First MegaUpload member goes to jail for piracy

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One of the biggest websites targetted by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) three years ago was MegaUpload. Started by Kim Dotcom, the tech “entrepreneur” has had numerous legal battles around his online piracy file-sharing website.

In a protracted court case, the DoJ has just sent its first arrested member of the site to jail for one year on charge of copyright infringement, or online piracy.

Estonian programmer Andrus Nomm was arrested on charges that he willingly developed the website that hosted peer-to-peer sharing files which circumvented copyright laws.

Fighting against extradition from The Netherlands to the US, Nomm decided to plead guilty to the charges, and in effect admitted that he helped commit “felony copyright infringement.”

“This conviction is a significant step forward in the largest criminal copyright case in U.S. history,” said assistant attorney general Caldwell in a media statement.

“The Mega conspirators are charged with massive worldwide online piracy of movies, music and other copyrighted U.S. works.  We intend to see to it that all those responsible are held accountable for illegally enriching themselves by stealing the creative work of U.S. artists and creators.”

Nomm was arrested in The Netherlands in 2012, and was at first charged with six others and two corporations, and faced charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit money laundering. They were also charged with five counts of criminal copyright infringement and another five of wire fraud.

By Nomm’s account, he admitted that MegaUpload’s actions caused more than $400 million in damages – and also made $175 million in profit. According to the DoJ, MegaUpload at one point claimed that it was responsible for at least four percent of total Internet traffic.

Dotcom has been the subject of numerous investigations, extradition attempts and lawsuits. Needless to say, he wasn’t very happy with developments.

[Source – US Department of Justice, Image – Kim Dotcom]

Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp

Charlie started his professional life as a motoring journalist for a community newspaper in Mpumalanga, Charlie explored different journalistic angles since his entry into the fast-paced world of publishing in 2006. While fostering a passion for the arts, Charlie developed a love for technology – both which allowed him to serve as Entertainment and Technology Editor for an online publication. Charlie has since been heavily involved in consumer technology for various websites and publications. He thoroughly enjoys World War II films and cerebral documentaries; aviation; photography and indie music. Oh yes, and he also has a rather strange obsession with collecting coffee mugs from his travels.