Megaupload

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Megaupload Limited[1]
Type Limited
Founded 21 March 2005; 6 years ago (2005-03-21)
Founder(s) Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz)
Headquarters Hong Kong
Key people Kasseem Dean ("Swizz Beatz") (CEO)[citation needed]
Finn Batato (CMO)
Net income Over 175 million USD[2]
Employees 155
Website
Alexa rank decrease 78 (February 2012)[3]
Type of site File hosting service
Registration 180+ million
Available in English, Arabic, Chinese (traditional and simplified), Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, and Vietnamese
Launched 21 March 2005; 6 years ago (2005-03-21)
Current status Seized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation on January 19, 2012. Company services are still unavailable.[4]

Megaupload Limited,[1] best known for its closed websites including the top-15 file hosting service megaupload.com,[1] is an online Hong Kong–based company established in 2005 that ran a number of online services related to file storage and viewing. The domain names were seized and the sites shut down by the U.S. Justice Department on 19 January 2012, following the indictment and arrests of the owners for allegedly operating as an organization dedicated to copyright infringement.[5] HK$330 million-worth assets were frozen by the Customs and Excise Department of Hong Kong.[6]

The shutdown led to denial-of-service attacks on a range of websites belonging to the U.S. government and copyright organisations.[7][8] The case has not yet been heard at trial.

Contents

Services and websites

The company web services included: (a) Megaupload.com, a one-click hosting service; (b) Megapix.com, an image hosting; (c) Megavideo.com and Megalive.com, video hosting services; (d) Megabox.com, a music hosting service; and (e) Cum.com, hosting for pornographic content (formerly Megaporn, Megarotic and Sexuploader). Other services included Megaclick, Megafund, Megakey and Megapay, all of which were advertisement and financial services. Two additional services, Megabackup and Megamovie, were in development before their closure.[9]

Website Description of Service
Megavideo.com Megavideo.com was an associated, ad-supported video hosting service. For non-members, it was time-limited; it blocked itself after 72 minutes, and then allowed users to resume watching after a 30 minute period.
Megapix.com Launched in late 2010, Megapix.com allowed for the uploading of images, competing with other image-hosting services such as Photobucket, ImageShack, TinyPic and others.
Megalive.com Megalive.com was a live video-streaming service; it competed with Ustream, Justin.tv and Livestream.
Megabox.com Megabox.com was a music/audio-hosting service for the uploading of whole music libraries and playlists.
Megaporn.com Megaporn.com was a file-sharing service aimed specifically towards pornographic movies and images.[10]

Statistics

  • Unique visitors: 81,000,000[citation needed]
  • Page Views (in history): >1,000,000,000[11]
  • Visitors per day: 50,000,000[11]
  • Reach: 4%[12]
  • Registered Members: 180,000,000[11]
  • Once the 13th most visited site on the Internet[11]
  • According to Sandvine, MegaUpload accounted for 1% of total traffic on fixed access networks in North America.[13]
  • In a proceeding before the High Court of New Zealand on February 2, 2012, Kim Dotcom stated that Megaupload was "hosting 12 billion unique files for over 100 million users."[13]

Software

Mega Manager

Mega Manager screenshot

Megaupload also released its upload/download manager, Mega Manager,[14] a download manager which featured a link-checker for Megaupload links as well as options to manage uploaded files, and to access the online control box that was also on the Megaupload site. Mega Manager bore striking resemblances to Conceiva DownloadStudio version 5, self-evident in its "Options..." dialogue box and some other aspects of the program. Mega Manager allowed users to automatically resume interrupted up- and downloads, which was especially important when transferring large files or transferring several files unattended.

Megakey

Megakey was an adware application which removed premium limitations on Mega services during "happy hour" periods.[clarification needed What/when is it?] In return, the users running Megakey agreed to supply some personal identification and demographic data and to allowed the substitution of ads on third party websites they visit with those of Megaupload.

Filebox

FileBox was a Flash applet which could be embedded onto any external webpage. It allowed users to upload content to Megaupload without having to visit the website itself or download the Mega Manager.

Reception

Unavailability

Although its incorporation was located in Hong Kong, the company did not operate in Hong Kong. From 2009 onward, users with Hong Kong IP addresses were banned from accessing the site. Not even the homepage was accessible by them. Any purchased premium accounts were still able to access the Megaupload site in Hong Kong until the last membership day. Some third party download managers could circumvent this, for example, JDownloader, but only if a proxy was set up and enabled in the program. IPs from Mainland China were blocked as well. The reason for the block was never disclosed by Megaupload,[15] but Hong Kong Customs officials have suggested that the block was an attempt to hinder law enforcement investigation.[16]

As of 23 May 2010, access to Megaupload was intermittently blocked by the internet authorities in Saudi Arabia by their regulator Communications and Information Technology Commission.[citation needed] Megavideo was also intermittently blocked in the United Arab Emirates due to pornographic content being accessible through the service.[citation needed]

From 9 June 2011 onward, the Malaysian government through Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission ordered all ISPs in Malaysia to block Megaupload and Megavideo. Some ISPs reportedly blocked all the sites on the list while other ISPs have been throttling connection speeds.[17]

In July 2011, access to Megaupload and Megavideo was blocked in India, along with RapidShare, MediaFire and a range of other file hosting sites.[18] The blocking occurred after Reliance Entertainment obtained a court order, citing illegal copies of its 2011 film Singham on file hosting sites.[19]

On 19 January 2012, U.S federal prosecutors in the state of Virginia shut Megaupload down and laid charges against its founder Kim Dotcom and others for allegedly breaching copyright infringement laws.[4][20]

For a short time after the site was closed, the site could be viewed by Google's web cache and The Internet Archive. However, one day after the indictment Google and Archive.org voluntarily removed the site mirrors to avoid the responsibility of hosting a website taken down for copyright infringement.[8]

Criticism

In January 2011, MarkMonitor published a report entitled "Traffic Report: Online Piracy and Counterfeiting", which claimed that Megaupload and Megavideo were, along with RapidShare, the top three websites classified as "digital piracy", with more than 21 billion visits per year.[21] Megaupload responded by stating: "Activity that violates our terms of service or our acceptable use policy is not tolerated, and we go to great lengths to swiftly process legitimate DMCA takedown notices".[22] Mark Mulligan, an analyst at Forrester Research, pointed out that the number of visits did not necessarily indicate the number of downloads of illegal material.[23]

Megaupload Toolbar was claimed to redirect users to a custom error page when a 404 error occurs in the user's browser. It was also claimed to contain spyware.[24] However, FBM software claimed that the Megaupload toolbar is free of spyware.[25]

When a file is uploaded to Megaupload and another file with the same hash is already found to exist, the uploader is asked if they would like to link to the already existing file. Therefore, a single file may contain multiple links to it. However this has caused some controversy, since when a DMCA takedown notice is issued only the link that was provided is removed; not necessarily the file itself.[26]

Megaupload song controversy

On 9 December 2011, Megaupload published a music video titled: "The Mega Song", showing artists including Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys and will.i.am endorsing the company.[27] The music video was also uploaded to YouTube,[28] but was removed following a takedown request by the record company Universal Music Group (UMG). Megaupload said that the video contained no infringing content, commenting: "we have signed agreements with every featured artist for this campaign".[29] Megaupload requested an apology from UMG, and filed a lawsuit against the company in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, on 12 December 2011.[30][31] UMG denied that the takedown was ordered under the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, and said that the takedown was "pursuant to the UMG-YouTube agreement," which gives UMG "the right to block or remove user-posted videos through YouTube's CMS (Content Management System) based on a number of contractually specified criteria."[32] The video was subsequently returned to YouTube, with the reasons for the UMG takedown remaining unclear.[33] YouTube stated: "Our partners do not have the right to take down videos from YT unless they own the rights to them or they are live performances controlled through exclusive agreements with their artists, which is why we reinstated it."[34][35] Lawyers for will.i.am initially claimed that he had never agreed to the project, but on 12 December, he denied any involvement in the takedown notice.[36]

Legal case

The seized domain name redirects to this joint FBI, DoJ, and NIPRCC notice of federal crime charges.

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. On 20 January Hong Kong Customs froze more than 300 million Hong Kong dollars (US$39 million) in assets belonging to the company.[37]

Arrests in New Zealand

Acting upon a US Federal prosecutor's request, the New Zealand Police arrested Dotcom and three other Megaupload executives in a leased $30 million luxury mansion at Coatesville near Auckland on Friday, 20 January (NZDT, UTC+13).[38] This was pursuant to a request from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation that the four be extradited.[39] The raid was timed for the birthday celebration of Dotcom.[40] Assets worth $17 million including art works and luxury cars were seized. The four men arrested were Kim Dotcom (founder; 38 years old, from Germany), Finn Batato (CMO; 38, from Germany), Mathias Ortmann (CTO and co-founder; 40, from Germany) and Bram van der Kolk (29, from the Netherlands).[41][42][43][44]

On January 23, Dotcom appeared in Auckland's North Shore District Court for a bail hearing. The crown argued against bail on the basis that he is a flight risk with a helicopter on his front lawn. Defence argued the helicopter could not fly far enough to reach another country. They also said Dotcom denied any criminal wrongdoing. Judge David McNaughton expressed concern at the discovery of two shotguns at Dotcom's mansion during the police raid.[45] The judge deferred a decision on whether to grant bail, saying that he needed more time to review the submissions.[46] The request for bail was turned down, with Judge McNaughton saying that "he was denied due to the risk [that] Mr. Dotcom would flee jurisdiction and the possibility that if he reached Germany he wouldn’t be extradited to face the charges".[47] On 3 February 2012, an appeal to the High Court of New Zealand upheld the decision to deny bail.[48]

Basis of indictment

The first page of the indictment, listing the defendants.

The indictment[1][49] alleged that Megaupload differed from other online file storage businesses.

Media reports covering the case highlighted a number of points from the indictment used to support claims of illegal activity. The indictment itself provided a large number of instances alleged to show criminal behaviour, as well as indicating design points of its operating model as being evidence of criminal intent:[1]

  1. In practice, the "vast majority" of users do not have any significant long term private storage capability. Continued storage is dependent upon regular downloads of the file occurring. Files not downloaded are rapidly removed in most cases, whereas popular downloaded files are retained. (items 7 - 8)
  2. Because a small proportion of users pay for storage, the business is dependent upon advertising. Adverts are primarily viewed when files are downloaded and the business model is therefore not based upon storage but upon maximising downloads. (items 7 - 8)
  3. Persons indicted have "instructed individual users how to locate links to infringing content on the Mega Sites ... [and] ... have also shared with each other comments from Mega Site users demonstrating that they have used or are attempting to use the Mega Sites to get infringing copies of copyrighted content." (item 13)
  4. Persons indicted, unlike the public, are not reliant upon links to stored files, but can search the internal database directly. It is claimed they have "searched the internal database for their associates and themselves so that they may directly access copyright-infringing content". (item 14)
  5. A comprehensive takedown method is in use to identify child pornography, but not deployed to remove infringing content. (item 24)
  6. Infringing users did not have their accounts terminated, and the defendants "made no significant effort to identify users who were using the Mega Sites or services to infringe copyrights, to prevent the uploading of infringing copies of copyrighted materials, or to identify infringing copies of copyrighted works" (item 55–56)
  7. An incentivising program was adopted encouraging the upload of "popular" files in return for payments to successful uploaders. (item 69e et al)
  8. Defendants explicitly discussed evasion and infringement issues, including an attempt to copy and upload the entire content of YouTube. (items 69i-l. Youtube: items 69 i,j,l,s)

Safe harbor provisions

The US Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides safe harbor for sites that promptly take down infringing content. However safe harbor does not exist if the site has actual knowledge and does nothing about it.[50]

In Megaupload's case, the indictment asserts DMCA provisions were used for the appearance of legitimacy – the actual material was not removed, only some links to it were, takedowns agreement was approved based on business growth rather than infringement, and the parties themselves openly discussed their infringing activities. The indictment states that Megaupload executives:

"... are willfully infringing copyrights themselves on these systems; have actual knowledge that the materials on their systems are infringing (or alternatively know facts or circumstances that would make infringing material apparent); receive a financial benefit directly attributable to copyright-infringing activity where the provider can control that activity; and have not removed, or disabled access to, known copyright infringing material from servers they control."[51]

Criminal defense action

Dotcom has hired the services of Ira Rothken, an attorney who defended several copyright infringement cases. Rothken claims that the raid was unjustly swift and did not give his client the opportunity to defend himself, quoting a similar case involving YouTube as an example of a completely different turnout.[52][53]

On 20 January 2012 the prominent Washington, D.C. attorney Robert Bennett confirmed that he will represent Megaupload in the piracy case. Bennett is known for defending Bill Clinton, Enron, and other high-profile cases.[54][55] On January 22, 2012, Robert Bennett withdrew from the Megaupload piracy case. [56][57] As of 23 January, attorney Paul Davison was quoted as representing Megaupload's founder, Kim Dotcom. [58]

Legal commentators point out that while the indictment may be correct and Megaupload might have acted as a criminal conspiracy as claimed, a number of points in the indictment are based upon selective interpretations and legal concepts (described in one article as "novel theories" of the law[59]) and could be challenged in court. An L.A. Times analysis stated that the author was "struck by how far the indictment goes to find something nefarious";[59] likewise a Techdirt analysis concluded that while the founder of Megaupload had a significant history of "flouting the law", evidence has potentially been taken out of context or misrepresented and could "come back to haunt other online services who are providing perfectly legitimate services".[60] Both analyses concur that other evidence could show criminality; the concerns were not irrefutable.[citation needed]

Data retention

Following the seizure of Megaupload, concerns were raised as to what would happen to the files that had been uploaded.[61] On January 20, 2012, the Justice Department stated that "It is important to note that Mega clearly warned users to keep copies of any files they uploaded" adding that "Megaupload.com expressly informed users through its Frequently Asked Questions ('FAQs') and its Terms of Service that users have no proprietary interest in any of the files on Megaupload's servers, they assume the full risk of complete loss or unavailability of their data, and that Megaupload can terminate site operations without prior notice."[62] On January 27, 2012, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride wrote:

Now that the United States has completed execution of its search warrants, the United States has no continuing right to access the Mega Servers. The Mega Servers are not in the actual or constructive custody or control of the United States, but remain at the premises controlled by, and currently under the control of, Carpathia and Cogent. Should the defendants wish to obtain independent access to the Mega Servers, or coordinate third-party access to data housed on Mega Servers, that issue must be resolved directly with Cogent or Carpathia. It is our understanding that the hosting companies may begin deleting the contents of the servers beginning as early as February 2, 2012.[63][64]

In response, on January 30, 2012, Carpathia Hosting denied having access to MegaUpload files and issued a press release stating

Carpathia Hosting does not have, and has never had, access to the content on MegaUpload servers and has no mechanism for returning any content residing on such servers to MegaUpload’s customers. The reference to the Feb. 2, 2012 date in the Department of Justice letter for the deletion of content is not based on any information provided by Carpathia to the U.S. Government. We would recommend that anyone who believes that they have content on MegaUpload servers contact MegaUpload. Please do not contact Carpathia Hosting.[65][66]

Retaliatory attacks by Anonymous

Anonymous group protesters in their iconic Guy Fawkes masks

The action against Megaupload took place just hours after the mass online Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) protest. Shortly afterward, the United States Department of Justice's website and a number of other organizations' websites were taken offline following concerted denial of service attacks by hacktivist group Anonymous,[67] which is seen by some as sympathetic to piracy.[68][69]

Gizmodo concurred that it was "almost certainly the result of a quickly-assembled DDoS [Distributed Denial of Service] attack—and easily the widest in scope and ferocity we've seen in some time", commenting that "if you had any doubts Anonymous is still a hacker wrecking ball, doubt no more".[70] Links posted in chatrooms and on twitter, when clicked on by unsuspecting internet users, ran a web version of the application known as the "Low Orbit Ion Cannon". 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.[71] According to the state-run[72][73] RT network, Anonymous described the attacks as "the single largest Internet attack in its history".[70][74]

Other reactions

French president Nicolas Sarkozy said he was satisfied with the shutdown of the website. He found the site's operators were reaping "criminal profits from the illegal distribution of copyrighted works". "The time has come for increased judicial and police co-operation between states" in the fight against online piracy, he said in a statement.[75]

Web organisations have raised concerns about possible effects of the Megaupload case on the future of file sharing, cloud storage, and Internet commerce.[76][77][78] Various commentators including John C. Dvorak, Glenn Greenwald, and Julian Sanchez have written on the topic as well, particularly as it relates US government powers to take down a web site without a trial, even without new laws like SOPA.[79][80][81][82] In fact, the U.S. Dept of Justice was able to rely on PRO-IP, a law passed back in 2008, in order to shut down Megaupload.[83]

People who used Megaupload for personal and business storage, such as large audio and video files for family and work, have also voiced their complaints about the fact that they no longer had access to their files on the service.[84][85] Examples cited in the media included staff at public interest group Public Knowledge who used it for large files, and Android cellphone software writers who described it as "one of the best ways to distribute [software] ... There are a number of similar sites for this use, but Megaupload was always the fastest".[84]

File hosting websites limited the functionality of their services. FileSonic.com, one of the top ten file hosting services, withdrew the ability to share links to files. The site's main page added a banner stating "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally."[86] Other file hosting websites followed suit, including FileServe.com, FileJungle.com, Uploadstation.com, x7.to and 4shared.com, by shutting down, cancelling affiliate programs or allowing users to only download what they themselves uploaded.[87] Another large file-sharing website, Uploaded.to, ceased services for users accessing from United States based IP addresses.[88]

According to MediaFire CEO Derek Labian, he and his file hosting company are not concerned by the Megaupload incident because "Megaupload was making a ridiculous amount of money with a ridiculously bad service... We don’t have a business built on copyright infringement."[89] A spokesperson for RapidShare similarly expressed a lack of concern, saying that "file hosting itself is a legitimate business", pointing out that Microsoft's SkyDrive operates on a similar basis.[90]

See also

References

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  2. ^ Anderson, Nate (2007-05-17). "Google cut off Megaupload's ad money voluntarily back in 2007". Arstechnica.com. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/google-cut-off-megauploads-ad-money-voluntarily-back-in-2007.ars. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
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  4. ^ a b Wire report (19 January 2012). "APNewsBreak: Workers indicted at one of world’s largest file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com – The Washington Post". The Washington Post. Associated Press. http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/technology/apnewsbreak-workers-indicted-at-one-of-worlds-largest-file-sharing-sites-megauploadcom/2012/01/19/gIQAJPIRBQ_story.html. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  5. ^ Megaupload.com blocked (shutdown) | Anonymous hacked Universal Music and other sites 19 January 2012 Retrieved on 19-01-2012
  6. ^ RTHK - HK seizes $330 m in Megaupload raids
  7. ^ "Hackers retaliate over Megaupload website shutdown". BBC News. 20 January 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16646023. Retrieved 24 January 2012. 
  8. ^ a b "[SOPA OPERA] The Online War–The Internet reacts not-so-nicely to Megaupload shutdown. | WordswithMeaning!org". Wordswithmeaning.org. 2011-09-05. http://wordswithmeaning.org/2012/01/the-online-warthe-internet-reacts-not-so-nicely-to-megaupload-shutdown/. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
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  12. ^ "Google.com". Google. http://www.google.com/adplanner/planning/site_profile#siteDetails?identifier=megaupload.com. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Tooley, Matt (January 20, 2012). "Megaupload Gets Shut Down". Sandvine. http://www.betterbroadbandblog.com/2012/01/megaupload-gets-shut-down/. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  14. ^ Megaupload.com[dead link]
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  17. ^ "SKMM Meminta Penyedia Internet Menghalang Akses ke 10 Laman Perkongsian Popular (Malay)". 9 June 2011. http://amanz.my/2011/06/skmm-meminta-penyedia-internet-menghalang-akses-ke-10-laman-perkongsian-popular/. 
  18. ^ India starts blocking file storage websites in a move against piracy ZDNet, 20 July 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  19. ^ Update: Files Sharing Sites Blocked In India Because Reliance BIG Pictures Got A Court Order Medianama, 21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
  20. ^ "Feds Shutter Megaupload, Arrest Executives". Wired. 19 January 2012. http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/01/megaupload-indicted-shuttered. Retrieved 19 January 2012. 
  21. ^ Traffic Report: Online Piracy and Counterfeiting January 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  22. ^ Megaupload FAQ Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  23. ^ "Piracy websites attract billions of visits". BBC News. 11 January 2011. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-12163161. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  24. ^ Megaupload Toolbar is a Spyware which Changes Browser Settings, TheCredence.com, 13 August 2008
  25. ^ "Megaupload Toolbar on Spyware-Net". http://www.fbmsoftware.com/spyware-net/Application/Megaupload_Toolbar. Retrieved 8 November 2009. 
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  27. ^ RIAA Label Artists & A-List Stars Endorse Megaupload In New Song 9 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  28. ^ Megaupload Mega Song 7 December 2011.
  29. ^ Universal Censors Megaupload Song, Gets Branded a “Rogue Label” 10 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  30. ^ Megaupload threatens to sue Universal over YouTube video The Guardian, 13 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  31. ^ Megaupload to Sue Universal, Joins Fight Against SOPA 12 December 2011. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
  32. ^ UMG claims "right to block or remove" YouTube videos it doesn't own Ars Technica, 16 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  33. ^ Mystery surrounds Universal's takedown of Megaupload YouTube video CNET, 17 December 2011. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
  34. ^ YouTube Apparently Gives Universal Music Group Direct Access to Videos for Easy Removal (Update) TIME, 16 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
  35. ^ File-Sharing Company Sues Record Label, for a Change New York Times, 13 December 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  36. ^ UMG, MegaUpload Case Gets Even Stranger; Will.i.am Says He Didn't Authorize A Takedown Techdirt. 15 December 2011. Retrieved 17 December 2011. News shows such as TwIT's Tech News Today showed a small clip of the songs video while discussing the controversy and the show was pulled from YouTube, but was still available at twit.tv[1]
  37. ^ 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. 
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  39. ^ Johnston, Kirsty (21 January 2012). "FBI seeks extradition of internet 'pirate'". Sydney Morning Herald. http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/digital-life-news/fbi-seeks-extradition-of-internet-pirate-20120120-1qacn.html. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  40. ^ "Dotcom birthday party targeted". 22 January 2012. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10780321. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  41. ^ "Dotcom in New Zealand". 22 January 2012. http://nz.news.yahoo.com/a/-/top-stories/12676694/search-at-dotcom-mansion-ends/. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  42. ^ "Website fights back". 22 January 2012. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6293542/Megaupload-attempting-to-get-back-online. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  43. ^ "New Zealand police complete Dotcom search". 22 January 2012. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10780142. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  44. ^ "Megaupload founder arrested in Auckland, site shut down". 3news.co.nz. January 19, 2012. http://www.3news.co.nz/Megaupload-founder-arrested-in-Auckland-site-shut-down/tabid/412/articleID/240007/Default.aspx. Retrieved January 19, 2012. 
  45. ^ "Megaupload accused Kim Schmitz in court, helicopter part of bail debate". 3news.co.nz. January 23, 2012. http://www.3news.co.nz/Megaupload-accused-Kim-Schmitz-in-court-helicopter-part-of-bail-debate/tabid/423/articleID/240281/Default.aspx. Retrieved January 23, 2012. 
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  48. ^ "Megaupload co-founder's bail appeal rejected by court". BBC News. 3 February 2012. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16869788. Retrieved 3 February 2012. 
  49. ^ "Download Attachment". Sites.google.com. https://sites.google.com/site/wwmpapers/papers/78786408-Mega-Indictment.pdf?attredirects=0&d=1. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
  50. ^ Anderson, Nate (2011-11-10). "Why the feds smashed Megaupload". Arstechnica.com. http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/why-the-feds-smashed-megaupload.ars. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
  51. ^ Paragraph 20, page 9 of the indictment
  52. ^ Sandoval, Greg (20 January 2012). "Megaupload assembles worldwide criminal defense". CNET. http://news.cnet.com/8301-31001_3-57362609-261/megaupload-assembles-worldwide-criminal-defense/. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  53. ^ Cecilia Kang, Megaupload lawyer Q&A on DOJ criminal case, Washington Post, 20 January 2012
  54. ^ DC attorney Robert Bennett to represent Megaupload in piracy case, promises vigorous defence (Washington Post, 20 January 2012)
  55. ^ Renowned attorney Bennett to represent Megaupload (Associated Press, 20 January 2012)
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  76. ^ Antipiracy Case Sends Shivers Through Some Legitimate Storage Sites (New York Times, 20 January 2012)
  77. ^ Megaupload shutdown raises new Internet-sharing fears (Washington Post, 20 January 2012)
  78. ^ Government takedown of Megaupload leads to new fears (USA TODAY, 20 January 2012)
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  83. ^ If feds can bust Megaupload, why bother with anti-piracy bills? (Christian Science Monitor, January 21, 2012)
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  89. ^ January 22, 2012, MediaFire CEO: Unlike Megaupload, our business model isn’t built on piracy, CloudBeat
  90. ^ 20 January 2012, RapidShare "not concerned" about Megaupload takedown, Ars Technica

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