Megaupload, the file sharing service has been taken down by the USA today and it's founders assets have been seized (Ooh, l bet that hurt).
It is a service l (amongst millions of others) have used and it does exactly what it says it does, shares files quickly and easily, and at no cost at all to the individual user, if they so wish (a better service is available for those that wish to pay).
The thing is, obviously it is also used for illegal file sharing and pirating material. This is why the FBI have shut it down on behalf of the large music/film industries, but l also suspect that Megaupload were targeted more because of their recent video promoting the service, which featured various stars endorsing it.
The video was taken off YouTube at first, then re-instated after complaints that it did not infringe upon any copyrighted material (full story here and here). I bet it put a few industry heads backs up (that sounds difficult), as they must have felt as though Megaupload were taking the piss out off their collective positions and copyright stances, therefore, revenge was sought .
The people behind Megaupload made shit loads of money out of it, and good luck to them all, l hope they hire some quality lawyers who will get the case thrown out. They certainly have the money available to hire them, as demonstrated in the photograph of the Megaupload mansion that has just been raided.
The trouble with this kind of action, is that the internet truly is a Pandora's box, in that once something is out there (a service, an idea, a file), it will not go away, as others will duplicate it to the nnnth degree, especially if they feel they have a justified cause, or there is money to be made out of it.
Look at Napster and the outcome of it's shutdown. That didn't exactly stop anyone downloading illegal files by any stretch of the imagination. It was just a minor inconvenience for the people using Napster at the time, until they went to another site (such as Megaupload itself, which was started after the demise of Napster).
More sites will appear offering the same kinds of service (others are already available at the moment, such as Mediafire and Rapidshare), and much as l dislike the SOPA bill that the USA is trying to get passed, l still hold out hope that it will just encourage rebellion amongst internet users, so that the sites become so widespread, they cannot be controlled, unless the internet itself is shut down.
Support the pirates!!!
The megaupload mansion in Australia