updated 01:55 pm EDT, Fri April 6, 2012
MegaUpload lawyers up with popular names
The MegaUpload execs who were jailed in New Zealand have hired law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan along with lawyer Andrew Shapiro to represent them in their upcoming legal defense, CNET revealed on Friday. Shapiro, part of the law firm, is known for successfully defending YouTube from Viacom in a high-profile case back in 2010. The firm is one of the best in the country, according to MegaUpload attorney Ira Rothken. The new hires will have their hands full as they try to defend their clients against criminal conspiracy charges that are said to have cost copyright owners over $500 million in damages.
Called the largest online copyright case in history by US government officials, the company is said to be responsible for enabling the illegal sharing of copyrighted materials such as songs and movies with its online storage lockers.
MegaUpload claims it's a legitimate service and is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act's safe harbor stipulation. Incidentally, this is the same defense YouTube used in its fight against Viacom. The provision effectively protects ISPs from being responsible for copyright violations committed by users, and MegaUpload is trying to adapt it to its own defense.
Lawyers from the US, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and Germany were hired by Rothken to represent MegaUpload.