Perfect 10, a porn website associted with the well known adult magazine, has sued file upload and sharing service Megaupload over copyright infringement, and the judge handling the case has accepted Perfect 10's arguments, allowing the trial to go ahead.
Perfect 10 is accusing Megaupload of profiting from user uploads containing content from the porn website, illegal distributed without Perfect 10's permission. Megaupload argues that they're merely a file storage service, and cannot be held responsible for the conduct of its users.
But Southern District of California chief judge Irma Gonzalez disagreed with Megaupload's arguments, calling the website more than just a "file storage" company. "[Megaupload] has created distinct Web sites presumably in an effort to streamline users access to different types of media. It encourages and in some cases pays its users to upload vast amounts of popular media through its rewards programs. It disseminates URLS for various files throughout the Internet. It provides payouts to affiliate websites who maintain a catalogue of all available files and last at a minimum, it is plausibly aware of the ongoing rampant infringement taking place on its Web sites," the judge wrote in her decision.
Perfect 10's complaint also points to the dubious nature of the ownership of Megaupload, claiming the website is operated by Kim Schmitz, a hacker formerly convicted of security fraud. Megaupload has denied the allegation that Schmitz works for Megaupload, although admit that the domain name was registered by Schmitz.
Working against Perfect 10 may be their litigious history, which will no doubt be exploited by Megaupload's legal defense team. In 2004, Perfect 10 sued Google for profiting from advertising on websites that stole Perfect 10's content. In 2005, Perfect 10 sued Amazon for displaying copyrighted images in their A9 search engine, and sued Microsoft for similar reasons in 2007. Perfect 10 has achieved little success in their legal battles thus far, but their case against Megaupload looks the most promising yet.