There's a movement happening in courts across Europe and it's starting to look a trend that's here to stay. After the UK blocked access to The Pirate Bay, Italy is following up with a nationwide ISP block of KickAssTorrents.
TorrentFreak points out that KickAssTorrents has only been in operation for a few years after getting its start back in 2009. The relatively young site has since shot up through the torrent rankings to become the third most popular torrent tracker on the net.
With such fame also comes greater scrutiny from governmental forces who view such sites as harbingers of piracy and content theft. That's exactly what a court in Italy has done as it has just concluded an investigation into the site. They have found the torrent tracker to be a "super pirate platform."
The investigation also led to some interesting statistics about the site in general. It is host to 10 million torrents and receives over 3 million visits daily from pretty much all over the world. It's problematic in Italy because the country is the third most popular country of origin.
According to the Guardia di Finanza, a department under Italy's Minster of Economy and Finance, the site is more offensive than others because it profits off of piracy through advertising. They estimate that KickAssTorrents brings in $8.5 million a year from advertising.
As we all know by now, these kind of censorship tactics don't help curb piracy whatsoever. People will obviously find a way around the censorship, like they have with The Pirate Bay in the UK, using simple DNS switchers or proxies.
TorrentFreak points out that the specifics of the blockade are not being made immediately known, but the GdF has only mentioned kickasstorrents.com so far. The funny thing is that kickasstorrents.com is no longer in use by the Web site. It only servers to redirect users to the new site, kat.ph.
It remains to be seen if the Italian blockade will take this into account or only block the already useless domain. If so, it will just once again prove that law enforcement that's backed by the copyright industry is generally incompetent when it comes to enforcing Internet law.