Mass File-Sharing Site Megaupload.com Shut Down Over Piracy Violations
One of the world’s largest file-sharing sites on the internet was shut down today after its founder and several company executives were charged with violating piracy laws according to federal prosecutors. These charges accuse Megaupload.com of costing more than $500 million in lost revenue from pirated films as well as other pirated content for copyright holders. This happened a day after sites and companies, like Google, Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of the SOPA and PIPA proposals sent before Congress that were intended to stop online piracy.
This is a surprising turn of events as Megaupload was unique in that it had support from celebrities, musicians and other content producing folk that are usually the ones who are victims of said copyright infringement and piracy. The company complied with DMCA takedown requests in a timely fashion was endorsed by celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, and the like. A lawyer for the company was quoted to say:
“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,.”
The Department of Justice issued a statement referring to this as “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States,” and that the folks indicted were charged with”racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.”
What does this have to do with Android you ask? I’ll tell you. Megaupload among other sites hosted a bunch of Android ROMs, mods, ringtones, wallpapers, and so on. Given the multitude of kernels and roms I have downloaded from there it comes as a surprise. While many developers have moved away from hosting their files on the site, the fact is that a day after SOPA was tentatively shelved, this site was shut down demonstrating the government’s ability to shut down file-sharing sites regardless of the bill. This is one less site to host your files on and with its shut down there is no telling as to who may or may not be next to be shut down, down the road.
So with that said, the Android file-sharing community will continue to carry on as it normally does with one less site to host files on. As this doesn’t have a huge effect on most developers as most either host files on their own site or other file-sharing sites it still shows that the government is taking copyright infringement seriously. If you are interested in reading the DoJ statement you can do so by hitting the source link below.