Its founders and a handful of employees have been arrested, as well, and charged with copyright infringement.
The indictment and arrests come just one day after major websites including Wikipedia and Google staged anti-SOPA "blackouts." SOPA was created to fight piracy, but has seen massive criticism due to its ability to shut down sites with very little appeal time, at the behest of media companies or other content owners.
Megaupload and its owners are accused of taking over $500 million from copyright holders due to piracy, and cashing in on $175 million in profits from ads and premium subscriptions.
Calling the group "Mega Conspiracy," the indictment reads: "In exchange for payment, the Mega Conspiracy provides fast reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyrighted works from its servers located around the world."
On top of the arrests, 18 domain names were seized, $50 million in assets were seized, and 20 search warrants were executed around the world.
Those arrested were high level execs, including founders Kim Dotcom and Mathias Ortmann, company chief marketing and sales officer, Finn Batato and head of development Sven Echternach. Most were arrested in New Zealand.
Megaupload has 150 million registered users and 50 million daily uniques, placing it in the top 25 most trafficked websites on the entire planet.
Written by: Andre Yoskowitz @ 19 Jan 2012 20:59