The internet and file-sharing
The arrest of Kim Dotcom has rocked the world of cyberlockers
MOST people running a business that could end up on the wrong end of a lawsuit would keep a low profile.
Not Kim Dotcom (pictured). The boss of Megaupload, a popular website that let users store and share music, films and other content,
Mr Dotcom went out of his way to attract attention—and not just by changing his surname from Schmitz.
He surrounded himself with glamorous women and fast cars bearing number plates such as "GUILTY". He likened himself to Dr Evil, a movie villain, though he looks more like Dr Evil's henchman, Fat Bastard.
他的周围总有一群妙龄女郎，开着挂着"罪人"牌照的汽车飞驰而过。他将自己比作邪恶博士（Dr Evil），电影王牌大贱谍中的大反派，尽管事实上他长得更像邪恶博士的喽啰，混蛋胖子（Fat Bastard）。
American investigators examining Megaupload's business concluded that it was encouraging its users to share pirated content.
They persuaded authorities in Britain, Hong Kong and other countries to seize the firm's assets and to arrest its owners, including Mr Dotcom, who was nabbed by police in New Zealand on January 20th after being found with a shotgun in a "safe room" at his mega-mansion.
调查人员要求英国、香港和其他地区的政府当局扣押该公司资产并逮捕包括Mr Dotcom在内的所有股东。最终，Mr Dotcom于1月20日在其新西兰豪宅的一间"安全室"里被警方逮捕，被捕时还带着猎枪。
The raid occurred just as Hollywood was howling after Congress gave up on a bill to crack down on piracy.
The closure of Megaupload—which insists it has done nothing wrong—has triggered a swift response from other file-sharing sites, or "cyberlockers".
Some, such as FileSonic and FileServe, stopped users from sharing material with one another.
Others, such as Uploaded.to, blocked users in America from accessing their services.
And others, such as X7.to, shut down altogether.
Their critics say this shows that cyberlockers realise illegal file-sharing will no longer be tolerated. Correspondence cited in an indictment of the Megaupload site in America suggests that the firm knew of the problems with illegal content.
"We're not pirates," writes the author of one e-mail cited in it.
"We're just providing shipping services to pirates."
The legal assault on Megaupload will probably cause at least some traffic to migrate to cyberlockers in Russia and other countries where property rights are weak.
Determined pirates could also make more use of "torrent" sites such as The Pirate Bay, which allow peer-to-peer transfers.
顽固的海盗们也可能更多使用"种子"网站，比如为用户提供P2P传输的The Pirate Bay。
The technology underlying such sites could make them even trickier to deal with than cyberlockers.