Megaupload's Kim Dotcom in jail awaiting bail

Megaupload's Kim Dotcom in jail awaiting bail

Summary: Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom says his site is a "file-storage facility" aimed to promote creativity of users. But he's spending a few days in jail anyway.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom faces at least another day behind bars.

"Given the breadth of the issues and the seriousness of the issues, I'm going to reserve my decision," Judge David McNaughton told Auckland's North Shore District Court this afternoon.

Dotcom, 37, was arrested with his three co-accused — Bram van der Kolk, Mathias Ortmann and Finn Batato — in a police swoop at his luxury rural mansion just outside of Auckland on Friday.

The three co-accused are also due back in court on Wednesday for their bail hearing, but judge McNaughton said that they are likely to be treated the same as Dotcom.

Today's bail hearing lasted all day until 4pm, as arguments focused on the likelihood of Dotcom being a flight risk. The Crown and the New Zealand police both opposed bail for Dotcom, saying that this risk is "at the extreme end of the scale".

In the afternoon, further arguments centered on legal technicalities of whether or not Dotcom was extradited from Bangkok in 2002, as claimed by the prosecution, or whether he co-operated with police, as claimed by the defense.

A matter of a gun found during Friday's police raid raised debate over whether it had been amended, like a sawed-off shot gun, as claimed by the prosecution, or whether it had been acquired legally, as claimed by the defense. Both sides agreed that the gun is unlicensed, something that the defense said is the responsibility of Dotcom's personal bodyguard rather than Dotcom himself.

There was also more debate over the workings of the Megaupload website.

Toohey, for the prosecution, argued that a rewards scheme offering cash prizes to those who made 50,000 downloads was not something that you would expect from a site dealing with personal files. And while "take-down" notices were acted upon, links to such files still existed.

Dotcom, Toohey said, also emailed co-accused not to delete so many links, instructing them to allow Warner Entertainment to remove 5000 per day, but not unlimited numbers.

Defence lawyer Andrew Davison said that Dotcom warned his co-accused about potential action that the legal authorities might take, but said that this was meant as a warning rather than proof of any guilt. You might be interested in:

"[This was] not to conceal illegality, but to protect themselves from ill-informed official action."

Davison likened Megaupload to YouTube, saying that the "file-storage facility" aimed to promote creativity of users.

"Paying rewards is good business, [and] not acting in breach of copyright," he said.

A technology known as md5# helped the company track down child pornography, which showed their corporate responsibility, but its use had to be limited, as, like antibiotics, overuse limited its effectiveness.

While Megaupload also recognized take-down notices from major organizations, it had to be wary of notices emitting from places like Mexico, which could be fueled by owners of rival similar websites, Davison continued.

The defense added that Dotcom had no intention of reactivating his websites until the legalities are resolved. Furthermore, due to Dotcom's distinctive appearance, it is also most unlikely that the German-born New Zealand resident would be able to pass through customs and immigration unrecognized.

In a final comment, the prosecution alleged that Dotcom also has multiple credit cards under multiple aliases, but Davison said that this is because "my client collects them; most of them are out of date".

Photo credit: 3News in New Zealand)

Topic: Tech Industry

Darren Greenwood

About Darren Greenwood

Darren Greenwood has been in journalism, not all of it IT, since the days of typewriters and long before the web spun its way around the world.

Coming from Yorkshire, he can be blunt, and though having resided in New Zealand, as well as Australia, for quite some time, he insists he is not one of the 'sheeple!'

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  • RE: Megaupload's Kim Dotcom in jail awaiting bail

    I wish people would stop defneding this guy. As horrible as the DMCA was, it did at least allow for a safe harbor provision for ISPs. Megaupload is exploiting the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA to provide a software and movie piracy bazaar and enrich the site owners at the expense of copyright holders. If the Feds cannot go after organizations that do this under current laws, then we WILL see the passage of legislation that makes the DMCA look like th golden age of internet freedom.
    dsf3g
  • RE: Megaupload's Kim Dotcom in jail awaiting bail

    The Web site is not in the US
    The accused involved are not US Nationals

    The US should NEVER have jurisdiction over the matter.
    CyberGuerilla