Megaupload Boss Claims Innocence; Company Drops Lawsuit Against Universal

Megaupload Boss Claims Innocence; Company Drops Lawsuit Against Universal
Following last week's Megaupload crackdown, which found the online storage site shut down and a number of its executives arrested, founder Kim Dotcom (aka Kim Schmitz) has denied any charges of wrongdoing.

According to Reuters, Dotcom appeared in a New Zealand courtroom earlier today (January 23) and denied the internet piracy allegations against the file-sharing hub, as well as accusations that the company itself was a money laundering front.

Dotcom is currently being held in New Zealand for fear that he is a flight risk "at the extreme end of the scale," with prosecutors saying that they believe he has access to funds and multiple identities around the world, in addition to a history of fleeing criminal charges. A police search of Dotcom's New Zealand mansion uncovered 45 credit cards and three passports under various names, to which the Megaupload founder's lawyers explained that their client "collects them [credit cards], most of them are out of date."

Defence lawyers admitted that their client would prefer to be "at large," but claimed there was little threat of Dotcom absconding or restarting his businesses, adding that he had cooperated with authorities, and that he has had his funds frozen.

The U.S. government is trying to extradite Dotcom, but no word on what will happen to the site founder just yet.

There's even more Megaupload legal news, with the company now dropping its lawsuit against Universal Music Group for the label's part in attempting to remove the star-studded "Mega Song" from the internet. Megaupload's lawyers filed a notice with a California judge last Friday (January 20) to dismiss their claims. Billboard reports, however, that the suit still stands in regards to anonymous John Does who participated in the takedown.

Other existing online storage services out there are no doubt feeling the heat after the Megaupload crackdown, and have decided to weed out illegal behaviour before they get in legal hot water. FileSonic has just tweaked its services, halting its open file-sharing capabilities in favour of a more scaled-down, protected service for individuals.

"All sharing functionality of FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally," a statement from the company says.