One of the biggest online file sharing also known online-locker Megaupload was shut down today. The Hong Kong web based company accused for piracy and responsible for the loss of US $500 million in the revenue to copyright holders. The Justice Department and the FBI freeze the megaupload website and arrested the people behind Megaupload organization. The government said that this company is run based on internet piracy.
Megaupload operated in Hong Kong but unfortunately they also operating leased server and place some of their files in US database center somewhere in Virginia state and gave the “Justice Department Charges Leaders of Megaupload with Widespread Online Copyright Infringement”, as cited from DoJ press release.
The indictment alleges that the criminal enterprise is led by Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, 37, a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand. Dotcom founded Megaupload Limited and is the director and sole shareholder of Vestor Limited, which has been used to hold his ownership interests in the Mega-affiliated sites.
In addition, the following alleged members of the Mega conspiracy were charged in the indictment:
- Finn Batato, 38, a citizen and resident of Germany, who is the chief marketing officer;
- Julius Bencko, 35, a citizen and resident of Slovakia, who is the graphic designer;
- Sven Echternach, 39, a citizen and resident of Germany, who is the head of business development;
- Mathias Ortmann, 40, a citizen of Germany and resident of both Germany and Hong Kong, who is the chief technical officer, co-founder and director;
- Andrus Nomm, 32, a citizen of Estonia and resident of both Turkey and Estonia, who is a software programmer and head of the development software division;
- Bram van der Kolk, aka Bramos, 29, a Dutch citizen and resident of both the Netherlands and New Zealand, who oversees programming and the underlying network structure for the Mega conspiracy websites.
Few moments after the shutdown a group called Anonymous launching cyber attack on some website they claimed responsible for this incident including justice.gov, FBI, Sonyentertainment.com, MPAA and few more websites.
“The Department of Justice Web server hosting justice.gov is currently experiencing a significant increase in activity, resulting in a degradation in service. The department is working to ensure the website is available while we investigate the origins of this activity, which is being treated as a malicious act until we can fully identify the root cause of the disruption”, said the press secretary of Justice Department.
Not only Anonymous, a prominent Spanish lawyer is threatening a lawsuit over the FBI decision to shut down Megaupload because it endangers the legal contents stored in Megaupload, now inaccessible for company customers.
Accidently this arrest just one day after the PIPA and SOPA protest by major internet websites including wikipedia.com, wordpress.com reddit and hundreds even thousands more. After the arrest and Megaupload shut down, some netters said that this proves the SOPA and PIPA are not necessary in combating piracy.
Meanwhile more and more SOPA and PIPA sponsors turned their direction and now became the opposition of the bill after the blackout, according to RT, as many as 18 American Senators have dropped their support for the proposed Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). This puts the total number of Senators who publicly oppose the bill at 25, though another 13 Senators are leaning toward opposition; the number of Senators openly supporting the bill dropped to 33.