US Court Secretly Lets Government Share Megaupload Evidence With Copyright Industry
from the government-copyright-industrial-complex dept
The defendants have been indicted, their assets have been frozen, their business has been destroyed, and their liberty has been restrained. Given these constraints, it is unclear what evils the Government fears defendants will inflict if provided notice of the Government’s submission, beyond having Defendants’ counsel come into court to make opposing arguments.Basically, Megaupload's lawyers are asking to be a part of this process, since it appears that the government wanted (and the court allowed) to cut them out. As Megaupload's lawyers note, allowing the government to sort through and cherry-pick evidence to share, without any context or potential additional exonerating information, is a clear due process violation.
“The Government’s request also substantially prejudices the defendants in the case. Permitting the Government to widely disseminate a one-sided, cherry-picked set of facts threatens to improperly infect the jury pool before defendants are afforded any opportunity to present their side of the story.”Apparently part of the issue for the original filing to reveal this information was that some copyright holders are getting antsy that as the case drags on, they won't also be able to file civil cases against Megaupload before the three-year statute of limitations expires. However, as Megaupload's lawyers point out, there is no urgency here since the government itself made no move to share this information over the past two years. If it really wanted to share the information it had ample time to make the request and allow Megaupload's lawyers to review and take part in the process, rather than trying to route around them entirely.
I'm guessing the recent successes against IsoHunt and Hotfile may have contributed to the timing as well. The MPAA pretty clearly thinks it can use those two cases to go after Megaupload as well, outside of the criminal case which will continue.