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Kim Dotcom and Megaupload Indicted in the Eastern District of Virginia

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In one of the largest and most important cases brought by the United States related to copyright infringement, Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited were indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, and charged with racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering, and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement. Kim Dotcom and several others were arrested on January 19 in Auckland, New Zealand. Subsequently, the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. ordered the seizure of numerous domain names associated with Megaupload.com.

Megaupload.com operated an "internet locker," which according to the indictment, "is a commercial website and service operated by the Mega Conspiracy that reproduces and distributes copies of popular copyrighted content over the Internet without Authorization." According to the FBI press release "Megaupload.com, is advertised as having more than one billion visits to the site, more than 150 million registered users, 50 million daily visitors, and accounting for four percent of the total traffic on the Internet. The estimated harm caused by the conspiracy’s criminal conduct to copyright holders is well in excess of $500 million. The conspirators allegedly earned more than $175 million in illegal profits through advertising revenue and selling premium memberships." For more  information, the FBI press release can be found here.

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