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FBI Shuts Down Megaupload, Arrests Top Execs
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Popular file-sharing site, Megaupload has been shut down by FBI following a ruling by a district court in Virginia. Megaupload is a popular file-sharing site which allows users to upload videos to share with others. However, US prosecutors allege that the site has cost copyright holders, mostly from the entertainment industry, $620 million in lost revenue.

The company’s founder and head, Kim Schmitz (who now goes by the name of Kim Dotcom) has been arrested in New Zealand along with three other top executives. Local media reports from New Zealand showed the cops there taking away his collection of luxury cars from his residence, believed to be one of the most expensive houses in the country.

Kim, originally from Germany, was one of Germany’s top hackers in the late 1990s. Megaupload gave him his big time success.  His colorful past also saw him participating in car races in Europe and posing with a host of glamor girls. His cars displayed license plates such as “GOD” and “MAFIA”. Kim Dotcom was arrested at his mansion on Thursday.

  
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The arrests were made when Kim’s 38th birthday party celebrations were underway and the cops knew that the top execs would be flying in for the event. All the defendants will be tried in the US and are likely to get a maximum jail sentence of 20 years.

Most of the company’s assets including its domain names and other $50 million in assets have been seized. . The indictment says that the company earned $175 million in profits since it began in 2005, mostly from copyright infringement. Megaupload gets over 50 million visitors everyday and almost 4% of the Internet’s traffic.

The charges against the company are:

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  • Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering
  • Conspiracy to Commit Copyright Infringement
  • Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering
  • Criminal Copyright Infringement



 

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