Digital Legal MegaUpload Timeline

US prosecutors make more Mega allegations

By | Published on Monday 20 February 2012


Prosecutors in the US filed new papers with the courts on Friday in the ongoing MegaUpload case, adding some extra charges against the rogue file-transfer and video site’s founder Kim Schmitz, three new copyright and five new wire fraud charges to be precise. Assuming American authorities are able to extradite the Mega man from New Zealand, they are hoping to get him for every crime possible in relation to the Mega empire he ran for five years.

According to Digital Music News, the latest court filings also make a number of claims about the Mega operations. First that the Mega service had 66.6 million registered users rather than the 180 million Team Mega claimed, and that 90% of those with accounts only used them to download content, not upload, suggesting that the vast majority of Mega users were using the service to access unlicensed music and movie files, and not to store, distribute or share their own content.

Some of the remaining 10%, meanwhile, only uploaded, suggesting they might have been part of the network of users rumoured to be incentivised by the Mega company to upload unlicensed files up to both the Mega video and file-transfer platforms, ensuring a steady supply of content for the 90% who only used the service to access free entertainment. Prosecutors also claim that not only were Team Mega downloading official music videos and TV shows from YouTube and uploading them to MegaVideo to bolster their content catalogues, they also nabbed user generated content from the Google-owned video service, so to give the impression Mega users were using the site to post their own UGC too.

Mega’s lawyers are yet to respond to the latest allegations against the company’s management. Four key execs, of course, are awaiting an extradition hearing in New Zealand. One more Mega operative has been arrested in Europe, while two other wanted former execs are still evading the authorities.