Updated. The FBI has indicted MegaUpload on racketeering and criminal copyright infringement charges, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. (s nws) The FBI apparently got help from law enforcement authorities around the world, as MegaUpload’s servers have been taken down. The WSJ is also reporting that four people have been arrested in New Zealand.
It’s unclear at this point whether Kim Schmitz, who has recently been calling himself Kim Dotcom, is amongst those arrested. Schmitz used to live in Germany, but relocated to New Zealand a few years ago. Also unclear is whether the FBI will charge Alicia Keys’ husband Kasseem Dean a.k.a. Swizz Beatz, who was outed as MegaUpload’s new CEO by the New York Post yesterday.
Update: The FBI has confirmed that local authorities have in fact arrested Kim Schmitz as well as three other MegaUpload employees. There are outstanding arrest warrants for three additional employees.
Update 2: The FBI has said in a press release that it and other law enforcement agencies have executed 20 search warrants in eight countries, seizing $50 million in assets and taking down MegaUpload’s servers. The agency is alleging that MegaUpload generated more than $175 million in profits and caused “more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.”
Update 3: Raids were conducted in New Zealand, Hong Kong, the U.S., the Netherlands, the U.K., Germany and Canada, according to a Justice department press release.
Update 4: The full indictment is now available online.
Update 5: Read all about the juicy details in the indictment.
This is a developing story, please check back for updates.