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MegaUpload asks for record and movie industries’ lawsuits to be postponed until after criminal proceedings

By | Published on Tuesday 13 May 2014


Lawyers lawyering for the late, great – sorry, I mean thankfully defunct piracy farm – MegaUpload have asked the federal court in Virginia to freeze two civil lawsuits filed against the former digital firm last month by the movie and music industries respectively.

As much previously reported, MegaUpload was taken offline in 2012 by the US authorities, and the people behind it are facing a criminal prosecution in the states over allegations of money laundering, racketeering and rampant copyright infringement. Though the criminal case has been much delayed because the accused need to be extradited to the US.

It’s always been assumed that the American music and movie industries would subsequently sue MegaUpload and its founder Kim Dotcom for damages, though it was originally thought the civil action would follow the conclusion of the criminal proceedings. Though, possibly frustrated by all the delays on that side, both the Motion Picture Association Of America and the Recording Industry Association Of America have now gone legal.

But, say Team Mega, civil action should not occur before any criminal hearings, because the defendants wouldn’t be able to speak frankly in the former for fear of hindering their case in the latter – basically they’re pleading the Fifth.

And so with all that in mind Mega’s legal team have asked the courts to put the two civil cases on hold until any criminal proceedings are complete. Which at this rate will probably be 2056. Wrote the lawyers: “A stay is warranted here to avoid burdening the Fifth Amendment rights of the individual defendants”.