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Thread: U.S. shuts down file-sharing website Megaupload.com

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    Super Moderator sofien72tu's Avatar
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    U.S. shuts down file-sharing website Megaupload.com

    U.S. shuts down file-sharing website Megaupload.com

    MATTHEW BARAKAT

    McLEAN, Va.— The Associated Press

    Published Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 2:46PM EST

    Last updated Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012 3:31PM EST


    One of the world’s largest file-sharing sites was shut down Thursday, and its founder and several company executives were charged with violating piracy laws, federal prosecutors said.

    An indictment accuses Megaupload.com of costing copyright holders more than $500-million (U.S.) 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.

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    Re: U.S. shuts down file-sharing website Megaupload.com

    Feds say 7 from Megaupload.com ran massive worldwide piracy website

    Published January 19, 2012





    McLEAN, Va. – Federal prosecutors have shut down one of the world's largest file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, on charges of violating piracy laws -- a day after a 24-hour blackout of popular websites such as Wikipedia drew national attention to the issue.

    "This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States," the Justice department said in a statement about the indictment.



    The indictment accuses seven individuals and two corporations -- Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited -- of costing copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated films and other content. It was unsealed on Thursday, and claims that at one point Megaupload was the 13th most popular website in the world.

    Megaupload was unique not only because of its massive size and the volume of downloaded content, but also because it had high-profile 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 Hong Kong-based company listed Swizz Beatz, a musician who married Keys in 2010, as its CEO. Beatz declined to comment through a representative.

    The individuals in the criminal enterprise each faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on racketeering charges, five years for conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, 20 years on money laundering charges and five years on related charges.

    Megaupload was led by colorful Australian Kim Dotcom -- aka Kim Schmitz, or Kim Tim Jim Vestor. He is a a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand, and a dual citizen of Finland and Germany, who legally changed his last name to "Dotcom."

    The website's founder and "chief innovation officer" was once convicted of a felony but has repeatedly denied engaging in piracy, according to CNET.com -- and he made more than $42 million from the conspiracy in 2010 alone, according to the indictment.

    The indictment comes the day after a 24-hour "blackout" of Wikipedia, a protest doodle on the homepage of Google, and numerous other protests across the Internet against proposed anti-piracy legislation that many leading websites -- including Reddit, Google, Facebook, Amazon and others -- contend will make it challenging if not impossible for them to operate.

    The Protect Intellectual Property Act under consideration in the Senate and the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House are bills backed by the motion picture and recording industries intended to eliminate theft online once and for all. S. 968 and H.R. 3261 would require ISPs to block access to foreign websites that infringe on copyrights.

    Online piracy from China and elsewhere is a massive problem for the media industry, one that costs as much as $250 billion per year and costs the industry 750,000 jobs, according to a 2008 statement by Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

    But how exactly the bills would counter piracy has many up in arms.

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    Re: U.S. shuts down file-sharing website Megaupload.com

    Anonymous Reacts to Megaupload Takedown With “Largest Attack Ever”




    Hacker group Anonymous isn’t happy about the takedown of file-sharing site Megaupload, and as a result, it’s targeting some big companies and government agencies.

    Earlier this afternoon, interspersed with a stream of anti-SOPA and PIPA tweets, the main Anonymous Twitter account declared, “The government takes down #Megaupload? 15 minutes later #Anonymous takes down government & record label sites. #ExpectUs.” Specifically, the group claimed responsibility for taking down the Universal Music, RIAA (the record industry’s lobbying arm), MPAA (the movie industry’s lobbying arm), and Department of Justice websites, among others. As of 3pm Pacific, the sites were still down for me, although some comments on Twitter suggested that they were returning online sporadically.

    The group also claimed that the current attacks were “the largest attack ever by Anonymous,” with 5,635 participants. And it looks like the campaign is ongoing — Anonymous says it’s going after the FBI’s website next: “Get some popcorn… it’s going to be a long lulzy night.”

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