When all my Northie friends were making fun of me about the Tamilians' "Kabali" fever, I was mouring the fact that Kickass torrents was shutdown. It had been a wonderful source of software, tutorials, comics besides the usual movie downloads and porn stuffs. I remember stumbling upon Kickass torrents in 2011 while searching for Amar Chitra Katha comics. Till then I was with Picktorrents as a novice to the torrent downloads. Once I got into using Kickass, I never looked outside for source of torrents. For the past 6 years I visited KickAss Torrents twice a day religiously.
I learnt a lot about photography from the tutorials downloaded from the Kickass site. Ofcourse all those tutorials are copyrighted and whether I had deprived the content owners with the money they deserve for that? To an extent I agree with this but later I learnt that many of the tutorial makers are happy being reached to a large part of the community besides having made their breakeven through the sales. Many of the tutorials got a viewing just because they were available for free. The similar case happened with the advent of YouTube.
In the initial days, when the rhymes CDs and Educational Documentries were pirated and sold by the roadside vendors, these kind of questions regarding the copyright were raised. But when the companies realised that these piracy can't be stopped, they themselves uploaded those videos in their official YouTube Channel which reached the multifolds of the intended audiences. Tutorials / Educational stuffs will be bought by only those who are extremely passionate / in need of the related discipline. They will always buy those stuffs either with conscience or through the education institutions. The reach to extra audiences is an incentive or revenue spent on their "promotion".
Another website I grew on in my initial days of internet is Coolgoose.com, which was my only source of mp3 songs. The beauty of coolgoose was that it had the largest collection of songs for all the Indian languages and had a very active user community participiation, making Coolgoose a site to die for. In mid 90's when I was hooked to Telugu songs and late 90's when I started listening Malayalam songs, I don't have access to those songs in my hometown deep south of Tamilnadu. This Coolgoose was the only source which I had for the Telugu and Malayalam songs. On exlporing the site further, I got access to the old classics in these languages and that sort of refined my listening pleasure. So in a way, the makers / creators should thank Coolgoose for reaching their work to a wider audience.
The death of CoolGoose was a gradual process. Over a period of time the users who participated actively were moving away and start their own similar websites like vellinakshatram for Malayalam songs, Telugump3 for Telugu songs on the Google / Wordpress hosted sites relying mostly on external storages like Rapidshare, Megaupload etc rather than their own storages. These sites delete files if they are not accessed for 30 ~ 90 days, which made most of the sites a collection of dead links, which eventually didnt attract the visitors anymore. If anyone notices the success of YouTube, they can understand that Google doesn't produce any content. Instead it just provides a platform on which users contribute the content. When the users were moving away from the plaform, it is bound to die. Coolgoose became Cooltoad and eventually it became inactive.
Individuals run websites start with initial josh / enthusiasm but over a period of time, they either lose interest or doesn't have time for all these stuffs as the personal / professional commitments galore. Mohankumars was a site that provided quality mp3 downloads initially other than Cooltoad. But now Mohankumar's website is inactive.
Even though I use Extratorrents and Picktorrents and TorrentDownloads websites, the choice of the content I used to get from Kickass Torrent is much more vivid and qualitative. I seriously miss Kickass Torrents and I support it uncondtionally. I just pray that it should make a comeback soon so as the CoolToad and Mohankumars.
BTW... I watched Kabali from a Tamilrocker print :-) KickAss may be shut down but online piracy will keep going on. I don't have my conscience pricking me while watching it online. Even though I am not a die hard Rajni fan, I watched the movie online just as a rebel against the kind of hype it was given and the general public behaving as if watching this movie is their life's sole purpose of existence.