Bloomberg News

Megaupload Defendants Face More Criminal Counts, U.S. Says

February 21, 2012

(Updates with indictment in second paragraph.)

Feb. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Megaupload.com, a file-sharing website charged with illegally distributing copyrighted movies and music, faces more counts of criminal copyright infringement and wire fraud.

A revised indictment filed in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, yesterday charged Megaupload.com and founder Kim Dotcom with three new criminal copyright counts and five new wire fraud counts for allegedly running an illegal enterprise for five years that unlawfully copied works and made them available for download to customers. The original Jan. 5 indictment included five counts.

Since September 2005, what prosecutors have dubbed the “Mega Conspiracy” has generated more than $175 million in criminal proceeds by distributing millions of copies of copyrighted works, such as movies, television programs, music, books, video games and software, according to the indictment.

Megaupload reproduced copyrighted works directly from other websites including Google Inc.’s YouTube for illegal sharing and to give the false impression that a related video-sharing website hosted user-generated, rather than copyrighted, content, prosecutors said in an e-mailed statement today.

The conspiracy was led by Dotcom, a resident of Hong Kong and New Zealand and a dual citizen of Finland and Germany, who founded Megaupload Ltd., according to the indictment.

The case is U.S. v Megaupload.com, 12-0003, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Mary Romano

To contact the reporter on this story: Karen Gullo in San Francisco at kgullo@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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