Two former developers of the once-popular streaming website Megaupload have received prison sentences in New Zealand.
Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk were both sentenced to 2.5 years in prison for their roles in the online scheme.
Megaupload was once one of the most popular file-sharing and streaming websites on the internet.
Ultimately, the FBI shut it down in early 2012 and arrested Kim Dotcom who was the founder and operator of the website.
Both Ortmann and van der Kolk played major roles in developing and coding the website before their arrests in 2012.
The two waged legal battles with New Zealand authorities as well as officials in the United States for over 10 years to try and avoid extradition.
Ultimately, a deal was struck in 2022 that would allow them to serve their time in New Zealand for pleading guilty as well as testifying against Dotcom.
Both men faced up to 10 years in prison for charges including copyright infringement and more.
The Manager of Intercept and Technology Operations for the National Criminal Investigation Group, Inspector Stuart Mills, made the following statement on the operation:
Megaupload was a global criminal enterprise estimated to have cost copyright holders more than half a billion dollars.
As one of the largest copyright fraud schemes ever seen, Megaupload operations involved the deliberate and systematic infringement of copyrighted material for financial gain. It exploited the work of artists, programmers, and entrepreneurs as well as the organisations and corporations that represented them.
It is important to note that most of the companies that suffered from Megaupload’s actions were major Hollywood companies and film producers.
Justice Sally Fitzgerald ruled over the case and remarked on various victim impact statements that she received.
The fact that many of the victims are multinational corporations does not undermine their rights as a victim.
In the end, Fitzgerald sentenced Mathias Ortmann to two years and seven months in prison, and Bram van der Kolk to two years and six months.
Both of these sentences will begin on August 1 of 2023.
We have seen similar situations in the past, including the operators of Flawless IPTV being sentenced to 30 years in prison.
We want to know what you think of the sentencing of Megaupload Developers! Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.
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