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Additional charges filed against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom in piracy case

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A new indictment with nine additional charges was filed on Thursday against Megaupload and its co-founder Kim Dotcom, adding wire fraud to the allegations, and providing additional details that may further incriminate the company.

Kim dotcom 600
Kim dotcom 600

New charges were filed Thursday in the case against Megaupload and its co-founder Kim Dotcom, expanding the scope of the accusations and providing additional details that could hamper Megaupload's defense. The nine additional charges add wire fraud to the mix, bringing the total number of allegations against the company to fourteen. Megaupload is now also directly accused of reproducing content from outside sites — including YouTube — and making it available for download. It's a notable shift from the previous allegations, which simply accused the company of encouraging others to upload pirated media. User behavior patterns cited in the document also bolster the contention that Megaupload was a download-only destination rather than a true file-sharing network: of the site's 66.6 million registered users, only 5.86 million had ever uploaded a file to Megaupload or Megavideo.

Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken, who has been serving as the public voice of the defense, continued to sound bullish in the face of the new allegations, telling the Wall Street Journal that "those things are short on substance," and that "at the end of the day, Megaupload strongly believes it is going to prevail." As for Kim Dotcom himself, he is still under custody in New Zealand. An extradition request is expected to be filed on February 22nd, but it may be some time before he is brought to US soil.