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Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Movie Studios File Lawsuit Against Megaupload

Major U.S. movie studios have filed a lawsuit against Megaupload and its key operators, alleging that the defendants "facilitated, encouraged, and profited" from massive copyright infringement of movies and television shows before Megaupload was shut down.

"When was shut down in 2012 by U.S. law enforcement, it was by all estimates the largest and most active infringing website targeting creative content in the world," said Steven Fabrizio, Senior Executive Vice President and Global General Counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America. "Infringing content on and its affiliates was available in at least 20 languages, targeting a broad global audience. According to the government?s indictment, the site reported more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and cost U.S. copyright owners more than half a billion dollars."

The lawsuit was filed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Universal City Studios Productions LLLP, Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.

The defendants named in the lawsuit are Megaupload Limited, the registered owner of the website; Vester Limited, the majority shareholder of Megaupload Limited; Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (aka Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor); Mathias Ortmann, the Chief Technical Officer; and Bram van der Kolk, who oversaw programming.

The US Justice Department and FBI are seeking to extradite Dotcom to face charges of racketeering fraud, money laundering and copyright theft in a US court, which could see him jailed for up to 20 years if convicted.

Dotcom and his attorney Ira Rothken commented on Twitter.

"MPAA files a meritless civil action against @KimDotcom, who's already facing meritless criminal charges," Rothken tweeted.

Similarly, Dotcom said on Twitter, "Just like the DOJ criminal case against #Megaupload the @MPAA case is a load of nonsense and won't succeed after scrutiny of the facts."

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