On an order issued by a judge in New Zealand, Kim Dotcom, the founder of a site for file-sharing, will be held in custody for copyright infringement. The judge stated that the alleged internet pirate was a flight risk. Dotcom will remain in custody till February 22. The US is currently doing its best to extradite Dotcom who faces money laundering and copyright infringement charges.
$175 Million brought in by Megaupload
US officials stated that Megaupload, the file-sharing site, has brought in $175 million since its launch in 2005. Some of the illegal activities that were carried out on the site were distribution and copying of copyrighted material like movies and music without getting the authorization required. According to Dotcom’s lawyers, Megaupload only offered storage options on the internet. They also clarified that he will do everything possible to fight extradition even though it will take time to do this.
Four others have also been arrested in connection with the alleged Megaupload piracy. They were caught when police raided a country estate rented by Dotcom in New Zealand. This was done after the FBI made a request. According to the extradition laws in New Zealand, the prosecution should produce evidence to substantiate the charges made against the accused.
New Zealand Judge to Decide whether Prima Facie Case will Hold
The judge will decide whether a prima facie case can be filed. This will be based on whether putting the accused on trial will be justified if the offence had been committed in New Zealand. According to Grant Illingworth, a senior lawyer in New Zealand, in case the evidence is not sufficient to support pursuing this as a prima facie case based on the laws in the country, Dotcom and the others will walk away. An extradition treaty signed between New Zealand and the US allows the latter to take 45 days from Dotcom’s arrest to make a request for extradition.