Just one day after countless websites went dark in protest of SOPA and PIPA, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation shut down the file sharing site megaupload.com and has filed charges against 7 people.
While investigators claim this has nothing to do with the international shitstorm surrounding the hilariously – and terrifyingly – draconian proposed legislation aimed at curbing online piracy, one has to wonder.
So far, seven people have been charged in an indictment which was unsealed in Northern Virginia. Of those 7, four have been arrested in New Zealand and investigators have begun searching bank records and servers around the world. Currently, the megaupload site is unavailable.
Megaupload.com, whose owners are already embroiled in a legal battle with Universal Music Group (UMG) can now add conspiracy to commit racketeering and criminal copyright infringement to the list of their legal troubles, in which the Justice Department claims they are responsible for no less than half a billion dollars in lost revenue for copyright holders and refers to them as “a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale.”
They also claim that megaupload has amassed some $175 million in illegal profits, from piracy.
Neither Megaupload, nor their lawyers have been available for comment.
Well, I hope none of them drops the SOPA…
See what I did there?