Megaupload, one of the most popular sites for storing and sharing information, was today shut down by US federal prosecutors in Virginia on the grounds of copyright infringment. An indictment unsealed today and dated January 5th 2012, which you can read in full here, claims that the Kim Dotcom owned site was responsible for the loss of over $500 Million in lost revenue and reported income in excess of $175,000,000. The indiciment makes the allegations at the following defendants:
- Kim Dotcom
- Megaupload Limited
- Vestor Limited
- Finn batato
- Julius Bencko
- Sven Echternach
- Mathias Ortmann
- Andrus Nomm
- Bram Van Der Kolk
Megaupload is one of the biggest sites in the world and is used by some of the most influential companies in the world to store company data, but also for people to share infringing materials like films, music etc. It is for this reason that the US authorities have been gunning for them for a long time. The company, which is a Hong Kong based company, was established by Kim Dotcom in 2005 as a one-click hosting online service of the same name, along with its sister services.
Another question, is what will the authorities do for people who use the service for perfectly legal reasons to store pictures, company data, family films etc do to get their data back.
In total, 18 domain names related to Mega were also seized by the authorities including, Megastuff.co, Megaworld.com, Megaclicks.co, Megastuff.info, Megaclicks.org, Megaworld.mobi, Megastuff.org, Megaclick.us, Mageclick.com, HDmegaporn.com, Megavkdeo.com, Megaupload.com, Megaupload.org, Megarotic.com, Megaclick.com, Megavideo.com, Megavideoclips.com and Megaporn.com.
The timing of this couldn’t be any more suspicious, as it comes just a few hours after news that the SOPA bill had finally been with withdrawn by the government. Did you really think that the US would care is SOPA passed or not? No, they will still carry on regardless policing the world as usual.
Kim Dotcom and three others were arrested in New Zealand at the request of US authorities and the datacenters seized. Data centers in the Netherlands, Canada and Washington housing MegaUpload’s equipment were also raided and all the staff at ISP Cogent Communications’ headquarters in Washington DC have been detained, in connection with a Mega-related search warrant.
This news could have huge implications for other Cloud storage companies out there. This will be very interesting to watch.
The backlash against this will be massive and has already begun, as Anonymous sprang into action as the news was released taking out some major sites with ease.
Here is the full 72 page indictment