Update: Looks like a new site has cropped up and has exact look & feel of Megaupload, but does not have a domain name… just the IP address – . Not sure if it is someone from original Megaupload team, or an imitator… But it did not take much time…did it!
Hugely popular file sharing site – Megaupload.com – is dead. It was bought down by US FBI yesterday after a Grand Jury in Eastern District of Virginia charged the Megaupload owners of racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.
This action by FBI is among the largest copyright infringement cases in the world which has purportedly cost more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.
Megaupload.com is a hugely popular file sharing site in India and across the globe having more than a billion visits to the site, more than 150 million registered users, 50 million daily visitors and accounting for four percent of the total traffic on the Internet.
Hong Kong & New Zealand based owner, Kim Schmitz, along with 7 other employees of Megaupload are charged & arrested in the indictment released by US Justice Department.
According to a Venturebeat article, Megaupload came into limelight due to a recent release of a music video where Megaupload CEO Swiss Beatz got some very popular singers to participate and popularize its service. See the following video.
Hacker Group Anonymous Retaliates with Largest Ever Attack
With Department of Justice bringing down Megaupload site, hacker group “anonymous” launched biggest ever attack bringing down sites of Department of Justice, FBI, Universal Music Group, RIAA & several others.
My personal point of view is that Megaupload should not be held responsible, as they are just the platform offering file upload services. They have laid down proper terms and conditions [cached link] where in point number 7.4 they clearly state the following:
Megaupload Services may be used only for lawful purposes. Transmission, distribution or storage of any material in violation of any applicable law or regulation, including export control laws, is prohibited. This includes, without limitation, material protected by patent, copyright, trademark, service mark, trade secret or other intellectual property rights. If you use another party’s material, you must obtain prior authorization
Megaupload has taken utmost care to inform users what is allowed and what is not allowed to be uploaded on the site and if the users choose to upload copyright infringing material, they cannot be held responsible for it!
This action has set a dangerous precedence, and I wonder what the US Government plans to do with other similar sites like MediaFire, YouSendIt and Rapidshare, who provide similar kind of file-sharing services. As of now Megaupload & all their umbrella sites are down and I doubt you will see them live again ever… R.I.P Megaupload!
Additionally, if acts like SOPA & PIPA are passed, actions like these will become commonplace and will ruin the internet freedom!
I would love to hear your views on this!