Saturday04 February 2023

MegaUpload Was Never Served with Criminal Charges; Judge Says The Case May Never Go To Trial Now

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73There was something of a victory for MegaUpload and in many ways supporters of a free and open internet. The judge presiding over the case has stated that the case may never actual go to trial because the FBI and those backing their actions made a tiny, little, blunder that has turned out to not be so tiny. In their effort to send a message the FBI and other agencies in the US government have taken a very firm stance on the situation a stance which could eventually come back to haunt them.

When the case first started the FBI seized multiple servers, properties and assets that were owned by MegaUpload. Then they filed charges against MegaUpload with; engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement. From once the indictment was in hand they ran off to seize everything and arrest as many people as they could… there is a problem here though. According to Judge O’Grady the FBI never served criminal charges against MegaUpload. You would think this was a huge ooops on the FBI’s part, but it seems there is more behind this. According to Ira Rothken, MegaUpload’s lawyer the FBI was not able to serve criminal charges against a foreign company that has no presence in the US.

This has always been the way of things and even with groups like The Pirate Bay the US Government and the Entertainment industry has had to try to get charges filed in the country of origin. As MegaUpload has never been served with the criminal charges no trial can start. Judge O’Grady stated; “I frankly don’t know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter,” when asked about the issue.

Now while this is all good news it does not mean that Kim Dotcom is going to go free. The FBI and the US DOJ could just file it against him individually and try to swing things that way. It is a long shot that it would work, but it is one way to get around things. It does mean that the FBI and the US Government will probably have to return any property seized that was owned by the company and could be liable for damages due to lost revenue. We are wondering when Carpathia Hosting is going to chime in.

This case was supposed to be open and shut with the maximum amount of damage done to the industry. Hollywood wanted to send a message; if you try this you will lose and lose big. The problem is as it always has been (which is why they are pushing for TIPA, ACTA and other trade agreements) US Laws are not binding on foreign citizens and companies. If someone who is a citizen of another country comes to the US and commits a crime then our laws do apply, but even then the country where that person is a citizen can still exert pressure to have them brought home escaping punishment.

However, the owners of “intellectual property” seem to forget this and want to exert their rules and rights in a borderless manner. We hope that this does stick and that the real message that is sent is that allowing corporate interests to dictate law is never a good idea. You tend to violate people’s rights and in many ways stifle invention and the progress of technology.

Source TorrentFreak

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Last modified on Saturday, 21 April 2012 14:57

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