MPAA and RIAA’s Megaupload Lawsuits Remain on Hold, Perhaps For Years

By | October 14, 2019


A federal court in Virginia has granted Megaupload’s request to keep the civil lawsuits filed by music and movie companies on hold until April next year. With the criminal case still pending, this standstill could last for years. Meanwhile, Kim Dotcom is plugging the upcoming token sale of the new content publishing and monetization platform K.im.

In 2012, Microsoft first released its operating system Windows 8, Apple came out with the iPhone 5, and Google’s Sergey Brin showed off a Google Glass prototype in the wild.

It was also the year when armed police officers swarmed Kim Dotcom’s mansion in a military-style-raid while his hosting service Megaupload was being taken down.

It was the beginning of the largest copyright infringement case the U.S. Government had ever launched and one that was far from straightforward.

While the earlier mentioned technology continued to progress, the Megaupload case has barely moved. In New Zealand, lawyers have been very busy with the extradition proceedings against Dotcom, but it could be years before that battle ends. This means that the criminal case against Megaupload and several former employees is in limbo.

The same is true for the civil cases the RIAA and MPAA filed back in 2014. Since the civil cases may influence the criminal proceedings, Megaupload’s legal team previously managed to put these cases on hold, and last week they requested another extension.

In line with other recent requests, the RIAA and MPAA didn’t object to the request. As a result, the court swiftly agreed to issue yet another extension, putting the cases on hold until the spring of next year. However, it would be no surprise if more delays followed in the future.

Earlier this year Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom predicted that he will lose his extradition battle at the Supreme Court. That’s not going to be the end of the line though. Using all legal options available, it might take more than five years before the extradition saga ends.

Meanwhile, copies of Megaupload’s servers, containing vast amounts of data from millions of users, remain locked up as evidence. Initially, there were some attempts to reunite former users with their personal files, but these appeared to have died off.

Interestingly, the most recent mention of any Megaupload ‘data’ came from Kim Dotcom himself. “Still waiting to get access to your Megaupload files?” he wrote, adding that he will email 30 million former US Megaupload users a video link in 2020 explaining how Joe Biden destroyed the site.

Apparently, Dotcom still has access to email and IP-addresses of Megaupload users, which he might put to use.

In recent weeks, the New Zealand entrepreneur shifted his focus to a service that was once billed as Megaupload 2. This project, now known as K.im, will, in fact, be quite different from its predecessor. While Dotcom is the founder, he no longer has an official position, but acts as its evangelist, helping to raise money through a token sale.

When we last covered the project its expected release date was around 2018, but there have been some delays here as well. The latest roadmap indicates that the platform will launch in the third quarter of 2020. By then, we expect that the RIAA and MPAA lawsuits will still be pending.


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