Music Company Asks For Permission To Pursue Its Delayed Civil Suit Against Megaupload; States Extradition 'May Never Occur'

from the when-even-the-'good-guys'-are-getting-sick-of-the-endless-delays... dept

It's not just Kim Dotcom that's tiring of the endless procedural delays in the US's prosecution of him and his service. Other plaintiffs who are looking to legally pursue Dotcom for infringement are getting fed up with the length of the process, which still has no end in sight.

Microhits, one of two copyright holders who filed civil suits against Megaupload two months after after the FBI raid on Dotcom's home, has just requested it be allowed to move forward on its civil lawsuit as it feels the DOJ's case is taking too long to proceed.
Microhits has asked the United States courts to stop delaying its case against Megaupload until the extradition issue is resolved - because it might never happen.

New papers filed with the US district court in Virginia say the extradition is "a mere possible future event but indeed an event which may in fact never occur."
Microhits, whose catalog includes Christina Aguilera, Rod Stewart, Marvin Gaye and Dr. Dre, had its original filing put on hold for six months to allow the US to proceed with its case, something the DOJ doesn't seem to be in any hurry to do. Megaupload's legal defense requested these two civil suits be put on hold for a number of reasons, while mentioning the close resemblance between Microhit's filing and the US government's indictment.
In its motion, Megaupload said the civil suit allegations "appear to be copied verbatim" from the indictment filed in January. If the civil suit progressed in parallel with the criminal case, Megaupload's defendants may be forced to assert their Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination but then waive it as part of the civil case, the motion said.

"This would be an unfair burden on their constitutional rights," the document contends.

Further, Megaupload argued it is broke, as its assets were frozen in January. The company has been asking the U.S. government to unfreeze some funds in order to pay for the preservation of upwards of 28 petabytes of data stored on the service and needed for the legal cases.
As it stands now, extradition hearings won't begin for another 8 months, and Microhit is worried it may never get to directly pursue Megaupload -- and that Megaupload may have its money safely out of reach by the time it gets the green light.
Microhits also pointed to the potential loss of any damages. They said Mr Dotcom had posted messages on his Twitter account in which he wrote about his new Mega business. In the posts, Microhits said he had "openly avowed to move their assets and operations out of reach of the United States".
Megaupload's lawyers fired back, stating that its assets weren't even under Dotcom's control at this point.
They said the US Government had seized the assets and were "doling out limited amounts for living expenses and foreign counsel".

"Defendants' assets are still sequestered and no amount of tweets and blog-posts will 'un-freeze them' - that requires a court order."
Mr Dotcom's team said facing the civil action would be difficult because of no access to seized funds, seizure of books and records and no access to the former Megaupload servers. The FBI has copied parts of the servers and wanted to delete the rest.
So, even if Microhits receives the go-ahead, its options are greatly restricted by the DOJ's previous actions against Megaupload. Microhits does have a point, though -- this case has dragged on far too long with very little progress being made by the prosecution. At this point, it almost looks as though the DOJ has settled in for a war of attrition -- one that will slowly bleed Dotcom, keeping his assets frozen, his business closed and any evidence contained on Megaupload's servers in the control of people who can't seem to decide whether to keep it or destroy it.

The longer this drags on, the less likely it seems that the DOJ has a strong case. But, as has been demonstrated by other site seizures, it really doesn't seem to matter whether there's a winnable case behind the shutdowns. Entities like the DOJ and FBI that are more than willing to seize first and ask questions later are probably not the kind that will step aside and let a civil suit take precedence. Microhits is going to find itself empathizing with Megaupload, as delay after delay push any sort of resolution back across the horizon.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2013 @ 1:47pm

    I love these articles. They show me The musicians to boycott.

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

    • icon
      gorehound (profile), 3 Jan 2013 @ 3:27pm


      Microhits, whose catalog include Rod Stewart and some other rich sold-out MAFIAA Dickhead Artists ! We will now name your Company Microshits !
      Who the hell cares about Rod Stewart..........didn't he drink a gallon of cum once.At least that was story we learned in the 1970's.

      Boycott all MAFIAA Artists.If they sign with the MAFIAA they are a traitor.I have no sympathy for them nor do I care what any of you think.
      Buy & Support Local and Indie Art ! Not so hard to learn that.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2013 @ 1:49pm

    it's a win-win situation for the US law enforcement. they keep the site shut down as long as they like, even if ordered to give it back, keep assets frozen for as long as they like, preventing Dotcom from starting up again (i dont think!) without getting massive credit. the ones that lose are the ordinary users that used the service and cant get their own stuff back. they are bottom of the pile and of least interest to law enforcement

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

  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 3 Jan 2013 @ 1:51pm

    I am just waiting for corporations to turn irrational enough to go after a website like deviantArt for "unauthorised usage of copyrighted works".

    Let us see how fucking well that will go. The internet will more or less declare total war on copyright after that, and the rebellion will absolutely DWARF that of the rebellion against SOPA.

    I can't wait... I know that sounds bad, wanting a brilliant website to come under attack like that.. but a sinister side of me would adore the backlash..

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

    • identicon
      Hi Im Kimchi Men, 3 Jan 2013 @ 2:00pm



      The internet will more or less declare total war on copyright after that

      no it won't, deviantart is one of the largest nests of irrational copyzealots who would probably cheer the site's takedown because "then no one can trace/use MY "property" anymore", instead they'll probably buy the corporations some lube so they can be fucked harder

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Jan 2013 @ 5:00pm

    If anyone deserves to file a fucking lawsuit it should be Kim Dotcom and the general public that was robbed of their files. Some of which they may never get back due to one copy.

    Yeah I know that's a bad idea but you would expect to lose your data over a server crash,accidental deletion, or account expiration. NOT THE MOTHER FUCKING GOVERNMENT STEALING IT ON THE BEHALF OF THE MOVIE AND MUSIC STUDIOS.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jan 2013 @ 12:48am


      My understanding is that Microhits is using the same data as the DoJ in its civil suit. If that's the case, then this could get hilariously comical.

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

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