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Record industry’s MegaUpload lawsuit postponed again

By | Published on Thursday 1 October 2015


The record industry’s lawsuit against the former management of MegaUpload has been postponed once again while criminal action in relation to the defunct file-transfer service continues to go slowly through the motions, though at least there are now some actual slow motions occurring.

As previously reported, in addition to facing criminal charges of money laundering, racketeering and rampant copyright infringement in the US, MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom and his former colleagues face civil action from the American music and movie industries, who want to get their hands on the millions seized from the digital firm when it was taken offline in 2012. The labels and studios argue that MegaUpload made its millions by ignoring and encouraging copyright infringement on its networks.

Legal reps for Dotcom et al previously requested that the US-based civil action be postponed, in case those proceedings influenced the criminal case. In the main the record and movie industries haven’t objected to that request, albeit after demanding a few conditions for the postponement, and it seems that neither the Recording Industry Association Of America nor the Motion Picture Association Of America have objected to this latest request for postponement either.

Formal postponement of the MPAA lawsuit is still pending, but the RIAA case has been put on ice until at least next April. Meanwhile, of course, over in New Zealand, Dotcom and co’s extradition hearing is finally underway, with the US government’s legal rep portraying MegaUpload as a business that actively encouraged users to upload infringing content, while pretending to the music and movie industries it was acting on piracy.

Though, in a slightly embarrassing turn of events, the prosecution has had to admit it isn’t quite sure where the actual extradition notices originally filed against Dotcom et al now are. A court services manager had photocopies, but after Dotcom’s lawyer noticed said copies weren’t date stamped he asked where the originals were, and the court official admitted she didn’t know. There is also some confusion over whether, in 2012, the then Justice Minister in New Zealand saw all the required paper work ahead of the raid on Dotcom’s home, as is meant happen under the country’s Extradition Act.

None of which is really relevant to the core allegations against the MegaUpload men, though various procedural errors on the part of the New Zealand authorities caused some of the previous delays in getting the extradition hearings underway.