Studios Slam Megaupload With Mega-Copyright Infringement Lawsuit

DJP LEGAL BADGEOver two years since notorious cyberlocker Megaupload was shut down on January 19, 2012, Hollywood today has gone on the legal offensive. Disney, 20th Century Fox Film, Paramount Pictures, Universal, Columbia Pictures and Warner Bros. today … Read More »

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European Study Finds Megaupload Closure Helped Blockbusters, Hurt Smaller Pics

By | Monday August 26, 2013 @ 4:53am PDT

Researchers from the Munich School of Management and the Copenhagen Business School have published a paper examining the effects on box office revenues of the shutdown of Megaupload. The notorious cyberlocker was closed on January 19, 2012 and the result, the study concludes, is that the move may have actually dented the theatrical performance of some films. The research team used weekly data from 10,272 movies in 50 countries over the period 2007-2013 and found that the box office for a majority of movies didn’t increase, while the effect on a mid-range of pics was negative. Only blockbuster titles benefited from the absence of Megaupload, among them: Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince, Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, The Avengers, and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, in countries like Australia, Denmark, Italy, Israel, the Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates. The researchers argue that “smaller films” were impacted negatively because of “social network effects” whereby online piracy “acts as a mechanism to spread information about a good from consumers with low willingness to pay to consumers with high willingness to pay.” Word-of-mouth promotion, in other words, decreases when pirates aren’t there to share buzz. Without naming them, the researchers suggest these smaller films were affected negatively because they usually have limited marketing campaigns making word-of-mouth “a more important success driver.” Read More »

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New Study Says Shutting Down Megaupload Increased Digital Movie Sales Worldwide

By | Thursday March 7, 2013 @ 10:07am PST

Notorious cyberlocker Megaupload was shuttered on January 19, 2012 and a pair of U.S. researchers says that in the 18 weeks following, there was a 6-10% increase in digital movie revenues across 12 countries. Using data from two … Read More »

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Global Showbiz Briefs: Jackie Chan, Sky TVNZ, Kim Dotcom

By | Monday March 4, 2013 @ 12:15am PST

Jackie Chan Ridiculed In Hong Kong For Pro-China Stance
Hong Kong action icon Jackie Chan faces a backlash in his hometown for joining China’s top political advisory body. Hong Kong remains suspicious of the mainland and many believe Chan was selected to appear at the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference because of his visibility. Professor Sonny Ho, co-director at the Centre for Greater China Studies, describes the conference’s “united front” strategy as a campaign to promote a strong and peaceful homeland, unified with Taiwan. China’s growing clout has seen actors from Hong Kong and Macau drafted into patriotic movies that glorify the country’s past including the early Communist Party era. Chan’s appointment to the conference met derision online for his pro-Beijing stances such as calling for limits on the right to protest. Read More »

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Megaupload Search Warrants Invalidated But Extradition Of Kim Dotcom May Proceed

By | Friday June 29, 2012 @ 12:02am PDT

A New Zealand judge has ruled that search warrants used to seize evidence in the Megaupload case were illegally broad and vague. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom still faces a battle to avoid extradition to the U.S. but the … Read More »

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Megaupload Copyright Case Could Hinge On Issue Of Jurisdiction: Report

By | Friday April 20, 2012 @ 9:55pm PDT

The federal criminal copyright case against Megaupload founder Kim DotCom in the United States may never go to trial because although DotCom has been served with court papers, his file-sharing company hasn’t, according to a New Zealand newspaper’s … Read More »

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MegaUpload Asset Seizure “Null And Void”

By | Sunday March 18, 2012 @ 1:14pm PDT

New Zealand authorities may be forced to return millions of dollars in personal property of MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom that was seized in connection with his January arrest because of a procedural error in court documents, according to the … Read More »

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MPAA Cheers Federal Assault on Megaupload

By | Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 2:46pm PST

CEO Chris Dodd calls the site — shuttered today by the Justice Department — “the largest and most active criminally operated website targeting creative content in the world.” Here’s the MPAA statement:

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department and

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Feds Shut File-Sharing Site Megaupload

By | Thursday January 19, 2012 @ 1:16pm PST

MegaUpload ShutdownThe Obama administration may not like the Hollywood-supported anti-piracy bills pending in Congress — but it showed today that it’s prepared to crack down on the pirates themselves. The Justice Department calls its attack on Megaupload — said to be the world’s largest file-sharing site — “among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States.” Megaupload allegedly made $175M in criminal proceeds and cost content owners, including music and movie companies, $500M in lost revenue. Officials say that seven people and two corporations were involved in “racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.” New Zealand officials today arrested four Megaupload execs: founder Kim Dotcom (also known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor), marketing chief Finn Batato, CTO Mathias Ortmann, and programmer Bram van der Kolk.

It will be interesting to see the ripple effect: Hong Kong-based Megaupload had been endorsed by celebrities including Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West. The ad-supported site served as a locker for files considered too big to be emailed; the MPAA says that most of the content there was pirated. But prior to today Megaupload denied the charge: “The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay,” it said in a statement that had been posted on the site. “If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch.” Here’s the Justice Department’s release: Read More »

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