Megaupload

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Megaupload Limited
Type Online
When it was created March 21st, 2005
Headquarters Hong Kong
Net income US$175 million
Employees 155 (as of 2012)
Website

Megaupload was a website that allowed people to upload and download files.[1] Is had several sister websites including Megavideo, Megapix, Megalive[2] and others. It is based in Hong Kong.

It allowed users who do not have an account to upload and download files up to 1 GB. People with free accounts got 200 GB of space. People with paid accounts had unlimited space. After uploading a file, a URL can be used to access and download it.[3]

It will stay there for

  • Users without accounts - 21 days.
  • Free accounts - 90 days
  • Paid accounts - forever[3]

The website was supported by advertising. It gave incentives to people who uploaded the files that were downloaded the most. The website displayed advertising as users downloaded the files.

Visitors[change | edit source]

  • Unique visitors: 38 million
  • Page Views: 970 million
  • Depth view: 26
  • Reach: 2.2%[4]

Legal case[change | edit source]

Kim Schmitz in 1996

On 19 January 2012 the United States Department of Justice seized and shut down the file hosting site Megaupload.com and commenced criminal cases against its owners and others.[5] Worldwide, the Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Kim Schmitz (Founder), Finn Batato (CMO), Mathias Ortmann (CTO and co-founder), with Bram van der Kolk arrested by the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand.[6] Their bail request was denied in New Zealand court as it was opposed by US authorities on the case.[7] On January 20 Hong Kong Customs froze more than HK$300 million (US$39 million) in assets belonging to the company.[8]

The case drew particular public attention because the arrests were on the day after a large protest of proposed legislation to expand United States legal authority against foreign piracy websites. Shortly afterward, the Department of Justice's website and a number of other organisations' websites were taken offline following concerted denial of service attacks from activist group Anonymous.[9]

Anonymous group protesters in their iconic Guy Fawkes masks

A group spokesperson described the attacks as "the single largest Internet attack in [the group's] history" in an interview, adding that it was "a terrible case of happenstance that federal agents went after Megaupload only hours after the thousands of sites protesting in an anti-SOPA blackout went back online. Web surfers were by-and-far ready to defend an open Internet ... the feds 'could not have chosen a worse time to take down Megaupload'."[10] He noted that from commencement until the point the government's web servers were offline was a mere 70 minutes.[10]

Besides the Department of Justice's justice.gov, the Denial of Service attack included Universal Music Group, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and the website of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. “Even without SOPA having been passed yet, the federal government always had tremendous power to do some of the things that they want to do. So if this is what can occur without SOPA being passed, imagine what can occur after SOPA is passed,” Brown told RT. Anonymous also attacked the website of France's anti-piracy organisation.[11]

On 19 January 2012 Anonymous released a statement on Pastebin.com accepting responsibility of the mass attacks on websites including those of RIAA, MPAA, BMI, FBI and others.[12]

References[change | edit source]

  1. Sinha, Champ. "UploadFiles Releases Free Completely New Service In Order To Share Files Online". 7 December 2010. Release-news.com. http://www.release-news.com/index.php/technology/54220-uploadfiles-releases-free-completely-new-service-in-order-to-share-files-online.html. Retrieved 9 December 2010.
  2. http://megaupload.com/?c=premium
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://megaupload.com/?c=faq
  4. [1] Google saying its the top 1000
  5. Kang, Cecilia. "Megaupload lawyer Q&A on DOJ criminal case". 20 January 2012. The Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/megaupload-lawyer-qanda-on-doj-criminal-case/2012/01/20/gIQA3HJhDQ_story.html. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
  6. "Four Megaupload personnels arrested in New Zealand". http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-world/four-arrested-in-nz-in-global-piracy-probe-20120120-1q93r.html.
  7. "Jailed MegaUpload Employees Denied Bail". http://gizmodo.com/5877779/.
  8. Yung, Chester (January 21, 2012). "Hong Kong Freezes Megaupload Assets". The Wall Street Journal. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204301404577174362457114578.html?mod=googlenews_wsj. Retrieved January 21, 2012.
  9. "Anonymous in revenge attack for MegaUpload shutdown". Financial Times. http://blogs.ft.com/fttechhub/2012/01/anonymous-megaupload-ddos/#axzz1k55k0F00.
  10. 10.0 10.1 "Internet strikes back: Anonymous' Operation Megaupload explained – RT". Rt.com. http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-barrettbrown-sopa-megaupload-241/. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  11. "Hackers bring down French anti-piracy site". The Local. 20 January 2012. http://www.thelocal.fr/2340/20120120/. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
  12. "Anonymous post on Pastebin". http://pastebin.com/WEydcBVV.

Other websites[change | edit source]