As a US music industry heavyweight was blasting Kim Dotcom's Megaupload business as a pirate operation costing millions and causing job losses, a New Zealand judge was praising the German online tycoon for being "upfront and transparent".
Dotcom was arrested in January at his Auckland home on the orders of US authorities, who accuse his Megaupload site of copyright piracy.
He and Mathias Ortmann, Finn Batato and Bram van der Kolk are now fighting moves to extradite them to the US.
They applied to the Auckland District Court to ease bail restrictions and, against Crown opposition, Judge David Harvey granted the application, saying: "The initial concerns about flight risk were overstated.
"These gentlemen have displayed a willingness to abide by court orders. They have been upfront and transparent."
But at the same time Recording Industry Association of America chairman Cary Sherman appeared before the House of Representatives saying enforcement of criminal copyright laws to protect the nation's economic interests was important.
He said the shutdown of Megaupload had seen a "tremendous impact on other such rogue cyberlocker sites', and the US Government's action sent a signal the US would not tolerate the use of the internet for criminal activity.
Last week Dotcom and associates were in the High Court at Auckland wrangling over access to evidence seized from computers. The court heard FBI agents secretly copied data and sent it overseas without telling New Zealand authorities or Dotcom's lawyers.
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