Several movie studios have finally hit Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom and several connected to the site with a lawsuit for copyright infringement. Dotcom and company have been in murky legal waters for years, battling the Department of Justice as an Internet supervillain while becoming a hero with major media attention and charity song support at his back. Hopefully he’s got deep pockets too. All the while, Megaupload has been shutdown for a while now. From The LA Times:
Several major U.S. studios on Monday filed a lawsuit against Kim Dotcom (a.k.a. Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor) and others associated with Megaupload, alleging that they encouraged and profited from massive copyright infringement of movies and television shows before they were indicted on federal criminal charges and Megaupload was shut down.
“When Megaupload.com 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 Assn. of America.
“Infringing content on Megaupload.com and its affiliates was available in at least 20 languages, targeting a broad global audience.”
The studios involved include most of the big names, including Universal, Fox, Disney, Paramount and Warner Bros, and they are all using the information released in the government investigation to bolster their case. Some figures being kicked around note that Megaupload may have cost copyright holders over $500 million in revenue and claim that Megaupload paid users to infringe with an incentive system.
Dotcom is still fighting extradition charges on copyright infringement and it remains to be seen how this latest chapter will affect his defense. Will it strengthen his stance or reveal the real weaknesses in his platform.