updated 07:05 am EST, Mon March 5, 2012
Kim DotCom facing deportation over charges
The US government has filed to extradite MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom following his arrest on Internet piracy charges. as well as racketeering. The request was formally submitted in a New Zealand court, and also seeks to extradite three of DotCom’s associates. According to the New Zealand Herald, US officials had up to 45 days following DotCom’s arrest, which came shortly after the dramatic shutdown of his MegaUpload file sharing website.
DotCom is currently remanded on bail after initially failing on previous attempts as he had been considered by the prosecution to be a significant flight risk, given his wealth and resources. However, his extradition hearing will not begin until August with no indication as to how long the process may take. Lawyers representing the US alleged that MegaUpload profited by enabling users to easily access and share pirated content including music, TV shows, as well as movies. It's alleged that the total value of files illegally shared on MegaUpload’s servers was worth over $500 million.
DotCom has vowed to fight the charges, in what amounts to one of the largest cases brought against a web domain for allegedly facilitating illegal file sharing. DotCom claims that he cannot be held accountable for what users share and that many of MegaUpload’s members use the site legitimately. US legislation, however, requires that sites take a more proactive approach to online piracy.