Kim Dotcom Extradition Appeal To Be Live-Streamed

Update: 8/30/16, 9:15 pm MT: Live stream started 1/2 hour ago here.

A New Zealand appeals court today began hearing the appeal of Kim Dotcom against extradition to the U.S. The hearing is expected to take six to eight weeks. Kim Dotcom has been requesting the hearing be live-streamed. Today, the court granted his request and live streaming begins tomorrow.

Justice Murray Gilbert granted the application, subject to agreement from Mr Dotcom and the other men that the case would only be livestreamed and any footage would be removed as soon as the six-week hearing was over. The footage would also be streamed with a 20 minute delay, to allow the court to prevent any suppressed material from being published.

Check Kim Dotcom's twitter feed, @kimdotcom, for the live stream link. Also check out Torrent Freak, which has been doing a good job of following the case all these years. [More...]

The hearing also applies to his co-accused former Megaupload partners, Bram Van der Kolk, Matthias Ortmann and Finn Batato. The U.S. indicted them for money-laundering, copyright infringement and racketeering related to the enormously successful file-sharing site Megaupload.

If you don't remember how big Megaupload was, at one time it had 50 million users a day and comprised 4% of the Internet.

The New Zealand High Court ruled last December after an 8 week hearing that Dotcom and his co-accused could be extradited.

This case is now almost five years old. The much publicized and criticized raids in New Zealand (parts of which a Judge ruled were illegal) at the behest of the U.S. were in January, 2012.

New Zealand's Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) illegally intercepted Dotcom and co-defendant van der Kolk's communications. Dotcom sued and received an official apology from the Prime Minister. After that, the GCSB issued an apology letter:

“I am very sorry for the way the Bureau has handled its part in the Dotcom case. I have apologized on behalf of the Bureau to the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister’s own statement has made clear his views.”

“We got this wrong. Both factual errors and unacceptable errors of legal interpretation were compounded, most especially by our treating those interpretations as fact for too long. It should not have happened.”

My view in a nutshell: If extradited, tried and convicted, U.S. taxpayers will pay a price tag of $128,000. a year to warehouse these four men (Per the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, June 24, 2016, the annual cost of housing a prisoner at a Bureau of Prisons facility is $31,976.00.) For what? Creating and running the most successful file uploading and sharing business ever? Assuming Dotcom and his partners improperly allowed some site users to share copyrighted material, for which Hollywood is owed money, the remedy is simple: Sue them. Prison is not the answer to every conceivable economic and social ill.

As his lawyers have pointed out:

The U.S. government’s case against Megaupload is grounded in a theory of criminal secondary copyright infringement. In other words, the prosecution seeks to hold Megaupload and its executives criminally responsible for alleged infringement by the company’s third-party cloud storage users. The problem with the theory, however, is that secondary copyright infringement is not – nor has it ever been – a crime in the United States. The federal courts lack any power to criminalize secondary copyright infringement; the U.S. Congress alone has such authority, and it has not done so. As such, the Megaupload prosecution is not only baseless, it is unprecedented.

As Kim Dotcom reminds us:

The U.S. is acting like Global Holy Warriors. It is using the criminal justice system to do Hollywood's bidding. The cost is enormous. Good luck to Team Dotcom.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I really hate seeing this guy's photo. (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by oculus on Tue Aug 30, 2016 at 07:05:01 PM EST

    Why? (none / 0) (#2)
    by leap on Tue Aug 30, 2016 at 10:59:07 PM EST

    Isn't it ironic (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by Steve13209 on Fri Sep 02, 2016 at 08:12:29 AM EST
    that Kim Dotcom is lucky to be in New Zealand so he can get a fair hearing? Things will only get worse if the TPP court is established.

    Jeralyn, you hit the nail on the head showing how corporations use our criminal courts to do their work for them.

    i absolutely (none / 0) (#4)
    by linea on Fri Sep 02, 2016 at 10:17:43 PM EST
    agree with this! all of it!