02/02/2012 : Puzzling why DoJ chose to single online gambling company out for mention in 72 page indictment.
The US Department of Justice copyright action against the Hong Kong-based giant file sharing site Megaupload.com has thrown up some interesting associated questions, among them why internet gambling company Party Gaming was singled out by the enforcement agency for mention in the 72 page indictment when it was, like other companies, simply an advertiser on the site.
The indictment reportedly alleges that Party Gaming had invested some $3 million in advertising on the now shut down site since 2009.
This week Party Gaming parent group Bwin.party digital entertainment protested its innocence, pointing out that it was just one of many other advertisers from diverse industries on the site, and questioning why it had been mentioned in the indictment when other advertisers had not.
With 150 million registered users, about 50 million hits daily and endorsements from music superstars, Megaupload.com was among the world's biggest file-sharing sites. According to the U.S. indictment, the site earned its founder, German national Kim Schmitz aka Kim Dotcom, $42 million in 2010 alone.
The US action has had international repercussions; Schmitz aka Dotcom and three of his employees living in New Zealand were arrested in January in police raids that seized guns, millions of dollars, and nearly $5 million in luxury cars, according to official spokesmen at the time.
The men are accused by the DoJ in America of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content, costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue.
The four men are currently on remand pending extradition proceedings, which are reportedly in progress.
Although Megaupload was based in Hong Kong, and Dotcom lives in New Zealand, some of the allegedly pirated content was hosted on leased servers in Virginia, giving US enforcement agencies a claim to jurisdiction.