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Attention pirates: they're coming for you, and they're coming in droves. Megaupload was one of the most-visited file-sharing sites on the internet before the government shut them down for hosting movies, television shows and scads of music. Naturally, this upset certain owners of copywritten material. And now those forces have stepped forward, revealing themselves to be Disney, Fox, Paramount, Universal, Columbia and Warner Bros. Gulp.
Variety reports that, more than two years after the site's shuttering, the major studios have filed a mega-lawsuit against Megaupload. And it's going to be pricey – the number being thrown out is a staggering $175 million. Piracy doesn't pay, kids. Megaupload owner Kim Dotcom hasn't been impeded by the death of his white whale, which he rode heartily into the hate list of every entertainment exec in Hollywood: shortly after Megaupload croaked, he started Mega, basically the exact same service. And earlier this year, he attempted to popularize Popcorn Time, an app that uses cloud software to allow people a chance to watch movies in theaters from the comfort of their phone. Popcorn Time, predictably, has been fighting shutdowns in order to stay open.
Dotcom is really one of the more reachable names in the world of piracy, a guy who has no qualms about being in the public eye. These piracy sites continue to thrive under this system, while Dotcom's biggest crime is making himself available and having no compunction regarding his flaunting of the rules. Other downloading systems tend to exist off the grid, but putting a nice big target on your back isn't going to go unnoticed, particularly considering Dotcom is outspoken about his opposition towards President Barack Obama in his attempts to eliminate the problem. Piracy may actually help the industry according to some studies, but committing crimes and trash-talking the leader of the free world might just put someone in a world of trouble.
Ultimately, as criminal as Dotcom's behaviors might be, he is being used as a symbol, with Megaupload serving as a sacrificial lamb. The site was known for its speedy download times and easy use. We all should draw the line somewhere, and the fall of Megaupload just forces all of us to watch the line just a bit better. And, you know, if we do commit such crimes, to avoid being as ostentatious as the video above. Geez, guy, try a low profile once or twice if you're gonna piss off Disney and Warner Bros.