LAWYERS WORKING for Kim Dotcom's Megaupload have petitioned a US court to halt the movie industry cases against it.
The lawyers have invoked the Fifth Amendment in court papers, and have asked a US District Court in Virginia to put the brakes on cases brought by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and prevent individual rights from being infringed.
Dotcom lawyer Ira Rothken announced the move on Twitter when he posted a link to a Torrentfreak article on the court filing. The INQUIRER has asked him for more information.
For now Torrentfreak reports that papers have been filed and are with the court. "A stay is warranted here to avoid burdening the Fifth Amendment rights of the individual defendants," it reports, citing the court filing.
"During pleading, discovery, and trial, these individual defendants cannot be forced to risk implicating themselves in the crimes alleged in the Criminal Action in order to provide a defense to Megaupload in the civil case."
The freeze would only last until the extradition case against Dotcom and the now shuttered company comes to conclusion. This is expected to be early August, but Rothken told Torrentfreak that it could come sooner.
The RIAA and MPAA launched their cases in early April and set in motion a campaign to obtain hundreds of millions of dollars in copyright infringement awards.
"Megaupload Limited 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," said the RIAA in its complaint. "It further exercised active control over the process of providing that content by regulating the volume and speed of transmissions to users who had not yet purchased 'premium' subscriptions."
In both cases Rothken called the approach a "meritless" waste of time, while Dotcom joked that he plans to cancel movie nights at home. µ