MegaUpload ripped off YouTube, tried smearing rivals, U.S. says

Kim DotCom and MegaUpload helped fill out the cyberlocker’s video library in 2006 by snatching videos from the then-fledgling YouTube, the U.S. government alleges.

The U.S. Justice Department is trying to extradite DotCom and three other MegaUpload managers from New Zealand and have accused them of piracy, money laundering and racketeering.

Buried in the Jan. 5 indictment against MegaUpload, DotCom and six other employees of the cyberlocker service, are e-mail communications between two managers, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, from April 2006.

“Do we have a server available to continue downloading of the Youtube’s vids?” van der Kolk wrote Ortmann according to the indictment. “Kim just mentioned again that this has really priority.”
“Hope YouTube is not implementing a fraud detection system now…praying,” Ortmann responded. A while later, van der Kolk wrote back that he didn’t see how some of YouTube’s unpopular videos could help “jump start” MegaUpload.

“Well we only have 30 percent of their videos yet,” Ortmann wrote. “In my opinion it’s nice to have everything so we can decide and brainstorm later how we’re going to benefit from it.”

Ira Rothken, MegaUpload’s attorney, was not immediately available for comment. He has said that his clients are innocent and that the government’s case is “flimsy.”

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