This week, the bodies representing major film and music industry labels filed lawsuits against defunct online storage site Megaupload, alleging that the site knowingly hosted copyright-infringing material and encouraged users to use its service for such purposes.
The Motion Picture Association of America and the Recording Industry Association of America filed civil suits against the infamous site. Its founder, Kim Dotcom, had his sprawling New Zealand property raided in January 2012 as the FBI seized the Megaupload domain name and filed criminal charges against the site.
“To ensure a vast and ever-growing supply of popular copyrighted content to which they could sell premium access,” the RIAA’s complaint states that, “defendants paid users to upload popular content to Megaupload’s servers.”
Dotcom’s lawyer, Ira Rothken, had this to say in response to the claims:
RIAA, MPAA, and DOJ are like three blind mice following each other in the pursuit of meritless © claims and assault on © neutral cloud tech— Ira Rothken (@rothken) April 10, 2014
The Department of Justice asserts that Megaupload cost the film and music industries more than $500 million. Online storage sites like Megaupload and video sites like YouTube that allow user accounts are normally protected against legal action for content uploaded by users. What makes this case different, according to the DOJ, is the claim that Megaupload actively encouraged copyright infringement.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.