Hollywood studios sue Megaupload
Internet Party leader Kim Dotcom is facing a new lawsuit in the United States from six Hollywood film studios.
They claim in their suit the Megaupload founder "facilitated, encouraged, and profited" from illegal file-sharing on the site.
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) filed the suit on behalf of the studios this morning (NZ time).
The lawsuit was filed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Disney Enterprises, Paramount Pictures Corporation, Universal City Studios Productions, Columbia Pictures Industries, and Warner Bros Entertainment in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The US Government is already seeking to extradite Dotcom to face charges of copyright conspiracy, racketeering and money-laundering allegedly carried out by his file-sharing company, Megaupload.
Dotcom is specifically named in the suit, under his most famous name as well as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor.
Vester Ltd, the majority shareholder of Megaupload Ltd, Mathias Ortmann, the chief technical officer, and Bram van der Kolk, who oversaw programming are also named.
Steven Fabrizio, senior executive vice president and global general counsel of the MPAA commented on the suit saying that ... content on Megaupload.com 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 (NZ$203.4m) in ... proceeds and cost US copyright owners more than half a billion dollars.
The studios allege Megaupload paid users based on how many times the content was downloaded by others. But the studios allege the site didn't pay at all until that content was downloaded 10,000 times.
After Megaupload was shut down by the FBI, Dotcom launched another file-sharing site simply named Mega.
He has most recently launched the Internet Party to contest the next New Zealand general election. The party is in the process of registration with the Electoral Commission.
The party announced last week it had reached the required 500 paying members, after receiving more than 2000 registrations. Those applications were now being checked by the commission.
Dotcom's extradition hearing has had to be delayed several times because of legal arguments. It is now set down for November.
The case is estimated to have cost the Crown up to $2 million so far.
Dotcom this morning rejected the allegations saying on Twitter that the claims made in the suit were "bogus" and "simply not true".
- Fairfax Media