A big and shocking news for all Megaupload users! The largest and world’s most popular file hosting website, Megaupload.com, was permanently shut down (offline) late Thursday, January 19, 2012, by the U.S. Department of Justice after charging the website and its officials of “participating in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement“.
On top of it, most Megaupload officials were already arrested and are currently under the US government’s custody. Among the list of arrested officials include Megaupload’s founder Kim Dotcom (Kim Schmitz) together with his three (out of six) co-workers Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann, and Bram van der Kolk while others were still on the hunt. Formal court proceedings will follow through but once proven to be guilty of the said charges, arrested officials could be imprisoned for twenty (20) years in maximum.
Update: Megaupload website can now be accessed by typing directly on your browsing its IP address which is http://22.214.171.124. Though I still haven’t tried downloading previously uploaded files using their old link (w/ Megaupload domain name) to see if they still works. You can try it by replacing the domain name with the IP address mentioned previously.
Megaupload is really a very useful website for internet sharers and users. Their superb service made them on top as compared to other competing file hosting websites. But unfortunately, people tend to abuse their services by uploading and sharing stuffs including those who are not meant to be shared publicly like items which are copyrighted to their respective owners. The Megaupload team failed to filter such copyright infringing materials on their servers that is why they are now reaping the consequences of it. Negligence or tolerance of such inappropriate acts by their users makes them guilty of such accusations.
But the question now is: Why did the US Department of Justice made this move in the middle of the SOPA / PIPA controversy (just a day after the Wednesday blackout SOPA PIPA protest participated by big websites including Wikipedia)? Is it a counter protest by the goverment to express their strong support to pass the bill? Hhhmmm.. But moving forward, I still hope that Megaupload can get back to full operation but they should be more stict in ensuring total compliance with existing laws the second time around (if still given the chance). This does not only apply to Megaupload.com but also to other file hosting / sharing websites who engage with the same activity.
If you want, you can read more details about Megaupload shut down incident here:
- Popular file-sharing site Megaupload.com shut down; founder, others indicted on piracy charges – Washington Post
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