Not that we have any copyright pirates in our audience, but if we did, we’re pretty sure they’d be alarmed by the breaking news that federal prosecutors have shut down Megaupload.com. (Go ahead, click the link — it’s dead!) The Associated Press reports that the file-sharing site’s founder — who turns out to be the rapper/producer Swizz Beatz, by the way — has been hit with piracy charges and the claim that Megaupload has cost the music industry over $500 million. The copyright complaint originated with Universal Music Group, whose complicated history with the site is ably explained by the Observer here.
It will be interesting to see how this drama shakes out. Megaupload has already filed a countersuit against UMG. Obviously, if Universal is successful, similar file-sharing sites are sure to be fair game for legal action. Meanwhile, we can’t help thinking that this is major labels’ way of punishing all of us for hating SOPA.