One of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites was shut down, and its founder Kim Dotcom and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content.
A federal indictment on Thursday accused Megaupload.com of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The indictment was unsealed a day after websites including Wikipedia and Craiglist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after sites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers.
The news of the shutdown seemed to bring retaliation from hackers who claimed credit credit for attacking the justice department’s website.
Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload.com arrested
Megaupload is based in Hong Kong, but some of the alleged pirated content was hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Virginia, which gave federal authorities jurisdiction, the indictment said.
The justice department in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, 37 and three other employees were arrested on thursday in New Zealand at the request of US officials. Three other defendants are still at large.
The Electonic Frontier Foundation, which defends free speech and digital rights online said, “This kind of application of international criminal procedures to internet policy issues sets a terrifying prcedent. If US can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next ?”