German Court Sees Through The DOJ Fairy Tale, Rejects Attempt To Seize Megaupload Assets
from the a-string-of-failures dept
We’ve covered a series of embarrassing setbacks for the US government’s case against Megaupload over the past few months. It’s a pretty stunning trail of errors by US officials who seemed to think that a scary story about a “bad man” would trump a lack of actual evidence or following legal procedure. While the case may hold up in the long run, it seems like everywhere you look there’s evidence of highly questionable activity by the government.
The latest setback comes from Germany, where the US sought assistance from officials in seizing various assets of Dotcom’s or Megauploads. However, the court has now rejected the request:
The Frankfurt judges have since rejected this request, because it contains insufficient evidence. The US legal team failed to demonstrate that a web hosting service for the illegal upload of copyrighted files, amounts to a criminal offence.
According to the German ‘Telemediengesetz’ (communications legislation), a hosting service for foreign files will generally not be accountable unless the host had active knowledge of illegal activity. The judges also emphasised that the concept of knowledge is limited to positive knowledge. Therefore if the service provider believes that it is possible or likely that a specific piece of information is stored on their server, this is not sufficient evidence of knowledge of abuse.
According to the court ruling, there is no legal obligation to monitor the transmitted data or stored information or to search for any illegal activity.
Of course this was the same point that we raised the day that Megaupload was shut down. While it may be true that many Megaupload users have infringed on copyrights, there’s a massive leap from that point to the idea that Megaupload is a criminal enterprise — yet the US government’s case basically skips over any details to make that leap. Thankfully cooler heads are recognizing that a significant amount of the US’s case seems to be based on a fairy tale that US officials — under the influence of Hollywood — keep telling.
Tip to DOJ officials under the sway of Hollywood’s version of the internet: remember, these people make their livings telling fairy tale stories. You know those opening credit lines about how something is “based on a true story”? Yeah, quite frequently the actual truth is a long way from what’s shown. It seems that you may have been taken in by another such Hollywood “true” tale.