Monday, January 23, 2012

Megaupload is down, what's next?

The FBI shut down the Megaupload platform and put it's owner Kim Schmitz and his associates in prison and they're facing prison sentences. 'Finally' some say, 'bad move' others call it.
What is exactly Megaupload? 
Megaupload Limited, better known for its closed websites including the top-15, is an online Hong Kong based company established in 2005 that ran a number of online services related to file storage and viewing (source: Wikipedia, the whole article is here).
Are such services illegal? Theoretically not, such services are used by millions of users everyday to storage legal and/or personal data, backup physical hard drives and to be able to access important data whenever needed from any computer.
Practically, these services are often misused for illegal distribution of copyrighted data such as movies, music, games, etc. Once a user uploads a file to a filehoster, this file becomes an 'address' which can be called from any PC and the data can be downloaded again.
Most filehosters can not always control all the data being up/downloaded, alone Megaupload was clicked an average of 50 million times a day, about 4% of the world's Internet traffic, with such a data volume, trying to keep control of every file is like a drop of water falling over a hot stove.
How do filehosters earn their money? The basic hosting service is free, for a monthly fee users get for example faster up/download speed. Megaupload had around 150 million registered users, that alone brought the company around 175 million dollars. Alone Kim Schmitz, head of the company is said to have earnt around 42 million dollars last year!
Will Megaupload's customers be prosecuted? 
This is because of the huge amount of data probably impossible, there will be for sure enough illegal data to do so, but i don't think they could probably prosecute 150 million users, Washington said about this that they will concentrate on the people responsible for Megaupload.
The servers used to storage data in the US were shut down but Megaupload being a Hong-Kong based company, has many other servers spread around the world, which means the impact on the Net will be minimal, besides, many users who traffic with illegal data upload the same file(s) on different filehosters so if one goes down, the file is only a search away.

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