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File-sharing website closed down

Federal prosecutors in the US have shut down one of the world's largest file-sharing sites, Megaupload.com, and charged its founder and others with violating piracy laws.

The indictment accuses the company of costing copyright holders more than 500 million US dollars (£323 million) in lost revenue from pirated films and other content.

The indictment was unsealed a day after websites including Wikipedia shut down in protest at two congressional proposals intended to thwart the online piracy of copyrighted movies and TV programmes.

Megaupload.com has claimed it is diligent in responding to complaints about pirated material.

The indictment says that, at one point, Megaupload was the 13th most popular website in the world.

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From Belfast Telegraph