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Kim Dotcom Wins Another Round in NZ Court

Despite a ruling by a federal judge in Virginia several months ago holding that Kim Dotcom cannot defend against the forfeiture of his assets because of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine, a New Zealand Court this week has granted DotCom's request for an Order prohibiting the Crown in New Zealand from proceeding to register the subsequent U.S. default forfeiture judgments against the assets in NZ. The opinion is here.

It's all pretty complicated, but in a nutshell: [More...]

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NZ Court Orders Release of Some Kim Dotcom Funds

Kim Dotcom has had a few setbacks in U.S. and New Zealand courts recently. Today he won a round in New Zealand. The court released funds from his frozen assets to pay his legal fees and living expenses.

His legal fees are around $4 million. $12 million in assets were seized during the 2012 raid. No news articles yet for details, I'll update when they are available.

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U.S. Tries and Fails to Revoke Kim Dotcom's Bond

It's been a while since I checked on Kim Dotcom. There is some big news. At the request of the U.S., New Zealand prosecutors tried to revoke his bond. A three day hearing was held. Yesterday, the New Zealand court ruled he did not violate his bail conditions. A New Zealand Herald report is here.

Kim Dotcom's legal bills are in excess of $10 million. That situation has recently become very complicated and his New Zealand lawyers withdrew from his case. His U.S. lawyers have set up a website seeking additional lawyers.

We are looking for lawyers in New Zealand and the United States who are interested in joining the Megaupload and Kim Dotcom legal defense and who have a passion for internet public interest law.

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Kim Dotcom Reacts to Government Report Detailing Evidence

The Department of Justice, at the direction of the Judge presiding over the MegaUpload/Kim Dotcom criminal case in Virginia, has published a 191 page report outlining the evidence it claims supports the charges. The DOJ webpage with documents is here.

Kim Dotcom's reaction:

The 191 page report is available here. The Superseding Indictment is here. [More...]

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Kim DotCom's Lawyer's White Paper on Bogus Charges

Here is Kim Dotcom's lawyers' new White paper on why the charges against him are untenable:

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.

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The Enormous Cost of Battling Kim Dotcom

The New Zealand prosecutor's office has spent almost 10,000 hours battling Kim Dotcom in New Zealand, either on behalf of the U.S. or defending against NZ's actions in providing assistance to the FBI.

The latest figures show 9688 hours worked on the case since July 15, 2011 - the date the Crown Law Office opened its file on the American request. The estimate of $2 million is based on rates usually paid for counsel hired to work for the Crown. In this case, additional legal work for the Crown had been done by Christine Gordon QC, Kirsty McDonald QC and Mike Ruffin, adding about 200 hours.

...Some of that work is on behalf of the United States but most has been damage control around the mess which came with helping the FBI shut down Mr Dotcom's Megaupload.

It's not just a drain of money. It's also a drain on prosecutorial and court resources that could be better spent on other matters, such as crime in New Zealand.

As to why you should care, it's because the same waste of money and resources is occurring with DOJ's prosecution of Kim Dotcom and Megaupload in Virginia.[More....]

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Kim Dotcom Speaks at NZ Protest Rally, Crowd Cheers

Meet the new Kim Dotcom, New Zealand activist for privacy rights, fighting against expansion of government surveillance and U.S. drone strikes and for the rights of whistleblowers.

Kim Dotcom spoke at a rally of thousands of New Zealanders (video here) who had gathered to voice their opposition to a bill expanding Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB)surveillance authority and information sharing with law enforcement.

Dotcom said it was very important for people to understand the GCSB is a subsidiary of the NSA and spying for the Americans, feeding them information for its war on terror to locate targets for drone strikes.

Dotcom tells the crowd the U.S. didn't want him spied upon because they thought he was a terrorist or a threat to national security, but because a handful of billionaires in Hollywood didn't like his business. The crowd cheers its approval. He asks, "Why would they spy on me?" [More...]

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PRISM, "Five Eyes" and Kim Dotcom

The PRISM story keeps growing -- now there are reports the NSA has shared data on Kim Dotcom obtained via PRISM with the international spy group "Five Eyes," (background here -- it includes representatives from the U.S., U.K., New Zealand, Canada and Australia,) and that Five Eyes may have given the intercepted data on Kim Dotcom to New Zealand's GSB, which in turn gave it to a specialized New Zealand police group, that used the information to assist the FBI and facilitate his arrest on U.S. charges.

"Five Eyes" met in New Zealand just 2 days before the Prime Minister announced the illegal interception of Kim Dotcom's communications on Sept. 17. Who was at the meeting? Reportedly, Intelligence Co-ordination Group director Roy Ferguson, a former ambassador to the US,along with representatives from the US Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Britain's Communications Headquarters, Canada's Communications Security Establishment and the Australian Secret Intelligence Service. [More...]

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Dueling Briefs Filed in Megaupload Case

Here is the Government's latest salvo in the federal criminal case in Virginia against Kim Dotcom and his partners. Here is Dotcom's Rebuttal. Torrent Freak has a good explanation without the legalese as to what it's about.

More interesting to non-lawyers is #kimdotcom's announcement today that Megaabox is ready for launch. [More...]

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Kim Dotcom: Setback in NZ Appeals Court

Kim Dotcom suffered a setback in his extradition case yesterday when an appeals court in New Zealand reversed a High Court ruling that the FBI had to turn over more discovery in order to allow him to prepare for his extradition hearing. (A discussion of the High Court's ruling is here and the text of the ruling is here.) The Appeals Court says the disclosure is not required.

While the ruling is in the context of what information the U.S. must disclose to Kim Dotcom to enable him to defend against the extradition request, it also serves as a primer on NZ extradition law. The full opinion is here. The Court has also issued this press release explaining the decision. [More...]

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Kim Dotcom Launches The New Mega

Kim Dotcom and partners have launched the new Mega, a global Cloud file sharing system. Accounts are free up to 50 GB and encrypted. You can check it out here.

Today is launch date, and there are already 250,000 user registrations in just 2 hours.

It may be the most "lawyered-up" internet startup launch in history. And Mega lawyer Ira Rothken says in an interview with Ars Technica, anyone who comes after it has no case: [More...]

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Kim Dotcom Alleges Government Lied in Getting Seizure Warrants

Kim Dotcom claims a double-cross. More here. The brief his legal team filed yesterday in the Eastern District of Virginia is here.

Megaupload and Dotcom are also seeking to have the search warrant from June 24, 2010 against Carpathia Hosting company unsealed. (It was provided to Carpathia and Megaupload when issued by the Court, but has never been officially unsealed for the public.) It notes that Wired, in this article, has already published the search warrant. The warrant was sought in an investigation of Ninjavideo (government press release on sentencing in Ninjavideo here.)

Another good article explaining all this is here. Dotcom lawyer Ira Rothken explains the relevance here. [More...]

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Kim Dotcom Wins Another Round in New Zealand

Kim Dotcom is still on track to having a Merry Christmas. New Zealand High Court Judge J Winkelmann today ruled Kim Dotcom can add the Attorney General, in his capacity as representative of the NZ Government Communications Security Bureau, to his claim for monetary damages resulting from the the illegal search of his mansion and over-the-top commando style raid to effectuate his arrest. She also ruled in his favor on several discovery requests pertaining to the FBI's involvement in the case and NZ's illegal interception of his communications. You can access the opinion here.

To put it in context, the Judge writes: [More..]

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U.S. Settles TV Shack Extradition Case, Is Kim Dotcom Next?

Good news for 23 year old Richard O'Dwyer, who is charged with copyright infringement in the U.S. and had been ordered extradited from the UK to face charges. D.O.J. has offered him a "deferred prosecution" agreement, under which he agrees to come to the U.S. voluntarily to enter the agreement and pay a fine, and promises not to violate U.S. copyright laws in the future. He will then return home to the U.K. When the UK court receives the agreement, it will dismiss the extradition proceedings. Assuming he complies, eventually, the charges will be dropped with no plea of guilty required.

Is this how Kim Dotcom's case will end?

A source close to Dotcom said his legal team was studying it closely as it showed US authorities could be softening their previously hard-line approach. [More...]

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NZ PM Releases Results of Kim Dotcom Review

Last week, the Prime Minister of New Zealand apologized to Megaupload co-founder Kim Dotcom for the illegal interceptions of Dotcom's communications before the raid on his mansion and arrest, conducted at the behest of the U.S. which was seeking his extradition to face criminal charges.

Today the Prime Minister released the results of the review of the GCSB's illegal interceptions.

The Prime Minister's press release is here. It doesn't say much, other than to give the PM a clean bill of health for not having been briefed on Dotcom prior to the raid. He acknowledges there may have been a quick reference to Dotcom at a meeting after the arrests in February, 2012, but insists nothing was said about his residency.
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