Web

The MegaUpload saga: A timeline of events

kim-dotcomNews has been hitting the wire at an impressive rate since the shutdown of MegaUpload and arrest of Kim “Dotcom” Schmitz, the site’s founder. From the retaliatory hacking attacks that crippled numerous high-profile sites to the reports of some exceedingly lavish property seized from Schmitz’ home in New Zealand, the story has something to pique the interest of just about everyone.

Given all of the news hitting the wire lately, we’ve compiled a timeline of events leading up to today’s bail hearing for Schmitz, going all the way back to the founding of MegaUpload almost seven years ago.

Here are some of the major moments in the MegaUpload story so far:

March 21, 2005: MegaUpload Limited founded by Kim “Dotcom” Schmitz in Hong Kong. The company’s services include MegaUpload (file-sharing), MegaPix (image sharing), MegaVideo (video hosting), MegaLive (video streaming), MegaBox (music library sharing/hosting), and MegaPorn (pornography-specific file-sharing).

May 17, 2007 (approximately): Google sends letter to MegaUpload ending AdSense partnership due to the presence of copyrighted material on megaupload.com.

Sometime in 2009: Despite the company being founded in Hong Kong, IP addresses from China are blocked for unknown reasons. Hong Kong officials claim the block is to hinder investigation of the company.

May 23, 2010: Access to MegaUpload services is blocked in Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates due to copyright infringement and availability of pornographic material.

January 2011: Research firm MarkMonitor names MegaUpload and MegaVideo as two of the top three “digital piracy” websites. The study was commissioned by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to identify the most active offenders.

June 9, 2011: MegaUpload services are blocked and/or throttled by Malaysian government due to copyright violations.

July 2011: MegaUpload and several other file-sharing sites are blocked in India after illegal copies of the 2011 movie Singham are discovered on the sites.

December 9, 2011: MegaUpload publishes “The Mega Song,” a promotional video featuring popular performers Kanye West, will.i.am, P. Diddy, Alicia Keys, Kim Kardashian, Jamie Foxx, and various other musicians, actors, and athletes. The video is quickly taken down by YouTube on behalf of Universal Music Group for unknown reasons, citing an agreement between UMG and YouTube. Kim Dotcom vows to pursue legal action against UMG and YouTube.

December 12, 2011: “The Mega Song” is restored by YouTube, though no reason for the initial takedown (or its reinstatement) is given.

January 5, 2012: Indictments filed in the U.S. against Schmitz and six of his alleged MegaUpload associates on criminal copyright infringement charges.

January 19, 2012: The U.S. Department of Justice shuts down MegaUpload, and New Zealand authorities arrest Schmitz and three other individuals in Auckland, New Zealand. The arrest is declared a joint effort by New Zealand authorities, the FBI, the U.S. Justice Department, Hong Kong Customs, Hong Kong Department of Justice, the Netherlands Police Agency, the Public Prosecutor’s Office for Serious Fraud and Environmental Crime in Rotterdam, London’s Metropolitan Police Service, Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt, the German Public Prosecutors, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and the Canadian Department of Justice.

January 19-20, 2012: Hacktivist group Anonymous claims responsibility for a series of attacks that shut down the websites of the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, RIAA, MPAA, UMG, and various other government and entertainment industry websites.

January 20, 2012: Hong Kong Customs freezes more than $30 million in MegaUpload assets.

January 20, 2012: U.S. attorney Robert Bennett, whose previous clients include former U.S. President Bill Clinton and notorious energy company Enron, announces that he will defend MegaUpload.

January 22, 2012: Bennett withdraws from MegaUpload case due to his law firm’s conflicts with an existing client.

January 23, 2012: A New Zealand judge delays the bail hearing for Kim Dotcom Schmitz until January 25. Prosecutors argued that Schmitz is a flight risk due to the availability of a helicopter in his home’s front yard and the alleged presence of weapons and other items discovered in the raid on his home.

And there you go — but as they say in the news biz, this story is still developing. So keep an eye on Digital Trends for more updates as things develop.

Mobile

The vast majority of YouTube users hit the site for how-to videos

Ever searched for a how-to video on YouTube? Of course you have. The streaming site is bursting with useful guides on how to do stuff, and a recent study has revealed that more users than ever are using it as a learning resource.
Movies & TV

'Prime'-time TV: Here are the best shows on Amazon Prime right now

There's more to Amazon Prime than free two-day shipping, including access to a number of phenomenal shows at no extra cost. To make the sifting easier, here are our favorite shows currently streaming on Amazon Prime.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'The Witch’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Gaming

If we get a Nintendo 64 Classic, it needs to have these games

The Nintendo 64 introduced a long list of top-tier games, but which were the iconic platform's best? From Mario Party to Ocarina of Time to NFL Blitz, check out our picks for the best N64 games.
Computing

Don't take your provider's word for it: Here's how to test your internet speed

If you're worried that you aren't getting the most from your internet package, speed tests are a great way to find out what your real connection is capable of. Here are the best internet speed tests available today.
Web

Data stolen from HealthCare.gov includes partial SSNs and immigration status

Around 75,000 users have had their user data stolen from government site healthcare.gov, including information on their immigration status, whether they were pregnant, and partial social security numbers.
Web

Be at your most productive with these Slack tips and tricks

Slack is an common means of communication in the workplace, but how do you use some of the app's lesser-known features to get the most out of your experience? Here's what you need to know to stay organized, efficient, and entertained.
Web

Get rid of your Audible account by following these quick steps

Want to learn how to cancel your Audible membership? It's easier than you might think. Just follow along with these steps and you'll be rid of the audiobook listening service for good. Or until you sign up again.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than it's ever been, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Computing

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.
Computing

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Computing

Edit, sign, append, and save with 12 of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.