New Zealand High Court clears Kim Dotcom extradition to the US

The order upholds fraud charges but not copyright infringement

Megaupload website founder Kim Dotcom and three associates were on Monday cleared by a court in New Zealand to be extradited to the U.S. where he faces a variety of charges including copyright infringement and racketeering.

Holding that copyright infringement by digital online communication of copyright protected works to members of the public is not a criminal offense under New Zealand’s Copyright Act, the High Court found that a conspiracy to commit copyright infringement amounts to a bid to defraud, which is an extradition offense listed in the treaty between the U.S. and New Zealand.

An earlier District Court judgment permitting the extradition was upheld by the High Court.

Dotcom and three colleagues, and two companies including the file-sharing site Megaupload, were indicted by a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia in January 2012.

They were charged with engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement and money laundering, and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

During the hearing for his extradition in 2015, Dotcom had a number of civil rights activists, including Harvard professor Lawrence Lessig, opposing the extradition.

The DOJ had failed to prove a case of direct civil or criminal copyright infringement, wrote Lessig in an expert opinion filed in an Auckland court, stating that the DOJ must establish willfulness to prove a criminal case.

Describing the order as a political judgment, Dotcom wrote in a Twitter message that “New Zealand Copyright Law (92b) makes it clear that an ISP can't be criminally liable for actions of their users. Unless you're Kim Dotcom?”

"I'm no longer getting extradited for copyright. We won on that. I'm now getting extradited for a law that doesn't even apply," he wrote in another tweet.

A decision on the extradition will now have to be taken by the Court of Appeal, said Dotcom's legal team in a statement in Scoop Media tweeted by Dotcom.

“The High Court has accepted that Parliament made a clear and deliberate decision not to criminalise this type of alleged conduct by internet service providers, making them not responsible for the acts of their users,” the statement added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?