US federal authorities have moved to shut down file sharing website Megaupload with seven arrested including four in New Zealand.
The ‘locker’ service allows users to upload any file they like, often without any form of descriptions. Pirates will then provide a details about copyrighted works such as movies on their own web sites, linking to Megaupload and a number of other similar file sharing web sites.
The US indictment accused operators of Megaupload.com of damages to copyright holders at least half a billion US dollars in lost revenue. New Zealand police raided a property in Auckland, arresting founder Kim Schmitz and seizing NZ$10 million worth of assets in the process.
Unusually, perhaps, Megaupload carried endorsements by a range of artists including Alicia Keys, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
Megaupload is said to be one of the world’s 100 top web traffic sites. The site is now unavailable and the men arrested in New Zealand face court where it’s expected an application will be made to have them extradited to the US.