New Zealand appeals court ruling opens door to further extradition hearings
At the request of the US Department of Justice, a New Zealand court has ruled that the original Megaupload search warrant, executed on founder Kim Dotcom, was legal -- overturning a lower court's ruling holding it inadmissable. The previous ruling found the warrants vague, and that the poor construction of the warrant caused the seizure of materials seemingly irrelevant to the charges against the Internet mogul.
Megaupload founder denies resisting arrest
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has filed a lawsuit against the New Zealand government, alleging he was subjected to illegal surveillance and misconduct during the subsequent raid on his home. Legal filings referenced by The New Zealand Herald outline the case, which seeks NZ$8.55 million (~$7 million USD) in damages.
Legal battle in NZ continues for Dotcom
Internet personality and entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has stepped down as head of data locker service Mega in an effort to prevent his extradition to the US and to work on other previously-announced projects. He resigned as director of the company effective August 29, and was replaced by longtime co-worker Bonnie Lam on the same day.
Free storage offer dwarfs that of existing cloud storage services
Former Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom has claimed that his new data storage service, Mega, will be offering users 50GB at no charge. The large-capacity offer eclipses free cloud storage offers from existing services, such as Dropbox and SugarSync, and will apparently require little to no effort to obtain, as opposed to some usage and promotional actions others require.
DOJ and Megaupload attorneys must decide what info to release
Justice Gladys Pardu has refused a US demand for complete and unrestricted access to the Megaupload servers that reside in Canada. Instead, the Ontario judge ordered the US Department of Justice and Megaupload attorneys to negotiate which information should be released under court supervision -- if no joint decision is made, then Justice Pardu will decide what the Department of Justice will be allowed to see, and may not allow anything.
Alternative domain available; Dotcom claims US DOJ witch hunt
Kim Dotcom's plan of launching Mega, a "bigger, better, faster, stronger, safer" successor to file locker Megaupload has been temporarily stymied. Gabon's government has suspended the announced domain name, before it could be utilized by Dotcom. Despite a US State Department report citing Gabon for rampant corruption and disregard of international law, the blocking official claimed to not want to allow the country to be used by "unscrupulous people."
Kim Dotcom bypasses US laws, moves ahead with new site
Kim Dotcom has rebounded from his Megaupload woes with the details of a brand new filesharing service called Mega published on a new promo page. This time, Dotcom has employed a range of strategies to ensure that the site remains beyond the reach of US authorities by hosting the service outside of US jurisdiction as well as employing special encryption technologies. The new service, first announced last month, will also utilize public and private servers around the world to ensure that no Megaupload-style FBI takedowns can be conducted against the new site.
New service will provide end-to-end encryption, safety for Mega
MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom has made good on his promises to rebuild despite still being under legal attack by New Zealand and the USA. DotCom has announced that he is building Mega -- a new file sharing site implementing AES encryption for both the sender and receiver of the file, as well as integrating protections for copyright owners. DotCom claims the new storage methodology will make it "impossible for Mega to know, or be responsible for, its users' uploaded content -- a state of affairs engineered to create an ironclad 'safe harbor' from liability for Mega, and added piece of mind for the user."
US DOJ faulted for evidence collection, improper process serving
The New Zealand high court has ruled that the the United States must hand over all evidence in its case against Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom before any extradition can take place. The decision shut down the US Department of Justice's appeal of a lower New Zealand's court decision earlier in the year blocking the extradition pending case information.
Questionable legality of warrants, evidence cited for delay
The pending extradition hearing for MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom has been postponed to next year. The hearing, which was originally scheduled to take place on August 6 was delayed by a New Zealand judge until March 2013. Two pending judicial reviews on the search warrants used by police, and the questionable legality of handoff to evidence to the FBI and subsequent transfer to the United States forced the delay in proceedings.
Not enough detail on items sought, reason for search
Judge Helen Winkelmann of the New Zealand High Court ruled that police warrants used to seize property from Megaupload file-sharing site founder Kim Dotcom were illegal. The warrants used did not properly describe the offenses that they were related to, lacked details of the copyright infringement offense, and did not specify the types of items to be searched for. As a logical extension to the ruling, Judge Winkelmann said that it was unlawful for copies of Dotcom's personal data to be taken to the United States for use and analysis by the FBI.
Claims company not served correctly and due process rights violated
Megaupload has filed a motion to dismiss all US Government charges, potentially bringing the case to an end. According to Torrent Freak, the legal team for the file repository argues that the US has violated Megaupload's due process rights by destroying the business while not properly serving the company. The motion comes a day after a New Zealand court demanded full disclosure of all evidence held by the US in a case seeking extradition of Kim “Dotcom” Schlitz and other executives.
Dotcom expecting $850,000 in cash, property
Kim Dotcom, Megaupload's beleaguered founder, will have some of his assets returned. Judge Judith Potter, the New Zealand High Court judge assigned to the asset seizure issue, reversed her previous decision on the matter and declared that a court-ordered seizure in January and a backup order filed in February were invalid and should not be enforced.
Dotcom never legally served by the US
United States district court Judge Liam O'Grady declared today that Megaupload owner Kim Dotcom's trial may never happen, as criminal charges were never formally filed within or by the United States. Prior to shutdown, Megaupload was the world's biggest file repository on the internet, and was allegedly responsible for up to 4 percent of Internet traffic. Megaupload's headquarters and a Virginia data center were raided on January 19 of this year.
MegaUpload case to focus on server data
MegaUpload's newly-hired lawyers on Friday successfully fought for the data of nearly 60 million MegaUpload users stored on 1,100 servers. The US District court's Judge Liam O'Grady agreed to require further negotiations between the lawyers representing consumers, major Hollywood studios, the US government, and MegaUpload's hosting service, as well as MegaUpload itself. The servers could could have otherwise been sold by Carpathia Hosting, with the information contained on them possibly sold or deleted as a result.
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.
Fear operation would start up again off-shore
The movie industry watchdog MPAA has asked the court that is presiding over the Megaupload case to prevent the file locker site from buying the servers, and the data stored on them, from the hosting site where the equipment and data currently reside. The motion comes after Virginia-based Carpathia, which owns the servers, made an emergency motion to the court, complaining that it's incurring costs of $9,000 daily in order to maintain the data. The stored information takes up 25 petabytes of space.
Kim Dotcom allowed access to web, pool, more
Despite the US trying to extradite Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom from New Zealand, a Monday court hearing has given the executive basic rights. Dotcom will be allowed to surf the web and swim daily to help ease back pain, TorrentFreak revealed. He will also be allowed to finish a music album he has been working on.
Retains right to refile down road
Megaupload has dropped its lawsuit against Universal Music Group for allegedly illegally getting YouTube to pull its "Mega Song" video off of the video sharing site. The company said it decided to focus its legal resources on defending itself against criminal charges for copyright violations. Company lawyers insist they will retain the right to reinstate the lawsuit in the future if appropriate.
Kim Dotcom calls indictment MPAA-sponsored
Kim Dotcom, the MegaUpload founder who was arrested and his site shut down by the US government, is now speaking out quite vigorously against the government and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). He stated that Megauplaod wasn't a host for pirates, but instead a legitimate service that was likely shut down for political reasons, TorrentFreak reported. He goes on to call his indictment as being MPAA-sponsored and allegedly has evidence that will prove his innocence.
Company owns thousands of audio, video titles
Entertainment company ValCom has filed a lawsuit against Megaupload, demanding compensation for alleged copyright infringement. The company is said to hold the copyrights for over 6,000 audio and video titles, many of which it claims were found to be illegally distributed through the file sharing service.
Studio group denies that it will sue users
The Motion Picture Association of America has reportedly asked server host Carpathia to retain Megaupload user data. The trade group is attempting to ensure that the data can be used for civil lawsuits, as the government recently gave Carpathia permission to clear the data—totaling 25 petabytes—from its servers.
Search giant points to safe harbor provisions
Google has filed an amicus brief in the ongoing lawsuit filed by Motion Picture Association of America studios against file sharing site Hotfile. The search giant has accused the plaintiffs of attempting to "distort" the accepted interpretation of safe harbor provisions detailed in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Ruling covers both music and book downloads
A German appeals court has ruled that RapidShare musit monitor the traffic being uploaded by its user to look for and try to stop pirated content. The ruling upholds three lower court decisions against the storage and sharing service. In each case, the company was told to do more to prevent any violation of any copyrights.
Kim DotCom facing deportation over charges
The US government has filed to extradite MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom following his arrest on Internet piracy charges.
as well as racketeering. The request was formally submitted in a New Zealand court, and also seeks to extradite three of DotCom’s associates. According to the New Zealand Herald, US officials had up to 45 days following DotCom’s arrest, which came shortly after the dramatic shutdown of his MegaUpload file sharing website.
Megaupload CEO allowed bail, has no funds to flee
Jailed Megaupload chief Kim Dotcom, after being denied bail time and time again, has now left a prison in New Zealand. The decision came after Judge Nevin Dawson ruled Dotcom didn't have access to funds that would allow him to leave the country. All of his financial resources were seized and the Judge said it was "highly unlikely" that he had other resources to draw from.
Megaupload faces more US charges
The charges against Megaupload grew late Thursday after it was targeted with additional and potentially more difficult to overcome charges. US officials accused Megaupload of directly producing copies of content from other sites, such as videos on YouTube, with the intent of redistributing it without permission. The claims vary from those that had focused on allegations of more conventional media piracy.
Kim Dotcom fails in bid to get out of NZ jail
Kim Dotcom, founder and chief of Megaupload has lost his appeal to be released on bail. Following a NZ court’s decision to remand Dotcom in custody pending an extradition hearing, Dotcom’s legal team appealed to the NZ High Court to overturn the original decision. However, the High Court concurred with the original ruling on the grounds that Dotcom had the means to be able to flee the country.
DotCom accuses police of punching him in the face
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has accused law enforcement authorities of using excessive force when he was arrested at his New Zealand residence on January 19. Dotcom claims the officers that entered his home were "quite aggressive" and punched him in the face, kicked him and stepped on his hands, according to a 3 News report.
Hackers attack Interior Ministry website
Ukrainian authorities have reportedly shut down file sharing site Ex.ua over alleged copyright violations, just weeks after US authorities pushed to shutter Megaupload. A spokesman with the Interior Ministry, Volodymyr Polishchuk, suggests the site was closed following complaints from a variety of companies, including Microsoft and Adobe.
Users asked to visit MegaRetrieval.com
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has vowed to help Megaupload users gain access to legitimate data, after the government shut down the file sharing service for its alleged role in copyright infringement. US prosecutors recently admitted that third-party hosting companies may begin deleting user data within days.
Megaupload fighting to keep user data deletion
User data of the recently shuttered Megaupload site may have all their data deleted by this Thursday, US prosecutors revealed. This would reduce the ability of his clients to defend themselves in court, the lawyer representing Megaupload founders added. The site was shut down for allegedly sharing pirated content with the owners' full knowledge.
YouTube filter makes false positives
YouTube's anti-piracy screening has both come under fire and gotten some relief on Friday. The system is now known from an anecdote at Vice to generate false positives if enough of a song is improperly attributed to the wrong group. When Universal-backed group Yelawolf took a sample from an After the Smoke track and had its adaptation leaked, the Universal takedown claim not only brought down the Yelawolf leak but the original track the sample came from.
Kim Dotcom considered flight risk
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has been denied bail by a New Zealand court. The presiding judge, David McNaughton, accepted prosecution arguments that Dotcom posed a flight risk and remanded him in custody until February 22. At that time, US authorities will put forward their grounds for the extradition of Dotcom to face criminal charges.
Megaupload has defense trouble
Megaupload saw its troubles expand on Sunday in multiple directions. The file upload service's founder Kim Dotcom pressed for bail in a New Zealand court. In a Reuters account, his attorney argued both that he had done nothing wrong and that he wouldn't be a flight risk. He added that he wouldn't try to restart Megaupload if let out of jail.
Megaupload may skip Universal for individuals
Megaupload's lawsuit opposing a takedown of a promo video may have taken an unusual turn. The company was claimed by a Hollywood Reporter source with access to the case to have dropped Universal, which orchestrated the takedown, from the suit. Only a number of unnamed people who had participated in the takedown remained.
Megaupload returns fire after shutdown
Megaupload reacted vigorously to shutdowns and arrests with action of its own. In conversation with Reuters, defending attorney Ira Rothken said Megaupload was "looking at its legal options" to bring its site back online. The lawyer objected to FBI and media industry claims that Megaupload was a criminal conspiracy and said that simply having a file upload service wasn't grounds for the raids this week.
Neelie Kroes Twits against SOPA bill
The latest to speak out against the controversial SOPA and PIPA bills is European Union Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes. "Glad tide is turning on SOPA: don't need bad legislation when should be safeguarding benefits of open net," she wrote in a Twitter message. The legislation, if passed, would give the US Justice Department to shut down sites simply suspected of sharing pirated content.
Anonymous carpet bombs Megaupload opponents
(Update: FBI too) The forced closure of Megaupload and accompanying arrests may have backfired on proponents after Anonymous launched one of its largest attacks ever in retaliation. Multiple statements from the hacking collective confirmed they were responsible for successful denial of service attacks against the websites of the Department of Justice, MPAA, RIAA, and likely arrest instigator Universal Music. All of the sites were partly or completely unresponsive as of early Thursday evening.
Megaupload forced closed
Megaupload's troubles were magnified Thursday after word emerged that it has been shut down by Federal prosecutors in Alexandria. The site is currently inaccessible. Reports have also emerged that company staff have charged with violating piracy laws, allegedly contributing to $500 million of lost revenue.
Universal pulled video under private YouTube deal
The argument between Universal Music Group and Megaupload over a YouTube-hosted music video from earlier this week has raised some new issues. UMG now claims that it had the right to take down the video from YouTube not under the DMCA but rather thanks to a private contract with YouTube, Ars Technica revealed on Friday. If this holds up, it could bring a dangerous precedent, as the deal would effectively get around the DMCA's abuse protection.
Megaupload to join fight against SOPA bill, more
Following the blockage of a YouTube video on Friday at the request of the RIAA and IFPI, cloud-storage service company Megaupload has stated it will sue Universal Music for prompting what it sees as a wrongful takedown. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom requested YouTube reinstate the music video, dubbed Mega Song, while Universal asked to pull it again. The video in question was a promotional one for Megaupload and included P Diddy, Will.i.am, Alicia Keys, Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Macy Gray, Chris Brown, The Game, and Mary J Blige. TorrentFreak learned.
Fonera 2.0n now in US
Fon today formally rolled out its once-teased Fonera 2.0n router. The new update adds 802.11n Wi-Fi speeds but is better known for adding built-in clients for several services independently of computers. Owners can upload content to Facebook, Flickr, Megaupload, Picasa, RapidShare and YouTube when the relevant computer is turned off; it can also download BitTorrents and send Twitter updates to signal when a transfer has been completed or a guest connects to the public hotspot.
Fonera 2n Router
FON today significantly improved its core wireless router by launching the Fonera 2.0n. The device appropriately has 802.11n Wi-Fi for faster speeds and longer ranges than the older 11g model. More importantly, though, it adds USB and dedicated clients for multiple services directly on the router. Owners can download from BitTorrent, Megaupload or Rapidshare to USB storage without turning on a computer; they can also upload photos or videos to Facebook, Flickr, Picasa or YouTube from an attached camera.
FON outs Fonera 2.0 router
FON on Thursday held a small, informal demonstration of its Fonera 2.0/La Fonera+ router in Paris, announcing in will be made available in Europe on April 21st, with other markets that include the USA, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan being added in May. Compared to the original La Fonera, the new Wi-Fi router adds an extra LAN port that allows users to connect a wired device. The new device also can share 3G data network access as a Wi-Fi connection and users can set how much of their own bandwidth they want to share with other FON members.