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Valcom, Microhits launch civil suit

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In what could almost be seen as a vote of no-confidence in the FBI’s battle with Megaupload and founder Kim Dotcom, two content owners are filing civil lawsuits against the company and its extravagant boss.

According to Hollywood Reporter, the two litigants are Microhits (owner of recordings by Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone and others) and Valcom (whose TV holdings include shows by Denzel Washington, Bill Murray and Jackie Chan).

As Hollywood Reporter puts it, the complaint “rehashes Megaupload’s popularity, its operations … and some of the alleged conversations among Megaupload employees”.

In the grand tradition of litigants’ content valuations, the complaint – filed in Virginia – seeks between $US30,000 and $US150,000 per infringement.

Dotcom, who after a court decision last week has to subsist on a miserly $NZ47,000 per month, is resisting American attempts to extradite him from New Zealand. On Tuesday March 27, his lawyers in New Zealand reported that Hollywood heavyweights including Disney, Warner Bros, Fox and Turner Broadcasting had all held discussions with Megaupload with a view to setting up commercial agreements.

Last week, the MPAA asked for data about Megaupload users to be retained, sparking speculation that it would launch suits against individual users. The MPAA has since denied that it intended any such action. ®

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