Business

Disney and other studios sue Megaupload over copyright

Published: April 8, 5:25 PM
Updated: April 8, 5:30 PM

ALEXANDRIA, VIRGINIA - Disney Enterprises, Warner Bros Entertainment and four other movie studios have accused the closed file-sharing service Megaupload.com of massive theft of intellectual property in a copyright infringement lawsuit, Bloomberg News reported.

While billing itself as a private data storage provider, Megaupload.com functioned as a hub for uploading and downloading copyrighted movies and TV shows, according to the complaint filed on Monday in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, which names Megaupload, the owner of the Megaupload.com website, company founder Kim Dotcom, a second company and two other individuals as defendants.

Mr Dotcom was accused in an indictment unsealed in January 2012 of belonging to a global criminal organization prosecutors called Mega Conspiracy that was involved in copyright infringement and money laundering and generated more than US$175 million in illicit proceeds.

“When Megaupload.com was shut down in 2012 by US law enforcement, it was by all estimates the largest and most active infringing website targeting creative content in the world,” said Mr Steven Fabrizio, senior executive vice president and global general counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America.

Megaupload.com had “a business model designed to encourage theft - and make its owners very rich in the process,” he said.

The studios’ lawsuit is a meritless rehash of issues raised in the criminal case. We will vigorously defend against the claims,” said Mr Ira Rothken, Mr Dotcom’s attorney.