Published by LawTechie - January 22, 2013 - LawTechie

internet lawyerAccording to the WSJ, Kim’s new site will be called “Mega” (presumably he ditched “upload” to avoid that copyright infringement stigma), and it will offer 50 gigabytes of storage to users at a $39.95/mo subscription fee.

Some may recall that Kim’s previous site, was the subject to major lawsuits and a criminal indictment for its alleged role in the copyright infringement of the MPAA’s stable of intellectual property assets (movies). Setting aside the general suspicious-ness of the US Justice Department acting as the private enforcement arm of the Motion Picture Association of America, legitimate legal concerns with MegaUploads included its alleged unresponsiveness to copyright notice-takedown requests per the DMCA and the fact that it seemed to do very little in the way of monitoring illegitimate uses of its servers for copyright infringement purposes.

A bit of legal dorkary: The DMCA, at Section 512(c) provides website hosts with immunity for allegations of copyright infringement so long as they comply with the relevant notice-takedown requirements. Aside from failing to abide by these requirements, one thing that could lose a website its immunity is being aware of the facts and circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent and doing nothing about that activity.

Thus, back in April 2012 the 2nd Circuit ruled in Viacom v. YouTube that YouTube may have had sufficient knowledge of intellectual property infringement to disqualify it from Section 512(c) immunity. The 2nd Circuit sent the case back to the District Court to decide whether the evidence raised by Viacom should disqualify YouTube from DMCA immunity.

How this relates to MegaUploads: Whether or not you agree with how MegaUploads seemed to have been singled out for its alleged transgressions against a particular wealthy industry, it was fairly clear to all involved that the website was home to some very obvious facts and circumstances of apparent infringing activity. Kim claims that the new site will have built-in tools to monitor and prevent infringement:

Mr. Dotcom said he believes the site is fully compliant with laws globally. “This is probably the most legally scrutinized Internet startup site in the history of the Internet; every single pixel on that site has been looked at by lawyers,” he said.

The U.S. Justice Department isn’t saying how it views the new site, preferring to “reserve any public comment for court.”

I look forward to seeing, and updating everyone, on the various reactions to this new launch.

LawTechie is a blog focusing on trends in tech and digital media. Areas covered include intellectual property, cyberlaw, venture capital, transactions and litigation as they relate to the emerging sectors. The blog is edited by the firm's partner Tim Bukher with contributions from the firm's experts in their respective areas of law.


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