Hogan Lovells litigator pulls out of the Megaupload litigation due to conflict
Hogan Lovells Robert Bennett has said that due to client conflict he is unable to defend the operators of file-sharing Web site Megaupload against charges that they had violated federal copyright and online piracy laws. This is unsurprising, as one of the law firm’s largest clients is media conglomerate News Corporation, the parent company of Hollywood studio 20th Century Fox.
Bennett had said last week that he would be representing the Hong Kong–based Megaupload, which has been indicted for allegedly reaping more than $175 million by unlawfully distributing copyrighted content.
Four of the seven executives charged in the indictment have been arrested, including the company’s German millionaire founder, Kim Schmitz, who has legally changed his name to Kim Dotcom. Dotcom is represented by prominent New Zealand barrister Paul Davison. Technology attorney Ira Rothken, who runs the Rothken Law Firm in Novato, California, has said that he is representing Megaupload in the U.S. "Who is or isn't on the criminal defense team is still being decided," said Rothken.