In last week’s Megaupload indictment, the U.S. government has raised the debate over copyright infringement on the Web to a whole new level – treating the operators of one of the most popular sites on the Internet as if they were part of organized crime.
On January 19, 2012, a federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia charged executives, founders and employees of Megaupload.com, one of the leading file-hosting services on the Web, with copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit racketeering and money laundering. The U.S. Department of Justice is charging that Megaupload.com caused over $500 million in lost revenue from “pirated” content such as music and movies. In addition, the government seized Megaupload’s domain names and shut down all of its sites, contending that Megaupload is an organization dedicated to copyright infringement.
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