Wednesday, March 28, 2012

MegaUpload claims the feds impeding its defence against charges of piracy and racketeering...

Image representing Megaupload Limited as depic...
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MegaUpload lawyers claim the feds are impeding its defence.megaUpload wants access to its servers against US charges of piracy and and racketeering.But its lawyer says officials won't release $1 million necessary to get the information.

by  CNet

The U.S. government has refused to allow the MegaUpload defendants access to information on their servers, which in turn is impeding their ability to defend themselves, the company's lawyer told CNET.

MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom.
Ira Rothken, the U.S. attorney overseeing MegaUpload's international defense team, said the U.S. has refused to release funds that would enable MegaUpload to preserve and gather materials from company servers vital to its defense. Rothken said that he fears U.S. officials are withholding the money in an attempt to unfairly hobble MegaUpload's defense.
"It's hard to reconcile the chain of events in this matter with any other conclusion," Rothken said. "MegaUpload is frustrated and wants to preserve the data for litigation and to defend itself and ultimately -- with the approval of the court -- to provide consumers access to their data."
In January, the U.S. issued an indictment against MegaUpload, founder Kim DotCom and six other managers of the cyberlocker service, where users could store e-files and then share the contents with others. MegaUpload's leadership is accused of conspiring to commit Internet piracy, racketeering and wire fraud. DotCom's home in Auckland was raided by New Zealand police, his assets seized and the service shut down.
The U.S. wants to try DotCom in this country and an extradition hearing is scheduled for August. Rothken said there is no criminal secondary copyright infringement in the United States and said MegaUpload will prevail.
The case is important because until now, copyright infringement was largely a civil, not a criminal matter. For the most part, the worst thing that could happen to a service accused of helping customers infringe intellectual property was that someone might sue it.
Not any more.
U.S. officials seem intent on making some types of copyright infringement a criminal offense. U.S. authorities say MegaUpload was responsible for $500 million in damages to copyright owners, and the feds appear to have dedicated some serious resources to prosecuting the company. To defend itself against the U.S. government, MegaUpload will need all the material to which it is entitled, said Rothken.

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