KickassTorrents Team Prepares For “Happy Torrents Day” To Keep Tradition Alive
With millions of unique visitors per day KickassTorrents (KAT) was the most-used torrent site on the Internet, beating even The Pirate Bay until it was brought down by the U.S. Government last July and eventual arrest of its alleged founder, Artem Vaulin.
However, this hasn’t dampened the spirit of the staff of KAT, as 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. This turned out to be true when in December a new version of the site was launched, complete with the KAT look and feel. Several months have passed, and the new site is still running, and gaining traffic month after month.
Not only this, the KAT group also continues the site’s legacy at the new home, which is the traditional annual “Torrents Day” celebration.
For those unfamiliar, torrents day is a celebration of torrent started by Mr. Pink from KAT administrator in 2011. Torrent day celebrated annually every year on 30th march by KAT website were majority of uploaders upload their torrent on that day dedicated to torrent day. It began as a small celebration, but over the years it has turned into a recurring tradition with many thousands of people participating.
This year too, KAT is celebrating “Happy Torrents Day” for the sixth time in a row and are encouraging users to download and share as much as possible.The KAT staff has put together an overview of the various challenges and events. For example, users can add their favourite song to the official soundtrack, or participate in the upload challenge.
“Five years ago we realized that what our users do on KickAssTorrents, what they believe in and enjoy, needed celebrating. A day to give back to them what they give to us,” KAT administrator Mr. Black had told TorrentFreak last year.
“Every torrent community is different and individual in its own way but we all believe in freedom of sharing and of course share one of the most important things in common. Torrents.”
TorrentFreak caught with the team of KAT to see how things stand this year. TorrentFreak got in touch with one of the staff, Mr. Gooner, to ask what all the commotion is about the torrents day.
“Happy Torrents Day is to honor and celebrate the freedom and ability to share, to encourage users to share as much as possible on the day, whilst participating in various events within the community. We’ve known users to book time off work for the day and organize themselves well in advance,” Mr. Gooner says.
In spite of the tradition being kept alive, things will be a bit different this year. Even though the new site has millions of visitors a month, the traffic is nowhere close what it was. However, the most important part is that people can share again, freely, according to the team.
“Our milestones for Happy Torrents Day are simply to share as many torrents as possible, more every year and celebrate our freedom to do so,” Mr. Gooner notes.
Even though KAT.cr may look like a replica of the old site, there is still more work to be done behind the scenes to get it where the team wants it to be. It took years to develop the original site and the current staff is working hard to reach that level again.
The past months haven’t been without issues though. When the site first launched its torrent section, due to the massive attention, it was unreachable for days, and even today there are some additional setbacks. However, things are moving ahead.
“At the present moment, the site design and code is not where we want it, system timeouts and overloads are present at some stages but as we mentioned it’s a huge challenge to start from scratch again. We are working hard on it,” Mr. Gooner says.
KAT.cr doesn’t consider itself a KAT successor. They are KAT. While the technical part of the site was previously managed by a separate team, the same group of staffers, uploaders, and users is still on board.
At the old site, the same team that handles things today also managed the community too.
“We are not the KAT successor – we are KAT and always have been. Kickass Torrents was never run by the founder, it was always run by Team Kickass, our Super Users, Translators, uploaders and community members.
“Every thread, team member promotion and site feature was decided by the team. The site was and is still running under the same command of administration, moderation team, and rules,” Mr. Gooner adds.
It wasn’t easy to bring back a website whose alleged former owner and operators are caught up in a U.S. criminal investigation. However, the law enforcement has not yet targeted the new site till date.
Of course, there are the irregular legal takedown requests. The KAT team says it will fully abide by these, as long as they’re lawful.
“We’ve had some interesting demands such as supplying access to our database so that a particular agency can access and remove content directly from our site on their say-so. Obviously unreasonable requests won’t be entertained, however, genuine copyright requests are voluntarily actioned without delay,” Mr. Gooner says.
As for the future?
The KAT team plans to keep building the site and community, bettering it little by little. If the original founder returns they are happy to hand over the reins but for now, they plan to stay on their current course.
“Right now we are focusing on getting back to where we were. We fully support our founder and expect him to be released. If that happens quickly, we will go back to full site immediately.”
“If that takes time, we will continue to work hard, re-build the code and get KAT back to where we were. After that, we will just keep growing, sharing and fighting internet censorship. And the more they push us, the harder we’ll fight,” Mr. Gooner concludes.