As the largest torrent site on the Internet, KickassTorrents (KAT) has become the go-to spot for millions of filesharers.
Like many other torrent sites, KAT is often used to share pirated files, much to the frustration of copyright holders.
However, unlike other sites such as The Pirate Bay, KAT accepts DMCA takedown notices. This means that rightsholders have the option to remove infringing content from the site.
This option hasn’t gone unnoticed by the site’s users, who sometimes see their uploads disappearing in real-time. In other cases, it can make it quite hard to find the latest episode of one’s favorite TV-show.
To find out how many DMCA requests the site processes, we asked the KAT team for an overview.
According to KAT’s official figures, 15,794 torrent files were deleted over the past week, and 55,238 for the most recent month. This means that at the current rate, the site removes more than half a million torrents per year.
Since the site started to keep track of the number of deleted torrents, which is a few years ago, well over a million torrents have been purged from the site. 1,200,313 to be precise.
While the removals are a source for frustration among users, it also encourages some to come up with creative solutions to ‘revive‘ removed torrents.
The KAT forums are littered with dedicated threads where people discuss alternative means to access removed content. For example, by generating a magnet link from the torrent’s hash.
In addition to reviving torrents, users also regularly re-upload files that have disappeared, starting a perpetual cat-and-mouse game.
Despite pushback from both users and copyright holders, the KAT team isn’t getting actively involved in the takedown discussion.
Like most other user-generated content platforms, they offer users the freedom to upload content as long as they stick to the rules, and rightsholders the tools to protect their work.