So Megaupload has been in and about the news, since the odd promotional music video, starring artists who said they have nothing to do with the video (making for a paradox of sorts). Things got more serious for the company and it's founder, Kim Dotcom, after the United States Justice Department filed charges against the site and had the man at Dotcom arrested.
This comes after the Department's complaint, deeming the file-sharing service to be an "international organized criminal enterprise allegedly responsible for massive worldwide online piracy." The DOJ has charged Kim Dotcom, his executives, the MegaUpload Limited company and their other venture called Vestor Limited, used by the founder to protect his assets for the following crimes:
- engaging in a racketeering conspiracy
- conspiring to commit copyright infringement
- conspiring to commit money laundering
- counts of criminal copyright infringement
The site has been held responsible for "more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners," and it's executives accused of using MegaUpload's uploader rewards program as a means of money laundering. This comes packed with 20 search warrants across the world to seize assets surrounding the website.
The arrests occur just after the lawsuit taken out by MegaUpload against Universal Music for having their music video taken down. Turns out it was just a drop in the ocean compared to what the Justice Department had in mind for them. That was until Anonymous pledged their stance on the matter, taking down both websites for an hour.
This debacle feels like an eerily convenient talking point for when SOPA is raised in political debate again, showing the extent of piracy claims, and just how the US already has laws and international support in place to tackle the issue, without implementing governmental control at an embedded level in an open-source culture.
Whatever happens, make sure you bring popcorn. It's going to be a good one.