Remember Megaupload? The file hosting and sharing site, which once was the 13th most visited site on the Internet, was shut down by the Justice Department in 2012 as part of a criminal complaint alleging copyright infringement, rackeering and money laundering.
The Justice Department claims that downloads of pirated movies and music through Megaupload at its peak were responsible for 4 per cent of global internet traffic and cost U.S. film and music companies more than $500 million.
Last week, a New Zealand judge ruled that Megaupload’s founder, Kim Dotcom, could be extradited to the United States for criminal prosecution. The judge found that the United States had presented an “overwhelming” amount of evidence to support its claim. Dotcom indicated he would appeal the ruling.
Techdirt argued that while the founder of Megaupload had a significant history of “flouting the law”, evidence had potentially been taken out of context or misrepresented and could “come back to haunt other online services who are providing perfectly legitimate services”. Eric Goldman, a professor of law at Santa Clara University, described the Megaupload case as “a depressing display of abuse of government authority”. He pointed out that criminal copyright infringement requires that willful infringement has taken place, and that taking Megaupload offline had produced the “deeply unconstitutional effect” of denying legitimate users access to their data.
Eric Snowden also was critical of the extradition decision, tweeting:
Imagine if the government went after corruption as hard as it goes after guys who run filesharing sites. Priorities. https://t.co/E7de5c0pwS
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) December 23, 2015
More Information: Kim Dotcom loses US extradition hearing, Financial Times (Dec. 23, 2015).