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Megaupload Drops Lawsuit Against Universal Music

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  • by FreeCoder (2558096) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:39PM (#38785345)
    With the ton of information about the multi-year investigation about MegaUpload and all the evidence gathered they practically have zero possibility of winning the case. They really got it handed down on them and are most likely looking for a long time in jail.

    Not only did MegaUpload not delete the actual files when sent DMCA notices (but did when sent abuse letters about illegal content like child porn), they also paid the uploaders cash in exchange to send downloaders to their site. This was almost all the times used for spreading copyright infringing material and MegaUpload was notoriously known for being good site for such use. As the internal emails show they were also fully aware of this fact. It also seems like the feds are now in possession of the top affiliates on the site which most likely will lead to more arrests for criminal copyright infringement, as they made lots of money by doing it.

    Also another fact: not only did MegaUpload staff know about this activity and try to get around DMCA notices and laws, they did copyright infringement themselves. For example they used to populate their MegaVideo site by downloading and adding videos from YouTube. This was also videos created by people like you, not only mega-corps. This and much more was revealed in the arrest and their internal emails.
    • by j35ter (895427) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:45PM (#38785415)
      But only if NZ actually extradites them. Please also note the DMCA is valid for the US only., the rest of the world (rightfully) wipe their asses with this piece of legal sh**.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by hedwards (940851)

        Yes, but when you operate servers you have to comply with the laws in the countries you have servers. In this case Megaupload had equipment in the US and as a result falls under American law. They most certainly should be extradited as that's the only way in which it can be determined if they broke the law.

        We don't do in absentia bullshit in the US like they do in some other parts of the world, so this is really the only way that it's going to be resolved. They could easily have avoided this by not having a

        • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:56PM (#38785561) Journal
          It would seem very unusual for a nation to permit extradition of a person for acts which are not in that country illegal - even if they're unquestionably illegal in the country requestion extradition. Since violating the DMCA is the foundation of all the other acts in the indictment (if there is no other crime, financial transactions cannot be money laundering; there cannot be some conspiracy to not break the law) and NZ doesn't have the DMCA it seems to me they're unlikely to grant extradition. But I could be wrong.
          • by BlakJak-ZL1VMF (256320) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:05PM (#38785665) Homepage

            Any Extradition from NZ will be under the terms of the Extradition Treaty and won't be for DMCA violations, but for other charges - such as the Money Laundering and so on which is indeed covered by the Treaty.

            Some interesting reads:

            Provision Warrants: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1999/0055/latest/DLM26216.html [legislation.govt.nz]
            Extradition Offenses http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1999/0055/latest/DLM25681.html#DLM25681 [legislation.govt.nz]
            How Extradition Request must be made http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1999/0055/latest/DLM26211.html?search=ts_act_extradition_resel&p=1#DLM26211 [legislation.govt.nz]
            Minister may request warrant http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1999/0055/latest/DLM26215.html?search=ts_act_extradition_resel&p=1 [legislation.govt.nz]
            The Extradition Treaty Itself http://newzealand.usembassy.gov/uploads/images/o16y8MOyHW2l-jJTxaMpeQ/ExtraditionUSNZ.pdf [usembassy.gov]

          • by Baloroth (2370816)

            Promoting copyright infringement is a crime in quite a few countries (hence one reason why MegaUpload was blocked in a few countries even before this happened). The DMCA is just a specific law that attempts to set rules for what is and isn't copyright infringement on the Internet.

            Also, it depends on the exact circumstances. It doesn't necessarily have to be illegal in the extraditing country (although it usually is), but that would be determined on a case by case basis, I believe.

            • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:29PM (#38785917)

              Promoting copyright infringement is a crime in quite a few countries (hence one reason why MegaUpload was blocked in a few countries even before this happened). The DMCA is just a specific law that attempts to set rules for US citizens for what is and isn't copyright infringement on the Internet.

              There, fixed that for you.

            • by metacell (523607) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:53PM (#38786133)

              Promoting copyright infringement is a crime in quite a few countries

              If "promoting copyright infringement" was a crime, then all broadband providers would be shut down long ago. There needs to be a criminal intent, which is very hard to prove.

              Also, it depends on the exact circumstances. It doesn't necessarily have to be illegal in the extraditing country (although it usually is), but that would be determined on a case by case basis, I believe.

              It's not decided on a case-by-case basis; the extradition treaty outlines exactly which crimes may lead to extradition even if they're only criminal in the country requesting extradition.

        • by TFAFalcon (1839122) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:15PM (#38785777)

          Why is this even a criminal case? Why not leave it to the civil courts. When the music industry was ripping off artists in Canada, all that happened was a settlement. No people were arrested and extradited.

          • by hedwards (940851) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:19PM (#38785819)

            Because you can't extradite people over civil matters and you can't confiscate property on foreign soil to cover the award.

            In this case though, the money laundering and other charges are pretty much always going to be felonies. And apparently if you distribute one or more work worth $1 000 or more during a 180 day period you're committing a felony. I don't agree with it, but that is what the law says.

            Considering that nobody forced them to locate a server in the US, I'm not sure whom they can reasonably blame other than themselves. It remains to be seen whether the allegations lead to any convictions, but the US certainly does have the right to try them for those felonies.

            • by shaitand (626655) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:52PM (#38786129) Journal

              "In this case though, the money laundering and other charges are pretty much always going to be felonies."

              But its only money laundering if the first place if the civil copyright issues are treated as criminal issues. You can't 'launder' money that didn't come from criminal activities, even if that money was supposedly made from an activity which gave you civil liability.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Xest (935314)

              "Considering that nobody forced them to locate a server in the US, I'm not sure whom they can reasonably blame other than themselves. It remains to be seen whether the allegations lead to any convictions, but the US certainly does have the right to try them for those felonies."

              What a load of bollocks. Most people have no idea where their hosts server's are located, it's been pointed out many a time, that if you had broken Iranian law would you thus be happy to be extradited to Iran? If you signed up for a w

              • by AmiMoJo (196126)

                Having servers widely distributed is key to any large web site performing well all over the world. Rather than worrying about where servers are we should only consider the location of the operator in potential civil and criminal matters. US servers could still be shut down for violating local law, but merely operating them should not make people in other countries guilty of a crime in the US.

          • by icebike (68054) * on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:24PM (#38785865)

            Why is this even a criminal case? Why not leave it to the civil courts. When the music industry was ripping off artists in Canada, all that happened was a settlement. No people were arrested and extradited.

            Exactly.
            In almost no other case does the US government get involved in protecting private property to the extent they rush in and protect the music and film industry. Have your patent ripped off, or your house broken into, they won't even listen to you. Its up to you to defend your patent at your own expense, and you can file a police report about the burglary, but you will likely never see your property again.

            Why is the US government acting as a mob enforcer for the Media Giants?

            • by westlake (615356)

              In almost no other case does the US government get involved in protecting private property to the extent they rush in and protect the music and film industry. Have your patent ripped off, or your house broken into, they won't even listen to you. Its up to you to defend your patent at your own expense, and you can file a police report about the burglary, but you will likely never see your property again.

              Civics 101.

              In the American federal system, almost all crimes are defined and prosecuted under state law.

              Crimes with an interstate or foreign dimension and crimes with a federal Constitutional dimension tend to become a federal responsibility.

              CHINESE NATIONAL PLEADS GUILTY TO ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE AND THEFT OF TRADE SECRETS [cybercrime.gov]

              The federal government defends copyrights as a federally granted property right.

              In a sense, all property can be defined as a set of rights and privileges the state is willing to defen

          • by bky1701 (979071)
            Actually, criminal court is better for them by far. It means there is actually a burden of proof and requirement of certainty beyond reasonable doubt. Civil court has been manipulated by the copyright industry into a rubber-stamping mill for million-dollar fines on grannies. In fact, and I am sure some lawyer here will jump at the chance to "correct" me, I don't think civil court has any business existing. What is the point of reasonable doubt and burden of proof when you can destroy the life of an entire f
        • by ClintJCL (264898)
          I'd rather be tried in absentia than extradited...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by snowgirl (978879)

        But only if NZ actually extradites them. Please also note the DMCA is valid for the US only., the rest of the world (rightfully) wipe their asses with this piece of legal sh**.

        Hah... you're silly because you think that the US seems to accept that their laws don't apply universally. Most of the US government seems to be of the attitude that if it's on the internets, then it's US jurisdiction.

      • by DesScorp (410532)

        But only if NZ actually extradites them. Please also note the DMCA is valid for the US only., the rest of the world (rightfully) wipe their asses with this piece of legal sh**.

        New Zealand has extradition treaties with the United States. So does most of the "rest of the world".

      • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:57PM (#38785579) Homepage

        For all the nerd-rage it caused at the time, the DMCA was a remarkably balanced and far-sighted law. Some other nations have copied it, and others haven't, I don't know if NZ has such a law or not, but it doesn't matter much - the MegaUpload guys are also accused of plain old copyright infringement, which is certainly illegal under laws and treaties NZ has signed.

        Oh, and they're also accused of money laundering, which again would be considered an extraditable crime. I don't personally pay much attention to accusations of money laundering because those laws are extremely vague, poorly thought out and there's no distinction between actually hiding the sources of illegally gained funds and simply failing to follow the byzantine regulations intended to make value flows trackable - they are both considered "money laundering", although plenty of innocent people with no criminal intentions can fall foul of the latter. As a result convictions purely for ML and nothing else are very rare and have often been overturned by courts. That's one reason it usually comes attached to accusations of other crimes.

        Re: the DMCA. Like I said, in hindsight I think it's actually worked out very well for the net. The lightweight framework of copyright enforcement it created kept huge workloads away from the courts without creating unworkable levels of abuse (there is some, but there's abuse of the regular legal system too). It has made copyright enforcement available to the little guy, again without huge legal fees. It has protected sites like YouTube and search engines. And whilst measures like making circumvention systems illegal caused a lot of fuss, their impact was trivial - last time I checked this part of the law has neither prevented circumvention software being readily available nor wiped out Linux. In fact its impact on both sides of the copyright fights have been negligible.

        • by Barbariandude (2558467) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:02PM (#38785635)
          I'll just leave this here for you. http://cato.org/pubs/pas/pa564.pdf [cato.org]
        • by MightyYar (622222)

          The part of the DCMA that you mention is not the part that I object to - it is the lack of ability to crack encryption that gets folks around here riled up.

        • by SecurityTheatre (2427858) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:14PM (#38785771)

          The only flaw with the DMCA is the ability for the content owners to use infringement notices with impunity. There needs to be a provision to allow content sites such as YouTube to start ignoring abusive notices.

          The simple fact that a DMCA notice is submitted automatically causes content to be removed immediately and subject to lengthy proceedings regarding the rights of that content.

          Various members of the RIAA have been notorious in submitting DMCA takedown letters for content that is very clearly covered by things such as fair use and sometimes even for content they don't even remotely have the rights to. But the creative individuals creating these parodies, or even original material, have limited recourse and the recourse they do have is time-consuming, difficult and sometimes expensive, not to mention it destroys their business (if the content is related to a business).

          There is little argument for a business conglomerate having the power to shut down smaller competitors for a short period by simply writing a letter.... and for there to be no recourse for these smaller competitors from it happening repeatedly other than lengthy legal arguments and possibly litigation. That's absurd and anti-competitive.

          But the remainder of the DMCA... yes, not bad, not great, but not bad.

          • by renegadesx (977007) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:25PM (#38785871)
            There is a provision its just not enforced. Whenever someone files a false DMCA claim they are guilty of perjury (which carreis a 5 year jail term). So when Viacom went after YouTubers who were covered by the fair use provisions, Viacom committed perjury, but nobody pressed charges against Viacom. If people used MPAA and RIAA content that were strictly under fair use (and lets face it, they do it all the time) somebody needs to charge them, not sue (as they drag it out) but proceed in criminal charges (which legal work is done by the prosecutor) against these organisations. That way you could see Dodd go to jail.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Renraku (518261)

              Who are you going to jail? Do you pierce the corporate veil and order the person that signed off on it? They'll just point to their boss who ordered them to do it or they'd be fired. If you say they shouldn't have complied, there's 10,000 people waiting just outside the building to fill in their position when they get fired. If you go for the boss they'll point to their boss, right up to the CEO who simply gave the vague order to profit.

              • They'll just point to their boss who ordered them to do it or they'd be fired.

                If they can prove the boss did that then the boss did so he should be jailed too.

                If you say they shouldn't have complied, there's 10,000 people waiting just outside the building to fill in their position when they get fired

                Will there be that many people waiting just outside the building to file bogus DMCA notices after a few people are in jail for doing so?

                Yeah it sucks for the peons who are put in between a rock and a hard place but ultimately to stop psychopaths (and there will always be a certain portion of psychopaths in society) doing something it it necessary to make the punishment for doing it outweigh the benefit of doing it. That applies whether it's filing bogus DMCA notices or fitting dodgy parts to aeroplanes.

              • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Sunday January 22, 2012 @09:49PM (#38787117) Journal

                If you go for the boss they'll point to their boss, right up to the CEO who simply gave the vague order to profit.

                In the beginning was the plan, and then the specification.
                And the plan was without form, and the specification was void.
                And darkness was upon the faces of the programmers.

                And they spake unto their project leader, saying:
                "IT IS A CROCK OF SHIT, AND IT STINKETH."
                And the project leader went to the manager, and he spake unto him saying:
                "IT IS A CONTAINER OF EXCREMENT AND IT IS VERY STRONG,
                SUCH THAT NONE MAY ABIDE BEFORE IT."
                And the manager went unto the Director, and he spake unto him saying:
                "IT IS A VESSEL OF FERTILIZER, AND NONE MAY ABIDE ITS STRENGTH."
                And the director went unto the vice president, and he spake unto him saying:
                "IT CONTAINS THAT WHICH AIDS PLANT GROWTH AND IT IS VERY STRONG."
                And the vice president went unto the president, and he spake unto him saying:
                "IT PROMOTETH GROWTH, AND IT IS VERY POWERFUL."
                And the president went unto the board of directors,
                and he spake unto them saying:
                "THIS POWERFUL NEW PRODUCT WILL PROMOTE THE GROWTH OF THE COMPANY."
                And the corporate board of directors looked upon the product,
                and saw that it was good!

                (courtesy of some random *nix fortune file, somewhere, that I remember from long, long ago.)

          • by Old Wolf (56093) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:58PM (#38786181)

            This SOPA thing must be really awful if it's making people say the DMCA is good!

        • by icebike (68054) * on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:28PM (#38785901)

          The lightweight framework of copyright enforcement it created kept huge workloads away from the courts without creating unworkable levels of abuse

          Lightweight framework of enforcement? You mean like having the entire DOJ work for the media giants leaning on every country in the world to violate their own laws and arrest people and surrender them to US authorities?

            No unworkable levels of abuse? You mean like millions of take down notices filed every day against thing that have no pirated content what so ever, beyond simply mentioning a word in the title?

          Tell me, what hole have you had your head in for the last 5 years?

      • NZ won't have any problem extraditing them.
        General piracy and making a profit of it are two very different things here.

        Combined with the fact dotcom was let in despite his criminal convictions making the government look bad.
        http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1201/S00059/peters-calls-for-dotcom-immigration-inquiry.htm [scoop.co.nz]

        We might have been sympathetic if he was making a small profit off file sharing but its a more than that and its little embarrassing hes in the country.

    • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:59PM (#38785605)

      Not only did MegaUpload not delete the actual files when sent DMCA notices (but did when sent abuse letters about illegal content like child porn)

      This is not necessary. If you read the DMCA it is enough to simply remove *access* to the content.

      This was almost all the times used for spreading copyright infringing material and MegaUpload was notoriously known for being good site for such use.

      The Internet is notoriously known for being a good method of transporting such material. What is your point? I've used megaupload many times over the years but never to download movies or cracked software.

      As the internal emails show they were also fully aware of this fact.

      This is problematic...

      not only did MegaUpload staff know about this activity and try to get around DMCA notices and laws, they did copyright infringement themselves

      Very problematic...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:01PM (#38785623)

      RE the removal of the file.

      Mega upload used a hashing function so if a file was uploaded 5 times, they only stored it once. When CP was flagged the file is removed because CP is always CP. Copyright however is only a violation when the person uploading it does not have authority to do this. EG if I make a song and upload it, and you upload it too. Then I can send a DMCA to take down your upload, with the expectation that mine will be the only one there.

      Here is the kicker, we aren't talking about hypothetical or edge cases here. Artists were uploading their own tracks since they would get 90c in the dollar of the advertising revenue: http://rapfix.mtv.com/2012/01/20/swizz-beatz-megaupload-case-diddy-busta-rhymes-tweet-support/

      If you want to know why big media hated megaupload so much re read that link. Artists were by-passing their publishers. Add to that the announcement of licensed media streaming and purchases being available on megaupload from February, and you can see why action had to be be done swiftly before hand.

      Cheers
      Kactus

      • Then why did their internal emails show that they were fully aware of the copyright violations? From the indictment [scribd.com]:

        r.

        On or about February 5, 2007, VAN DER KOLK sent an e-mail to ORTMANN entitled âoereward paymentsâ. Attached to the e-mail was a text file listing thefollowing proposed reward amounts, the Megaupload.com username, and the contentthey uploaded:

        100 USD [USERNAME DELETED] 10+ Full popular DVD rips (split files), a fewsmall porn movies, some software with keygenerators (warez)
        100 USD [USERNAME DELETED] 5845 files in his account, mainly Vietnamesecontent
        100 USD [USERNAME DELETED] Popular DVD rips
        100 USD [USERNAME DELETED] Some older DVD rips + unknown (Italianserries?) rar files
        1500 USD [USERNAME DELETED] known paid user (vietnamese content)

        On or about February 21, 2007, VAN DER KOLK sent an e-mail toORTMANN entitled âoe2 reward payment files.â Attached to the e-mail was a file containingMegaupload.com usersâ(TM) e-mail addresses and reward payments for that time period, whichranged from $100 to $500. For one user that was paid $300, VAN DER KOLK wrote, âoe30849files, mainly Mp3z, some copyrighted but most of them have a very small number of downloadsper file.â For other users, all of which were selected for reward payments of $100 by the MegaConspiracy, he wrote the following: âoeOur old famous number one on MU, still some illegal files but I think he deserves a paymentâ; âoeLoads of PDF files (looks like scanned magazines)â; âoelookslike vietnamese DVD ripsâ; âoeThis user was paid last time has mainly split RAR files, howevermore than 50% deleted through abuse reports.â

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:09PM (#38785721)

      First, let's not confuse the recent raid with MegaUploads lawsuit against Universal. Universal took down MegaUpload's advertising video from YouTube by abusing YouTube's system for DMCA takedows. When faced with the fact that MegaUpload's ad contained no infringing material, Universal turned around and denied that it was a DMCA takedown. Clearly, Universal does not want to take responsibility for its actions.

      Second, MegaUpload is right to keep the actual files when being sent DMCA takedown notices, since some of the copies may belong to non-infringing users. In many countries, it's legal to download and share media files for private use. Contrary to what the American media corporations want us to believe, American law does not decide what a Swedish user can do when they upload files to a Dutch server owned by a New Zeeland company. Their greedy corporations have no right to delete my perfectly legal files, just because an American user happened to upload the same files illegally.

      Third, the internal e-mails mentioned in the news so far only prove that MegaUpload knew about the existence of infringing material on their servers. They cooperated fully with the media corporations to delete the infringing links as they were made aware of them (while keeping he non-infringing links, as they should).

    • by Belial6 (794905) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @08:26PM (#38786459)
      Concerning the MegaUpload-Universal lawsuit, it is irrelevant if MegaUpload has committed copyright violations in other areas. More likely, Universal has people in government that made it clear to MegaUpload that the amount of time they spend locked up will be dependent on whether they continue the unrelated lawsuit. This is the way organized crime works. They make thinly veiled threats.
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      Not only did MegaUpload not delete the actual files when sent DMCA notices (but did when sent abuse letters about illegal content like child porn), they also paid the uploaders cash in exchange to send downloaders to their site.

      The first part of that is actually reasonable behavior.

      First, you're talking about content that is probably de-duplicated, and deleting the actual content (as opposed to the reference to it) would make legal uploads of that same content go away. Remember, it's invariably legal to m

  • It wouldn't be surprising for that be the case.

  • Why would that be a surprise? Backroom deals (settlements) are the norm in the justice system, and taking stuff to court was the last resort. Obviously, there is some negotiations about a deal in the background, and obviously the Megaupload people are not in the better position to negotiate. Was it ever different?
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Message from their site:

    "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally.

    If this file belongs to you, please login to download it directly from your file manager."

    Raided or just scared?

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:50PM (#38785483) Journal

    A link in this article goes to a rather thoughtful discussion of the MegaUpload indictment [techdirt.com]. To tell it short, although the indictment sounds bad, almost none of the alleged activities are in fact illegal. The few that are require "state of mind" which is a rather difficult thing to prove, and harder to get a jury to convict on.

    Since in America we have trial by jury, if it goes to court it seems unlikely there will be able to find a jury willing to convict.

    Together that seems to make the whole thing very scary.

    • by Kjella (173770) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:58PM (#38785585) Homepage

      Since in America we have trial by jury, if it goes to court it seems unlikely there will be able to find a jury willing to convict.

      Ahhahahahhaaha... when you've got juries willing to convict people to $1.5-2 million in damages [wikipedia.org] for sharing 24 files as a plain normal P2P user, then the Megaupload guys will be lucky to not see the death penalty.

      • by symbolset (646467) *
        That was a civil suit, not a criminal trial. The rules are different.
      • by Nerdfest (867930)
        With the attention SOPA got, it may also be that the tide is turning on copyright infringement and the purchasing of government organizations for enforcement.
        • by bky1701 (979071)
          I wouldn't be too sure. People are against SOPA because Wikipedia/Google told them to be, not because of some deep-seated ethical objections to the bill itself. Most people complaining about SOPA still support copyright despite the obvious implications for free speech, which SOPA simply took to such an extreme that some of them temporarily noticed the problem. Unfortunately, copyright and the idea that information is property is the root of this problem. As long as people can say things like, I don't know,
    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      There are many, many cases where there is not enough evidence by legal 'standards' to convict, but the only really legal 'standard' required to convict is to convince a jury, regardless of any real facts. That often comes down to how much money you can spend on experts. Of course, for the common man who cannot afford expensive lawyers and experts, the choice is, risk a jury and possibly get years upon years, -or- take a plea bargain and get your ass to prison.
  • Not in US custody (Score:5, Informative)

    by drmofe (523606) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @06:57PM (#38785577)
    Employees are not yet in US custody. They are currently being held by New Zealand authorities (in court as I type this) pending extradition hearings. The extradition is not automatic and is being contested.
  • by icebike (68054) * on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:04PM (#38785645)

    Te MegaUpload take down, not quite carefully timed to give Congress some balls regarding SOPA, is likely to become a circus act of the most grandiose proportions.

    Not only did the Feds seize a foreign company, but they did so in the face of several SCOTUS decisions that held harmless the operators of sites that might contain user uploaded content which might violate copyright, in addition to billions of files that did no such thing.

    With the government forced withdrawal of Megaupload's attorney Robert Bennett [nationalpost.com], citing rather insincere claims of conflict of interest, and the Justice department seizing a Foreign company [npr.org] this is far from the normal pattern for these cases. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Chinese government step into the fray any day now.

    When the dust clears on this battle there will be some major revelations about how much pressure the DOJ used all over the world to affect this arrest and take down. Eight countries, big and small like New Zealand were leaned on to act, for largely theatrical effect as SOPA goes down to public pressure. The timing couldn't be accidental. But the DOJ miss timed it by three days, and their case is far from certain.

    I predict this will drag out for a long time.

  • Nothing to see here, move along. Gawkers will be shot.
  • Megaupload's mistakes will be used to guide the next round of similar websites. There will be sites that will rise up and fill the hole left in the market, and they wont be so easy to catch next time.
    • by bfandreas (603438)
      For one: never do business with Kim Schmitz.

      That man symbolizes dot.com bubble profiteering like no other fraudster.
      Not to ripoff your download client software without changing the about box which still contains the name of the original company that developed it.
      Not to have a "premium service".
      Not to buy a huge villa with money that came from god knows where. (hence the money laundering allegations)

      Megaupload was the fat kid that didn't only piss into the pool but also shat into it.

      The real bummer
  • by wisnoskij (1206448) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:17PM (#38785807) Homepage

    ... And the American governments Fs you in the A.

    • by ScentCone (795499)
      By which you mean, "Run hundreds of servers in the US in order to support your criminal business model of ripping off material and making millions of dollars doing it, and eventually it's going to end badly for you, because you're a leeching idiot that is loudly, deliberately, and hugely breaking the law, and boasting about it."
  • by bfandreas (603438) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:34PM (#38785951)
    Enough with the Megaupload.

    Kim Schmitz is a German serial fraudster and wouldn't be allowed to open a business in Germany again. The "millions of damages" are a stately home in NZ with a ton of expensive cars, a golf course and of course Schmitz' globulous ego. This is not the fight you want to fight. If that scumbag gets sent back to prison then that's good. He knows the drill. He'll feel right at home. Only this time he will not get probation and a 100000 Euro fine for making 1.5 mil in fraud.

    He's been convicted for a pump&dump racket involving his company Kimvestor and letsbuyit.com. Made a cool 1.5 mil on that. Then there was that thing with monkey.com. And with Megaupload there was that Mega Manager that was a ripoff of some other software(forgot the name), the "premium service" and other highly shady things he did from his golf-course attached villa in NZ that he wasn't allowed to purchase himself because he didn't pass a most basic character test.

    there was that Mega Upload song thing that was unjustified. Copyright law still needs reform. There is the problem of US caliming jurisdiction in NZ, but frankly NZ gladly handed him over since he shouldn't have been there in the first place.
    • no it isnt enough. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by unity100 (970058) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @07:54PM (#38786155) Homepage Journal

      Schmitz' globulous ego

      i prefer schmitz's globulous ego. because, schmitz's globulous ego is not buying laws to restrain MY freedoms for HIS profit. schmitz can queue up to 100 mercedes, bmws if he wants to. as long as he doesnt interfere with my freedoms for the sake of his own profit.

  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @08:21PM (#38786407) Journal

    Am I the only person who thinks that mega got raided because of the lawsuit they have against universal? While we will never know, it did seem like they had a good case against them.

    but it doesn't matter now, because they (Mega) will probably never recover even if they were to win this case.

  • by walterbyrd (182728) on Sunday January 22, 2012 @10:05PM (#38787231)

    As PJ, at Groklaw asked: what about innocent folks who have placed their files on the service? Who restores their property to them when the entire site goes down? They have property rights too, which are not currently being addressed, that I've seen.

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