New charges against Megaupload allege that only 10 percent of the site's users ever uploaded a file, countering Megaupload's 'legitimate locker service' defence.
A US grand jury added eight new charges for alleged copyright infringement and wire fraud against Megaupload and its executives on Friday.
Megaupload co-founder Kim Dotcom and four of his co-workers have been arrested and are awaiting extradition proceedings in New Zealand and the Netherlands. Two suspects remain at large.
The superseding claim filed by the Justice Department alleges Megaupload had 66 million users at January 2012, not the over 100 million the company had claimed.
However it was the low proportion of users that uploaded content to the site that suggested the service was primarily used to download infringing material, the Justice Department alleged.
The new charges challenge claims by the site's co-founder Kim Dotcom earlier this month that the sheer number of unique files Megaupload hosted made it impossible to accuse the site of primarily existing to host infringing material.
"We are hosting over 12 billion unique files for over 100 million users," Dotcom told New Zealand's High Court earlier this month.
"If you take all movies, music files together that have ever been made - and even if you have 10 instances per movie, per music file - you will never have more than 100 million files."
"So we have 12 billion files on our servers. That clearly shows that the legitimate number of files outweighs any infringement by a vast majority."
Additional reporting by Reuters.
Image credit: You Tube.
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