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US shuts website amid copyright infringement claims

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US shuts website amid copyright infringement claims


US authorities have shut down the major file-sharing website Megaupload and its founders have been arrested, accused of copyright infringement.

The site says the vast majority of its internet traffic is legitimate. But allegations of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering are also being made in the crackdown.

Soon after announcing it, the US Justice Department’s own website was inaccessible. Hackers from the group ‘Anonymous’ said they had attacked it and record label sites as a reprisal.

Debate is raging in the US as Congress considers legislation sought by the entertainment industry to tackle Internet piracy and theft of content.

On Wednesday, sites like Wikipedia and Google joined a ‘blackout’ protest, amid claims the legislation, as drafted, would lead to censorship.

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