No Bail Set for MegaUpload Defendants in New Zealand

The four arrested Megaupload defendants, Kim Dotcom (also known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor),Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann, and Bram van der Kolk, appeared in a New Zealand court yesterday and were detained pending a bond application set for Monday. The U.S. is seeking extradition on the indictment returned in the Eastern District of Virginia, and will oppose bond.

Kim DotCom says they have nothing to hide.

We don't mind if there is press coverage,' Dotcom said to Judge David McNaughton following an application by media to film the court appearance. 'We have nothing to hide.'


Here's a news video of their arrest and court appearance.

Seventy-six police officers were involved in the raid at Coatesville mansion, which saw 18 luxury vehicles worth an estimated $6 million seized. Shotguns, artwork and electronic equipment were also taken from the house, and up to $11 million in cash from various accounts, including government bonds, is being held by police. Fifteen people, including children, were in the mansion at the time of the raid.

More info on the case here.

The DOJ press release (site is back up) is here. The 72 page Indictment, charging racketeering, money laundering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and some other charges is here. The racketeering (RICO) and money laundering charges carry up to 20 year sentences.

Here's a picture of DotCom's rented mansion where the raid took place:

Also see Inside the Secretive World of Megaupload and this 2010 investigative report by New Zealand's Investigate Magazine.

The case was prepped for many months by the FBI and DOJ's Intellectual Property Task Force, created by Obama and Holder. (See also DOJ's National IPR Center.) The Pro-IP Act (Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2007) was enacted under GW Bush in 2008. The 2010 Report on the Pro-IP Act submitted to Congress is here. The IPR Center's 2011 Threat Assessment Report is here.

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    Arthur Silber has some sobering thoughts (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Romberry on Fri Jan 20, 2012 at 05:11:59 AM EST
    I tweeted the latest from Arthur Silber just a few minutes ago. Silber is often both rude and profane and that turns some people off, but he ties it all together like no one else.
    It's the End of the World! Again! And Again! And Again!

    I tell you this with profound seriousness.  And I'm completely sober!  (For the moment.)  If I had a million dollars, I'd bet all of it on the proposition that the U.S. Government has the power right now to shut down any and every website, internet provider, etc., etc., etc., etc. it wishes, and to do so permanently.  And they could throw a whole lot of people in jail because they "threaten national security" or violate some statute, regulation, administrative rule, whatever.

    I'd win that bet.

    That's just a tease. And like I said, Silber ties the disparate threads that are being woven into cloth together in a way that helps show the plan for the final tapestry we're going to see hung from the walls of power.

    This really isn't just about MegaUpload and this really isn't just about the internet. This is about control.

    On MegaUpload, I'll just say that the system our government now has in place for dealing with these alleged crimes against intellectual property remind me of something out of Alice in Wonderland: Sentence first, verdict afterwards.

    Yes, the verdict on those charged is not yet here. But the verdict on the web site? Done and done. And there is some real perversity here. As Makarov said in an earlier thread, ""...the DOJ actually uses the lack of a searchable index for material on Megaupload as evidence of the "Conspiracy" to mask their alleged copyright violations. So, by making it harder for people to locate unauthorized copies on their servers, they actually commit a felony. Ha."

    Who needs SOPA or PIPA when the government already claims this kind of power? Enough of my own pathetic musings. Go read Arthur Silber. The tapestry is much bigger than you think.