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...by who? Hollywood of course... because they are so sad and losing so much money. Their profits are deep in the negative because of all the pirating.... yeah right, well, they'd like to make you think so but for them it doesn't matter. They just want to control and destroy whatever they think is in their way even if it has nothing to do with anything. They are power hungry bastards but I guess we all already knew that.
Hollywood is in the process of creating an immense smear campaign against all file sharing web sites and it doesn't matter how legitimate a company is. If you're a "file sharing" web site, you're going down no matter what because Hollywood wants it to be so.
It seems Hollywood is digging its own grave. Everyone sees what they are doing and there is a vast negative attitude growing.
I'm done with Hollywood. I will not go to a movie showing in the theater or buy any movies anymore and from what I can tell there is a large number of people who are starting to think and act like this.
Hollywood hopes that the criminal case against Megaupload is the first in a line of many. Last week Paramount Pictures branded Fileserve, MediaFire, Wupload, Putlocker and Depositfiles as rogue sites and prime targets that should be shuttered next. Responding to this allegation, MediaFire co-founder Tom Langridge says he’s shocked and disappointed by the movie studio’s claims.
mediafire logoTalking at a copyright conference in New York last Friday, Paramount Pictures’ Alfred Perry said that Megaupload is just the first of many cyberlocker services Hollywood wants to be gone.
The exec identified Fileserve, MediaFire, Wupload, Putlocker and Depositfiles as targets that might be referred to the US Government next, describing these businesses as “rogue sites.” The announcement clearly came as quite a shock to these major players. After Putlocker refuted the claims earlier, today MediaFire responds to the allegations.
“It was both shocking and disappointing that Mr. Perry referenced us as a ‘rogue’ website,” MediaFire co-founder Tom Langridge told TorrentFreak.
“It’s my opinion that the inclusion of MediaFire was most likely the result of misinformation. We have already received very positive responses from people supporting us, both in and outside of the copyright industry, and we hope that the public and press will continue to challenge Mr. Perry’s assertions.”
Langridge goes on to explain that MediaFire is a storage and backup service that doesn’t promote or encourage copyright infringements in any way. The site has never paid users to upload content, and it doesn’t have download limitations to encourage people to convert to paid subscriptions either.
But mistake or not, being featured on a Hollywood hit-list these days is bad PR, and thus far the movie studio stands by its assessment. It even went as far as to include MediaFire on a poster of rogue cyberlockers.
In their response, MediaFire stays classy. The company doesn’t see any point in throwing mud back at Hollywood and instead explains that they operate a perfectly transparent US company. A business that has proven to be useful to many legitimate customers.
“MediaFire is a US based company with a highly transparent business model and management team. MediaFire was founded by a group of reputable entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who have a history of building innovative and valuable websites and technologies,” Langridge told us.
“Over the past several years, we have been focused on releasing numerous updates to MediaFire’s professional and business services. Just in the last month, we launched our document viewing system (in beta) and rebuilt our image system – not the kind of features that incentivize illegal activity.”
Full Story: Mediafire shocked by Hollywood smear campaign
Guilty until proven guilty. Maybe this is the future of our new international legal system.
The United States government has adopted a take-no-prisoners attitude in its prosecution of Megaupload, seeming to raise every conceivable objection to Megaupload's efforts to defend itself. We've already covered the government's attempts to block Megaupload from spending money to preserve servers that the company says contains data needed for its defense.
Now, the government has adopted a new tactic: making it as difficult as possible for Megaupload to obtain legal counsel. The prominent law firm of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan has sought permission to represent Megaupload in the case. But in a legal document filed on Wednesday, the government raised several objections to freeing up money to allow the law firm to represent Megaupload in court.
As Quinn Emanuel noted in a Thursday response, the government's objections are so broad that they would effectively prevent Megaupload from hiring any lawyer with experience litigating major copyright cases. Indeed, they could could make it impossible to hire any lawyer at all. It's hard to see how Megaupload could get a fair trial if the government's objections are sustained by the court.
Lawyers cost money
When the government shut down Megaupload's servers and arrested its top officials, it also froze the assets of Megaupload and its founder, Kim Dotcom. Lawyers generally don't work for free, so Megaupload needs some of its assets unfrozen to cover its legal costs.
But the government not only objects to releasing funds for Megaupload's defense, it argues it's such a clear case that Quinn Emanuel lawyers shouldn't even get the opportunity to make their argument to the judge.
The New Zealand courts have authorized Kim Dotcom to withdraw tens of thousands of dollars to cover his living expenses while they decide on his extradition case. The US government argues that these funds give Kim Dotcom and Megaupload plenty of money to pay for legal representation.
"It will be a high hurdle to prove that an individual with a monthly income of $48,000 USD for at least the next seven and a half months, and a monthly income of at least $16,000 USD thereafter, is prevented from retaining competent defense counsel—even if such funds prove insufficient to pay Quinn Emanuel's billing rates," the government argues in its brief.
But as Quinn Emanuel points out in its reply, the New Zealand court specifically earmarked the money for living expenses, not legal fees. More importantly, Megaupload is a legally distinct entity from Dotcom, and it has no funds with which to pay its legal bills. Also, while $16,000 per month might be plenty of money for a typical criminal trial, this is not a typical case. Megaupload's defense is likely to require computer forensics, expert witnesses, and attorneys with in-depth copyright expertise. Those don't come cheap.
No copyright lawyers?
The government also objects to the selection of Quinn Emanuel due to conflict-of-interest problems. The firm has extensive experience handling copyright cases, and its past clients include Disney, Paramount, Time Warner, Fox, and Intuit. All of these firms have allegedly had their products illegally distributed on Megaupload. Quinn Emanuel has also counted YouTube as a client, and Megaupload is alleged to have illegally scraped YouTube movies for posting on Megaupload. The government said it planned to call Google—another Quinn Emanuel client—as a witness because Google once cut Megaupload off from using its AdSense advertising network due to copyright concerns.
The government describes all of these companies as victims of Megaupload, and suggests that Quinn Emanuel can't fairly represent Megaupload given its ties to them. "It would be inappropriate to permit Defense Counsel to enter even a limited appearance without first fully investigating and resolving these potential conflicts," the government argues.
In its reply, Quinn Emanuel points out this broad interpretation of conflict-of-interest rules would prevent Megaupload from retaining almost any law firm with experience in copyright matters. After all, firms that specialize in copyright law regularly accept major content companies as clients, and Megaupload's servers likely contain content from the majority of those firms. So the government's broad interpretation of the conflict of interest rules would effectively mean that Megaupload can't have a lawyer with experience litigating copyright cases.
In any event, conflict-of-interest rules are supposed to protect Megaupload. Quinn Emanuel says Dotcom and Megaupload are willing to have Quinn Emanuel represent them despite these supposed conflicts.
The government raises several other objections. It argues that because Dotcom is fighting extradition, he is a "fugitive from justice" and not entitled to be represented in US courts until the extradition fight is over. And the government complains that it would be too confusing to have to deal simultaneously with two different Dotcom legal teams—one in the United States and the other in New Zealand.
Quinn Emanuel sums up Megaupload's plight in its brief:
[Megaupload] has constitutional rights to due process and to the advice of counsel. Yet, if the Government is to have its way in this case, the only lawyers before the Court will be those representing the Government. If the Government is to have its way, the only evidence available to the Court would be that cherry-picked by the Government, for the Government, from the universe of relevant servers slated to be wiped. If the Government is to have its way, in sum, Megaupload will never get its day in Court and the case will effectively be over before it has even begun. Megaupload's fate will have been sealed by virtue of an indictment and corresponding asset freeze executed without the benefit of any adversarial proceeding or opportunity to be heard. Megaupload's constitutional rights to contest the charges against it in a fair proceeding would be rendered worse than nugatory; they would be transformed into empty promises.
Full Story: Government trying to deny Megaupload fair legal representation
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