|Founded||21 March 2005|
|Defunct||19 January 2012|
(6 years, 304 days)
|Fate||Shut down by the United States Department of Justice|
|Finn Batato (CMO)|
|Services||Online file hosting|
|HK$ 175 million+|
Number of employees
|Footnotes / references|
Megaupload Ltd was a Hong Kong-based online company established in 2005 that operated from 2005 to 2012 providing online services related to file storage and viewing.
On 19 January 2012, the United States Department of Justice seized the domain names and closed down the sites associated with Megaupload after the owners were arrested and indicted for allegedly operating as an organization dedicated to copyright infringement. Subsequently, HK$330 million (approximately US$42 million) worth of assets were frozen by the Customs and Excise Department of Hong Kong. The company's founder, New Zealand resident Kim Dotcom, has denied any wrongdoing, and the case against Dotcom has been the subject of controversy over its legality. In 2017, a New Zealand judge ruled that Dotcom should be extradited to the United States, but Dotcom remained at liberty in New Zealand pending the results of an appeal. On 5 July 2018 the New Zealand court of appeal found Dotcom and three of his former colleagues were eligible to be extradited to the U.S. authorities. His lawyer said they would appeal to the New Zealand Supreme Court. The shutdown of Megaupload led to denial-of-service (DoS) attacks on a range of websites belonging to the U.S. government and copyright organizations by the Hacktivist group Anonymous.
On 19 January 2013Mega under the domain name mega.co.nz (later moved to mega.nz, and then to mega.io). The re-launch date was chosen to coincide with the one-year anniversary of Megaupload's takedown by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation., Megaupload was re-launched as
Company and services
The company web services included Megaupload.com, a one-click hosting service; Megapix.com, an image hosting; Megavideo.com and Megalive.com, video hosting services; and Megabox.com, a music hosting service. Other services included Megaclick, Megafund, Megakey and Megapay, all of which were advertisement and financial services. Along with this, four blogs were created including Megabest and Megaking. Two additional services—Megabackup and Megamovie—were in development before their closure.
|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, Imgur 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 video streaming host service for uploading pornography.|
|Megaclick.com||Megaclick.com was an advertising service allowing for users to publish advertisements and website owners to earn money from displaying ads.|
|Megafund.com||Megafund.com was a funding website for users to apply for funding for their websites through submitting ideas.|
|Megakey.com||Megakey.com was the website for the software Megakey, which replaced common internet advertisements with ones promoting Mega services. It most notably however, provided users who downloaded it with Premium services on all Mega websites free of charge.|
|Megapay.com||Megapay.com was the website for MegaPay, an online mobile payment service similar to PayPal. Websites could integrate a "Pay by Mobile" button to allow users to purchase products via the service.|
|Megabest.com||Megabest.com was a blog focused on honoring worldwide achievers including people, companies, animals and products.|
|Megaking.com||Megaking.com was a lifestyle blog centered on luxury and beauty products, travel, food and everything expensive.|
|Megahelp.com||Megahelp.com was a news and charity blog that brought attention to people that needed help and people that provided help to the less fortunate.|
|Megagogo.com||Megagogo.com was a news blog aimed at playboys.|
- Unique visitors: 82,764,913
- Page Views (in history): over 1,000,000,000
- Visitors per day: 50,000,000
- Reach: 4%
- Registered Members: 180,000,000
- Storage: 25 petabyte (25,000 terabyte)
- Once the 13th most visited site on the Internet
- According to Sandvine, MegaUpload accounted for 1% of total traffic on fixed access networks in North America.
- In a proceeding before the High Court of New Zealand on 2 February 2012, Kim Dotcom stated that Megaupload was "hosting 12 billion unique files for over 100 million users."
Megaupload also released its upload/download manager, Mega Manager, a download manager that featured a link-checker for Megaupload links as well as options to manage uploaded files, and to access the online control box that was on MegaUpload.
Megakey was an adware application which removed bandwidth limitations on Mega services during "happy hour" periods. In return, the users running Megakey agreed to supply some personal identification and demographic data and to allow the substitution of ads on third party websites they visited with those of Megaupload.
Megabox, a new form of media downloading site, was the first of its kind. Kim "Dotcom" described Megabox as "very similar to iTunes" except that it operated in a web browser using HTML5 technology and loaded "much faster than iTunes or anything else out there".
FileBox was a Flash applet that 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.
Although incorporated 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. The reason for the block was never disclosed by Megaupload, but Hong Kong Customs officials have suggested that the block was an attempt to hinder law enforcement investigation.
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. Megavideo was also intermittently blocked in the United Arab Emirates due to pornographic content being accessible through the service.
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 throttled connection speeds.
In July 2011, access to Megaupload and Megavideo were blocked in India for Reliance Entertainment customers, after a court order was obtained, citing illegal copies of the 2011 film Singham on file hosting sites.
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.
For a short time after the closure of the site, users could access material via Google's web cache and The Internet Archive. 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.
In January 2011, MarkMonitor published a report entitled "Traffic Report: Online Piracy and Counterfeiting", which said that Megaupload and Megavideo were, along with RapidShare, the top three websites classified as "digital piracy", with more than 21 billion visits per year. 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". 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.
Megaupload Toolbar was said[by whom?] to redirect users to a custom error page when a 404 error occurred in the user's browser. It was also said to contain spyware. FBM Software said that the Megaupload toolbar is free of spyware.
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. 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.
Megaupload song controversy
On 9 December 2011, Megaupload published a music video entitled "The Mega Song", showing artists including Kanye West, Alicia Keys and will.i.am endorsing the company. Snoop Dogg appeared in earlier versions of the video. The music video was also uploaded to YouTube, 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". 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. 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." The video was subsequently returned to YouTube, with the reasons for the UMG takedown remaining unclear. 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." Lawyers for will.i.am initially said that he had never agreed to the project, but on 12 December, he denied any involvement in the takedown notice.
2012 indictments by the United States
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. The lead prosecutor, Neil MacBride, had formerly served as Vice President, Anti-Piracy and General Counsel, of the Business Software Alliance, where he oversaw global anti-piracy enforcement and copyright policy. On 20 January Hong Kong Customs froze more than 300 million Hong Kong dollars (US$39 million) in assets belonging to the company.
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 mansion at Coatesville near Auckland on Friday, 20 January 2012 (NZDT, UTC+13). This was pursuant to a request from the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation that the four be extradited for racketeering and money laundering. The raid was timed for the birthday celebration of Dotcom. Assets worth $17 million including art works and 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).
On 23 January, Dotcom appeared in Auckland's North Shore District Court for a bail hearing. The crown argued against bail on the basis that he was a flight risk with a helicopter on his front lawn, while defence lawyers argued that the helicopter could not fly far enough to reach another country. They also said that Dotcom denied any criminal wrongdoing. Judge David McNaughton expressed concern at the discovery of two shotguns at Dotcom's mansion during the police raid, and deferred a decision on whether to grant bail, saying that he needed more time to review the submissions. 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". On 3 February 2012, an appeal to the High Court of New Zealand upheld the decision to deny bail.
On 22 February 2012, North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson overturned the previous rulings and granted bail to Kim Dotcom, saying that the risk of flight had diminished after his assets had been seized.
On 30 April 2012, the New Zealand High Court ruled that around $750,000 of Kim Dotcom's assets could be returned, including a Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG and Toyota Vellfire that had been seized during the raid on his home. The assets in 63 bank accounts and around thirty other vehicles remained in custody. A paperwork error by the New Zealand authorities meant that Kim Dotcom's property had been seized in January 2012 without giving proper notice. The restraining order on his property was granted in April 2012. During April 2012, US district court judge Liam O'Grady stated "I frankly don't know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter," as he found out that the company had never been formally served with criminal papers by the US.
On 28 June 2012, New Zealand High Court judge Justice Helen Winkelmann ruled that the search warrants used to raid the home of Kim Dotcom were invalid, saying "The warrants did not adequately describe the offences to which they related. They were general warrants, and as such, are invalid."
On 10 July 2012, a decision on whether Kim Dotcom and other Megaupload employees should be extradited to the United States was delayed until March 2013, in order to allow further time for legal arguments to be heard. New Zealand judge Justice Helen Winklemann said that U.S. authorities would need to provide evidence of "Internet piracy" before Dotcom was extradited.
On 24 September 2012, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key ordered an inquiry into whether staff at the Government Communications Security Bureau had unlawfully spied on Kim Dotcom and the other defendants in the case. Key commented "I expect our intelligence agencies to operate always within the law. Their operations depend on public trust."
On 8 September 2014, the Court of Appeal ruled that the New Zealand Police is to return seized electronic devices unencrypted back to Dotcom and those involved.
On 23 December 2015, New Zealand judge Nevin Dawson ruled that Kim Dotcom, as well as three of his colleagues, can be extradited to the United States to face copyright infringement charges. Mr. Dotcom's lawyers said they would appeal the decision.
Basis of indictment
Media reports covering the case highlighted several points from the indictment used to support claims of illegal activity. The indictment provided instances alleged to show criminal behaviour, as well as indicating design points of Megaupload's operating model as being evidence of criminal intent:
- 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 that are infrequently accessed are rapidly removed in most cases, whereas popular downloaded files are retained. (items 7–8)
- Because only a small portion 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 maximizing downloads. (items 7–8)
- 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)
- Persons indicted, unlike the public, are not reliant upon links to stored files, but can search the internal database directly. It is said[by whom?] they have "searched the internal database for their associates and themselves so that they may directly access copyright-infringing content". (item 14)
- A comprehensive takedown method is in use to identify child pornography, but not deployed to remove infringing content. (item 24)
- 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" (items 55–56)
- An incentive program was adopted encouraging the upload of "popular" files in return for payments to successful uploaders. (item 69e et al.)
- 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)
Counter arguments advanced
Defense attorney Ira Rothken says 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.
Legal commentators point out that while the indictment may be correct and Megaupload might have acted as a criminal conspiracy as said, 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) and could be challenged in court. A Los Angeles Times analysis stated that the author was "struck by how far the indictment goes to find something nefarious"; likewise a TechDirt analysis concluded that while the founder of Megaupload had a significant history of "flounting 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". Both analyses concur that other evidence could show criminality; the concerns were not irrefutable. The legal concerns included:
- Indictment cites lack of a site search as evidence supporting criminality, but in other copyright cases having a site search has been described as evidence in support of criminality and in Atari v. RapidShare not having a site search was agreed by the court as evidence of responsible activity given that some infringing content might exist and be searched for if one existed. In the case of IsoHunt, the presence of a search feature was interpreted as evidence of inducement. TechDirt commented that "To use the lack of a feature, that previously was shown to be a problem, as evidence of a conspiracy is crazy. Damned if you do, damned if you don't."
- The "top 100" list excluded copyrighted titles, but the indictment says this was evidence of concealing, rather than avoiding downloads of, infringing materials.
- The indictment asserts as evidence that no effort was made to identify infringing files or users, in other words by acts of omission. But federal court rulings repeatedly agree that no duty exists to search these out. In particular, in MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd. the Supreme Court looked at "substantial noninfringing uses"; mere lack of monitoring was not by itself sufficient to show wrongdoing or inducement. It may not be possible (or reasonable to require) the host to know and identify what activity is legitimate or not, as file sharing may be used by many content creators.
- Deletion after a limited period of non-download is suggested as evidence of a motive. But many legitimate sites such as Imgur remove unused content after a while to free up server space. If files were routinely deleted after a short period it could equally suggest legitimate use - because it serves users who share legitimately for a short while, and enforces removal afterwards.
- Much of the indictment, in the words of one analysis, "seems to be based on the simple assumption that encouraging more usage means they must be encouraging infringement", in other words there should be evidence of actual wrongdoing, not merely evidence of popular use. Many legitimate files are popular and popularly shared, and an assumption that paid use largely equates to infringing use would need evidence.
- Failure to remove all links following a takedown request is often legitimate. For example the same content may be uploaded by legitimate and illegitimate users. Removing the infringing link does not affect legitimate uploaders. Removing the infringing file would wrongfully cause it to be deleted for legitimate users too. Similarly, once child pornography is identified, it is always illegal for all users. But other material may be legal for some users and not for others. So the fact one case requires file removal and the other only requires link removal may well be correct conduct.
- The indictment includes money laundering charges. But these include "basic payments" for web hosting, suggesting "lumping in"—adding matters that are in no way illegal to make a case look bad.
- Megaupload had indicated willingness to attend court in the U.S. already, and answer civil cases.
Safe harbor provisions
The US Digital Millennium Copyright Act provides safe harbor for sites that promptly take down infringing content. Safe harbor does not exist if the site has actual knowledge and does nothing about it. Moreover, the DMCA "safe harbor" is less important in criminal cases than civil cases because defeating the first element, lack of knowledge or awareness of infringement, may be easier for the prosecution than meeting the "willfulness" requirement for criminal copyright liability.
In Megaupload's case, the indictment alleges 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 says 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."
Prosecutors said in the indictment that Megaupload was not DMCA compliant, and cited the example of an alleged infringer on the site known as "VV." Over six years, VV had allegedly uploaded nearly 17,000 files to Megavideo.com, resulting in more than 334 million views. According to prosecutors, although numerous takedown e-mails had been sent, none of the files had been deleted.
In a television interview with 3 News, Kim Dotcom said he was not a "piracy king", and said that Megaupload had applied the provisions of the DMCA and went beyond it, by giving copyright holders direct rights to delete links. He also said that the indictment relied on a malicious interpretation of technical issues to construe its claim of criminal intent, and that there was significant legal use of Megaupload.
Criminal defense action
Kim Dotcom denied the charges filed against him and retained the services of Ira P. Rothken, an attorney who has defended several copyright infringement cases. Ira Rothken stated that there is no criminal liability for secondary copyright infringement under US law, quoting a similar case involving YouTube as an example of similar accusations which were dealt with as a civil case.
Dotcom initially hired Washington, D.C. attorney Robert Bennett, who had confirmed he was going to represent Megaupload in the copyright infringement case. On 22 January 2012, Bennett withdrew from the case due to a conflict of interest with another client. As of 23 January, attorney Paul Davison was quoted as representing Megaupload's founder, Kim Dotcom, in New Zealand. At the end of April 2012, a controversy emerged over legal representation. The law firm Quinn Emanuel, retained by Megaupload to argue for the retention of Megaupload's data, said in a motion filed to the court that there was a concerted effort by the United States Department of Justice to deny Megaupload fair legal representation. In the brief, Quinn Emanuel alleged that several law firms dropped out of the case after the DoJ informed them of potential conflicts of interest, arguing that they wanted to call clients of the firms as witnesses. Given the size of the Megaupload, Quinn Emanuel said this "conflict of interest" argument could be applied to any law firm with experience in intellectual property rights, denying Megaupload experienced representation in a case where both law and technical issues are involved. Quinn Emanuel received such a letter but rejected the DoJ's arguments. Techdirt argued that while the founder of Megaupload had a significant history of "flouting the law", evidence had potentially been taken out of context or misrepresented and could "come back to haunt other online services who are providing perfectly legitimate services". Eric Goldman, a professor of law at Santa Clara University, described the Megaupload case as "a depressing display of abuse of government authority". He pointed out that criminal copyright infringement requires that willful infringement has taken place, and that taking Megaupload offline had produced the "deeply unconstitutional effect" of denying legitimate users access to their data. Other legal commentators have expressed more skepticism toward Megaupload's likelihood of defending against charges of aiding and abetting copyright infringement on "willfulness" grounds if the allegations of fact in the indictment turn out to be true.
The defence has drawn on procedural errors by the prosecution to challenge the case and in a judgement at the end of May 2012, New Zealand judge David Harvey granted the defendants the right to the disclosure of evidence held by the FBI in preparation for the extradition trial. In his 81-page decision, he came to the assessment that the DoJ is attempting to use concepts of civil law, in particular secondary copyright infringement, in a criminal case, which creates legal issues. He also confirmed that the charges in the indictment relating to money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud are not separate criminal acts but are dependent on the claim of criminal secondary copyright infringement. In a separate development in the United States, the defense has challenged the case against Megaupload as a whole, saying the US has no jurisdiction over a foreign company and the seizure of Megaupload's assets was unlawful. A second brief points out numerous legal errors in the indictment, declaring it "an experiment in stretching U.S. criminal law well past the breaking point."
Following the seizure of Megaupload, concerns were raised as to what would happen to the files that had been uploaded by its users. On 20 January 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." On 27 January 2012, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride wrote:
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, the issue must be resolved directly with Cogent or Carpathia.
In response, on 30 January 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 2 February 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.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has started a campaign to allow legitimate users of Megaupload in the US access to their data and wants the data preserved for that reason. It has chosen to represent one such legitimate user in court and thus has sided with Megaupload and Carpathia in asking the court to retain the data.
On 26 April 2012, Megaupload data negotiations began. Carpathia reported that maintaining the data costs over US$9,000 a day, and wanted to seek a formal resolution on whether to delete the data or release it to interested parties. United States district court Judge Liam O'Grady ordered all parties to return to the negotiating table. The U.S. Department of Justice noted that US$35 million had been paid by Megaupload to Carpathia, and alleged that Carpathia had knowingly profited from copyright infringement.
Retaliatory attacks by Anonymous
Following the shutdown of the Megaupload website, the website of the United States Department of Justice and other websites were taken offline following concerted denial of service attacks attributed to Anonymous.
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". 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 taking responsibility for the mass attacks on websites including those of RIAA, MPAA, BMI, FBI, and others. According to the RT network, Anonymous described the attacks as "the single largest Internet attack in its history".
Possible return of data
On 31 May 2013, a New Zealand court ordered police to return any items not relevant to the case and to provide copies of relevant material to Dotcom and his associates.
Former 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 copyright infringement, he said in a statement.
Web organisations have raised concerns about possible effects of the Megaupload case on the future of file sharing, cloud storage, and Internet commerce. 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. 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.
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. 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".
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." 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. Another large file-sharing website, Uploaded.to, ceased services for users accessing from United States-based IP addresses.
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." 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.
BTJunkie, a website indexing torrent files, shut down voluntarily on 6 February 2012. The file hosting site Turbobit.net blocked access to U.S. visitors, and QuickSilverScreen, a site offering streaming video links, closed on 7 February 2012.
- "MegaUpload.com Department of Justice indictment". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Anderson, Nate (17 May 2007). "Google cut off Megaupload's ad money voluntarily back in 2007". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 8 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Megaupload.com blocked (shutdown) Anonymous hacked Universal Music and other sites". Pakblog.net. 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "HK seizes $330 m in Megaupload raids". RTHK. 21 January 2012. Archived from the original on 23 July 2016.
- Masnick, Mike (1 May 2012). "Law Professor: Megaupload Prosecution A 'Depressing Display Of Abuse Of Government Authority'". Techdirt. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- Roy, Eleanor Ainge (20 February 2017). "Kim Dotcom extradition to US can go ahead, New Zealand high court rules". The Guardian.
- "Kim Dotcom loses latest appeal to avoid extradition to U.S." Retrieved 5 July 2018.
- "Hackers retaliate over Megaupload website shutdown". BBC News. 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "SOPA OPERA: The Online War–The Internet reacts not-so-nicely to Megaupload shutdown". WordswithMeaning.org. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Williams, Owen (20 January 2013). "Mega hits 1 million users after one day as Kim Dotcom officially launches the service". TheNextWeb. Retrieved 19 December 2017.
- "Whois Record For MegaUpload.org". DomainTools. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
Registrant Name: Megaupload Ltd
Registrant Address: Room 1204, 12/F, 48–62 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong.
- "HSBC Business Centres". HSBC. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
Wan Chai Hennessy Road Rooms 2101–2102, 21/F, Shanghai Industrial Investment Building, 48–62 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong
- "Hennessy Road SMC Map" (PDF). HSBC. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2012. Retrieved 19 February 2012.
- "Home". MegaWorld. Archived from the original on 23 July 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Megaupload indictment" (PDF). Washington Post. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Site profile". Google. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Tung, Liam (31 January 2012). "25PB Megaupload trove may be trashed Thursday". iTnews. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 16 February 2012.
- Tooley, Matt (20 January 2012). "Megaupload Gets Shut Down". Sandvine. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Foreman, Michael (3 February 2012). "Kim Dotcom v United States of America". Computerworld. Archived from the original on 22 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Mega Manager". Megaupload.com. Archived from the original on 12 April 2007.
- Peoples, Glenn (11 March 2013). "Kim Dotcom at SXSW: Megabox Online Music Service Could Launch in Next Six Months". Billboard. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Is Megaupload dead in Hong Kong?". Hongfire.com. 17 May 2009. Archived from the original on 28 January 2013. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- "HK Customs-US authorities co-operation smashes a transnational piracy syndicate with over HK$300 million worth of crime proceeds restrained (with photos)". Hong Kong Government. 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 2 August 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Marshall, Rick. "The Megaupload saga: A timeline of events". Digital Trends. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2012.
- "SKMM Meminta Penyedia Internet Menghalang Akses ke 10 Laman Perkongsian Popular" (in Malay). 9 June 2011. Archived from the original on 19 February 2013.
- "India starts blocking file storage websites in a move against piracy". ZDNet. 20 July 2011. Archived from the original on 10 February 2013. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Update: Files Sharing Sites Blocked In India Because Reliance BIG Pictures Got A Court Order". Medianama. 21 July 2011. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 23 December 2011.
- "Home". MEGA.co.nz. Archived from the original on 17 July 2001. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Kravets, David (19 January 2012). "Feds Shutter Megaupload, Arrest Executives". Wired. Archived from the original on 9 February 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Traffic Report: Online Piracy and Counterfeiting" (PDF). MarkMonitor. January 2011. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "FAQ". Megaupload. Archived from the original on 6 September 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
- "Piracy websites attract billions of visits". BBC News. 11 January 2011. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Megaupload Toolbar is a Spyware which Changes Browser Settings". TheCredence.com. 13 August 2008. Archived from the original on 11 May 2011.
- "Megaupload Toolbar on Spyware-Net". FBM Software.com. Archived from the original on 28 June 2009. Retrieved 8 November 2009.
- "Megaupload: What it a rogue site worthy of destruction?". TorrentFreak.com. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
- "RIAA Label Artists & A-List Stars Endorse Megaupload In New Song". TorrentFreak.com. 9 December 2011. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- Mills, Elinor (15 December 2011). "In SOPA's shadow, Megaupload strikes back against Universal". CNET. Archived from the original on 21 January 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- "A Bunch Of RIAA Label Artists Endorse MegaUpload... As RIAA Insists It's A 'Rogue' Site". Techdirt. Archived from the original on 3 February 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- Estes, Adam Clark (15 December 2011). "Takedowns and Lawsuits Have Already Started in the Fight Against SOPA". The Atlantic Wire. Archived from the original on 7 January 2012. Retrieved 13 February 2012.
- MrKimDotcom (7 December 2011). "Megaupload Mega Song". YouTube. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Universal Censors Megaupload Song, Gets Branded a "Rogue Label"". TorrentFreak.com. 10 December 2011. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- Michaels, Sean (13 December 2011). "Megaupload threatens to sue Universal over YouTube video". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 1 August 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "Megaupload to Sue Universal, Joins Fight Against SOPA". TorrentFreak.com. 12 December 2011. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- "UMG claims "right to block or remove" YouTube videos it doesn't own". Ars Technica. 16 December 2011. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "Mystery surrounds Universal's takedown of Megaupload YouTube video". CNET. 17 December 2011. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2011.
- "YouTube Apparently Gives Universal Music Group Direct Access to Videos for Easy Removal (Update)". TIME. 16 December 2011. Archived from the original on 14 July 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Sisario, Ben (13 December 2011). "File-Sharing Company Sues Record Label, for a Change". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 16 December 2011.
- "UMG, MegaUpload Case Gets Even Stranger; Will.i.am Says He Didn't Authorize A Takedown". Techdirt. 15 December 2011. Archived from the original on 11 September 2012. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Yung, Chester (21 January 2012). "Hong Kong Freezes Megaupload Assets". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- "Megaupload founder arrested in NZ, site shut down". TVNZ. 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Johnston, Kirsty (21 January 2012). "FBI seeks extradition of internet 'pirate'". Sydney Morning Herald. Archived from the original on 12 September 2012. Retrieved 21 January 2012.
- Fisher, David (22 January 2012). "Dotcom birthday party targeted". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Dotcom in New Zealand". Yahoo!News NZ. 22 January 2012. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Website fights back". Stuff.co.nz. 22 January 2012. Archived from the original on 12 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Leask, Anna (22 January 2012). "New Zealand police complete Dotcom search". The New Zealand Herald. Archived from the original on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "Megaupload founder arrested in Auckland, site shut down". 3News.co.nz. 19 January 2012. Archived from the original on 18 July 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2012.
- "Megaupload accused Kim Schmitz in court, helicopter part of bail debate". 3news.co.nz. 23 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- Craymer, Lucy (24 January 2012). "Judge Delays Kim Dotcom Bail Decision". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 24 January 2012.
- "Megaupload Founder has been DENIED Bail". WordswithMeaning. Archived from the original on 26 May 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Megaupload co-founder's bail appeal rejected by court". BBC News. 3 February 2012. Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 3 February 2012.
- "Kim Dotcom Released From Prison". WordswithMeaning!. Archived from the original on 31 March 2012.
- "Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom granted bail". BBC News. 22 February 2012. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- "Megaupload founder extradition papers filed by US". BBC News. 5 March 2012. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012. Retrieved 5 March 2012.
- "Megaupload Founder Kim Schmitz: Assets Worth $750,000 Returned". autoevolution.com. 30 April 2012. Archived from the original on 30 July 2012. Retrieved 4 May 2012.
- "Megaupload raid warrant 'invalid', New Zealand judge says". BBC News. 28 June 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2012.
- "Megaupload extradition case delayed until March 2013". BBC News. 10 July 2012. Archived from the original on 14 January 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Megaupload case: New Zealand court wants FBI evidence". BBC News. 16 August 2012. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2012.
- "Kim Dotcom: Inquiry ordered into 'unlawful spying'". BBC News. 24 September 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013. Retrieved 25 September 2012.
- "Kim Dotcom extradition hearing delayed again". BBC News. 7 July 2014. Retrieved 8 July 2014.
- Bayer, Kurt (8 September 2014). "A win for Dotcom over seized property". The New Zealand Herald. p. 1. Retrieved 9 September 2014.
- "Megaupload Founder Can Be Sent to U.S., Judge Says". The New York Times. 24 December 2015.
- "Mega Indictment". Scribd.com.
- "Mega Indictment" (PDF). Google. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Sandoval, Greg (20 January 2012). "Megaupload assembles worldwide criminal defense". CNET. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Kang, Cecilia (20 January 2012). "Megaupload lawyer Q&A on DOJ criminal case". Washington Post.
- "Copyrights: Feds push a few novel theories in MegaUpload case". Los Angeles Times. 20 January 2012.
- Masnick, Mike (1 October 2007). "Megaupload Details Raise Significant Concerns About What DOJ Considers Evidence Of Criminal Behavior". Techdirt. Archived from the original on 14 September 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Anderson, Nate (10 November 2011). "Why the feds smashed Megaupload". Ars Technica.com. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Martin, Benton; Newhall, Jeremiah (6 March 2013). "Criminal Copyright Enforcement against Filesharing Services". SSRN 2229376. Missing or empty
- Paragraph 20, page 9 of the indictment.
- "Feds broaden piracy case against Megaupload.com". CNN. 18 February 2012. Archived from the original on 19 January 2013. Retrieved 22 February 2012.
- "Kim Dotcom's first TV interview: 'I'm no piracy king'". 3 News. 1 March 2012. Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- "DC attorney Robert Bennett to represent Megaupload in piracy case, promises vigorous defence". Washington Post. 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 31 January 2012.
- Barakat, Matthew (20 January 2012). "Renowned attorney Bennett to represent Megaupload". Boston.com. Associated Press. Archived from the original on 24 January 2012.
- "Megauploads high-profile defense lawyer Robert Bennett withdraws from piracy case". National Post. Canada. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Ingram, David (22 January 2012). "U.S. lawyer for Megaupload.com withdraws". Reuters. Archived from the original on 23 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Perry, Michael (23 January 2012). "Megaupload boss says innocent, rival stops file-sharing". Reuters UK. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Government trying to deny Megaupload fair legal representation". Ars Technica. 16 April 2012. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 28 April 2012.
- Sisario, Ben (30 May 2012). "Digital Notes: Judge Presses U.S. in Megaupload Case". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 11 July 2012.
- "Torrent Freak Mega Extra". Scribd.com. 29 May 2012. Retrieved 27 November 2013.
- "Motion To Dismiss Indictment" Link
"Memorandum Of Law To Dismiss Indictment For Lack Of Personal Jurisdiction" Link
"Rebuttal Memorandum" Link
- "Motion To Challenge The Scope Of Pretrial Restraint Of Assets" p. 2
- Albanesius, Chloe (20 January 2012). "Megaupload Shutdown Targets Pirates ... And Legitimate Files". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Albanesius, Chloe (20 January 2012). "Recovering Legitimate Megaupload Files? Good Luck With That". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Gallagher, Sean (30 January 2012). "Feds: Megaupload user files may be deleted starting Thursday". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 17 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Albanesius, Chloe (30 January 2012). "Megaupload Files: Deleted By Thursday?". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 31 January 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Carpathia Hosting's Statement on Recent News Reports". Carpathia Hosting. 30 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Tsukayama, Hayley (30 January 2012). "Carpathia: Don't call us for Megaupload data". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 5 February 2013. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Megaupload user asks court return of his video files". Electronic Frontier Foundation. 30 March 2012. Archived from the original on 20 December 2012.
- "US Megaupload hosting company might be sued next". TorrentFreak. 15 April 2012. Archived from the original on 17 December 2012.
- "Leaseweb Wipes All Megaupload User Data, Dotcom Outraged". TorrentFreak. 19 June 2013.
- Williams, Christopher (20 January 2012). "Anonymous attacks FBI website over Megaupload raids". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012.
- "Anonymous in revenge attack for MegaUpload shutdown". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 21 January 2012.
- Biddle, Sam (19 January 2012). "Anonymous Goes on Megaupload Revenge Spree: DoJ, RIAA, MPAA, and Universal Music All Offline". Gizmodo. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Anonymous post". Pastebin. Archived from the original on 19 July 2012.
- Smith, Gerry (19 January 2012). "Anonymous Responds To Megaupload Takedown; Claims Credit For DOJ, RIAA, MPAA, Universal Music Outages (UPDATE)". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 20 January 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- "Police ordered to return seized files to internet mogul Kim Dotcom". ABC. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- "FBI unplugs top piracy site". The Australian. 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 30 December 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2012.
- Perlroth, Nicole; Hardy, Quentin (20 January 2012). "Antipiracy Case Sends Shivers Through Some Legitimate Storage Sites". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012.
- Kang, Cecilia (22 January 2012). "Megaupload shutdown raises new Internet-sharing fears". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 17 September 2012.
- "Government takedown of Megaupload leads to new fears". USA Today. 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 5 January 2013.
- Dvorak, John C. (20 January 2012). "U.S. Government Kills Megaupload". PCMag.com. Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Greenwald, Glenn. "Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure". Salon.com. Archived from the original on 4 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "FBI Reminds Us Government Already Has MegaPower to Take Down Websites". Cato-at-liberty.org. Archived from the original on 21 July 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "5 Questions, Answers About The Megaupload Case". NPR.org. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "If feds can bust Megaupload, why bother with anti-piracy bills?". Christian Science Monitor. 21 January 2012. Archived from the original on 2 January 2013.
- Brodkin, Jon. "Megaupload wasn't just for pirates: angry users out of luck for now". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 1 January 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- Albanesius, Chloe (1 January 1970). "Recovering Legitimate Megaupload Files? Good Luck With That". PC Magazine. Archived from the original on 5 September 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012.
- "FileSonic disables file sharing in wake of MegaUpload arrests". CNET. 22 January 2012. Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "Cyberlocker Ecosystem Shocked As Big Players Take Drastic Action". TorrentFreak.com. 23 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "FileSonic and Uploaded.to bow out in light of recent events". Technologymob.com. 23 January 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 31 January 2012.
- Ludwig, Sean (22 January 2012). "MediaFire CEO: Unlike Megaupload, our business model isn't built on piracy". VentureBeat. Archived from the original on 20 July 2012.
- "RapidShare "not concerned" about Megaupload takedown". Ars Technica. 20 January 2012. Archived from the original on 10 July 2012.
- "BitTorrent Index BTjunkie Bites the Dust". TIME. 6 February 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- "Turbobit.net Blocks US Visitors After MegaUpload Shutdown". TorrentFreak. 7 February 2012. Archived from the original on 17 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
- "QuickSilverScreen Streaming Links Site Calls It Quits". TorrentFreak. 7 February 2012. Archived from the original on 15 July 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2012.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Megaupload.|
Websites operated by Megaupload
- Megaupload at the Wayback Machine (archived 18 January 2012)
- Megavideo at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 January 2012)
- Megapix at the Wayback Machine (archived 11 January 2012)
- Megalive at the Wayback Machine (archived 19 January 2012)
- Megabox at the Wayback Machine (archived 4 January 2012)
- "Why Did the Feds Target Megaupload? And Why Now?". Gizmodo. 20 January 2012.
- "Looking for Signs of Crime in Megaupload's Memos". The New York Times. 20 January 2012.
- "Newsmaker: Megaupload a story of Dotcom boom and bust". Reuters. 22 January 2012.
- USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Docket Report), No. 1:12-cr-00003, E.D.V.A., 5 January 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap (PACER current view)
- USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Docket Report), No. 1:12-cr-00003, E.D.V.A., 5 January 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap
- "Motion Of Specially-Appearing Defendant Megaupload Limited To Dismiss Indictment" (PDF), USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Court Filing), E.D.V.A., No. 1:12-cr-00003 (Docket 96, Attachment 1), 30 May 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap
- "Motion To Challenge The Scope Of Pretrial Restraint Of Assets" (PDF), USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Court Filing), E.D.V.A., No. 1:12-cr-00003 (Docket 96, Attachment 2), 30 May 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap
- USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Docket Report), No. 1:12-cr-00003, E.D.V.A., 5 January 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap
- "Memorandum Of Law In Support Of Motion Of Specially Appearing Defendant Megaupload Limited To Dismiss Indictment For Lack Of Personal Jurisdiction" (PDF), USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Court Filing), E.D.V.A., No. 1:12-cr-00003 (Docket 115), 3 July 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap
- "Rebuttal Memorandum Of Law In Further Support Of Motion Of Specially Appearing Defendant Megaupload Limited To Dismiss Indictment For Lack Of Personal Jurisdiction" (PDF), USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Court Filing), E.D.V.A., No. 1:12-cr-00003 (Docket 118), 18 July 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap
- USA v. Dotcom et. al. (Docket Report), No. 1:12-cr-00003, E.D.V.A., 5 January 2012, retrieved 23 July 2017 – via Recap
- "Press Release Concerning Megaupload Arrests". New Zealand Police.
- "U.S. Department of Justice indictment against Megaupload" (PDF). Washington Post. 16 February 2012.