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.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 11:50am

    Let that pirate freak flag fly, Mikey. You must be sooooo happy for your friends! Good for you.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 11:55am

      Re:

      I'm just curious. What bridge do you live under, waiting for the Billy Goats Gruff?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      lets see, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:00pm

      Re:

      stages of AC rejection.


      1:suprise

      2:baseless claims threats etc crazy serial killer style due to not knowing where his/her life went so terribly wrong.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Cory of PC (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:06pm

      Re:

      I'll only see my flag raising when the break of romance dawn comes. And that'll come when the US realized it made a REALLY idiotic decision and will start taking the slow and winding path to recovery.

      Of course that ain't gonna happen, since that last part is a fantasy, but hey, if the US can, I don't know, get the entertaining monkey off their backs and realize they aren't the ones in charge of the world, then maybe I might raise my flag in celebration.

      Then again, you don't know what flag I'm going to fly.

       

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    •  
      icon
      weneedhelp (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

      Re:

      Let get Mikey... Nah, he wont eat it, he hates everything.

      He likes it! Hey Mikey!

      Oh im sorry, I thought this was the whacked out comment section.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

      Re:

      What is it you're hoping to accomplish with comments like these?

      I really have no idea, but whatever it is, you're failing hard.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

      Re:

      I'm replying to this to add the dog-pile of garbage accumulating in response to it. Can't just click the report button, gotta pile some shit onto the existing shit. Its the only rational thing to do.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 10:02pm

        Re: Re:

        Why not? Otherwise the trolls will argue that the site is pro-censorship. Replying to reported posts is proof against this, not to say that reporting = censorship to begin with.

         

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    •  
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      Zos (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

      Re:

      i actually have a pirate freak flag, flying from the flag holder on my house. Had it custom made. Turns out pirates do pay for some things....

       

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    lets see, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 11:56am

    the stages of US rejection.

    1:suprise

    2: ecouragement of mind change/pychotic vague threats and actions calm serial killer style.

     

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  •  
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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    First New Zealand, and now Germany? If even Germany - with the horror story that is GEMA - is disagreeing with you, that's really saying something.

    Cue the usual trolls arguing about how Germany is being a renegade judge, or some other similar butthurt bullshit.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    "the same [legalism] that we raised"

    So it's again with the legalisms! Never a hint of morality from you pirates. You guys never discuss WHO OWNS the content, just assume that anyone can upload files to a site (somewhere out of US reach) and then it's perfectly moral to download -- and for the site to get income from the stolen valuables. WELL, IT AIN'T. Despite all the wrongness of Big Media, it ain't your content so don't take it! And though the "law" is unsettled at the moment, expect plenty more reaction from content owners.

    I believe most Rapidshare servers are in Germany. It's a net plus (ha, pun) for Germany as most stolen content is from US.

     

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      silverscarcat (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      You are an idiot.

      I shall now laugh at you.

      Ah ahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

      ...

      HA!

       

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:50pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      You guys never discuss WHO OWNS the content

      The public. Culture is the sharing of ideas and expression amongst a group of people. Once content is released to the public, trying to put up artificial fences of monopoly ownership and control around it is silly.

       

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        Loki, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

        Re: Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

        Plus I like when people try to play the "morality" card, completely ignoring that the way big content has stacked the deck the people who "own" the contents (and thereby garner the lion's share of any profits made from such content) are rarely the people who actually created the content.

        We could spend all day naming names of authors, actors, artists, musicians and other content creators who have stated on record that the creative accounting practices of the big content producers have cost them far more in payments/royalties/residuals than anything they may have lost due to privacy.

         

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          identicon
          anon, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 5:14am

          Re: Re: Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

          Once and for all lets get the copyright laws straight. When copyright laws were first implemented they were done so to prevent the big businessman from stealing from the creators, Copyright was made to create an environment where the creator was encouraged to produce more content not less by allowing only him to benefit from creating content.


          Lets start investigating the real problem here, the artists not getting there payments from the copyright cartel, from the labels and the studios. Lets investigate and fix the corrupt accounting methods used by the entertainment industry to keep the majority of the profits.

          Lets strengthen the law that anyone can copy and use anything in the public domain, as long as they do not sell it for a profit.Anyone using content for profit must pay a reasonable portion to the creator of the content they use to make money.

          Once the conversation gets going in the right direction and big business is the target for copyright laws , maybe then we will stop the trolls from suing and stealing from the normal citizens and stealing from the creators.

          Wording not brilliant but I am sure you get the gist of my argument.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:53pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      Actually, legalism is very much what this is all about. THE LAW. Not about morality. Morality more often than not has little to do with, you know, due process and all those other silly little things that the courts are built on.

      Also, the reason morality is not discussed, as has been stated repeatedly, is that morals are purely subjective. Yours aren't mine, mine aren't Mike's and so on and so forth.

      Also, there has yet to be any shred of evidence showing even any profits made by Megaupload came from directly infringing content. What has been shown however is that some of their profits, as in SOME THAT CAN BE VERIFIED FOR A FACT, came from the legitimate and perfectly legal use of their services by various users.

      Also, no content has been taken. This is the problem with you and your type. You try repeating something in the hopes that it'll come true. Nothing was ever taken. Thus there never were any stolen valuables. However, copyright may have been infringed upon, but that's not the same as it was outright stolen. Nor is content being uploaded without permission tantamount to "stolen valuables".

      The law, has thus far, been clear on a majority of such matters. Your interpretation of it, as well as reality distorted views of it, notwithstanding.

      RAPIDSHARE, as has been determined by German AND U.S. courts IS PERFECTLY LEGAL.

      Basically, OotB, you're a fucking idiot and your strawmans and opinions are beyond flawed. So much so that it's almost pointless to rip them apart, because the facts are very much against you. That and you'll ignore the facts for whatever is convenient to yourself and your "arguments/points". 'tard.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 1:09pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      Hey OOTB the copyright infringement is done by the users of the service anyway. Not by megaupload, so what is your point?

      How many times do you blame the Romans for building roads and aiding, murderers, bank robbers, kidnappers, rapists, ..., ..., ....

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 1:26pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      Fuck you. I would take the time to tell you why everything here is stupid, but you've shown yourself, over and over, to be immune to any semblance of reason, preferring instead to piss and moan about non sequitur horse shit and straw men.

      So I'm just going to leave it as at simple, unambiguous "fuck you and the three-dollar whore who birthed you."

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      "So it's again with the legalisms! Never a hint of morality from you pirates."

      When the Department of Justice starts living up to moral standards, we'll discuss "morality", boy.

       

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        identicon
        anon, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 5:50am

        Re: Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

        Hey! boy!!! you need to grow up and learn, making silly trollish comments only shows how lacking you are in the intelligence department, seriously you are not even giving the resemblance of an argument just spouting your hatred for anyone who does not agree 100% with you, well through life you will learn that there will be many many people who disagree with you, learn to accept it and try to make your point in as clear a way as possible, now pay me for advising you how to be a normal human being...boy!!!!

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      So, blue, you've been refuted. Can you respond to these assertions in a rational and logical manner?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 3:39pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      I'm replying to this to add the dog-pile of garbage accumulating in response to it. Can't just click the report button, gotta pile some shit onto the existing shit. Its the only rational thing to do.

      TWO DOG PILES OF GARBAGE! NICE!

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 4:15pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      Legalism, eh? Well, seeing that multiple reports have proven that piracy =/= lost sales, and the main reason that idiots like you fall back on is "but but but it's the LAW!"...

      Yeah, I think we can safely conclude that it's perfectly reasonable to bitch about legalism, because that's the core tenet of your case. Now, why don't you do as you threatened and leave the site for good?

       

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    •  
      icon
      G Thompson (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      I'll place my ethics and sense of equity above your 'morality' any day thank you very much

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 3:17am

      Re: "the same [legalism] that we raised"

      It's copyright that's immoral. It's a goverment rule allowing copyright holders to tell others what they can and can't do with their own property.

       

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    Violated (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:48pm

    Germany joins the party

    I don't know how many assets Kim Dotcom and Mega had in Germany but this is good news anyway. The only assert that currently comes to mind is the DoJ/FBI once seizing the car belonging to Kim's mother.

    What I am sure most of us would like to see is action in the Hong Kong court system when currently they only play a submissive role stating that they will await for the US Court system to decide what to do.

    They obviously need someone to point out that HK has its own laws (based on English law) and they need to look at the facts and evidence to make up their own mind. Mega had its HQ in HK so quite a lot of property there.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:54pm

    all those from the entertainment industries, the DoJ and the government that were or still are involved in this fiasco need to have their names publicly released. none of them have 'been taken in' at all. they all participated willingly just to 'do friends favours'. none of them had the slightest doubt that they would be successful in their aims and have completely shamed the USA with their attitudes and dismissal of any legal process, thinking that no matter what was done or how it was done, Mega would become a lost cause and those running it would be jailed. WRONG!! and soon you may well find yourselves on the receiving end of what you tried so hard to dish out! and bloody good job too. you deserve all the shit that comes your way, if for no other reason, than your total lack of respect for peoples rights and abuse of the power your positions bring!

     

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      edinjapan (profile), Nov 16th, 2012 @ 12:42am

      Re:

      Why don't you drop Anonymous or Lulz a note to this effect?

      Or better yet do what the Japanese have been doing and stop buying the entertainment industries product.

       

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  •  
    icon
    gorehound (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:56pm

    Screw This Government !
    They broke our Laws to go after Kim and now we are watching you.
    In the End US Gov you won't walk away from this one unscathed.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Loki, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 1:30pm

    I still find it immensely amusing that only the US government could take some someone as arrogant, cocky, and whom a large majority of people would have described in one word as a prick, and made him into a sympathetic victim.

     

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      on the bright side, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      an arrogent cocky prick is nice in times like this.

      lets face it people. the US government IS an arrogent cocky ###face that whould sell its own mother to a sex ring if it got the chance.

      and people have really been tame with them. its might just be me but its nice to have someone who when called an @@@hole whould turn around and call them the same thing. theres only so much room a person should get i guess.

       

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        The eejit (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, frankly, I think that the US gopvernment is a masochistic Spaghetti Monster decrying the incoming Enterpocalypse.

         

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          JMT (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 4:45pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Arrogant and cocky yes, but I'm curious what you think he's done that would make "a large majority of people" think he's a prick. I knew of him long before MegaUpload started and I never thought of him that way.

           

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    identicon
    Based on a true story, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    We have all seen a based on a true story where...

    ...In the actual story at least one of the humans did indeed have a head and spoke, and the rest of the film was artistic license.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:07pm

    When Germany, home of GEMA and holding a woman without a computer responsible for a download she herself could not have done, sides against you in a copyright case...you might be fucked.

     

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    Pixelation, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:00pm

    LMAO

    "under the influence of Hollywood"

    Man, that shit will fuck you up!

     

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    techflaws (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 10:43pm

    a web hosting service for the illegal upload of copyrighted files

    And which service is that?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 2:14am

    Isn't it great how Mike Masnick discusses how Kim "Dotcom" was willfully blind to illegal activity on his website and discusses how it made Kim "Dotcom" wealthy?

    On the backs of artists?

    Yeah, it's really cool.

    Mike Masnick is so intellectually honest. I simply can't believe it when people call him out.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 15th, 2012 @ 2:29am

     

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      techflaws (profile), Nov 15th, 2012 @ 11:03pm

      Re:

      Or not.

       

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      anon, Nov 16th, 2012 @ 6:00am

      Re:

      LOL so there demographic now instead of being the teens and early twenties crowd is the Gerry Springer crown LOL, no wonder they have lost a shit load of viewers, and hey nobody told the studios to make the playing of promotional video so expensive, lol just another lost chance to connect with people really interested in music, yet again. Oh and do not ever blame MTV LOL do you honestly think they are responsible for what they air...mmm.. well yes but they cant play music 24/7 because it will destroy the music industry..mmm no, umm ok i will get back to you on who is responsible cant seem to think of anyone other than the consumers that are actually asking for something we used to provide that we do not any more.

       

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


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