23rd January 2012

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Fileserve Runs After Megaupload Shutdown

Another file sharing website has reacted to the recent MegaUpload arrests and website suspension. This time Fileshare has decided to take action to clean themselves of any wrong doing by suspending accounts associated with piracy en masse.

Many users are signing in to their accounts today, only to find they’ve had their accounts suspended due to a violation of the Terms and Conditions. They’ve also shut down their rewards program, which allowed users to make money by uploading files and sharing the links with “friends and family”.

It’s unclear whether accounts involved with the rewards program are also being suspended as well.

This morning another popular file sharing site, FileSonic closed off its services, only allowing users to download files from their personal accounts.

MegaUpload was shut down on Friday morning and several people involved with the site were charged with violating piracy laws. The site was accused of costing copyright holders over $500 million in lost revenue from pirated music and other content. The shut-down came only a day after websites such as Wikipedia and Reddit shut down services in protest of proposals (SOPA/PIPA) intended to stop online piracy.

MegaUpload, which launched in 2005 and is one of the most popular “locker” services on the Internet, lets users anonymously transfer large files — and has generated $175 million in income for its operators through subscription fees or advertising.

Hacktivist collective Anonymous retaliated by taking down a number of music, film, copyright and government websites, inlcluding Universal Music and BMI (which is responsible for collecting license fees on behalf of songwriters).

Tagged: FileserveFile SharingMegauploadTech

Source: musicfeeds.com.au

23rd January 2012

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FileSonic Runs Scared

In the wake of the U.S. government’s shutdown of the file-sharing site Megaupload, another file-sharing and storage service has decided to make the “sharing” part of its service a thing of the past.

FileSonic — a cloud locker that grants users 10 GB of free storage for 30 days — didn’t mention Megaupload in a statement on its Web site that announced the changes over the weekend. But it was clear that the company is worried about its users sharing things they shouldn’t.

“All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally,” says a red banner on the site’s main page.

Web services that allow customers to share and upload files should be spooked, Eric Goldman, a professor of intellectual property law at Santa Clara University told The Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang on Friday. “They will wonder if they have done anything different from Megaupload, and does that mean the Feds will come through their door,” he said.

For it’s part, FileSonic has changed the slogans and description of its service on its main page, though clicking through for more information on its premium plan does pull up a logo with the tag­line, “Upload. Store. Download. Share. We don’t believe in limits.”

FileSonic did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

On Monday, the Associated Press reportedthat Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (who officially changed his last name from Schmitz) said that he is innocent and is not a flight risk at a hearing in New Zealand. A judge is expected to rule this week on whether Dotcom will be granted bail, the report said.

Tagged: FilesonicMegauploadTechNewsFilesharing

Source: Washington Post

20th January 2012

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Megaupload is Back

Megaupload, the file sharing website that was shut down Thursday, is back up Friday — without a domain name.

This new site appears to be based in the Netherlands. You can access the site by clicking here:

After seven people were associated with the file-sharing company were indicted, hacker group Anonymous targeted websites for the Department of Justice, the MPAA, RIAA and UniversalMusic.

The federal shutdown of Megaupload came one day after sites like Wikipedia and Craigslist went dark in protest of SOPA/PIPA — legislative proposals that would make it easier for the government to crack down on piracy, or anything that might be deemed piracy.

Megaupload was hosted on leased servers in Virgina, giving federal agents the opportunity to intervene. The indictment was issued Jan. 5.

The Hong Kong-based Megaupload and the site’s other company Vestor Limited, plus seven individuals who worked for the site, are accused of laundering money and profiting from copyright infringement.

Before Megaupload was taken down Thursday, a post stated that allegations that the site massively infringed upon copyright laws was “grotesquely overblown.”

Last year, 37-year-old founder Kim “Dotcom” Schmitz reportedly earned $42 million from his site that shares pirated movies, music and other copyrighted content. The indictment states its facilitating of illegal downloads cost copyright holders $500 million dollars in lost revenue.

Schmitz, a resident of New Zealand and Hong Kong and three others involved with Megaupload were arrested on Thursday. Of the three others arrested, two are German citizens and one is a Dutch citizen. The three other suspects involved are from Germany, Slovakia and Estonia, respectively, and remain at-large.

Yesterday, the four who were arrested appeared in an Auckland, New Zealand, court to begin their trial that could take up to one year and result in up to 20 years in prison.

Tagged: MegauploadTechInternetSOPAFile Sharing

20th January 2012

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Anonymous Attacks Justice Dept as FBI Shuts Down File-Sharing Site

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) indicted seven people and two companies which ran the file uploading site Megaupload.com. The site, which billed itself as “the leading online storage and file delivery service,” is now offline.

In the indictment, Megaupload and a company associated with it are accused of making $175 million while simultaneously causing approximately half a billion dollars in copyright infringement. Among the indicted are the site’s founder, Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz), who holds residency in New Zealand and Hong Kong. Employees Bram van der Kolk, aka Bramos, 29, Julius Bencko, Finn Batato, Sven Echternach, Mathias Ortmann, and Andrus Nomm were also indicted.

New Zealand authorities arrested Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and van der Kolk. Officials said they have not yet captured Bencko, Echternach and Nomm.

According to the indictment, the accused are part of “the Mega Conspiracy, a worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale.” They are being charged with participating in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.

Should they be found guilty, the seven accused could find themselves behind bars for a maximum of 20 years.

The indictment and subsequent arrests come only a day after major websites blacked out and rallies were held to protest SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act), two Internet piracy bills currently under debate in the U.S. Congress.

Some 15 minutes after the indictment, the online hacker group Anonymous tweeted from a Sweden-based account that it had retaliated against the DOJ:

"@AnonymousIRC  Target: DOWN justice.gov - 15 minutes after feds announce arrest of Megaupload 7,  strikes

Soon afterwards, justice.gov was inaccessible — and it remains down at time of writing:

he websites of the MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and Universal Music Group were also experiencing either intense slowdowns or complete failure. Other Anonymous-related Twitter handles took credit:

"@AnonymousIRC mpaa.org got attacked by a close-hauled sailing pirate fleet. 

"@AnonOPs universalmusic.com & justice.gov & RIAA.ORG TANGO DOWN  Fight for Internet Freedom!”

The Anonymous group of the online community 4chan took down the MPAA’s website before in a 2010Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.

UPDATE: Copyright.gov, the U.S. Copyright Office’s website, is also under siege. It’s loading, but very slowly and without images.

UPDATE: As of 8:18 p.m. ET, justice.govcopyright.gov and the websites of the MPAA and RIAA are loading, while Universal Music’s site reads “The Site is under maintenance. Please expect it to be back shortly.”

Tagged: TechMegauploadAnonymouseIRC

Source: Mashable