Civil actions against MegaUpload postponed yet again
By Chris Cooke | Published on Monday 10 April 2017
Copyright infringement lawsuits against the long defunct file-transfer platform MegaUpload will remain on ice, a judge has ruled. The two sets of litigation launched by the US movie and record industries respectively are pretty damn cold by now, having been on hold pretty much ever since they were initially filed in 2014.
As much previously reported, the US – which shut down the often controversial file sharing service in 2012 – is still trying to extradite its founder Kim Dotcom and some of his former colleagues to face criminal charges in relation to their former business, which is accused of encouraging and enabling rampant copyright infringement. If the case ever reaches a US court, Dotcom et al will argue that their ex-company had safe harbour protection.
Although two courts have now said that Dotcom can be extradited to America, the MegaUpload founder still has other routes of appeal and remains bullish about his chances of being able to remain in his adopted home of New Zealand.
In 2014, lawyers for Team MegaUpload argued that the civil litigation filed against their clients by the Motion Picture Association Of America and the Recording Industry Association Of America might impact on the criminal case against Dotcom and his former colleagues, and therefore should be delayed until after the conclusion of the criminal proceedings.
The courts agreed, and have since further postponed hearing the civil lawsuits as the US authorities’ long drawn out extradition proceedings have continued to gone through their long drawn out motions.
Recently both sides in the civil lawsuits expressed concern that some key evidence stored by a US server company previously used by MegaUpload could be lost, because the ongoing delays in hearing the case meant that the hard disks containing that data could now be corrupted. But a court recently approved a proposal by the MPAA and RIAA to have an independent expert review those disks and seek to rescue any data.
With that in mind, legal reps for MegaUpload recently requested that the MPAA and RIAA’s lawsuits be further postponed, writing that “with the preservation order now in place, defendant MegaUpload hereby moves the court to enter the attached proposed order, continuing the stay in this case for an additional six months, subject to the terms and conditions stated in the proposed order”.
According to Torrentfreak, the judge overseeing the cases, Liam O’Grady, approved that request last Thursday, further delaying the civil actions against MegaUpload until at least October, barring any major new developments in the case.