U.S. Government Does Not Want Megaupload To Hire Andrew Schapiro

Posted Apr 12, 2012

Megaupload was planning to retain the services of Andrew Schapiro, the legendary lawyer that led YouTube to a summary judgment in their copyright trial against Viacom according to TorrentFreak.com. The U.S. government has filed documents that object to Schapiro’s law firm working with Megaupload. They cited conflicts of interest that involved Google, Disney, Fox, and YouTube.

After Megaupload was raided in Janaury, the government seized millions of dollars and assets like expensive vehicles purchased by the company executives. Law firm Sidley Austin LLP negotiated on Megaupload’s behalf for the return of their assets that were being held in Hong Kong, New Zealand, and Canada. Additional funds were released to pay Megaupload employees and for Kim Dotcom’s living expenses.

Quinn Emanuel Urguhart & Sullivan replaced Sidley Austin after they withdrew from the case. Schapiro is a partner at Quinn Emanuel. The U.S. government believes that Schapiro’s past record in copyright cases are a conflict of interest.

The first conflict of interest claims Schapiro’s involvement in the YouTube case against Viacom. YouTube is listed as the victim and as a witness in the criminal indictment against Megaupload. Emanuel cannot have an interest in both cases said the U.S. government.

Another conflict of interest is that Google will be called as a witness in the Megaupload case. Google had withdrew their AdSense services from Megaupload due to copyright infringement concerns.

?It is unclear how Quinn Emanuel intends to zealously represent defendants Megaupload Limited and Kim Dotcom while also protecting confidential attorney-client information gained in the course of representing other clients […] particularly where those clients? interests are directly opposed to those of the defendants,? said the U.S. government.