Site is still overloaded. Massive demand. Incredible. I am so happy. Thank you for using #Mega.Kim Dotcom • Speaking on his return to the world of online file storage, exactly one year following a raid by U.S. authorities halted his previous enterprise, MegaUpload, on allegations of widespread piracy. Dotcom, to his end, denies that his new Mega.co.nz is a sort of revenge against the authorities that tried to stymie him last time: “This is not some kind of finger to the U.S. government or to Hollywood. Legally, there’s just nothing there that could be used to shut us down. This site is just as legitimate and has the right to exist as Dropbox, Boxnet and other competitors.” SOURCE
» It ain’t easy being rich: Oh wait, clearly, it is. In addition to the $5 million unfrozen by the New Zealand court, Dotcom has also been given permission to sell nine luxury vehicles; most notably, a custom modified 2009 Mercedes E500 and 2008 Rolls Royce Coupe. All of this, of course, is separate from a court ruling earlier this month which also granted Mr. Dotcom with a monthly stipend of $48,300 for living expenses, medical expenses, and legal fees. Our hearts go out to Kim Dotcom. Sounds like he’s really suffering.
We have met the enemy, and he is (the) U.S.Auckland, N.Z. District Judge David Harvey • Speaking at a conference on copyright earlier this month. The fact that Harvey said this is somewhat problematic, as he’s the judge overseeing the MegaUpload case. Hence, he’s decided to step down from the case, with the court’s chief judge, Jan-Marie Doogue, saying that Harvey’s statements “could reflect on his impartiality and that the appropriate response is for him to step down from the case.” Pretty much.
The premise of the Government’s forfeiture request is that Megaupload never earned a single penny that was not criminal under U.S. law — whether, say, from a non-infringing use of its service, or from use that occurred wholly outside the United States and beyond reach of U.S. law, or even from an infringing use within the United States as to which Defendants nonetheless qualify for a statutory safe harbor or lacked requisite criminal intent.A legal motion by the founders of Megaupload • Asking for the dismissal of the case and a return of the millions of dollars seized from them, on the premise that the government did not do their due diligence, assuming that every transaction was criminal in nature (despite “substantial non-infringing uses”), and ignoring the fact that they had no jurisdiction anyway. Among the arguments in the lengthy motion: “Megaupload was a non-U.S. company whose activities mostly occurred overseas and whose users were mostly located overseas.” Will be fascinating to see what happens as a result of this motion.
» Thanks to a paperwork mix-up, authorities in New Zealand may have been acting illegally when they seized approximately $200 million worth of assets during the raid and arrest of MegaUpload-founder Kim Dotcom. Although police did catch their mistake and apply for new paperwork prior to executing the raid, a judge has ruled the initial paperwork invalid. She’s granted a temporary legitimacy to the second order, but is expected to rule soon on whether or not Dotcom will have his assets returned to him.
» But only if you used Megaupload to store them. Megaupload wasn’t just a place to share pirated movies; it also served as webspace for people to store their personal documents, pictures, hard drive backups, and the like. But Megaupload didn’t actually own the servers on which its data was stored—they outsourced that two other companies. Now that Megaupload’s been shut down, its assets have been frozen, and so it can’t keep paying the storage centers their fee. So, according to a letter from the US Attorney’s Office, the two data centers could start deleting the data as soon as this Thursday. That would be a shame for many, many people (although it should have been clear from the outset that Megaupload wasn’t the wisest place to back up one’s data). An attorney for Megaupload says he’s “cautiously optimistic” that they’ll be able to keep the data from being erased.