Menu
Megaupload seeks return of millions in frozen Hong Kong assets

Megaupload seeks return of millions in frozen Hong Kong assets

Hong Kong's Department of Justice has until June 4 to respond

Megaupload, the defunct file-storage site, is asking a Hong Kong court to release millions of dollars in assets as part of efforts to allow its former users to reclaim their data.

The company's assets were frozen by Hong Kong at the request of the U.S. Department of Justice around January 2012 after its operators, including founder Kim Dotcom, were indicted by U.S. prosecutors for allegedly profiting from large-scale copyright infringement.

On Wednesday, the High Court ordered Hong Kong's Department of Justice to respond to Megaupload's filing by June 4.

Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken said in a phone interview the move is part of a long-running effort to allow Megaupload to restart its servers so users can reclaim their data, unavailable since the site was shutdown.

The company has maintained that Hong Kong should have never seized the assets since the U.S. did not properly serve Megaupload with a criminal summons. U.S. federal criminal procedures dictate that a summons can only be served within the U.S., and the company was registered in Hong Kong.

Rothken said Megaupload waited more than two years to file such a request to give time for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to rule on whether consumers can get their data back. The court has not addressed the issue since 2012, Rothken said.

"We are deeply concerned that as the days go by that consumers are being further and further prejudiced because they don't have access to their data," Rothken said. "We believe that the servers that still exist could be eroding."

Allowing consumers access to their data will cost money for bandwidth and hosting, Rothken said. But the greatest cost is having a qualified e-discovery contractor copy the servers to preserve the data as evidence at trial. The estimates Megaupload has solicited have been in the millions of dollars, he said.

Some of Megaupload's data is gone. One of its hosting providers, LeaseWeb in the Netherlands, repurposed servers allocated to Megaupload after efforts to secure payment were unsuccessful.

Rothken said Megaupload doesn't have "full transparency" on what data remains, although many servers that were located on the U.S. East Coast and Canada remain stacked in warehouses, with the U.S. DOJ in "constructive control," he said.

The U.S. is seeking extradition of Dotcom and his colleagues, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk. All remain in New Zealand where an extradition hearing is scheduled for July.

The men are charged with criminal copyright infringement, money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags legalintellectual propertyCriminalCivil lawsuitsmegaupload

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments