The RIAA Performs Victory Dance on Megaupload’s Dead Corpse

megaupload rip

Megaupload/Megavideo was shut down by the Federal Government last week! It was sad. Also—coincidentally, or not—right around the time SOPA and PIPA, the anti-piracy legislation meant to prevent sites like Megaupload from ever doing business, died their own lame legislative deaths.

A week later, the Recording Industry Association of America has issued a press release basically dancing over the grave of the cloud-upload site. Read More

Kiwi Pirates

Trial of Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom Now Depends on New Zealand Law


Fun fact: New Zealand’s Maori name roughly translates to “land of the long white cloud,” and it’s where Kim Dotcom, nee Kim Schmitz, the founder of recently-busted filesharing site Megaupload, was arrested last week with three others. Even though U.S. prosecutors say Megaupload made at least $175 million through illegal copying and distribution of music, movies and other copyrighted content, according to Reuters, Mr. Dotcom must be extradited—forcibly sent back to the U.S.—before he can be tried. And his crime has to be prosecutable under New Zealand law in order to be extradited. Read More

SOPA Opera

Raid on Megaupload Rocks Cyberlocker Industry As Sites Stop Paying Uploaders, Delete Content, and Ban Sharing

via TorrentFreak

Who needs SOPA or PIPA to pull any sites associated with pirated copy asunder when you have a very public federal raid to scare you straight?

Cyberlocker sites have responded with “unprecedented action” to last week’s shutdown of Megaupload and the arrests of its founder and top executives. Since Thursday, TorrentFreak reports, a number of Megaupload’s popular competitors like VideoBB and VideoZer have done away with payment systems that rewarded uploaders when their files were shared. Filesonic (a top-10 site with a billion pageviews per month) and Fileserve took even more drastic action; both sites now forbid users to download any content they didn’t upload themselves. Read More

SOPA Opera

Megaupload Lawyer: Swizz Beatz Was Merely ‘Negotiating to Become the CEO’

The Beatz goes on.

The saga of Megaupload is really earning Betabeat’s “SOPA Opera” slug. To wit: Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Swizz Beatz was the CEO of the rogue file-sharing company Megaupload. (The news was in the context of Megaupload’s lawsuit with Universal Music Group for using its clients, namely Kanye West,, and Sean “Diddy” Combs in promotional video called “Mega Song”.)

A few hours before the feds arrested four Megaupload executives and shut down the “cyberlocker,” Betabeat got confirmation from Swizz Beatz’s publicist, Phylicia Fant from the Purple Agency, that he was the CEO of the Megaupload. Betabeat also reached out to his agent at Universal Attractions, who did not respond directly to that question. However, as VentureBeat reports today, Attorney Ira Rothken, Megaupload’s “top lawyer,” says, “To my knowledge, Swizz Beatz was never involved in any meaningful way. He was negotiating to become the CEO, but it was never official.” Read More

SOPA Opera

Feds Bust Megaupload, So Anonymous Hacks the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA, and Universal Music Group

You mess with the Internet, you get Anonymous.

Well now we know why we haven’t been able to access at the Department of Justice’s press release about its raid on Megaupload for the past few hours!

The websites for the U.S. Justice Department, the Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, and Universal Music Group have all been down this afternoon. As TPMIdeaLab reports, hackers who associate themselves with Anonymous are taking credit. Twitter accounts like @YourAnonNews and @AnonOps claim the attacks are in retaliation for today’s shutdown and arrests related to the file sharing site Megaupload. Read More

SOPA Opera

Federal Prosecutors Shut Down File Sharing Site Megaupload for Piracy Violations

Mr. Schmitz from the "Mega Song" video

The Associated Press is reporting that federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down, one of the world’s largest file-sharing sites. The indictment accuses the company’s founder and six others of violating piracy laws.

Earlier today, we reported confirmation from Swizz Beatz’s publicist that the recording artist is indeed Megaupload’s current CEO, but he did not found the company, which was started out of Hong Kong in 2005. [UPDATE: Megaupload’s lawyer now says Swizz Beatz was merely negotiating to be the CEO.] Kim Schmitz, a German entrepreneur and hacker, is the company’s founder.

Mr. Schmitz, whose aliases are listed as Kim Dotcom and Kim Tim Jim Vestor in the indictment, has run afoul of the law before. Authorities say Mr. Schmitz and three other suspects, including senior executives, are already in custody. Read More

SOPA Opera

Surprising New Figure in the Piracy Wars? Swizz Beatz,’s Secret CEO

Incriminating evidence?

UPDATE: Federal Prosecutors Shut Down File Sharing Site Megaupload for Piracy Violations

UPDATE 2: Megaupload Lawyer: Swizz Beatz Was Merely ‘Negotiating to Become the CEO’

With all the blackouts and SOPA? PIPA? NOPA! chanting yesterday, we missed this exquisite gem of a revelation: Swizz Beatz, husband to Alicia Keys and producer-in-residence at NYU, also happens to be the CEO of [Ed note: Megaupload’s lawyer now says Mr. Beatz was only negotiating to the CEO.]

For the uninitiated, Megaupload is a service that lets users send and share large media files. It also happens to the site Betabeat used just last night to watch a, um, free version of the latest episode of “New Girl” since the ad-supported version was unavailable on Hulu. Under SOPA’s strict guidelines, we believe the punishment for such impudence is being drawn-and-quartered. Read More

SOPA Opera

Bronx Man Gets One Year In Prison For Uploading Pirated Film

By Flickr user keiro-super-hero

Deadline Hollywood brings us the news that Gilberto Sanchez, a 49 year old Bronx resident, was sentenced yesterday to 1 year in federal prison for uploading a copy of “Wolverine” to MegaUpload one month before the film’s theatrical release.

“The federal prison sentence handed down in this case sends a strong message of deterrence to would-be internet pirates,” said United States Attorney André Birotte Jr. “The Justice Department will pursue and prosecute persons who seek to steal the intellectual property of this nation.”

The ruling comes amid vigorous debate about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which would give the film and music industry far reaching new powers to combat illegal uploads of copyrighted material. Read More