The FBI, Universal Music, RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) and Hadopi — the French government agency responsible for “protecting creative works on the internet”— all had their websites taken down following distributed denial-of-service attacks by the hacker group Anonymous, according to the BBC News.
Anonymous, however, didn’t take kindly to the action, and attacked federal government and music industry websites. CNN reports 10 sites were targeted and as of Friday morning, only those of music publishing and licensing group BMI and record company Universal Music were still down.
While legislation such as SOPA, PIPA were initially designed to deal with offshore pirating, content found on U.S.-based servers gave the FBI jurisdiction. On Jan 5, a grand jury in Virginia returned indictments on racketeering conspiracy, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and other charges. The FBI called the action “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States,” generating more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and causing more than half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.
VentureBeat notes that Megaupload at one time was the 13th most popular site on the Internet.