US Gov't Says Megaupload Shouldn't Be Allowed To Use Top Law Firm It Hired For Its Defense

from the fair-trials? dept

The US government seems to be bending over backwards to make sure that Megaupload cannot get a fair trial. Perhaps they're finally realizing that their own indictment had serious problems and figure the best way to get past that is to make it that much harder for Megaupload to defend itself. We've already covered the desire of the feds to have significant evidence destroyed in the case, but now they're trying to block Megaupload from hiring a top law firm. It had recently been noted that top litigator Andrew Schapiro from Quinn Emanuel, was joining the defense team.

But the US is objecting to Quinn Emanuel taking part in the case, claiming that Schapiro's previous work with YouTube and Google represent a conflict of interest -- since the government intends to try to show that YouTube was a "victim" of Megaupload, and use Google as a witness since it pulled AdSense over infringement concerns. Furthermore, the government uses the fact that Quinn Emanuel -- a pretty large law firm -- has also represented some Hollywood interests to say that it shouldn't be able to take part. The thing is, law firms like Quinn Emanuel have a pretty detailed conflict of interest process, in which they check a bunch of things before they take on a case. If they satisfied that process, then why should the government be involved at all, other than just as an attempt to deny Megaupload the skills of the lawyer it wants to hire?


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:19pm

    Changing my mind

    You know, when Megaupload was first attacked, I didn't really doubt that they MU engaged in infringing activities. But the more I see and hear from the government about the case, the more I doubt that they were actually involved in infringement much. The government's actions look like they're railroading MU, and you only need to railroad someone when they're innocent.

     

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  2.  
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    Traveller800 (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    good news

    Looks like Quinn Emanuel smell the crap the US government are shovelling as one of the hyperlinks in thisn article linked toa rebuttel from their law firm http://www.scribd.com/doc/89119449/Rebuttal-to-Motion-for-Limited-Leave

    Its nice to see lawyers realising what a sham this trial is turning into.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:36pm

    This is what you get when coperations are in bed with the goverment.

    Well, this and sticky sheets.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    "If they satisfied that process, then why should the government be involved at all, other than just as an attempt to deny Megaupload the skills of the lawyer it wants to hire?"

    But...but...but...PIRACY!

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Changing my mind

    Yep the more they do to block the MU defense- the more it looks like the Attorney Generals office is covering their own failures.

    There are way too many people who were using MU for legal purposes. It is an over reach by the government and perhaps it is time for them to allow MU to defend themselves and prepare to accept the resignations of attorneys who screwed this up this badly.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re:

    Don't you mean piRIAAcy?

     

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  7.  
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    GMacGuffin (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

    Re: good news

    Damn that's a good brief.

     

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  8.  
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    PlagueSD (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:46pm

    The US Government is afraid of the Chewbacca Defense being used against them.

     

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  9.  
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    Michael, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:48pm

    Power grabs, secret treaties, obstructing justice, cover-ups, and now this blatant attempt to deny a fair trial. The government is on a roll.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:49pm

    It appears both sides are arming themselves with armies of lawyers. A lawyer nuclear war is about to ensue. In the end, the lawyers win.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:50pm

    The lawyer they can use:

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    Re:

    And the winning parties win, which I hope will be Megaupload-- which would be good for the Internet, and a lot of people who use it.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

    Re: Re: Changing my mind

    In the meantime, MU should be allowed to continue its operations. The government shouldn't be allowed to deliver punishment before a trial and to cut off their financial income necessary to defend themselves while the government is here attacking them, just to protect incumbent industry interests (at public expense), with taxpayer money.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:55pm

    Re: good news

    "Its nice to see lawyers realising what a sham this trial is turning into."

    No, lawyers are just realizing the money they can make by taking the case. It was lawyers that created the legal system that created this legal mess. This results in plaintiffs and the defendants hiring lawyers. It's a win - win situation for the lawyers.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:55pm

    Re: Re:

    No matter who wins, the lawyers win. They get paid by both parties either way.

     

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  16.  
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    Gothenem (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 4:56pm

    Re: good news

    My word. This is a well done document highlighting the Government's attempts to force MegaUpload into a guilty verdict without even allowing them a chance to defend themselves.

    This smacks of guilty until proven....more guilty than originally thought.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:03pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Still, there are other winners aside from lawyers. Fortunately.

     

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  18.  
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    Mega1987 (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:04pm

    There's goes the right to a fair trial.... being flushed by US government...

    What next? abolish human right constitution for your laws to be implemented?

    Go back to the feudal era and stay there....

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:08pm

    And Americans think the Middle East/Russia/China is corrupt. Sort your own backyard out first, then you can criticise others.

     

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  20.  
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    Karl, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:20pm

    If Megaupoad isn't allowed to use lawyers who represented the "entertainment industry," they won't be allowed to use any IP lawyer in the country.

     

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  21.  
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    TechnoMage (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    This will probably be like Casey Anthony

    Even my mom knew the prosecution's "computer forensics expert" was making BS up when she was watching the trial. I was coincidentally taking a class on the topic at the time and laughed so hard at how bad they were trying to rail road her.

    Trying to rail road someone so badly, is why I believe she was found not-guilty, and will hopefully lead to MU being found not-guilty, and the MPAA/DoJ having to pay restitution.

    The DMCA notice and takedown exists for a reason, if MU had it... then it is MPAA/RIAA's fault for having MU take away the search feature.

     

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  22.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    Wait, wait, wait!

    So now Youtube is the victim of piracy!? The government just needs to make up its mind!

     

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  23.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Re:

    correction, only politicians and hard core republicans think America isn't corrupt. Anyone with half a brain can see how corrupt America is.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Wait, wait, wait!

    You can be on both the giving and reciving end of anything. Usually blowjobs.

     

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  25.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:40pm

    Re:

    lookatthelittlemonkey!!

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    Re:

    If Chewbacca lives on endor the goverment has to weed out corruption from it's ranks?

     

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  27.  
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    Torg (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re: good news

    "Guilty until proven dead" was a legal philosophy pioneered by the Spanish Inquisition and the good people of Salem. Who are you to question something with so much historical precedent?

     

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  28.  
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    Dementia (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:45pm

    Re:

    What, you think we're the ones making the dumb assed decisions about what to try and force on the world? Address the correct individuals here, the corporations and their governmental puppets.

     

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  29.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:53pm

    Re: good news

    Very good find there

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 5:55pm

    I suspect Obama promised the rightsholders they would get something for their money and now that SOPA is out this is what's left. They are forcing their hands to get quick results because Obama might not win the election. If the case goes far enough along, no one person will be able to stop it.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    If they satisfied that process, then why should the government be involved at all, other than just as an attempt to deny Megaupload the skills of the lawyer it wants to hire?

    What process? Can you please describe it for us? There are plenty of lawyers who will gladly turn a blind eye to conflict of interest in order to reap a multi-million dollar payday.

     

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  32.  
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    Mason Wheeler, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: good news

    Actually, the Spanish Inquisition was nowhere near the villains that popular culture today makes them out to be. They literally invented the concept of "innocent until proven guilty," and far from being hysterical Salem-style witch-hunters, the rules they set for witch trials (they had to be based on actual evidence) effectively put an end to convictions for witchcraft in Spain almost a century before the rest of Europe.

    You really should read up on history before you go talking about it...

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Changing my mind

    But MU is guilty until proven innocent. Whats the matter with you not getting that? Innocence is MU's onus.

     

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  34.  
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    Torg (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: good news

    So what you're saying is this is worse than the Spanish Inquisition. Nice to know.

     

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  35.  
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    JMT (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:23pm

    Re: Re: good news

    It's a sad truth. When all this is over their will be only one real winner:

    The public will have lost a useful service (either temporarily or for good), potentially a lot of personal files, and a bunch of their tax money;

    Artists using the service to distribute their content AND make money from it will also have lost a useful service and income;

    MegaUpload will have lost a lot of revenue;

    The USG will have massively lost face (yep, I'm betting on them losing);

    The MPAA will have achieved nothing to stem piracy of movies, and most likely converted even more people from their cause;

    And the lawyers will walk away with millions of dollars in fees.

    What a great system...

     

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  36.  
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    JMT (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    And guess who pays one side's lawyers? You!

     

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  37.  
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    JMT (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

    "...the government intends to try to show that YouTube was a "victim" of Megaupload"

    Wow, I bet Viacom won't be very impressed with that approach.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: good news

    Citation needed.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Nonsense
    Hard core Republicans do think that America is not only corrupt but socialist and ruled over by a muslim dictator who isn't even an american citizen, who will force children to become atheists and pass laws that will require all red blooded (and possibly necked) proper heterosexual men to enter into gay marriage against their will.
    Not to mention that when they get Gay STDs they will be paraded in front of a death panel instead of being able to rely on the proper capitalist good will of an insurance company.

     

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  40.  
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    Spaceman Spiff (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 7:11pm

    Because

    "...then why should the government be involved at all, other than just as an attempt to deny Megaupload the skills of the lawyer it wants to hire?"

    Because they (the US government) knows it has no clothes, and its ass is hanging over the precipice?

     

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  41.  
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    That One Guy (profile), Apr 13th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: good news

    Seriously, can we get the 'sad but true' button already?

     

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  42.  
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    Tired as Usual, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 9:24pm

    Re: Changing my mind

    This is quite untrue; just look at O.J. Simpson.
    The government realizes that the judicial system is horrible and wants to prevent anything from interfering with their justified case.

     

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  43.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 9:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Changing my mind

    As megaupload is not running their site anymore, they have the finances to do anything they want. It costs more for them to keep the site up AND pay for a lawyer than it would to shut it down.

    Furthermore, in the evidence of laws having been broken, it would be irresponsible for the U.S. Government to allow the site continued operations; and should there exist digital evidence, allowing megaupload to destroy said evidence is absurd.

    Megaupload is guilty, we KNOW they are guilty... and we know that they will win regardless. This is not a fight over who is guilty and who is not... it is a fight against the corporate takeover of the world, and the government's inability to do anything about it.

     

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  44.  
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    DC, Apr 13th, 2012 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Changing my mind

    Wow .. you really are out there (are you an official space cadet?) FYI: keeping the data there is costing them nothing currently.

    They are offering to pay to keep the data available for their defense, but their assets are not available.

    MU do not have finances to do what ever they want. Their money in most places is frozen ... i.e. not available.

    Said government colluding with the MPAA want the stored files ... aka evidence .. destroyed.

    2) Ding Ding Ding: the government should not be able to be allowed to deliver punishment before a trial and to cut off their financial income necessary to defend themselves while the government is here attacking them

     

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  45.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 12:32am

    Yawn...

    You act like this is the first time they pressured a lawyer out of representing Mega.
    Its not.
    https://torrentfreak.com/megauploads-top-lawyer-outside-pressure-120123/

    You act like this isn't to keep the case in the headlines and gathering attention.
    It is.

    They (**AA's you can't really tell them from the DoJ anymore) are currently suing Hotfile and pushing claims that cyberlockers need to do more to protect the interests of the **AA's at no cost to the **AA's.
    Their government granted monopolies are to costly for them to police themselves, so everyone else has to bear the burden and costs.

    The DoJ is corrupt. (It has to be corruption because to think they are just naturally this inept and stupid is far more worrisome.)
    They have been and continue to subvert the legal process they are charged with upholding. When they can't be trusted, the Judges can't be trusted, how the hell do they expect us to have any faith in anything they do any more?

    They are trying to stack the deck in this case, and its obvious. I guess its time to cross the right to a fair trial off the list of "rights" we are allowed to have.

     

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  46.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 12:42am

    Re: Actually, the Spanish Inquisition was nowhere near the villains that popular culture today makes them out to be.

    No, they only railroaded Galileo with a forged document, and they only showed him the instruments of torture, they were nice enough to not actually use them on him.

    And he just had to stay home and not talk to anybody for the rest of his life.

     

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  47.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Changing my mind

    The quantity-over-quality trend in trolls these days is showing, all too much.

     

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  48.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 2:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: good news

    That's what the modern "Spanish Inquisitors" want you to think.

    Otherwise you would be saying that everything that Monty Python has taught me has been a lie

    How dare you Sir.. I challenge you to a duel.. May the best knight of Ni, win! (my weapon of choice will be a salmon)

     

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  49.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 2:35am

    Ah conflict of interests.

    Based on this logical analis by teh US Government prosecutors, they should then remove any prosecutor who has ever:
    * Watched a Youtube video (ebedded or direct)
    * Searched using Google, or knowingly used any google service.
    * Have ever Payed to watch, rent, or purchase a "Hollywood" movie

    Sadly, the logic they are using to try to remove law firms (which are representatives not the actual witness's [another logic fail by the DoJ]) is totally unmitigated bullshit and smacks of bias, so the above criteria to remove the prosecutors for bias wont happen.

     

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  50.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 2:47am

    Re: good news

    Just reading that extremely well done brief, and the USG is trying to stop "Foreign Attorneys" [argument 1]

    Interesting, next time I see the USG trying to stick its nose into a foreign jurisdiction and criminal case (or civil) I think I might show this interesting statement that wipes out a century of working with foreign courts and solicitors/attorneys.

    Oh wait, there might be a few I know about already and might even be involved in.

    Is the DoJ composed of a bunch of blithering idiots in regards to this case?

     

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  51.  
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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 3:01am

    Re: Re: good news

    Notice in Argument III that they are suggesting that the Govt has used bullying tactics on other law firms (who have carved) whereas they are not and will not.

    Think someone in the DoJ is having an "Oh Shit" moment now ;)

     

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  52.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 4:26am

    Re: Re: Re: good news

    feh, the USG will massively lose face even if it Wins...

    Just not in the circles they actually care about.

     

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  53.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re: Actually, the Spanish Inquisition was nowhere near the villains that popular culture today makes them out to be.

    pretty sure that was the Papal inquisition (different organization) and even the Galileo was NOT punished for his scientific theory (which, while it may have been correct in it's conclusion, was horrible in it's methodology, from memory) but due to constant screw ups politically... (hint: publishing literature mocking some of the most powerful individuals around at the time is not a healthy carrier move. )

     

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  54.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 4:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Actually, the Spanish Inquisition was nowhere near the villains that popular culture today makes them out to be.

    *blinks* ...

    wait, where'd everything after that first ) come from? you weren't even talking about that...

    whoops?

     

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  55.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    Re:

    ... in this case the Chewbacca Defence should be ripping their arms off.

     

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  56.  
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    Chargone (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 4:34am

    Re:

    actually, they'd kinda fail there too... people were more prone to revolt when you sucked at running things than they are now.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 6:05am

    Conflict of interest?

    How about prosecuters and law enforcement being dinned by the very people who accuse others?

    How about a government that is catering exclusively to a set of interests?

     

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  58.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 8:05am

    Re:

    Forget wining and dining them, the lawyer who brought this whole case in front of the grand jury had a job outside the government before being hired. He worked for BSA.

    Beryl Howell (sp) was paid as an RIAA lobbyist before becoming a Judge who decided that Doe defendants in copyright trolling cases had no standing to object to the ISPs having to hand over their information so they could be "sued" * .

    * - The number of people actually sued in the copyright trolling cases is tiny. The evidence used to turn these peoples lives upside down is flimsy at best, but very few Judges have actually wondered why out of the 200,000 Does named in these cases so few ever are in a court room. They assume people will not just fear the $150,000 number, or would pay more money than the settlement to hire a lawyer to tear the case to shreds. Oh and the handful of people who have gotten a lawyer and tried to fight see themselves dropped from the cases before their day in court, or the trolls claiming there was never any lawsuit naming them, despite what their own settlement letters claim.

     

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  59.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Changing my mind

    That technicality came about because of a procedural error. The judicial system is intentionally set up with a bias towards innocent rulings to combat:

    1) Extensive governmental resources

    2) Anti-criminal bias, even alleged

    and in an attempt to prevent even a single innocent being incarcerated. The designers of the system felt that it was more important that no innocent find themselves in jail than that all criminals did.


    The Judicial system actually works moderately well from this point of view (where the only error in the system is an innocent in jail). Besides, only a judicial process can determine whether their case is actually justified.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 9:19am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: good news

    Meh, the USG has already lost face a long time ago. They have no more face left to lose.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Changing my mind

    "This is not a fight over who is guilty and who is not."

    So you don't care if they are guilty, you just want to punish them for ... taking over the world? Really? Wow, seems like they have managed to accomplish what Pinky and the Brain have been trying to do for quite some time now.

    By your logic, lets just execute you for murder. Who cares if you are guilty or not, since this is not what the fight is about.

    "it is a fight against the corporate takeover of the world"

    I somewhat agree, the RIAA/MPAA, big pharma, and big agriculture (among other industries, like big oil), have taken over our government through campaign contributions and the revolving door. and that needs to end.

     

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  62.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 9:59am

    Re:

    We're trying (and you can kindly tell your politicians and negotiators that, it would be very helpful) but it is rather difficult when every idiot on a street corner can be wooed by false promises on billboards. We'll get there, but it is going to take some time yet.

    In the meantime, why don't you focus on sorting out your own country as well, rather than lamenting about the influence of another nation? I see a whole bunch of politicians that keep caving to "American ['based' corporation's] interests" rather than standing up for their own countries.

    The most important thing you could do is get your diplomats to refuse to negotiate with the US in the absence of a truly transparent process (fully declassified and publicized would be nice). This kind of pressure would put the USTR between a rock (your diplomats) and a hard place (American citizens) and eventually grind them down to such a process, which would end much of America's strong arming in other nations.

    If you want, we could start working on a petition to show them that Americans oppose the way their diplomatic position is being abused. You just have to ask the ACLU and EFF and I'm sure they'll be happy to put one together.

     

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  63.  
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    Cowardly Anonymous, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 10:06am

    Re:

    True, however a conflict of interest is a claim set up to protect those who retain the specific counsel. The government has no grounds to make these claims. If the motion were coming from one of the companies themselves, than the matter would be open for a judge to ultimately decide upon. As it is, the judge should not be considering the charge, as no qualified interest has filed for it.

    Even so, the judge ultimately is granted discretion in this matter. It is not something that either the gov or the lawyers get to decide. I'm reasonably sure that if the judge has reservations, they can simply ask to review the process to ensure it meets the standards it claims.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Wow. Where are you keeping the bulls? That's an awful lot of shit to be shovelin'.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Re:

    You took ma job

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
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    Tim K (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Changing my mind

    and should there exist digital evidence, allowing megaupload to destroy said evidence is absurd.

    You mean the evidence that the government wanted to destroy yet MU is fighting to keep alive?? Which btw, had you read the article you would have seen that Mike pointed that bit out already

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    Re: Re: Changing my mind

    file sharing ≠ infringement ≠ murder

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 14th, 2012 @ 2:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Changing my mind

    "This is not a fight over who is guilty and who is not..."

    If they're not guilty of breaking the law then what is this about? What are they guilty of, providing content distribution services that compete with incumbent government established monopolists?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 6:04pm

    Re: Yawn...

    You act like this is the first time they pressured a lawyer out of representing Mega.
    Its not.
    https://torrentfreak.com/megauploads-top-lawyer-outside-pressure-120123/


    No, that's different. There was no indication the government was involved in that one. That was a case of the firm realizing his work tripped one of their conflict systems. That's perfectly normal and happens all the time.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 6:10pm

    Re:

    What process? Can you please describe it for us? There are plenty of lawyers who will gladly turn a blind eye to conflict of interest in order to reap a multi-million dollar payday.

    I'm assuming you have about 0 experience with a decent sized or larger law firm when it comes to these things.

    They all have a process of checking the parties in the lawsuit to see if there's any direct conflict. Different firms call it different things but the one I hear most typically is "running the traps." And most top law firms take it pretty damn seriously. I've seen significant business turned away via that process, and from what I know of Quinn Emanuel, I'd bet they have a pretty detailed process.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 9:58pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: good news

    don't you mean a herring*? :D

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 10:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: good news

    I second this.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 10:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I think we can all agree that both sides shovel bull by the truck loads. I'm extinguishing this flame war before it starts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 10:04pm

    Re: Re: Wait, wait, wait!

    ewwwww...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
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    Watchit (profile), Apr 14th, 2012 @ 10:10pm

    Re:

    Even if there was a conflict of interest, I don't really see the problem since the "conflict of interest" the government claims exists is that the Law-firm that MegaUpload wants to hire would be in conflict against supporting Mega... which Mega has said they are absolutely OK with and that the Law firm claims that there is not... sooo, wouldn't it be perfectly within Mega's rights to hire a company they want, even if it turns out to be against their best interests (though I really really doubt it would be in this case.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 15th, 2012 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re:

    What process? Can you please describe it for us?

    No, sorry, he can't.

    Too much to ask for his Google-stooge ass...

    Look somewhere else for enlightenment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
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    The eejit (profile), Apr 15th, 2012 @ 4:56am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think that's the most basic description of what happens in the world in most cases. "IF conflict THEN no hire ELSE hire."

    It's really nott haqt hard to get, unless you're either a moron or already dead. And seeing as you're talking here...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
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    Pwdrskir (profile), Apr 15th, 2012 @ 11:25am

    Re: Changing my mind

    "I didn't really doubt that they MU engaged in infringing activities." - John

    I just came off a jury and the defense lawyer opened with:
    Raise your hand if you think my defendant is guilty.( No hands.)
    Raise your hand if you think my defendant is innocent. (No hands.)
    Raise your hands if you need to see the evidence before deciding. (Every hand went up.)

    Lawyer: Let me remind you all that the Constitution is very clear that my defendant is Innocent Until Proven guilty.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Apr 15th, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    Re: Re:

    The process is usually pretty good but sometimes mistakes happen. Case in point: I interviewed at Quinn a year and a half ago and asked a second-year associate what the worst experience of her job there had been. She told me that she and several other lawyers spent three months working non-stop on a case before discovering a partner had a conflict. It was a small conflict from a decade ago, but Quinn still had to withdraw.

    So ... mistakes happen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
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    Andrew F (profile), Apr 15th, 2012 @ 6:59pm

    Re:

    I don't know exactly how Quinn's process works, but I can describe how it works in general at most large firms.

    The firm maintains a database of its lawyers and which cases they've worked on. Every time they work on a new case or matter, that gets added to the database. This list is usually very robust, since firms have to keep track of who their clients are in order to bill them.

    The problems arise when lawyers are moving between firms. Usually the lawyer just takes the list of prior matters from the old firm and gives it to the new firm. But to my knowledge, there's no standardized way of formatting that list, so someone at the new firm has to manually re-enter all the data or otherwise massage it to get it into the new database. This is probably where the most mistakes are made.

    That said, firms have a strong interest in identifying conflicts. First, conflicts are expensive. If a conflict is discovered late in the game, the firm is disqualified and all the work they've done gets tossed out. That's incredibly disheartening and huge pain in the ass to clean up. And you can't bill for it.

    Second, conflicts are hard to hide. If a firm is adverse to a client they had a former relationship with, there's a good chance that the client will remember! Moreover, the fact that a firm represents a client isn't always a secret. It's often recorded in press releases, case opinions, and other publicly available information that gets indexed by major databases.

    Anyhow, a firm will usually check with their internal database before taking on a case to see if there are any conflicts. Conflicts don't automatically disqualify the firm though. If only a subset of the firm's lawyers have a conflict, the firm can "wall off" those lawyers. Large firms are pretty good about maintaining these walls. They'll restrict a conflicted lawyer from both physical and electronic access to confidential information. And everything you do at a firm is tracked and recorded. Ostensibly it's for billing purposes, but it also means it's hard for a conflicted lawyer to involve herself without leaving an incriminating paper trail.

    That's the high-level view. I don't know exactly what Quinn does, but they're a large enough firm that I imagine they have a similar process in place.

     

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  81.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 3:08am

    Re: Re: Changing my mind

    Someone send him to deal with MU's case!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 3:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: good news

    But is the 'alleged' witch made of wood?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 3:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    He's not, I've seen far too many sites spouting that kind of thing. It is the more right-wing Republicans, but the point is that an awful large part of the Christian/Tea Party right do say this stuff.

    How come there's still birther crud happening?
    How come anything Obama does, he's accused of being an 'evil' socialist?

    If you want some 'evidence', go to Fundies Say the Darndest Things or such delightful places as Free Republic or WorldNetDaily.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
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    Niall (profile), Apr 16th, 2012 @ 3:19am

    Re: Re:

    Could we get the DoJ to vacate itself due to conflict of interest? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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