The first casualty of the crackdown against online copyright infringement has fallen.
Megavideo, one of the biggest and most famous culprits, has been closed down and seven people involved in the running of the site have been arrested.
The government have referred to them as a “Mega Conspiracy, a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale” as opposed to some guys providing the means for internet users to upload videos. The FBI stated that Megavideos activity has cost copyright holders over half a billion dollars. If convicted, the defendants, including Kim Dotcom (above), will face up to 20 years in jail. They could also be fined the amount of their profits which adds up to roughly $175 million.
The sites closure comes at a time that the American government are attempting to pass laws that clamp down on online piracy. So now the owners of Videozer and VideoBB among others are on the ropes, while Wikipedia, Facebook and Youtube founders wait nervously for their turn.
Ex hacker Dotcom (born Schmitz) however is confident that his site is safe and he will win the case, “Mega has nothing to fear. Our business is legitimate and protected by the DMCA and similar laws around the world. We work with the best lawyers and play by the rules. We take our legal obligations seriously.”
What the Feds seem to be forgetting is that people love pirates: Jack Sparrow, Han Solo, Guybrush Threepwood. What they don’t like are men in suits coming around and telling them to stop enjoying themselves.
By Lewis Roe