Good night, sweet prince.
The FBI has officially shut down one of the hotter spots of media piracy on the internet today. Hong-Kong-based download website Megaupload is out of commission as of today after accusations of copyright infringement.
Megaupload has been a popular locale for downloads – legal or otherwise – for the last six or so years. In fact, the site boasted over 150 million registered users, and around 50 million visitors each day, amounting – according to the US Department of Justice – to 4% of all Internet traffic.
The site, while hosting some rap artists’ perfectly-legal mixtapes, is also notorious for its large volume of pirated content. According to the DoJ, Megaupload alone is responsible for over “$175 million in criminal proceeds” and over $500 million in “harm to copyright owners” over its lifespan.
According to the NY Post, there have been seven arrests related to the shut-down, including four in New Zealand, the two site founders and the Chief Marketing Officer of the site. CEO (and rap producer) Swizz Beatz is not among the arrested.
The NY Post article published today explains the potential outcome of this situation.
“The indictment charges the suspects with racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
If convicted, each individual faces up to 55 years in prison, the Justice Department said.”
Do you think there is a connection between these legal actions and the internet-wide SOPA/PIPA protests yesterday? Are the accusations warranted, or do they go too far?
(via NY Post)