The Federal Bureau of Investigation moved against a group of suspected online pirates Thursday, targeting the popular file-sharing website megaupload.com a day after Washington lawmakers were besieged by complaints about legislation designed to crack down on the online sharing of pirated copies of music, movies and other material, people familiar with the matter said.
Investigators said there was no connection between arrests in their two-year investigation and the political firestorm that erupted this week over a pending vote on the Stop Online Piracy Act.
This is exactly why the fight over SOPA/PIPA is so important. Yes, megaupload was a notorious place to obtain pirated albums, movies and other media. But, it was essentially a storage locker. What happens when people start storing pirated material on Microsoft’s Skydrive or on Google’s servers or with Amazon? What the heck would the government do about Dropbox with people setting up shared folders to move files back and forth to share music?
Scary stuff. Gizmodo’s full coverage of this is a must-read, including the indictment.