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Labels back movie studios in call for Dotcom’s assets to stay frozen

By | Published on Wednesday 4 June 2014


The major record companies have joined the film studios in requesting that Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload’s assets be frozen. Though they’d have to be unfrozen first. But that might happen, if the authorities in New Zealand and Hong Kong leave the asset freezer door open. Though if they do, the labels want the assets placed right back into a brand new freezer to be frozen anew.

As previously reported, both the music and movie industries in the US have filed civil litigation against Dotcom et al over their running of the now defunct MegaUpload, based on the allegation the digital transfer service deliberately enabled rampant copyright infringement. But Team Mega have asked for the civil actions to be postponed until after the incredibly slow-going criminal case against them, also centred on infringement allegations, has reached its conclusion.

The music and movie companies recognise the logic in that request, but are anxious that moves are afoot in both New Zealand and Hong Kong to return assets seized from Dotcom and MegaUpload when the US authorities shut down the digital platform in 2012. A New Zealand court has already refused to extend the order that allowed assets to be seized there, though the country’s authorities are appealing that refusal.

The movie studios, and now the Sony, Universal and Warner record companies via the Recording Industry Association Of America, argue that if Team Mega get back their assets they may divert all the monies MegaUpload made offshore, putting the cash out of the reach of the US courts. Meaning that if the studios and labels were to succeed in their copyright litigation against Dotcom and co, they may never be able to collect any damages they may or may not be awarded. Hence the call to keep everything frozen.

According to 3 News, it was Dotcom’s legal reps who confirmed in an Auckland court earlier today that the RIAA filed papers yesterday, seeking to keep their client’s assets out of his reach. It’s thought that the American music and movie companies want their applications to keep Dotcom’s assets frozen heard before the 30 Jul hearing in which the New Zealand authorities will attempt to persuade an appeal judge that their original court order allowing MegaUpload assets to be taken should be extended.