MegaUpload Scores a Big Win in Court Case
The big news today on the antipiracy front is that a New Zealand court has ruled that police enforced illegal search warrants when they seized the assets of MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom.
What hasn’t been made clear in the initial press reports is that this is not a final victory. Far from it. The ruling as it stands today does not impact DotCom’s extradition hearing on August 6 or the charges facing him in the United States, according to legal experts. A hearing on the MegaUpload case is scheduled for tomorrow in U.S. District Court.
On January 19, New Zealand police, at the request of the United States, raided DotCom’s rented mansion just outside Auckland and seized most of his property and assets. The U.S. Attorney’s office has charged the managers of MegaUpload, a once-popular cyberlocker service, with conspiracy and criminal copyright violations along with other related crimes.
The case is being watched closely. If DotCom goes to prison, it will set a precedent that allowing people to share media files via a cloud storage locker can land you a cell. If the U.S. government fails to make its case, it stands to be an embarrassing loss for the Obama administration, which has said it wants to get tough on piracy. A MegaUpload victory would also be the latest in a string of setbacks involving antipiracy efforts for the film and music sectors.