updated 09:17 am EDT, Tue April 8, 2014
Suit more than two years after raid on MegaUpload property, Dotcom home
Six US film studios have filed suit against MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The suit alleges that Dotcom, while running the now-closed Megaupload site, "facilitated, encouraged and profited" from a business model promoting piracy and paying bounties to users that had popular content.
Twentieth Century Fox, Disney, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, Columbia Pictures and Warner Brothers filed the suit, with help from the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). MPAA attorney Steven Fabrizio said of MegaUpload that it "wasn't a cloud storage service at all, it was an unlawful hub for mass distribution." The suit is asking for Megaupload's profits, and up to $150,000 per infringement.
Dotcom lashed out on Twitter at the movie studios and the Obama administration. A Twitter remark claimed that the lawsuit was necessary to justify the US-led 2012 raid "because they initiated this ... Hollywood science fiction script of a case. Embarrassing."
"The MPAA is suddenly realizing that we're a few months away from the extradition hearing, and once Kim Dotcom and the others prevail in the extradition hearing they'll have more resources and more assets," Dotcom's attorney Ira Rothken claimed as the reasoning behind the lawsuit. "The MPAA wants to have cover if the Department of Justice fails in the extradition and the criminal case."