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Entertainment industry litigation against MegaUpload kept on ice 

By | Published on Tuesday 24 October 2017

MegaUpload

The civil proceedings against MegaUpload have been kept on ice as the criminal case against the one-time controversial file-transfer site continues to progress at a snail’s pace.

As much previously reported, both the music and movie industries in the US have sued the long defunct MegaUpload for copyright infringement in relation to the distribution of content over its servers before it was shut down by the American authorities in 2012.

Meanwhile, founder Kim Dotcom and a number of his former colleagues are still fighting extradition to the US to face criminal charges of copyright infringement. Most of the defendants are in New Zealand and although the courts there have ruled the former MegaUpload execs can be extradited to the States, Dotcom et al still have appeal routes to exploit, so the legal wrangling continues.

It’s generally agreed that the civil lawsuits shouldn’t be heard before the criminal case, because the former could influence the outcome of the latter. To that end MegaUpload have at various points asked for the civil cases being pursued by the Recording Industry Association Of America and the Motion Picture Association Of America to be put on hold.

The latest of those requests from Team MegaUpload has just been granted, meaning the cases will remain in limbo until at least next April.

As previously reported, there had been concerns that all this waiting around might mean that the hard disks that stored files uploaded to MegaUpload when it was operational might become unreadable, them having been sitting around gathering dust for so long. Some of the former MegaUpload servers have already been wiped, but data on those that haven’t been touched since the 2012 shutdown could also become inaccessible.

Both the RIAA and MPAA, and MegaUpload, ultimately want access to that data to use as evidence if and when the civil cases get to court. So all parties were concerned that that data might be inaccessible by the time they need it, simply because the servers had gone unused for so long. However, those concerns were alleviated when earlier this year the judge overseeing the case approved a plan to back up the data.

MegaUpload noted that fact when submitting its latest request to keep the civil cases on hold. According to Torrentfreak, its legal reps wrote: “With the preservation order in place, and there being no other objection, defendant Megaupload hereby moves the court to enter the attached proposed order, continuing the stay in this case for an additional six months”.



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