Digital Legal MegaUpload Timeline

MegaUpload reps want civil cases postponed

By | Published on Monday 14 May 2012


Legal reps for MegaUpload and its founder Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz have asked the US courts to postpone civil lawsuits filed against their clients, pending the criminal case against the now shutdown file-transfer platform.

Lawyer Ira Rothken said that the previously reported civil cases already filed against the MegaUpload enterprise, by smaller rights owners Microhits and Valcom, are based around allegations almost identical to those made in the American criminal case, and therefore it would put unfair pressure on the defendants if they had to give testimonies in the civil actions that could impact on any later criminal trial.

Rothken’s court filing also noted that the MegaUpload company was unable to secure vital evidence off the old MegaUpload servers, because with its assets frozen it is unable to pay the company which owns the servers the required fees. The debate about the future of the data stored on the old MegaUpload servers is, of course, ongoing.

It remains to be seen if the courts concur with Rothken that criminal proceedings should occur before any civil claims are given court time. While Microhits and Valcom are relatively small players in the music and TV/film industries (respectively), a bigger civil action from the Motion Picture Association Of America, representing the big movie studios, is anticipated, though that too might need to be postponed until after the criminal trial.