The US Department of Defence and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Bureau (FBI) charged two companies and seven individuals, including 35-year-old Slovak citizen Július Bencko, with operating an international organised criminal group allegedly involved in the wide-spread infringement of copyrights via the internet site Megaupload.com, the TASR newswire reported on January 20.
A grand jury accused the seven men of extortion, conspiring to commit money-laundering and criminal copyright infringement, saying that the individuals in question operated web sites for over five years that allowed the mass illegal distribution of copyrighted files such as movies, TV shows and other software, causing estimated damages of more than $500 million (€387 million), TASR wrote, and the individuals could face 20 years in prison.
The US Department of Justice said that the case is one of the biggest cases pertaining to the illegal copying of the files protected by the copyright laws in the US. The investigation focused on the misuse of the internet servers with the possibility of storing data which can be downloaded by the public.
In the reaction to the decision of the US authorities to stop Megaupload,com, one of the biggest internet portals used for sharing the music, the group of hackers called Anonymous attacked not only the servers of the US Department of Justice and the FBI, but also the Motion Pictures Association, trade organization for American Film industry which protects their copyrights, and recording company Universal Music.
Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports
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