Litigation from one major film studio would be more than enough for one website handle, but Megaupload.com - and its founder, Kim Dotcom - is facing the wrath of six separate films studios who allege the site and its operators "facilitated, encouraged, and profited" from copyright infringement.
The Hobbit Was The Most Downloaded Movie of 2013
In its pomp, Megaupload had about 150 million registered users before it was shut down by US regulators in 2012, which made it the 13th most frequently visited website, bases on estimations.
"When Megaupload.com was shut down in 2012 by US law enforcement, it was by all estimates the largest and most active infringing website targeting creative content in the world,” Steven Fabrizio, global general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), said, according to The BBC.
"Megaupload was built on an incentive system that rewarded users for uploading the most popular content to the site, which was almost always stolen movies, TV shows and other commercial entertainment content," said Mr Fabrizio. The MPAA alleged that Megaupload used to pay users for uploading popular content and as a result was not a storage service, which Dotcom sites in his and the site’s defence.
Martin Freeman in 'The Hobbit'
"It paid users based on how many times the content was downloaded by others - and didn't pay at all until that infringing content was downloaded 10,000 times. Megaupload wasn't a cloud storage service at all, it was an unlawful hub for mass distribution," Fabrizio added.
In January 2013, a year after the closure of MegaUpload, Mr Dotcom set up Mega, which also allows users to host and share large files on the internet.
2013 was a proficient year for downloaders, most of which decide to source films from torrent sites. It was estimated that Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit was the most downloaded film, but you can check out the full list here.
Watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug trailer: