Music industry joins Dotcom copyright case

Kim Dotcom's website Megaupload is facing copyright claims from music companies as well as film studios.

Four music industry giants are joining six Hollywood film studios in seeking to freeze the assets of internet mogul Kim Dotcom.

His lawyers told a High Court judge in Auckland on Wednesday that they were served with papers on Tuesday by the Recording Industry Association seeking to have Dotcom's assets to be frozen ahead of their claim against him.

A lawyer for the recording companies confirmed to Justice John Fogarty that the papers seeking to have the assets frozen were served.

The names of the four companies were not mentioned in court but they are believed to be Warner Music, UMG Recordings, Sony Music and Capitol Records.

The recording companies and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) allege that the now defunct file sharing website Megaupload and its key operators, including Dotcom, facilitated, encouraged and profited from massive copyright infringement before the website was shut down in January 2012.

They want Dotcom's New Zealand assets to remain frozen while their case is under way.

The High Court in April declined an application to extend restraining orders on Dotcom's assets - including cars, jewellery and other property - that have been in place since his arrest in January 2012.

However, the crown, on behalf of the US government, has appealed the decision to allow Dotcom to get his assets back.

That hearing is due to be held on July 30, and lawyers for the studios want to have their separate application to have Dotcom's assets frozen in relation to their civil case to be heard beforehand, probably in mid-July.

The US government wants to extradite Dotcom, who was arrested in New Zealand on its behalf, so he can face copyright infringement, money laundering and racketeering charges relating to Megaupload.

Ongoing court battles have meant the extradition hearing has been delayed a number of times.

Source AAP

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