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    Justice Department indictment of MegaUpload

    The U.S. De­part­ment of Justice shut down MegaUp­load.com, one of the world’s largest file-shar­ing web­sites, on Thursday after char­ging the site and its ex­ec­ut­ives with vi­ol­a­tion of pir­acy and copy­right laws.

    In an in­dict­ment, the Justice De­part­ment al­leged that MegaUp­load was a “mega con­spir­acy” and a glob­al crim­in­al or­gan­iz­a­tion “whose mem­bers en­gaged in crim­in­al copy­right in­fringe­ment and money laun­der­ing on a massive scale.”

    The De­part­ment also said that MegaUp­load, which had about 150 mil­lion users, tal­lied up an es­tim­ated harm to copy­right hold­ers in ex­cess of $500-mil­lion by al­low­ing users to il­leg­ally share movies, mu­sic and oth­er files. In ad­di­tion, pro­sec­utors also said in the in­dict­ment that those who op­er­ated the site racked in an in­come from that topped $175-mil­lion.

    Published: Jan. 19, 2012
    Sources: U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division
    Credits: Nathan Olivarez-Giles
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