(The following is a reformatted version of a press release
issued by The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. and
received via electronic mail. The release was confirmed by the
April 7, 2014 
Washington, DC - The major U.S. movie studios today filed a
lawsuit against Megaupload and its key operators, alleging that
the defendants facilitated, encouraged, and profited from
massive copyright infringement of movies and television shows
before the defendants were indicted on federal criminal charges
and Megaupload was shut down. 
“When was shut down in 2012 by U.S. law
enforcement, it was by all estimates the largest and most active
infringing website targeting creative content in the world,”
said Steven Fabrizio, Senior Executive Vice President and Global
General Counsel of the Motion Picture Association of America.
“Infringing content on and its affiliates was
available in at least 20 languages, targeting a broad global
audience. According to the government’s indictment, the site
reported more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and cost
U.S. copyright owners more than half a billion dollars.” 
The lawsuit was filed by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation,
Disney Enterprises, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation,
Universal City Studios Productions LLLP, Columbia Pictures
Industries, Inc., and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. 
The defendants named in the lawsuit are Megaupload Limited, the
registered owner of the website; Vester Limited, the majority
shareholder of Megaupload Limited; Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom
(aka Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor); Mathias Ortmann, the
Chief Technical Officer; and Bram van der Kolk, who oversaw
“Megaupload was built on an incentive system that rewarded users
for uploading the most popular content to the site, which was
almost always stolen movies, TV shows and other commercial
entertainment content.  It paid users based on how many times
the content was downloaded by others - and didn’t pay at all
until that infringing content was downloaded 10,000 times.
Megaupload wasn’t a cloud storage service at all, it was an
unlawful hub for mass distribution,” Fabrizio said. “To be
clear, if a user uploaded his term paper to store it, he got
nothing - and, in fact, unless he was a paying subscriber,
Megaupload would delete the paper if it was not downloaded
frequently enough.  But if that same user uploaded a stolen
full-length film that was repeatedly infringed, he was paid for
his efforts. That’s not a storage facility; that’s a business
model designed to encourage theft - and make its owners very
rich in the process. There’s nothing new or innovative about
that. That’s just a profiteer using existing technology to try
to get rich off of someone else’s hard work.” 
Fabrizio noted that the television and movie community is
working every day to develop new and innovative ways to watch
content online. “Today, it’s easier than ever to watch the shows
and movies you love where you want them, when you want them. Our
industry is committed to giving consumers more choices, and to
delivering the high-quality, fast viewing experience that
audiences expect and deserve. But Megaupload -- and sites like
it that are built on stolen works -- damage the consumer
experience online and undermine the creators who don’t get
compensated for their work.” 
A copy of the complaint can be found here. 
About the MPAA
The Motion Picture Association of America, Inc. (MPAA) serves as
the voice and advocate of the American motion picture, home
video and television industries from its offices in Los Angeles
and Washington, D.C. Its members include: Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures; Paramount Pictures Corporation; Sony Pictures
Entertainment Inc.; Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation;
Universal City Studios LLC; and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. 
For more information, contact: 
Howard Gantman
(202) 293-1966 
(bjh) NY 
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