U.S. movie and music industries hit Kim Dotcom with lawsuits

And just after he launched a political party, too.


Kevin Collier

Internet Culture

Published Apr 11, 2014   Updated May 31, 2021, 12:04 pm CDT

The U.S.’s most notorious copyright trade groups are piling on lawsuits against cloud storage site Megaupload, as well as its founder, Kim Dotcom, almost two and a half years after celebrating the site’s seizure by the government.

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On Thursday, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), filed a suit on behalf of the “big three” record labels, Warner, UMG, and Sony, as well as Capitol Records. It alleges “massive copyright infringement caused by [Megaupload’s] lawless conduct.”

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On Monday, the movie industry followed suit. The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), on behalf of Hollywood’s biggest studios, sued Megaupload and Kim Dotcom for “intentional, large-scale theft of [studios’] intellectual property.”

Both suits attempt to refute the idea that Megaupload was simply a “file locker” site that let users upload and store their own files. Both point to its “Uploader Rewards” program, which offered  financial incentives for users who uploaded the site’s most-downloaded files.

In a sense, Dotcom has paid for this before. Megaupload’s Jan. 2012 seizure was straight out of a pirated blockbuster action movie, and involved armed police helicoptering to Dotcom’s New Zealand mansion to arrest him. He’s since rebounded, creating a new file storage site called Mega, and creating a political party simply called the Internet Party.

Dotcom, at least, was flippant about the news on Twitter.

Hey… anybody did anything wrong on the Internet? Remember to sue me.

— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) April 11, 2014

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Photo by jDevaun/Flickr.

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*First Published: Apr 11, 2014, 1:31 pm CDT