Tuesday29 November 2022

US DoJ Says They Can Keep Megaupload Assets Even If The Case Is Dismissed

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Not that long ago we told you that the MegaUpload case would be one that would have massive ramifications across the internet and also with regards to the image of the US Government and how they handle this. This image includes the current global view that the US is not run by elected officials, but by corporations especially the entertainment industry who continues to push for laws that allow them to impose their will around the globe. It is a very messy situation no matter how you look at it and as we have warned before, the US runs the risk of looking like they are not looking to uphold the law, but are acting as an extension of the Hollywood Cartels. Two days ago we learned of an excellent example of this and one that is sure to send a message to other countries and corporations that the US simply does not care about the law or fostering innovation. They are only concerned with keeping the campaign funds flowing.

What we are talking about is one of the nagging little issues with the entire case against MegaUpload and by extension Kim Dotcom. You see there is no provision in US Law that allows for serving notice of charges to a wholly foreign company. This means that if you have a corporation that exists entirely outside the boarders of the US, (no mailing, or physical address inside the US or its territories) then the US government cannot serve you with notice of criminal misdeed. It has been one of the key elements of the case from the start.

The US violated its own laws at the request of the MPAA and RIAA in order to predicate a case that had no grounds. This was followed by a laundry list of other procedural “errors” including improper warrants, seizure of assets and property and removal of evidence without review. It shows the massive desire of the US to please Hollywood and come up with something. We have said all along that this case is not about legal or illegal. It is about sending a message; the MPAA and RIAA wants to make it very clear to everyone that you cannot compete with them on any level. They do not want aspiring artists to have a method for distributing their work unless it is through them and their outrageous contracts and limitations. This attitude and movement is nothing more than an effort to stifle progress and innovation to hang on to their revenue stream and lock out any competition. We have maintained that the MPAA and RIAA are in violation of Anti-Trust laws that cover the forming or Cartels for a while not, but we also doubt that the US DoJ will ever properly investigate them for this.

Getting back to the subject at hand; Megaupload’s lawyers have asked for the case against Megaupload to be dismissed because Megaupload could not be served with notice of charges. It is a vital part of not only the case but in the greater fight to make sure that the MPAA and RIAA are prevented from trying to extend their control outside the US. The judge in the case (Liam O’Grady) is listening to the request and asked for clarification from both sides.

For Megaupload’s part they stand behind the fact that it is reasonable to expect companies to be held to the laws where they reside, but not to the laws of the US. If you think about this it makes sense; should US companies be subject to the Laws of France? That would be interesting as Laws in France require certain levels of Employee compensation, time off and medical service… Hmmm maybe we should consider this; or is it just the US that gets to push their laws across the oceans?

On the US side the arguments sounded more like the complaints of a petulant child that had been caught telling stories than any type or reasoned argument. They claim they can get around the notice issue in a number of ways including waiting until they have Kim Dotcom in jail as then he would have a US Address. (I have an anti-force field missile, oh yeah I have a force field that stops anti-force field missiles…). It was quickly pointed out that none of the examples that the US came up with had ever been used in a criminal proceeding; they were all from Civil cases (which is another point being made). Time and time again the US has been shown trying to bend civil case law into criminal and the two do not have the same restrictions or limitations. The fact that this keeps coming up is starting to make the US DoJ look very incompetent.

In one final act of defiance the US showed its true desires in this case by claiming that they could still keep all Megaupload and Kim Dotcom’s assets frozen. They are saying that there are no time limits on service, so even if the case against Megaupload is dismissed they intend to keep all assets frozen because the case against Kim Dotcom is still pending. They are willing to completely ignore the fact that the assets are in the name of Megaupload and not Dotcom (which shows that this is not and has never been about “justice” or the law).

This one is going to get even uglier as the content industry keeps pressure on the US DoJ and The US Government to make sure that they do not let go of the case (despite its shaky legal grounds). They wanted to send a message (as we have said) to anyone that is looking to create a competing service to the MPAA and RIAA. Unfortunately the message that is actually being sent is one that will only hurt the content industry and the US. It shows that they are willing to not only do things that are morally questionable, but also actually break laws just to get their way. They want to make sure that they bankrupt Megaupload and Kim Dotcom even if they loose the case in the long run and that is just wrong no matter how you spin it.

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Last modified on Sunday, 29 July 2012 21:44

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