April 10, 2014 2:55pm PT by Eriq Gardner
Record Labels File Copyright Infringement Lawsuit Against Megaupload
The RIAA wants in on the legal action against Megaupload.
On Thursday, the major record labels including Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony Music and Capitol Records filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk.
The action comes just three days after Hollywood film studios did likewise, making a Virginia federal court a very popular complaint storage service.
According to the record labels' complaint, "Beginning in late 2005 and continuing at least to January 2012 when Defendants were indicted, Megaupload amassed the millions of popular content files that it hosted on its servers and offered to the public for download by openly encouraging users to upload these files. Until mid-2011, Megaupload went so far as to actually pay its users to do this."
The defendants are claimed to have played "an active role in ensuring that it had the most popular content on its servers, that the URL links to those infringing content files were widely disseminated on the Internet, and that the links were advertised and promoted by pirate linking sites, so that the maximum number of Megaupload users would access the infringing content."
An exhibit lists infringed copyrighted works from artists including Katy Perry, Beyonce, Britney Spears, Carrie Underwood, Kesha and others. In total 87 songs are cited, putting theoretical maximum statutory damages at $13 million. Alternatively, the plaintiffs seek actual damages and defendants' profits. The lawsuit says that defendants generated more than $175 million in illicit profits from copyright infringement while causing more than a half a billion dollars in harm to copyright owners.
As for Kim Dotcom's take on these civil actions, don't miss the New Zealand radio interview where he joins MPAA GC Steven Fabrizio live on air for an impromptu debate.