4 Jan 2013

Megaupload claims it was tricked by US Justice Dept

9:37 am on 4 January 2013

The controversial file-sharing website Megaupload has filed a submission in a United States federal court in Virginia, claiming that the US Justice Department misled the court into taking down the site.

Megaupload - founded by Kim Dotcom, a German national with New Zealand residency - argues that the department's actions were unfair and deceptive and the court needs to remedy the situation.

The submission accuses the department of claiming that Megaupload failed to remove 36 pirated movies from its servers for more than a year.

Megaupload's lawyer Ira Rothgen says the submission argues that the department cited the pirated movies as proof of piracy when it asked the court to take down the site.

He says the government concealed the fact it had asked Megaupload to preserve the pirated files as part of a piracy investigation into another company, and to keep what it was doing secret so the other company would not be tipped off.

"Megaupload cooperated with the DOJ and the DOJ then turned around and used that cooperation as evidence or purported evidence of criminal wrongdoing.

"We believe that it's unfair, we belive that it's deceptive and given that the core evidence that the court relied on in our view in taking down the entire site, we believe that the court ought to remedy the situation.

"That remedy could be anything from some equitable basis for getting consumers back their data to the return of the seized property, which essentially is the domain names for Megaupload.com and its sister sites."

Mr Rothgen says the court must decide if there has been misconduct by the Justice Department.