McLEAN, Va. (Jan. 19) – According to federal prosecutors; Megaupload.com - one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites - was closed down Thursday on account of infringing piracy laws.
|Megaupload.com shutdown for piracy charges by US Feds|
Founder of the website, Kim Schmitz a.k.a Kimble and Kim Dotcom, and several company executives were arrested in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials, the Justice Department said in a statement. Two other defendants are at large.
The indictment claims that the site was responsible for $500 million losses to copyright holders due to music and movie piracy. Kim Dotcom maintains that his company has obeyed all due diligence requirements in regards to piracy issues.
The accusation was opened one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two anti-piracy bills, SOPA and PIPA, intended to prevent online piracy.
Visitors to the Megaupload.com, which gets about 50 million hits daily and claims 4 percent of all internet traffic, were greeted with a message from the Justice Department. ”This domain name associated with the website Megaupload.com has been seized pursuant to an order issued by a U.S. District Court.”
Megaupload.com is a service that allows its users to upload files that would be too large to send in an email for temporary hosting. The user can then distribute a link to recipients so they can download the files. While this is a totally legitimate practice, Megaupload.com was also being used by pirates to upload movies, TV shows, and albums for free distribution.
Megaupload.com 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.