We're not sure what took so long, but the MPAA just announced that major movie studios (Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Columbia and Warner) have filed a civil lawsuit against former filesharing site Megaupload and the people who ran it. This comes over two years after federal investigators shut down the website, seized its files and filed criminal charges against founder Kim Dotcom aka Kim Schmitz. MPAA lawyer Steven Fabrizio (named its global general counsel late last year, he's won cases against Hotfile and IsoHunt) claims that at the time of its shutdown, Megaupload was "by all estimates the largest and most active infringing website targeting creative content in the world." Specifically targeting the site's Uploader Rewards program, the claim is that its business model was "designed to encourage theft." According to Dotcom, the rewards program was terminated six months prior to the site's shutdown, and Megaupload continued to grow without it.
Kim Dotcom was arrested on those criminal charges in 2012, but now he's out on bail and fighting against extradition to the US from New Zealand. While doing that, he's also opened up a new, secure, file service called Mega, launched a political party, recorded a song and even returned to the top of the Call of Duty leaderboards. Dotcom has maintained that Megaupload operated legally under the DMCA, and never received a lawsuit or cease and desist letter from any of the studios.
In response to the lawsuit, he tweeted a link to a whitepaper describing a collaboration between the MPAA, former senator and now Chairman/CEO of the MPAA Chris Dodd and Vice President Joe Biden to selectively target Megaupload on the grounds of copyright. Grab a cup of coffee and give it a read along with the MPAA's complaint here -- given the pace of proceedings we figure you've got plenty of time.
The @MPAA repeats bogus DOJ claim that we induced copyright infringement. No.1 reward rule published on MU site: "No copyright infringement"- Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) April 7, 2014
6 months before the #Megaupload raid we terminated our rewards program. It made absolutely no difference to our popularity. We kept growing.- Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) April 7, 2014