FEDS Close Down File-Sharing Site Megaupload … FBI & DOJ Arrest 7 Charged with Copyright Infringement and Conspiracy … So Who Needs SOPA and PIPA?

In what is being deemed the largest criminal copyright case, the US Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have shut down and seized the Web site Megaupload.  They have charged seven people  for running an international enterprise based on Internet piracy. Four individuals, including the site’s founder, Kim Dotcom have been arrested in New Zealand, three others remain at large. They have been charged with five counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy. Megaupload Ltd. isbased in Hong Kong, and its collection of websites generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and caused more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.

In what the federal authorities on Thursday called one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought, the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the Web site Megaupload and charged seven people connected with it with running an international enterprise based on Internet piracy.

Coming just a day after civil protests in the United States over proposed antipiracy bills, the arrests were greeted almost immediately with digital Molotov cocktails. The hacker collective that calls itself Anonymous attacked the Web sites of the Justice Department and several major entertainment companies and trade groups in retaliation for Mega-upload’s seizure. The Justice Department’s site and several others remained inaccessible for much of Thursday afternoon.

Megaupload, one of the most popular so-called locker services on the Internet, allowed users to anonymously transfer large files like movies and music. Media companies have long accused it of abetting copyright infringement on a vast scale. In a grand jury indictment, Megaupload is accused of causing $500 million in damages to copyright owners and of making $175 million through selling ads and premium subscriptions.

The indictment can be read HERE.

Just curious, if the Feds could take down an uber web site like Megaupload, what do they need SOPA and PIPA for? So what is the need for SOPA and PIPA. Let me rephrase the question to the US Congress, what is the real reason for SOPA and PIPA?As stated at Gizmodo, it would appear that you did fine with the laws that are presently in place.

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

UPDATE I: REVENGE OF ANONYMOUS  … Anonymous Goes on Megaupload Revenge Spree: DoJ, RIAA, MPAA, and Universal Music All Offline. Yikes, knocked off line it the websites of the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice.

WOW, talk about carnage and laying waste to everything in Anonymous’ path. Statement from Anonymous.

  1. The following sites were taken down in response to the FBI shutting down megaupload.com
  2. :) TANGO DOWN
  3. justice.gov
  4. universalmusic.com
  5. riaa.org
  6. mpaa.org
  7. copyright.gov
  8. hadopi.fr
  9. wmg.com
  10. usdoj.gov
  11. bmi.com
  12. fbi.gov

UPDATE II: What a terrifying precedent

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends free speech and digital rights online, said in a statement that, “This kind of application of international criminal procedures to Internet policy issues sets a terrifying precedent. If the United States can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next?”

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