A day after multiple Internet companies came together in protest over two proposed anti-piracy bills, Federal prosecutors have shut down one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, and charged its founder and others employees with violating piracy laws, the Associated Press is reporting.
This week has been eventful for the Hong Kong-based file-sharing service. Page Six reported that the company’s CEO, Swizz Beatz, was in the middle of a copyright infringement case involving a number of artists—Kanye West, Diddy, Chris Brown will.i.am, et. al—who came out in support of the website by participating in the “Megaupload Song” in 2011.
The indictment presented by the Virginia Federal prosecutors accuses the company of costing intellectual property and copyright holders over $500 million in lost revenue from pirated material hosted on the company’s servers.
Megaupload was founded in 2005 by German entrepreneur Kim Schmitz who, prior to becoming an entrepreneur, was a computer hacker. He has been brought up on various charges including credit card fraud, embezzlement, and insider trading. In 2011, after Universal Music Group issued a takedown notice to the site for the “Megaupload Song”, Schmitz and Megaupload filed a lawsuit against UMG for sending “illegitamate takedown notices.”