FBI shuts down web site that housed MMA and pro wrestling videos

The U.S. Justice Department and FBI today seized the New Zealand based web site Megaupload and  charged seven people with copyright infringement and piracy.

Authorities deemed it one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought. 

The site allowed people to upload large lifes such as movies and music, and had become the scourge of major media companies.  They are being charged with causing $500 million in damages to copywright owners and of making $175 million between advertising and premium subscriptions.

Four of those charged, including Kim Schmitz, the founder, who earned $42 million in 2010, were arrested while three otehrs remain at large.  The government also seized $50 million in assets, a number of servers and 18 domain names.

In retaliation, a hacker group was able to shut down the Justice Department's web site for several hours.  They also claimed they shut down the Motion Picture Association of America and Recording Industry Association of America sites, who of the groups most heavily lobbying government officials to do something about the piracy.

There is a major New York Times story on this at http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/technology/indictment-charges-megaupload-site-with-piracy.html

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