Feds Kill Megaupload

Mixtape mecca and openair piracy expo Megaupload has a serious problem: it has just been shut down by the feds. The feds.

The federal indictment accuses Megaupload — which shocked the internet with the revelation that rap producer Swizz Beatz is for some reason its CEO — of over $US500 million in lost media revenue from hosting pirated media. They had quite a run, though! Megaupload boasted "more than 150 million registered users, 50 million daily visitors and accounting for four percent of the total traffic on the internet," according to the DoJ.

Luckily for us, there are plenty of alternatives to Megaupload. And luckily for Swizz Beatz, he's still a super-successful rap producer, an NYU professor and Alicia Keys's husband. Not so lucky? The crazily named MP3 baron and Megaupload founder Kim "Dotcom" Schlitz who is now in the slammer awaiting prosecution. Dotcom's had a busy past few years, racking up up embezzlement charges, multiple arrests, a lardy face, and most recently, ownership of one of New Zealand's most fabulous houses.

Let's also think about the timing of this bust. It's a pretty spectacular coincidence that the Department of Justice Task Force on Intellectual Property was able to destroy a copyright villain without any help from SOPA or PIPA the day after the internet's giant SOPA protest. Do you hear that, lawmakers? The law, as it stands right now, was able to kill Megaupload.com, no draconian censorship powers required. The power you have now — with due process — is achieving the things you say you want to do. Your IP is protected. Online piracy was stopped, except for the dozens of Megaupload rivals like HulkShare and MediaFire. And I wouldn't be surprised if they're next. [AP]

Update: The WSJ says seven Megaupload employees are under arrest, with four already locked down — four of them in New Zealand! No word if one of them is Swizzy himself.

Update 2: As of 13 hours ago on Twitter, Mr Beatz did not seem to give a shit about anything.

Update 3: The AP reports the following statement from Megaupload: "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."

Well, not really, no.

Update 4: The Department of Justice has issued a gleeful statement regarding the takedown, coordinated with police around the world, calling it "among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States", and listed the individual charged with "racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement."

Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty


Comments

    Yes.. innocent until proven guilty.. I love this world fo freedom. Love it!!

    it's only megaupload

    http://www.justice.gov & universalmusic.com TANGO DOWN! You should have EXPECT US! #Megaupload ANONYMOUS IS hitting back hard!

    Quick, everyone pretend that 90% of what we all used MegaUpload for wasn't illegal!

      Well... I used it for porn.

        come to think of it... thats all i have used it for too

        This comment has been deemed inappropriate and has been deleted.

    Criminal copyright infringement eh!

    Beat someone to death in Melbourne for some kicks on a Saturday night, get bail and the serve three years.

    Support free downloading of crap Hollywood films so people who wouldn't have bothered paying for the dross can see them and you will be arrested, shipped to a country that you have never been to and thrown in jail for fifty five years.

    Why has the free world (ie the West minus the psychotic US) allowed this bullshit?????

      No money in protecting people from getting the shit beaten out of them.

    A great example of why SOPA isn't needed.

      That only means that what they can currently do isn't enough for them... think much bigger

      SOPA, SOPA2, SOPA2 Updated

      @ TSH.

      Spot On. And exactly why we're all f&cked

    Downloaded quite a bit of stuff from Mega over the years, about 50% of the time it's loaded with some nasty shit. Fortunately I've managed to kill it before it was too late. If they were a bit more vigilant and made sure their stuff was clean, Id be more supportive. There are plenty of alternatives out there though, but unfortunately most of them are filled with viruses too.

    Someone commented yesterday that under SOPA you would get 5 years jail for uploading a michael Jackson song

    One year more than the Doctor got for killing him.......................

    SINCE WHEN DID THE USA BECOME THE OWNERS OF THE INTERNET?????

      Since they designed tested, implimented and installed it? search ARPA and internet on google or wikipedia.

    NZ police sucking up to the feebs. Why would the NZ gov allow this. Like Jeff said, I don't think the FBI police the net internationally..

      You ever heard of ANZUS? Kind of like protects NZ from the baddies in the world, and you kind of have to stay friends and do stuff for each other for it to stay relevant. Also, if you remember the last time NZ decided not to suck up, the French ended up bombing them.

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