Megaupload was shut down by the United States Department of Justice in January, seized its multiple domain names, and charged its owner and other executives with the company with violations of federal copyright and online piracy laws. The founder of Megaupload is Kim Schmitz, also known as Dotcom. The indictment, which is 72 pages, was filed in district court in Alexandria, Virginia back on January 5. The indictment says that the defendants made over $175 million in profit illicitly from their activities and caused over $500 million in damages to owners of copyrights.
In federal court in Alexandria last Thursday, lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan filed a motion to appear on behalf of the website. On the court documents, lawyers William Burck and Paul Brinkman are named as the counsel for the company. It was also reported late last week that John Quinn and Andrew Schapiro would also be on the litigation team representing the company. Brinkman joined Quinn Emanuel in September from Alston & Bird in conjunction with the opening of the firm’s new office in Washington, D.C. Schapiro joined the firm in October from Mayer Brown and splits his work time between the offices in New York and Chicago. Burck joined the firm in January from Weil, Gotshal & manges. Burck also served as the former deputy counsel to President George W. Bush.
The outside lawyer for the company, Ira Rothken, said that the company is much like that of YouTube when the government handed down its charges back in January. Rothken is from the law firm of Rothken Law in Novato, California. Rothken will be the global coordinating counsel for Megaupload and will work with Quinn Emanuel in fighting the charges handed out by the Justice Department.
Paul Davison, a well-known barrister from New Zealand, helped secure bail for Dotcom while he fights against extradition to the United States. Dotcom is under house arrest right now, which is a mansion in New Zealand. Dotcom was recently granted permission to access the internet once again.