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October 10, 2012

US judge denies Megaupload request to drop criminal charges

The case against the company will continue as per the judge's decision

By CBR Staff Writer

US District Judge Liam O’Grady in Alexandria, Virginia has turned down an appeal from Megaupload.com founder Kim Doctom to dismiss copyright infringement charges against it.

In June this year, Megaupload.com had asked for US criminal charges against it to be dismissed arguing that the US has no jurisdiction over the Hong Kong based service.

MegaUpload argued that as it is not a US firm it could not be served a criminal summons.

The judge rejected the argument by saying that the lack of a US address under criminal law does not require a result so extreme as dismissal of a case.

O’Grady said: "It is doubtful that Congress would stamp with approval a procedural rule permitting a foreign corporate defendant to intentionally violate the laws of this country, yet evade the jurisdiction of the US’ courts by purposefully failing to establish an address here."

MegaUpload and its related sites were shut down by the prosecutors in January this year, and was accused of criminal copyright infringement.

Megaupload operated sites that include Megavideo.com and Megapix.com. It has claimed to receive 50 million daily visitors which accounted for 4% of total Internet traffic.

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US prosecutors accused the site of inflicting copyright holders with losses of more than $500m, while the company generated $175m in revenues.

In September this year, New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key, apologised to Kim Dotcom for the government illegaly intercepting personal communications leading up to Dotcom’s arrest.

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