A verdict against Megaupload in the US would mean other cloud storage providers can be held criminally liable for illegal content stored by customers on their networks, a lawyer representing the shuttered file-sharing site said.
Prosecutors in the US have accused Megaupload and seven people associated with the company, including founder Kim Dotcom, of copyright infringement, aiding and abetting copyright infringement, wire fraud and money laundering. The US has started proceedings to extradite them from New Zealand to the US, where they hope to put the company on trial.
It would be the first time a provider of cloud storage services had been charged with criminal copyright infringement in the US, said lawyer Ira Rothken, who will represent Megaupload if the case comes to trial.
The cases against the music file-sharing services Grokster and Napster were both civil cases, meaning they were brought by aggrieved parties, such as the record companies, as opposed to the state. Civil cases generally require a lower burden of proof, making them easier to prove.