Dotcom loses Record of Case fight

Last updated 18:43 23/05/2014
Fairfax NZ
RECORD OF CASE: Another setback for Mega founder Kim Dotcom.

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A summary of the FBI's case against Kim Dotcom has been made public in a District Court decision released today.

It alleges the German millionaire knowingly infringed copyright, monetarily rewarded other people for doing so and made more than $175 million in the process.

Judge Nevin Dawson lifted the prohibition order on the FBI's case against Dotcom, which the Megaupload founder had hoped to keep secret.

At the centre of the argument is a document called the "Record of Case", a summary document from more than 22 million emails obtained by the FBI.

The summary of the FBI's case was released by a United States district judge to potential victims at the end of last year.

The summary is no longer subject to prohibition orders in New Zealand.

In it the FBI alleges Dotcom, who with Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato is charged money laundering and copyright infringement, made US$25m (NZ$18.3m) through online advertising and US$150m through premium user subscriptions on the Megaupload site.

The "Mega Conspiracy" also rewarded users who uploaded copyright information by paying a total of more than US$3m through e-commerce site PayPal, it said.

The FBI alleged that Dotcom was aware of copyright infringements and had received emails from copyright owners, including Warner Brothers, to take material off Megaupload.

The summary alleged Dotcom and others involved in Megaupload sent emails discussing the site's aim to have the ability to upload all videos.

The FBI said Megaupload did not use mechanisms at its disposal to take down material known to be in breach of copyright laws on the Megaupload website.

Megaupload had used automated measures to take down known child pornography and terrorism propaganda, but had neglected to use those means to take down material breaking copyright, the summary said.

The summary laid out the FBI's case, what witnesses would provide evidence on different aspects of the case and details including emails and bank transfers to support its case.

Van der Kolk and Batato were arrested along with Dotcom and Ortmann in a raid at Dotcom's $30m mansion in Auckland in January 2012.

All four men were facing extradition to the US after the raid.

Judge David Harvey decided in 2012 that Dotcom should have access to information collated against him by the FBI, but a non-publication order was given in relation to the Record of Case.

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However, Dotcom argued releasing the document was contempt of court and he opposed the Crown's application to make the Record of Case public.
Judge Dawson also ruled against Dotcom's bid for access to information from New Zealand SIS and Immigration.

The Megaupload founder's lawyer, Paul Davidson, QC, said Dotcom was determined in his fight despite this most recent setback.

"We will press on with our resolve." Davidson said.

Dotcom had filed applications to the High Court to obtain further evidence, namely clones of Dotcom's computers, which were taken during the raid.

The extradition hearing is due to start on July 7.

- Stuff

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