As usual, the Megaupload case is one of the most intriguing legal battles of our time. The result of which could have long lasting impacts on not just copyright law, but International criminal proceedings and extradition laws. Before it gets to that point, the Megaupload legal team wants the case thrown out.
The reason behind the legal team’s request is simple – it’s illegal for the U.S. to bring criminal charges against a foreign company. Megaupload is based in Hong Kong and therefore has immunity from anything the U.S. throws at them, or so they thought. In a filing on Friday, the U.S. government said that federal rules on foreign companies shouldn’t be “interpreted so narrowly” reports TorrentFreak.
The U.S. acknowledges that Megaupload is a foreign company, but claim that the company could still be held liable under U.S. law if they do business in the country. It’s true that Megaupload did plenty of business in the U.S. and one of their major server centers at Carpathia was based in the U.S. Does that qualify Megaupload for criminal proceedings under U.S. law?
Megaupload’s legal team doesn’t think so and they are now accusing the government of rewriting the law. Here’s the key argument from Megaupload’s rebuttal:
The Government bears the burden of proving that it has validly served Megaupload within the letter of the Rule, see United States v. Porter, and effectively concedes it cannot carry it. So the Government instead urges this Court to rewrite the Rule. It specifically puts forth three alternative arguments that no federal court has ever accepted, as far as we are aware, and for which it cites not a single relevant precedent.
In essence, Megaupload is saying that the U.S. government is doing anything and everything they can to indict Megaupload itself. Unfortunately for the U.S., it’s looking more and more like they’re going to lose this one. They shouldn’t be too concerned though as they could still extradite Kim Dotcom. Extraditing a person, especially to the U.S., is much easier than bringing criminal charges against a foreign company.
While Dotcom’s extradition trial was postponed until next year, it’s safe to say that we can expect a ruling on the Megaupload company proper this year. I wouldn’t be surprised if the court threw it out within the next few months. It would be a major win for Dotcom, but it wouldn’t be the end of the fascinating Megaupload saga.