Kim Dotcom and two lawyers, Robert Amsterdam and Ira P. Rothken, have published a white paper today defending the Internet entrepreneur against a criminal prosecution issued by the United States government.
The report says the copyright case against Megaupload, the previous file sharing service run by Kim Dotcom, is based on “highly dubious legal prinicples” and that it has been manipulated by the government’s desire to appease the movie industry in exchange for political support.
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“The United States government’s attack on the popular cloud storage service Megaupload and the dramatized arrest of Kim Dotcom, the company’s principal founder – together with the seizure of all their worldwide assets – represents one of the clearest examples of prosecutorial overreach in recent history,” it reads.
The defence being put forward for Megaupload
The legal team supporting Kim Dotcom argue that Megaupload was used to share a “spectrum of content” including family photographs, academic coursework and files, including videos and music, that was purchased through legal means.
It admits that some of these files including potentially infringing material, but maintains that the case against Megaupload is “grounded in a theory of criminal secondary copyright infringement.”
“In other words, the prosecution seeks to hold Megaupload and its executives criminally responsible for alleged infringement by the company’s third-party cloud storage users,” the team claims.
“The problem with the theory, however, is that secondary copyright infringement is not – nor has it ever been – a crime in the United States. The federal courts lack any power to criminalize secondary copyright infringement; the United States Congress alone has such authority, and it has not done so.”
Kim Dotcom, still facing extradition
Prosecutors based in the United States are trying to extradite Kim Dotcom from New Zealand, where he currently operates the new Mega file sharing service. Back in March, the appeals court overturned a rule that would have given Kim Dotcom and his leal team access to all of the evidence used in a prior extradition hearing, potentially giving him the documentation needed to mount a defence.
In a press release issued today, the international legal team behind Kim Dotcom said they were still challenging the extradition proceedings.
Robert Amsterdam, an international human rights lawyer representing Kim Dotcom, said he was calling on the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, as well as the Office of Professional Responsibility of the U.S. Department of Justice, to open an investigation into how the Megaupload prosecution was handled by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“In particular, the issue of special-interest influence over the executive branch and the failure of the Department of Justice to protect Megaupload consumer data access should be scrutinized,” he said.
You can take a look at the white paper in its entirety below:
Image Credit: Phil Walter/Getty Images