Within hours of being routed by one of the largest shows of public opinion against its plans to censor the internet, Big Content carried out a display of force against a website, Megaupload, it claimed was a pirate haven.
It seemed that Big Content believed that the US would sit by and let its paid for political sock puppets bring in a law which would suspend the constitution with its SOPA and PIPA bills. After a huge internet outcry, politicians realised that backing the bill would result in the death of their careers and fled.
Big Content then felt it needed to show the world that it is still in control and a force to be feared, and pulled a few strings to shut down the enormous Megaupload and stick its operators behind bars.
FBI agents arrested seven people and two companies behind the popular file-sharing website megaupload.com. Megaupload is high profile. It was supported by stars will.i.am, Kim Kardashian and Diddy, and has hip-hop producer Swizz Beats as its CEO. Mysteriously none of them have been arrested.
Big Content has been trying to get the site shut down for some time, in one case demanding that a YouTube music file praising Megaupload be pulled for using pirated content. It turned out that the pirated content was issued with the blessing of the musicians involved.
So it seems that using the tax-payer funded legal system to shut down Megaupload is sending a message to the world that Big Content is still in control, no matter what law fails to get passed through the senate.
Megaupload is being charged with a half-billion dollar copyright fraud. The feds indicted the site’s founder, Kim Dotcom, a.k.a. Kim Schmitz, who is a Hong Kong and New Zealand resident.
He was arrested in New Zealand by New Zealand authorities. Lately, the New Zealand government, which bravely stood up to the French and US governments in the 1980’s under Prime Minister David Lange, is now following Big Content demands like sheep.
Also indicted were employees Bram van der Kolk, a.k.a. Bramos, 29, Julius Bencko, Finn Batato, Sven Echternach, Mathias Ortmann, and Andrus Nomm.
New Zealand authorities arrested Batato, Ortmann and van der Kolk. Bencko, Echternach and Nomm remain at large.
Big Content and the coppers are singing from the same hymn sheet that the site was part of an enormous conspiracy involving criminal copyright infringement and “money laundering” on a massive scale. It will be interesting to see if anyone ends up being charged with money laundering or whether or not this is an attempt to make an allegation stick without having to prove anything.
Meanwhile, Anonymous has started a retaliatory strike against DoJ.gov, the RIAA, the FBI Universal Music Group and anyone who was involved in the arrests.