Why Did KickAss Torrents Start a GoFundMe Crowdfunding Campaign?

KickAss TorrentsFollowing the popular torrent site being taken down in July as well as the arrest of “mastermind” Artem Vaulin, TorrentFreak is reporting that former KickAss Torrents moderators and administrators have started a GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign to raise money to bring back the site. But what are they exactly looking to resurrect? The ability to download illegally distributed torrents, or is there something more behind this crowdfunding campaign?

To understand exactly what former KAT admins and mods are trying to do, let’s take a look at the following featured link on the new KickAss Torrents Team forum site. In a rather long forum post filled with several English grammatical errors, user johnno23 explains that KAT isn’t just a place where you could download movies, music, and books illegally, but rather “is a place where all of us from any culture country or faith can spout our opinion and be heard.” This community is apparently in danger of becoming a casualty on the unnamed companies’ war to “seek and destroy P2P at any cost,” attacking these companies for “never get enough [money] to be satisfied.”

In the post, johnno23 goes off on a rant about how he could “wish for a more Utopian society” but he sees the situation “between civilians and governments becoming more strained.” He also argues that any form of entertainment “should no longer remain in the hands of private enterprise but be the responsibility of government and that games tv shows movies etc should be given for free.” He cites a minority of the actual population attend sports fields and parks, but that the majority “for whatever reason is more comfortable within their own space.” After admitting in his post that most people reading will think he’s lost his mind or that he’s drugged, he describes what the KAT community truly does. “[At KAT] we can debate without going to War. We can discuss without making political alliances where group A signs an accord with Group B to subjugate or ridicule Group C. This is our community and the powers that be had a momentary period where this community was set adrift.” johnno23 finally gets to the point in asking users for funds, before linking the GoFundMe crowdfunding page (which consequently, has him go off on another rant about the “P2P War”).

This site we now inhabit is costing money: Money that a few individuals put up to ensure the survival of this Community… These people however cost money as do the hard drives pc’s etc etc. So the fundraiser is a stop gap where basically any donation goes towards helping the site return to a state where it can once again support itself.”

The GoFundMe campaign has a goal of $7,000, which is then broken down by johnno23.

Web development costs to repair/rebuild the authentic KAT site code.

This requires a professional team.

Quotes from two professional services both ask approx US $3000

Then there are server costs: databases, mirror, DNS, load balancers, webserver DDOS protection, monitoring etc.

The list looks daunting but is not impossible.

The estimated costs to get the community site back up and running for 2 months is in the region of 7,000USD.

As of writing, the GoFundMe page has earned $1,116 in the past 4 days from about 48 donors.

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