The U.S. Department of Justice in January shut down popular but allegedly copyright-infringing file-sharing websites of Hong Kong-based Megaupload and handed down indictments to company founder Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz) and associates that have led to a complicated international legal battle. The Department of Justice alleged that Megaupload was the hub of an "international organised criminal enterprise" responsible for "massive worldwide online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works."
Megaupload.com and related sites generated $175 million-plus in criminal proceeds and resulted in more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners, says the DoJ. The moves also led to denial-of-service attacks on a slew of U.S. government websites.