Logo for KimDotcom's MegaRarely does a week go by without exiled (and often reviled) file-sharing impresario Kim Dotcom making news, but his latest problems go beyond the mega. Dotcom is being sued, again, this time by six major movie studios who allege copyright infringement of “copyrighted motion picture and television programs on a massive scale.”

The studios are seeking around $175 million in damages, resulting from infringement across a variety of titles that could each add a maximum statutory award of $150,000 to any final sum.

The charges relate to the now famously shuttered Megaupload file-sharing site and its associated web properties, which Kim Dotcom founded back in 2005. After many years facilitating the theft of content, the site was finally shut down by the U.S. Department of Justice in 2012. The legal claims against its owner continue, however, to the point that he is currently forced to fight extradition from a far-flung home in New Zealand (albeit an opulent one, as the BBC helicopter tour beneath demonstrates).

The MPAA outlines the complaint here, although the charges against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom are well known to most with an interest in protecting intellectual property. Dotcom and his cohorts, including majority shareholder Mathias Ortmann and programmer Bram van der Kolk who are also named in this suit, not only aided piracy but actively encouraged it. By rewarding users financially once files passed the 10,000 download mark, Megaupload clearly deserves the “massive” infringement claim made in this lawsuit and other cases.

But could it all have been very different for Kim Dotcom’s wayward service?

Vox Indie has a great piece recounting the parallels between Megaupload and YouTube, including the recently settled court case between Google’s video platform and Viacom. In the end it came down to a respect and commitment to copyright, something Google has erred towards in recent years but which Megaupload could never find.

Whether through delusion or criminal intent, Kim Dotcom believes he has a right to profit handsomely from content without compensating original creators. With this lawsuit and other legal action piling up, reality should catch up with him soon enough.

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