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Record industry’s MegaUpload litigation postponed yet again

By | Published on Monday 16 April 2018


Lawsuits being pursued by the US record and movie industries against long defunct file-transfer website MegaUpload will remain on ice following another court ruling postponing the civil action because of delays in the concurrent criminal proceedings.

MegaUpload was shutdown by the US authorities on copyright grounds all the way back in 2012. Six years on prosecutors in America are still trying to extradite the company’s founder Kim Dotcom and some of his former colleagues from New Zealand to face criminal charges in the US.

Courts in New Zealand have given the go ahead for said extradition, though Dotcom et al are yet to exhaust all their routes of appeal. Dotcom himself¬†recently declared¬†the extradition attempt “over” after New Zealand’s Human Rights Tribunal ruled that the country’s government was wrong to refuse to hand over various documents requested by the MegaUpload chief in 2015.

The Recording Industry Association Of America and the Motion Picture Association Of America both sued MegaUpload for copyright infringement back in 2014. The civil cases were put on temporary hold by the courts because they might interfere with the criminal case against Dotcom and his gang.

That temporary hold has now been extended on multiple occasions, and earlier this month the litigation was again pushed back by another six months.

The record and movie companies previously expressed concerns that all these delays might mean that evidence central to the case – ie servers formally used by MegaUpload that have been gathering dust for six years now – would become inaccessible. But an agreement was reached on how those servers might be backed up, meaning there is now less concern about the civil action being pushed back yet again.

Though it is starting to feel like the concept of illegally sharing music and movie files over the internet might feel very old fashioned indeed by the time these cases ever get to court.