also a question, if such petitions actually works? Petition policy of the Whitehouse (petitions.whitehouse.gove) states: “Once the petition reaches the required threshold, it will be put in a queue to be reviewed by the White House. Others can still sign the petition while it is awaiting a response. When the White House responds, everyone who has signed the petition will get email from the White House to let you know that we’ve reviewed and responded to the petition.”

One wonders if the Whitehouse will respond to a petition to free Vaulin as well, for the policy says, “the threshold may change”.

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