A few months ago a criminal investegation by the U.S. Government brought down KickassTorrents, the largest torrent site at the time.
As a result, millions of people were left without their favorite torrent site. This included a very active community of admins, moderators and forum members.
Shortly after the shutdown, several KAT-crew members regrouped in an effort to get the community part of the site back up. They launched the Katcr.co forum as their new home and hinted that torrents could come back too, in the future.
Today is the big day as Katcr.co (KATcr) has now launched a fully operational torrent site, which looks identical to its predecessor. The site starts with a clean user database but many members of the original staff are on board.
“The majority of our original Staff, Admins and Moderation team joined us after Kat.cr went down – which is something we’re very proud of. This shows the loyalty, dedication and real love for KAT that we all share,” The KATcr team told TorrentFreak.
At the original KAT, site administrators and crew were clearly separated from those who technically and financially ran the place. This means that the people in charge of KATcr didn’t have access to the original code and data.
Still, they managed to put together bits and pieces to make it look identical, so former KAT users should feel right at home.
Perhaps just as importantly, many of the site’s renowned uploaders are also back. As a result, the site will be populated with a lot of fresh content right from the start.
“We have all our major uploaders on board and they continued to share tirelessly even before the torrent engines returned. The torrent community can continue to expect to see uploads from all the names they know and trust,” the KATcr crew says.
Putting everything together took quite a bit of time, but the team wanted to make sure that everything is secure, which they are confident is the case now.
“In order to keep our members safe we chose to rebuild and keep only safe elements. Despite the fact that a rebuild took longer, the safety of our community comes first,” the KATcr crew told us.
While some might see it as a bold move to relaunch a site whose alleged operators are still wanted by the U.S. Government, the current staff sees no major legal issues ahead.
They point out that the site has a proper DMCA takedown procedure, just like YouTube, adding that they don’t store any copyrighted material on the site’s servers.
“KAT is a community-based forum and a torrent search engine. It’s the heart of who we are and that will never change. Despite opinions to the contrary, torrents are not illegal and we do not host any content.
“So long as Kickass Torrents continues to operate to the absolute letter of the law then we are most certainly not conducting criminal activities,” they note.
In a similar vein, the KATcr crew believes that the original operators of the site will walk free.
“We strongly believe the investigation carried out by Homeland Security and the IRS is unlawful in basis, targeting a foreign citizen and prosecuting them under US law. We have every confidence in the outcome of the pending legal action,” they say.
Over the past months, many KAT copies and mirrors emerged claiming to be the real reincarnation. In reality, the original site is still gone, but with many old staffers and uploaders onboard, KATcr might have some legs.
Update: The site appears to have some technical issues, as it went down after a short while.
Update: KATcr’s Mrs.Smith says that the overwhelming amount of traffic is causing the current issues.
“We’ve had a massive response from the torrent community! Unfortunately, the servers are having difficulty balancing the load of the absolutely huge amount of users on line at the same time. Tech are on it and will no doubt have it sorted out as soon as possible.
“On the positive this is an absolutely overwhelming response to your excellent article so thank you very much to your and your team.”