Kiwi authorities arrest MegaUpload founder

closeThis article could be out of date, as it was published 2 years 6 months 3 days ago.

The head of a popular file-hosting site has been taken into custody in Auckland along with three others, after being charged with ‘running an international organised criminal enterprise’ by the US Justice Department.

37-year-old Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, is the founder of MegaUpload, a website which allowed users to upload and download music and video files.

The site, currently inactive, has attracted attention in the past, using high-profile artists such as Will.I.Am, Chris Brown and Kanye West to argue for its legitimacy as a file transfer service. 

Dotcom is a resident of both New Zealand and Hong Kong, where MegaUpload is based. He is also a dual citizen of Finland and Germany. The other people taken into custody in Auckland were chief marketing officer Finn Batato, chief technical officer, co-founder and director Mathias Ortmann, and programmer Bram van der Kolk. Three more accomplices remain at large. 

According to a statement from the Justice Department, “For more than five years the conspiracy has operated websites that unlawfully reproduce and distribture infringing copies of copyrighted works, including movies – often before their theatrical release – music, television programs, electronic books, and business and entertainment software on a massive scale.

“The conspirators allegedly earned more than (US)$175 million in illegal profits through advertising revenue and selling premium memberships.”

MegaUpload is advertised as having more than 150 million registered users, 50 million daily visitors and accounting for 4% of total traffic on the internet.

The arrests come just a day after the internet community united in protest against US legislation giving authorities more power to shut down ‘rogue’ websites.  

Follow Us
on Google+
Sponsored

Review: Lenmar Meridian iPhone Power Case

NetGuide The iPhone is known for not having the longest battery life. Too often you see people carrying their charger with them as the phone won’t make it through the day (and that’s without calling!). Battery cases have been around for a while, but what makes them better than just carrying the plug?   Read More →