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MegaUpload lawsuits postponed yet again

By | Published on Tuesday 15 October 2019


The civil lawsuits filed by the music and movie industries against one-time file-transfer platform MegaUpload have been kept on ice yet again. A court in Virginia has confirmed the litigation will stay on hold until at least April next year.

The major labels and Hollywood studios sued MegaUpload for copyright infringement after it was shut down by the US authorities in 2012. However, it was decided that it would be better if that litigation occurred after the criminal case against MegaUpload and its former leadership, including founder Kim Dotcom, had gone through the motions.

Dotcom et al are accused of criminal copyright infringement and various other crimes in relation to their former business. However, extraditing the MegaUpload team from their current home country of New Zealand to the US has proven very time consuming indeed. And while multiple courts in NZ have concluded that there are grounds for allowing the extradition, all routes of appeal have not, as yet, been exhausted.

So, while it is sensible to allow the criminal case to proceed first, and then have the civil litigation afterwards, that means the lawsuits filed by the labels and studios have now been postponed multiple times.

And, according to Torrentfreak, the latest such postponement has just occurred. It was legal reps for the MegaUpload defendants who requested that the cases remain on hold, but neither the labels nor the studios objected. Although the latest postponement is until next April, it seems likely that there will be further delays beyond that date.

The extradition case in New Zealand has now reached the country’s Supreme Court. But even if the top court allows extradition, it would still need to be approved by the relevant minister in the NZ government, and there could be yet another appeal at that final stage. Even if Dotcom was ultimately extradited to the US, any resulting criminal proceedings could take considerable time to be completed.

So, it seems likely plenty more ice will be required to keep the civil lawsuits fresh as the incredibly long-running MegaUpload saga drags on.