According to the Associated Press, Federal prosecutors have stated that they have shut down Megaupload.com and charged many members of the site including the founder with violating privacy laws.
The Federal indictment states that MegaUpload is responsible for causing $500 million in lost revenue (damages) to the respective companies affected. The indictment was unsealed after yesterday, Anti-SOPA day, where many major sites including Wikipedia and Craigslist had protested the proposed piracy legislation.
The Federal prosecutors and the organizations pushing them to prosecute for piracy, The MPAA and RIAA, are actually causing more harm than good by suddenly shutting down Megaupload. This is because many professionals actually use Megaupload as a way of sharing large files with customers and clients. For example, today Megaupload was shut down in the middle of a video upload operation for a client that is a member of the RIAA. Thus, the MPAA and RIAA are actually disrupting the business of their very own members.
This timing is very clearly a political move by the federal government that will likely anger many opponents of legislation like SOPA and PIPA and is likely to cause a lot of backlash. We believe that the Federal government is extremely in the wrong here and their timing is very poor and because of their timing they are likely to experience more backlash than they would have prior to Anti-SOPA day.
Here’s the song that MegaUpload created with various recording artists across the industry in order to show their support for the site. Interestingly enough, that file was originally pulled from YouTube by UMG records for claiming their ownership of the video when they actually had no rights to it whatsoever. This was likely the beginning of the spat between the recording industry that eventually resulted in today’s unfortunate news.