Crowdfunding an ambitious project has led to some major successes like the Pebble Time Smartwatch, the weirdly popular Exploding Kittens, and Ouya, which eventually crashed in the gaming market. Going public on a large-scale crowdfunding campaign can usually guarantee success, especially when it’s picked up by multiple news outlets. Very rarely does it lead to the project being shut down. This seems to be the case with KickAssTorrents’s ambitious crowdfunding campaign, which mysteriously disappeared after reporting about it here at Digital Music News.
We first reported on Friday that a group of KAT moderators and administrators had started a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe, which, at the time of posting, had earned around $1,116. The reason, according to KAT forum poster johnno23, seemed not to be so much about re-building a site to download illegal music, movies, software, and books, since there are alternatives KAT members are using, but the new site was to be centered around the KAT community. About a day after the report, however, the crowdfunding project was pulled from GoFundMe’s page.
There’s no news as to why the crowdfunding campaign was pulled, with Ubergizmo speculating that making the announcement go public, thanks to staff interviews with TorrentFreak, might’ve caused authorities to get involved, or that the actual campaign might’ve violated GoFundMe’s terms of service. So far, mum’s the word, as no KAT administrator or moderator has spoken directly on the subject, causing several users to express their outrage and worry on the KAT community site, with one user hoping that GoFundMe “freeze the donations and money,” and another accusing torrent news site TorrentFreak of setting up KAT.
The only official word given by KAT administrators and moderators is a surprisingly vague statement about the GoFundMe campaign. “Fundraiser account seems to have been reported as “A campaign organizer was Committing fraud” …. For some reason, some envious people just live for the sole purpose of seeing others fail despite having no reason at all.” The only option to help out in rebuilding KickAssTorrents is by donating directly to PayPal, but this is also causing some to ask the site to find an alternate way, because “if GOV (and it will because of popularity) finds out about this, they will freeze the account and probably go after people in charge,” a very valid issue.
Speaking about torrenting, with Torrentz.eu and KAT having been shut down, TorrentFreak is now reporting that the former torrenting king ThePirateBay has since returned to the throne in torrent search usage, and is also “quietly celebrating” their 13th anniversary.