MPAA Takes Credit for The Shutdown of KickassTorrents

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Earlier this year KickassTorrents was taken down following a criminal investigation into the site's alleged operators. While the U.S. Department of Justice handles the case, based on an FBI investigation, they were not the only ones involved. According to comments made by MPAA boss Chris Dodd, Hollywood played a crucial role as well.

dodd-laughingThis summer the U.S. Government shut down KickassTorrents, which was then the largest torrent site on the Internet.

The complaint was the result of an elaborate FBI investigation, pointing out the Ukrainian Artem Vaulin as one of the alleged masterminds.

However, it turns out that it wasn’t just the U.S. Government who put the pieces together. There’s another major force behind the shutdown that hasn’t been mentioned thus far.

MPAA boss Chris Dodd suggests that the Hollywood group also played a key role in the case. Their international arm, the MPA, is headquartered in Europe from where it actively helped the U.S. authorities to shut down KickassTorrents.

“We have now established a global hub — an office in Brussels. It has been tremendously successful in closing down Kickass Torrents, the single largest pirate site in the world,” Dodd told Variety in an interview.

The major movie studios have helped in similar criminal cases before, so this doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Generally speaking, however, the MPAA is not particularly open about the role it plays in federal investigations.

Although the takedown of KickassTorrents was a major success for Hollywood, piracy remains a problem. It’s even come to a point where Dodd himself is using the “hydra” terminology, which The Pirate Bay’s crew first brought up a decade ago.

The MPAA says that successes are still being booked every day, but they require more sophisticated methods than were used in the past.

“We make great inroads, but it is a problem that isn’t going away. Some days I do feel it is hydra-headed. But in the past few years, we have developed a more sophisticated and efficient way of dealing with piracy issues.”

At the same time, however, the pirates are getting smarter as well.

Over the years operators of sites and services have found better ways to shield their themselves from law enforcement, while making it easier for their users to consume content. While Dodd has a positive outlook, he recognizes the challenges that lie ahead.

“I am feeling more optimistic, but the pirates are getting more sophisticated. Technology not only is increasing our opportunity for more people to consume our content, but technology is also making it possible for people to steal our content, and it is not insignificant,” he concludes.


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