tumblr site counter

HipHopRX

PreviousNext

Megaupload.com Shut down By Feds!

People

Megaupload.com was shut down yesterday by federal agents and its founder along with several company executives were charged with violating piracy laws.

An indictment accuses Megaupload.com of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated films and other content. The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to thwart online piracy.

The Justice Department released a statement saying that Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and three others were arrested Thursday in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials.

According to the indictment, Megaupload, which launched in 2005, was once the 13th most visited website on the Internet, serving as a hub for distribution of copyrighted television shows, images, computer software and video games.

Megaupload had major support support from celebrities, musicians and other content producers who are most often the victims of copyright infringement and piracy. Before the website was taken down, it contained endorsements from Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, among others.

The weird thing about it is that Hong Kong-based company had recently listed Swizz Beatz, a musician who is married to Alicia Keys, as its CEO. He was not named in the indictment and has yet to comment on the current events.

Before the site was taken down, it posted a statement saying allegations that it facilitated massive breaches of copyright laws were “grotesquely overblown.”

“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch,” the statement said.

Megaupload is considered a “cyber storage” where users upload and transfer files that are too large to send by email. Such sites can have perfectly legitimate uses. However, the Motion Picture Association of America, which has campaigned for a crackdown on piracy, estimated that the vast majority of content being shared on Megaupload was in violation of copyright laws.

The website allowed users to download films, TV shows, games, music and other content for free, but made money by charging subscriptions to people who wanted access to faster download speeds or extra content. The website also sold advertising.

The indictment was returned in the Eastern District of Virginia, which claimed jurisdiction in part because some of the alleged pirated materials were hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Va.

Dotcom, a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand, and a dual citizen of Finland and Germany, made more than $42 million from the conspiracy in 2010 alone, according to the indictment.

Dotcom is founder, former CEO and current chief innovation officer of Megaupload.

Photo Credit:blackrockstar.com

Related Stories

Post A Comment