Megaupload Cites Government Corruption As Basis For Copyright Case [FULL TEXT]

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and his lawyers claim a copyright infringement case is the result of U.S. government corruption, saying seizure of the file hosting site was an act to appease Hollywood and the Motion Picture Association of America.

Robert R. Amsterdam and Ira P. Rothken, who are representing Megaupload, have released a white paper outlining the key issues in the copyright infringement case against the file-hosting site that was seized by the Department of Justice. The DOJ and the FBI last year shut down Megaupload claiming massive copyright infringement.

Megaupload's lawyers claim the site’s seizure by the DOJ was illegal as the company is based in Hong Kong, and, in order to serve an indictment, the company must have a U.S. address, notes Torrent Freak.  Megaupload recently filed another request to dismiss the indictment and the government has issued a rebuttal, leaving it up to a judge to determine if the case will continue.

In the executive summary of the white paper, titled “The United States vs. You (and Kim Dotcom), Amsterdam and Rothken lay out their claims against the U.S. government and the Megaupload copyright infringement. “The criminal prosecution of Megaupload and Kim Dotcom is purportedly the ‘largest copyright case in history,’ involving tens of millions of users around the world, and yet it is founded on highly dubious legal principles and apparently propelled by the White House’s desire to mollify the motion picture industry in exchange for campaign contributions and political support.”

The white paper calls the seizure and shut down “one of the clearest examples of prosecutorial overreach in recent history,” saying the takedown of Megaupload will dramatically impact other “technology innovators” and will also affect the future of digital rights. According to Amsterdam and Rothken, Megaupload had operated since 2005 as a way to easily share large files, creative endeavors and as a simple way to share personal items for individuals around the world. While copyright infringement will likely always be a problem for digital storage sites, Megaupload’s primary use and value was in its ability to share a users’ content.

“The U.S. government’s case against Megaupload is grounded in a theory of criminal secondary copyright infringement. In other words, the prosecution seeks to hold Megaupload and its executives criminally responsible for alleged infringement by the company’s third-party cloud storage users. The problem with the theory, however, is that secondary copyright infringement is not – nor has it ever been – a crime in the United States.”

The full text of "The United States vs. You (and Kim Dotcom)" can be viewed below.

Megaupload, the Copyright Lobby, and the Future of Digital Rights: The United States vs. You (and Kim Dotco... by Robert Amsterdam

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