Megaupload Indictment Returned With Charges Added for Kim Dotcom and Others
The Justice Department on Friday said that more counts of copyright infringement and fraud have been added to its indictment of Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and several of his associates.
The superseding indictment also cast light on how prosecutors say megaupload.com was being used. The file-sharing site claimed to have had more than 180 million registered users, but in fact, the document says that Megaupload’s internal databases show that the site had only 66.6 million as of Jan. 19, 2012. Furthermore, the records reveal that only 5.86 million of these users ever uploaded a file to either megaupload.com or megavideo.com, prosecutors said.
Sites they claim to have breached: A day after many Web sites participated in a protest against the SOPA anti-piracy bill, the Justice Department announced it was shutting down file-sharing site megaupload.com over piracy violations. Soon after, Anonymous took credit for shutting down the federal agency’s Web site. Here’s a look at other cyberattacks the informal hacking group has claimed credit for.
The indictment offers some details on one particularly egregious user. The person, known as “VV” in the company’s records, uploaded approximately 16,950 files to Megaupload’s sites. These items were viewed more than 34 million times and included what prosecutors said were infringed copies of movies such as “Ocean’s Thirteen,” Pixar’s “Ratatouille, and “Evan Almighty,” which stars Steve Carell.
Megaupload was shut down in January by federal authorities who accused the site of copyright infringement and fraud. The Post reported at the time, “Investigators say Megaupload’s executives made more than $175 million through subscription fees and online ads while robbing authors, movie producers, musicians and other copyright holders of more than $500 million.”