RapidShare is widely known as an invaluable tool for the illegal sharing of copyrighted digital material. Much like Megaupload, which was shuttered earlier this year when company founder Kim Dotcom was arrested and charged with racketeering and violating anti-piracy laws, RapidShare allows users to upload any file and share a link with other users who may then download the content. While some users share files legally with RapidShare, millions more upload copyrighted movies, music and eBooks which are then downloaded illegally by others around the world who find links to the files on blogs or through special search engines. Following a preliminary ruling, a court in Germany has now declared RapidShare to be legal, but it must utilize a monitoring mechanisms if it wishes to remain operational. Read on for more. More →
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who was arrested and charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering in one of the largest criminal cases of its kind, is maintaining his innocence. Dotcom has previously questioned his accusers’ motives, claiming he isn’t a so-called piracy king, but a man who ran a legitimate business that offered online storage and bandwidth. In an interview with TorrentFreak, Dotcom said that he can refute nearly every claim in the case being brought against him. Read on for more. More →
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who was recently arrested and charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering, may be able to reclaim his seized assets due to a botched court order, according to a report from the New Zealand Herald. Police raided Dotcom’s home on January 19th and seized, among other valuable assets, his cash, cars and mansion. New Zealand police have admitted to making a “procedural error” when filing documents to seize Dotcom’s property, however. A court has ruled that the incorrect restraining order is “null and void” and has “no legal effect.” The publication states there is no guarantee Dotcom will get his assets back though, as his lawyers must first prove a lack of good faith when the procedural error was made. More →
A court in Germany ruled on Thursday that RapidShare must implement a system that proactively filters user uploads in order to prevent the illegal sharing of copyrighted content. Like Megaupload, which was shuttered earlier this year, RapidShare allows users to upload large files and share them online. The service has become widely known for hosting copyrighted software, music, movies and books that are then shared illegally on forums, blogs and a variety of of other websites. Following verdicts in three separate cases filed by two book publishers and an group representing music publishers called GEMA, the firm has been ordered to take a more active role in preventing infringing content from being uploaded to its servers, TorrentFreak reported. RapidShare has not yet stated whether or not it will appeal the decision.
UPDATE: RapidShare has issued a press release in response to this ruled, which now follows below. More →
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is currently trying to work out a deal with the Department of Justice to allow users to download their personal files that were stored on Megaupload’s servers prior to the service’s closure. “Megaupload’s legal team is working hard to reunite our users with their data,” Dotcom said to TorrentFreak. “We are negotiating with the Department of Justice to allow all Mega users to retrieve their data.” Dotcom, the company’s founder, who was charged with racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering, claims that many high-ranking U.S. government officials were among the users of the popular file sharing website. “Guess what – we found a large number of Mega accounts from U.S. Government officials including the Department of Justice and the U.S. Senate,” he said. “I hope we will soon have permission to give them and the rest of our users access to their files.” More →
The Motion Picture Association of America this week filed a motion for a summary judgement against file-sharing service Hotfile in a U.S. District Court in Florida, TorrentFreak reports. The MPAA, which describes itself as “the voice and advocate of the American motion picture,” argued in its filing that Hotfile’s business model is identical to that of Megaupload, a popular file-sharing site that was shuttered earlier this year. “Hotfile is responsible for billions of infringing downloads of copyrighted works, including plaintiffs’ valuable motion picture and television properties,” MPAA lawyers wrote in the filing. “As with other adjudicated pirate services that came before it, from Napster and Grokster to Isohunt and Limewire, Hotfile exists to profit from copyright infringement.” The document continued, “More than 90% of the files downloaded from Hotfile are copyright infringing, and nearly every Hotfile user is engaged in copyright infringement.” The MPAA hopes that its motion will convince the court to have Hotfile shut down and forced to pay damages to movie studios, thus avoiding the need for a lengthy trial. More →
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom on Thursday questioned his accusers’ motives while speaking to The Guardian. “I’m no piracy king,” Dotcom told the paper. “I offered online storage and bandwidth to users and that’s it.” Dotcom was arrested in his New Zealand mansion on January 20th after his notorious Megaupload service was shuttered earlier that week as part of a multi-agency sting across several countries. He was released on bail and it currently awaiting trial, having been accused of money laundering, violating piracy laws and a number of other crimes. “It’s kind of like weapon of mass destructions in Iraq, you know?” Dotcom said during an interview with The Guardian. “If you want to go after someone and you have a political goal you will say whatever it takes.” Read on for more. More →
Copyright holders thought they had scored a major victory last month when one of the biggest file-sharing networks in the world was shuttered. Megaupload had been responsible for an estimated 30% to 40% of all file-sharing traffic worldwide, but a recent study suggests that the network’s closure did absolutely nothing to slow piracy related to file-sharing. To compound matters, another network that has flown under the radar for some time has now been dragged into the spotlight, and it may pose one of the biggest threats yet to copyright owners and their content. Read on for more. More →
The recent federal takedown of notorious file-sharing service Megaupload was initially seen as a huge victory for owners of copyrighted music and movies, but new research shows this may not be the case. Federal prosecutors successfully shuttered the service last month and arrested seven men associated with Megaupload including site founder Kim Dotcom, who is said to have earned $42 million from the site in 2010 alone. What was initially thought to be a victory for movie studios and record labels is turning out to be an empty win, however, as Megaupload’s closure has had almost no impact on file-sharing. Read on for more. More →
Third-party companies that stored Megaupload’s data may delete all user files on Thursday. Megaupload customers, even those not guilty of piracy or using the service illegally, have been unable to access their files since the website was shut down on January 19th. So far, seven men have been charged for illegally allowing Megaupload users to store and share music, movies and other copyrighted content, among other things. The issue, however, is that millions of Megaupload users used the service legally to store family photos and other personal data. Megaupload doesn’t store the data itself, the AP said Monday, instead it hired Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications Group to store its data. A letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia explained that both companies may begin deleting the data as soon as this Thursday. 50 million users could have their personal photos, videos and music erased; Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken said the company is currently speaking with prosecutors in an effort to save the data.
UPDATE: Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothke on Monday confirmed that Megaupload’s hosting companies have agreed not to delete user files for two weeks, TVNZ reports. “Carpathia and Cogent agreed to preserve consumer data for additional time of at least two weeks so Megaupload can work with US on proposal,” Rothke posted on Twitter.
Over the past week, notorious hacker group Anonymous has launched numerous DDoS attacks that disrupted service to a number of popular websites. The global hacker collective recently took down websites belonging to the Department of Justice, Universal Music, the Record Industry Association of America and the Motion Picture Association of America to protest SOPA, PIPA and the takedown of Megaupload. According to a new video posted on Monday, Anonymous now aims to take down Facebook. It in unclear as to why Facebook is the group’s new target; while the video mentions SOPA as part of its reason for the attack, Facebook openly opposed the controversial bill. In the past, Anonymous has listed potential targets as the United Nations, Xbox Live, U.S. Bank, Twitter and YouTube. More →
Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down notorious file-sharing site Megaupload.com and charged the service’s founders with violating piracy laws. The Associated Press broke the story on Thursday, reporting that the indictment accuses Megaupload.com’s owner with costing copyright holders including record labels and movie studios more than $500 million in lost revenue. Seven people tied to Megaupload.com have been charged and four are already in custody, including the site’s founder Kim Dotcom. Dotcom earned $42 million from the the site in 2010 according to the indictment. Megaupload.com allowed users to upload and share content without any measures in place to ensure files being hosted on the site’s servers were not protected by copyright. The company claims that it responded to copyright complaints as they were received. According to court documents made available on Thursday, Megaupload.com was at one point the 13th most trafficked website in the world. More →