(Reuters) - The U.S. government shut down the Megaupload.com content sharing website, charging its founders and several employees with massive copyright infringement, the latest skirmish in a high-profile battle against piracy of movies and music.
The Department of Justice announced the indictment and arrests of four company executives in New Zealand on Friday as debate over online piracy reaches fever pitch in Washington where lawmakers are trying to craft tougher legislation.
The movie and music industries want Congress to crack down on Internet piracy and content theft, but major Internet companies like Google and Facebook have complained that current drafts of the legislation would lead to censorship.
A Justice Department official said the timing of the arrests was not related to the battle in Congress.
New Zealand police on Friday raided a mansion in Auckland and arrested Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, 37, a German national with New Zealand residency.