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Megaupload.com shut down; Four Arrested In New Zealand

Published: Fri 20 Jan 2012 10:30 AM
Megaupload.com shut down; Four Arrested In New Zealand
Four people have been arrested by police in New Zealand after Megaupload.com was shut down by US authorities and its operators indicted for copyright infringements charges, 'racketeering' and 'money laundering'. The arrestees include site founder Kim Dotcom. (Campbell Live Reported on Dotcom (formerly know as Schitz) last year.)
The US Department of Justice says it has executed over 20 search warrants in 9 countries, seizing $50 million in assets.
Megaupload.com describes itself as "The leading online storage and file delivery service". Reportedly the Internet's 13th most popular website, allows users to upload files for public download and offers users rewards for popular files. The site has been criticised by entertainment industry groups for encouraging copyright infringement. The indictment accuses the "Mega Conspiracy" of knowingly hosting a large number of copyright files.
The Wall Street Journal Reports that "Investigators said there was no connection between arrests in their two-year investigation and the political firestorm that erupted this week over a pending vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act."
Megaupload has also recently been the subject of a smaller copyright over its "Mega Song" video. The promotional video feature an number of popular music artists, some of whom were signed to Universal Music. Universal attempted to use a copyright claim to removed the video from YouTube, and also to suppress an Internet tech news report on the subject.
In possibly related news, the US Department of Jusitce website appears to be unavailable at the time of writing.
Links:
Scanned document: Mega Indictment
BBC News - Megaupload file-sharing site shut down
FBI Charges Seven With Online Piracy - WSJ.com
The Associated Press: APNewsBreak: Feds shut down file-sharing website
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