FBI Claims Copying Data is Not Stealing
Ironic defense provides irony to Megaupload case.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: June 9th, 2012
The government’s case against file-hosting giant Megaupload just keeps getting weirder. Earlier this week Megaupload petitioned a federal court to dismiss the government’s case, and now they are claiming that the FBI illegally copied data from Kim Dotcom’s computer in New Zealand. And the FBI’s response is puzzlingly ironic: Since the files the FBI copied are digital, not physical, it can’t be considered theft.
That’s a fascinating argument, considering the entire case against Megaupload is based on the supposedly “illegal” copying of digital files. So if it’s not illegal for the FBI to copy digital files, then nothing Megaupload did could be illegal either.
“The first [copies] were sent without the New Zealand Police having any say in it whatsoever. If [they] went offshore without the consent of the Attorney General, it was an illegal act,” said Dotcom’s lawyer, William Akel.
New Zealand authorities seized 18 servers from Dotcom, but the FBI only had storage capacity enough to copy two of them.
The U.S. government is trying to get New Zealand to extradite Dotcom so that he can stand trial for multiple copyright counts.