Ahoy, Pirates! Megaupload Site Charged By U.S. Government
The United States federal government on Thursday charged seven people associated with the Web site Megaupload, including its founder. The indictment concerns an international criminal enterprise centered on copyright infringement on the Internet.
Megaupload is one of the largest “locker” services on the Internet, which lets users anonymously transfer large files. The business generated $175 million in income for its operators through fees and advertising and it's alleged to have caused $500 million in damages to holders of copyrights.
Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, is the site's founder and was arrested in New Zealand, according to the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Of the six others indicted, three have been arrested. Officially, the seven people were indicted with five counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy, according to authorities. The nearly two-year investigation was unsealed Thursday and it revealed that the grand jury in Virginia made its decision almost two weeks ago.
Megaupload and other websites such as Rapidshare and Mediafire, are promoted as easy ways to legitimately transfer large files. Recently, the star of Black Eyed Peas, Will.i.am, praised Megaupload's in song. However, media conglomerates see them as helping copyright infringements on a mega-scale by giving people simple access to movies, music and other content.