Feds Shutdown Megaupload

Spin Control's picture
Rank: King Kong | 1,940

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5...

The Associated Press:

McLEAN, Virginia (AP) -- 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 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 said in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and three other executives were arrested Thursday in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials. Two other defendants are at large.

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. He was not named in the indictment and declined to comment through a representative.

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.

The site boasted 150 million registered users.

A lawyer who represented the company in a lawsuit last year declined comment Thursday.

Megaupload is considered a "cyberlocker," in which users can upload and transfer files that are too large to send by email. Such sites can have perfectly legitimate uses. But 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, Virginia.

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.

Copyright (c) 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

Has SOPA/PIPA claimed their first victim when the bills have not even passed yet?

Comments (46)

Jan 19, 2012

also:

@anonops:

http://universalmusic.com & justice.gov & RIAA.ORG TANGO DOWN #Megaupload Fight for Internet Freedom!

http://twitter.com/#!/anonops

Jan 19, 2012

I'll be honest. I love MegaUpload, but I have always wondered why it hasn't been shut down. I have NEVER used it to "send or receive files" I watch movies, TV shows, etc.- all of which is blatantly illegal. While I love my pirated stuff, I understand why it may have to die. Unless a new, innovative, system can arise that gives money to the rights holders, I don't see a way that we can maintain the Hollywood/music system with the grandeur and greatness that we have now and have had in the past.

Reality hits you hard, bro...

Jan 19, 2012

The missed revenue is a bit laughable.... people would have simply foregone watching the movies to begin with.

Something has to be done about the piracy, but until there is a way where movies can be easily streamed at an affordable cost to consumers, most are going to turn towards illegal means rather than legitimate. Many of the studios have been resistant to even Netflix, so it is hard to imagine that their paradigm will be changing anytime soon.

    • 1
Jan 19, 2012

This had nothing to do with SOPA/PIPA. They already had an indictment. If anything, it proves the problem can be dealt with without any new legislation.

    • 1
Jan 19, 2012

Megaupload was an awesome site, and I doubt that was not a single file on there was legit, but the timing did seem rather suspicious.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jan 19, 2012

The thing about megauplaod is that dude was making like 60 million a year charing people to view illegal shit. The 500 million in lost revenue is probably only slightly inflated.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jan 19, 2012
heister:

The thing about megauplaod is that dude was making like 60 million a year charing people to view illegal shit. The 500 million in lost revenue is probably only slightly inflated.

No, you're assuming that the industry would have otherwise had some other way for people to have watched the content. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of the problems arise. There are currently no other viable alternatives to pirating for many people who want to be able to watch movies on their computer at their convenience. Netflix has a quite poor selection and with the other services, you generally need to download the movie.

It's unfortunate because it could obviously become a very viable and profitable service, but the industry has been reluctant to make any attempt to appeal to 'new media' folks. The unfortunate consequence is that those people go through illegal means to get what they want and the IP produces get very little, if anything, in return.

    • 1
Jan 19, 2012
Jerome Marrow:
heister:

The thing about megauplaod is that dude was making like 60 million a year charing people to view illegal shit. The 500 million in lost revenue is probably only slightly inflated.

No, you're assuming that the industry would have otherwise had some other way for people to have watched the content. Unfortunately, this is where a lot of the problems arise. There are currently no other viable alternatives to pirating for many people who want to be able to watch movies on their computer at their convenience. Netflix has a quite poor selection and with the other services, you generally need to download the movie.

It's unfortunate because it could obviously become a very viable and profitable service, but the industry has been reluctant to make any attempt to appeal to 'new media' folks. The unfortunate consequence is that those people go through illegal means to get what they want and the IP produces get very little, if anything, in return.

Thats not how it is viewed in the lens of the law. Everytime content is viewed illegally, revenue is lost. Regardless if people who viewed the illegal content would have gone and viewed it in a legal method.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jan 20, 2012

The solution is simple. Hollywood and all content generators need to boycott the public and stop producing shit until we learn our lesson and pay up.

Jan 20, 2012
Rana Clamitans:

The solution is simple. Hollywood and all content generators need to boycott the public and stop producing shit until we learn our lesson and pay up.

I would agree with this, if they truly believe they are being harmed. I think most of the studies have shown though that piracy actually increases the revenues of IP producers.

    • 1
Jan 20, 2012

I download shit all the time and if I didn't I would simply just Netflick or buy a blue ray. Every time I pirate something I am not spending money that I otherwise would have.

This is the case for a lot of people. Even if you would otherwise not buy something that doesn't give you the right to freely watch it.

I think the RIAA and MIPA are scum, but why people debate that this isn't stealing is silly.

Jan 20, 2012

ANT not having any reading comprehension ability once again! I don't think a single person in this thread or even in the media has advocated that pirating is right or that it shouldn't be illegal.

Jan 20, 2012
Jerome Marrow:

ANT not having any reading comprehension ability once again! I don't think a single person in this thread or even in the media has advocated that pirating is right or that it shouldn't be illegal.

What the fuck are you talking about? Like 5 posts up you were talking about how the law is antiquated, how people downloading are not actually foregoing buying and how it isn't a big deal. Sounds a lot like all the points I addressed in my response.

Also, where in my post did I directly comment towards you? I frankly could give a fuck about what you say or think, I was making a statement about a common refrain amongst people who support pirating.

Jan 20, 2012
ANT:
Jerome Marrow:

ANT not having any reading comprehension ability once again! I don't think a single person in this thread or even in the media has advocated that pirating is right or that it shouldn't be illegal.

What the fuck are you talking about? Like 5 posts up you were talking about how the law is antiquated, how people downloading are not actually foregoing buying and how it isn't a big deal. Sounds a lot like all the points I addressed in my response.

Also, where in my post did I directly comment towards you? I frankly could give a fuck about what you say or think, I was making a statement about a common refrain amongst people who support pirating.

Like I said, your reading comprehension sucks terribly. In essentially every post, I have said that piracy is wrong and should be illegal. All of that college didn't do so much.

    • 1
Jan 20, 2012

I read your arguments, which are lame at best.

Consumers are pirating movies because they are free, not because there is not a streaming alternative. Regardless, even if that is the case, stealing content that someone else created because you want a service isn't a good excuse. You can easily put a blue ray into your compute and watch it on your lap if you want. You can also rip your media and have it on a home server.

I apologize for not scrutinizing every one of your posts. I attempt to ignore your drivel at all costs. I was reading Heisters posts and say your attempt at a retort, where you basically say the law is silly and doesn't matter, which is not your decision to make.

Jan 20, 2012
ANT:

I read your arguments, which are lame at best.

Consumers are pirating movies because they are free, not because there is not a streaming alternative. Regardless, even if that is the case, stealing content that someone else created because you want a service isn't a good excuse. You can easily put a blue ray into your compute and watch it on your lap if you want. You can also rip your media and have it on a home server.

I apologize for not scrutinizing every one of your posts. I attempt to ignore your drivel at all costs. I was reading Heisters posts and say your attempt at a retort, where you basically say the law is silly and doesn't matter, which is not your decision to make.

lol so you misunderstand once again. Those aren't the services people are desiring, which is streaming content available at will. And once again, I certainly do not think it is a 'good excuse', but it is going to happen. Perhaps you should once again use your reading comprehension to understand what I am saying. What i am saying is wrong is assuming that each 'pirated' view would've been revenue. That is the only argument I've even made, which you and every other person in this thread has agreed with!

Jan 20, 2012
Jerome Marrow:
ANT:

I read your arguments, which are lame at best.

Consumers are pirating movies because they are free, not because there is not a streaming alternative. Regardless, even if that is the case, stealing content that someone else created because you want a service isn't a good excuse. You can easily put a blue ray into your compute and watch it on your lap if you want. You can also rip your media and have it on a home server.

I apologize for not scrutinizing every one of your posts. I attempt to ignore your drivel at all costs. I was reading Heisters posts and say your attempt at a retort, where you basically say the law is silly and doesn't matter, which is not your decision to make.

lol so you misunderstand once again. Those aren't the services people are desiring, which is streaming content available at will. And once again, I certainly do not think it is a 'good excuse', but it is going to happen. Perhaps you should once again use your reading comprehension to understand what I am saying. What i am saying is wrong is assuming that each 'pirated' view would've been revenue. That is the only argument I've even made, which you and every other person in this thread has agreed with!

Once again, does not matter what the reality of the situation is. The reality of the law is that it can be counted.

Follow the shit your fellow monkeys say @shitWSOsays

Life is hard, it's even harder when you're stupid - John Wayne

Jan 20, 2012

Jerome Marrow just stop.....you're embarrassing yourself...
Not everyone thinks the same way you do, and no matter how wront the current law seems to you, that doesn't mean it IS actually wrong. Sure you can debate/discuss, but calling people stupid etc.? Please...if anyone here has a bad reading comprehension skill, it's you. Take a hint when you're the only one getting shit on..

Jan 20, 2012
Vectors225:

Jerome Marrow just stop.....you're embarrassing yourself...
Not everyone thinks the same way you do, and no matter how wront the current law seems to you, that doesn't mean it IS actually wrong. Sure you can debate/discuss, but calling people stupid etc.? Please...if anyone here has a bad reading comprehension skill, it's you. Take a hint when you're the only one getting shit on..

What, a bunch of idiots that actually agreed with what I said and then tried to argue with me because their reading comprehension is poor are somehow the people whose opinions are worth anything?

Jan 20, 2012

I reiterate, my original post was not directed at you nor do I have any interest in your opinion or what you say. Piss off.

Jan 20, 2012

i dont buy or pirate music i listen to utube on my phone. :D (wastes soo much battery

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed,

Go Bucks!!

Jan 20, 2012
Ambition:

i dont buy or pirate music i listen to utube on my phone. :D (wastes soo much battery

That is pirating music.....

But good try.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 20, 2012
blackfinancier:
Ambition:

i dont buy or pirate music i listen to utube on my phone. :D (wastes soo much battery

That is pirating music.....

But good try.

haha I know I was joking :D It would be a disaster if Youtube got its ass shut down.

I want a lady on the street, but a freak in the bed,

Go Bucks!!

Jan 20, 2012

First off, please show me some research that shows that people who pirate would not pay for the content. Also, regardless of whether or not they would pay for it, they are gaining benefit from something without paying for it. Just because they wouldn't pay for it doesn't mean they should see it for free.

Streaming movies that are available in other forms is not a necessity. There are also plenty of options, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, On Demand, etc. You can also rent the physical and watch it. Either way, if you want a service you should probably find a better way to get it than stealing it.

Jan 20, 2012
ANT:

First off, please show me some research that shows that people who pirate would not pay for the content. Also, regardless of whether or not they would pay for it, they are gaining benefit from something without paying for it. Just because they wouldn't pay for it doesn't mean they should see it for free.

Who said that they should see it for free? I explicitly said that they should not. My contention is that considering their lost revenue to be equal to the number of illegal views multiplied by some arbitrary number is ridiculous. Read what is written before you respond you fucking idiot.

Streaming movies that are available in other forms is not a necessity. There are also plenty of options, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, On Demand, etc. You can also rent the physical and watch it. Either way, if you want a service you should probably find a better way to get it than stealing it.

Certainly, nobody said that it is a necessity or a right. And once again, I have addressed these points as well--there is limited selection on all of those and they are not available to people in many countries outside of the United States.

Wow, you are fucking stupid.

Jan 20, 2012
Jerome Marrow:
ANT:

First off, please show me some research that shows that people who pirate would not pay for the content. Also, regardless of whether or not they would pay for it, they are gaining benefit from something without paying for it. Just because they wouldn't pay for it doesn't mean they should see it for free.

Who said that they should see it for free? I explicitly said that they should not. My contention is that considering their lost revenue to be equal to the number of illegal views multiplied by some arbitrary number is ridiculous. Read what is written before you respond you fucking idiot.

Streaming movies that are available in other forms is not a necessity. There are also plenty of options, Amazon, Hulu, Netflix, On Demand, etc. You can also rent the physical and watch it. Either way, if you want a service you should probably find a better way to get it than stealing it.

Certainly, nobody said that it is a necessity or a right. And once again, I have addressed these points as well--there is limited selection on all of those and they are not available to people in many countries outside of the United States.

Wow, you are fucking stupid.

Adding fuck to your argument does nothing but weaken it. Try to use facts and coherent points instead of cursing like a sailor it will help you in the future.

While I agree that saying the lost revenue is equal to the number of illegal views is stupid, the way you are going about trying to argue your point is retarded at best. So please simmer down with the person attacks and stick to the facts.

Thank you.

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

WSO is not your personal search function.

Jan 20, 2012

Chris Dodd is a piece of fucking shit. SOPA/PIPA are a disgrace.

Jan 20, 2012

Wow, Jerome going right for personal insults. Who would have thought hahaha.

If you weren't a troll I would be irritated, but since you are I will just laugh haha

Jan 20, 2012

Good thing I use Mediafire.

Jan 21, 2012

I would say his true crime is not piracy, but transferring money outside of the US.

Jan 21, 2012

$24m house... ballin

Jan 23, 2012

Filesonic.com doesn't allow you to download files you haven't uploaded yourself...

Jan 24, 2012

kim dotcom is a total fucking baller
http://gawker.com/5878034/the-best-worst-photos-of...

Jan 24, 2012
Comment
Jan 25, 2012