Kim Dotcom Loses Extradition Case


A New Zealand judge has ruled that the MegaUpload owner Kim Dotcom, along with three of his colleagues, will be eligible for extradition to the United States to face charges of money laundering, racketeering, and breach of copyright.

Once upon a time, MegaUpload was one of the most successful services on the internet, with over a billion unique visits during its ill-fated run. Its booming trade was cut short by allegations that the core members of the founding team were knowingly allowing copyrighted material to be distributed through the platform.

Dotcom’s lawyers counter that copyright law does not hold a service provider accountable for the content submitted or distributed by users of that service, in an attempt to argue against the U.S. case that would prompt the extradition of Dotcom and his co-founders. The four are accused of making millions from the site’s usage, while partially heeding or outright ignoring takedown notices.

The North Shore District Court Judge Nevin Dawson made his ruling on Wednesday in brief, but posted the full text of that ruling for the benefit of the public. He said that the evidence against the defendants was “overwhelming,” and that the defendants “fell well short of undermining the case.”

Dotcom and his lawyers immediately guaranteed an appeal on the matter, citing the “novel” and “complex” issues at play. Lawyers and defendants alike took to Twitter before and after the ruling.

Should we be asking providers of a private service to police every single user of that service? Should a host be accountable for every activity that occurs within their domain? These questions sit at the very heart of the MegaUpload case, and echo a similar conflict occurring in the social media arena. Very soon we’ll need to decide whether a public file hosting service can survive in an age where security comes at the price of utility.

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