Websites that offer pirated movies and music are taking it on the chin as of late. First movie2k.to disappeared (only to be reborn as a dubious duplicate) and now Kickass Torrents, one of the most popular torrent sites on the web, has had its domain name (kat.ph) seized by Philippine officials. According to Torrent Freak:
The action was taken following a complaint from local record labels who argued that the second largest torrent site on the Internet was causing “irreparable damages” to the music industry.
The domain seizure didn’t stop the site of course, it merely moved to a new domain name. A message posted at the new domain explained,
We had to drop Kat.ph as a part of our global maintenance….This was a hard decision, but it was necessary for the further development of KickassTorrents. Stay tuned for more news.
“Global maintenance” seems to be their euphemism for staying one step ahead of the law. At any rate, despite the fact the site has moved to a new domain, the good news in all this is that there seems to be increasing momentum to shutdown, or at least disrupt, websites that facilitate illegal content theft. Of course, if you want to find a site to watch or download movies and support the filmmakers who make them you could go here instead.
Update: Torrent Freak has updated this story and adds the MPAA is targeting the new domain for Kickass Torrents in order to get the site’s homepage links delisted by Google.
… the MPAA appears to be hand-picking torrent sites and streaming portals in an effort to have their homepages de-listed from Google. The new KickassTorrents domain Kickass.to is one of the first casualties of this strategy.
This is good news for all the musicians, filmmakers and authors whose work is routinely ripped off via this site.