The U.S. government didn’t even need SOPA or PIPA on Thursday, as it shut down Megaupload.com, a file-sharing site wiith 150 million registered users and about 50 million hits daily. So now where will celebrities go to download their own movies, music and TV shows?
According to the Associated Press, the U.S.’s indictment says the founder, Kim Dotcom, made $42 million off the site. It functioned as a kind of host for files too large to email, and boasted endorsements from famous faces like Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, among others. Musician and Key’s husband, Swizz Beatz, was listed as the site’s CEO. He’s not part of the indictment, however.
Before it was shut down Thursday, Megaupload posted a statement calling the piracy allegations “grotesquely overblown.”
“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch.”
Even though Dotcom lives in New Zealand and the company is based in Hong Kong, some of the alleged pirated content was hosted on leased servers in Virginia, which was what enabled U.S. prosecutors to act. Dotcom and three of his employees were arrested on Thursday as well, “on U.S. accusations that they facilitated millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content, costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue.”
The Justice Department isn’t happy with people who’ve downloaded content that may be illegally pirated stuff, but they say they’re just focusing on those running the site instead of punishing individual users.
The shutdown came just one day after many Internet communities and sites, including Wikipedia, Reddit and others, either blacked out their content or restricted it to protest anti-piracy acts SOPA and PIPA.
Popular file-sharing website Megaupload shut down [Associated Press]