Megaupload Boss Kim Dotcom Granted Bail After US Fails To Prove He's Got Cash Stashed Away To Make An Escape

from the nice-try dept

Whatever you might think of Kim Dotcom (originally Schmitz), the founder of Megaupload, he at least deserves a fair trial. US officials had worked hard to keep him locked up without bail, but a New Zealand court has finally granted him bail after no one could show him having access to vast funds elsewhere that he could use to make a run for it. Apparently, US officials insisted that he must have those funds, but couldn't produce any evidence, and the court realized that's not a particularly good reason to keep him locked up:
In the North Shore District Court this morning, Justice Nevin Dawson said that after a long time where officials could investigate the Dotcom's potential access to funds - none of significance had been found. Justice Dawson said it was "highly unlikely" that he had other financial resources available to him that had not already been seized.

Prosecution acting for the United States Government had said that because Dotcom was "very wealthy" it was probably he had more bank accounts.

However, Justice Dawson said that put Dotcom in the position of having to "prove a negative" and that assertion was not enough to imply his flight risk.

Four new bank accounts were discovered in the Philippines, but they were empty, he said.

"The suspicion that Mr. Dotcom is very wealthy is not evidence of further assets and cannot be used against him."
I've certainly noticed attempts by many to try Dotcom based on his outward appearance or the fact that he clearly was a show off who flung money around. And I can understand that desire. But, any trial should be based on the actual facts against him, not the fact that he was apparently tacky and a showoff when he spent money. If that, alone, was a crime, then tons of famous musicians, movie stars and athletes deserve the same treatment.

That said, the conditions of bail include no internet usage, which (as we've noted in the past) is pretty ridiculous, since nearly everything touches the internet these days, including popular phone systems. It seems perfectly reasonable to say that he can't have anything to do with cyberlockers or Megaupload or such, but a complete internet ban seems extreme.


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    Josh (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:37am

    A fate worse than death

    No internet AT ALL? They might as well just give him a summary execution and be done with it.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:43am

    I was entertained at the complete level of insanity happening in this case.

    "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

    They took all the money, how would this exactly happen?
    You managed to touch him in NZ and his corporation around the world, where exactly is where you can't touch? I mean you found a way to bend US law to give you worldwide reach, why would you even argue something so silly?

    "Although no longer in prison, Dotcom will have to abide by several strict conditions at his Coatesville house. No helicopters will be allowed to land on the premises, Dotcom will have to give police 24 hours notice should he choose to leave, and when he does there will be a limit of 80km to his travels."

    Because he knows a guy with a helicopter, so he would TOTALLY just hop in it and magically teleport himself to another country.

    source: https://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-founder-kim-dotcom-released-from-prison-120222/

    I wonder if they will make him take down the inflatable tank he had in the yard to bother the neighbors, so the police don't fear he is hiding a real tank inside of it to fire upon them with.

    Let the farce continue!
    UMG needs to recoup some money after being copyright infringers on a massive commercial scale.

     

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      Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:46am

      Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

      And what exactly would be the illegality of that?

       

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:03am

        Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

        because he us facing all kinds of made up charges. (Copyright is not an extradition level crime (well from NZ), but money laundering and the other silly portions of the indictment are).

        If he got Mega back online he would get his music site up, and that would seriously harm the business interests of the labels.

        With access to the remnants of Mega he might be able to show that there was a significant amount of noninfrining material, and the IP addresses that uploaded the current "evidence" files were in blocks belonging to some corporations with axes to grind.

        He can't make any money, he can't show the world that Mega is back... that would ruin their chilling effect on cyberlockers the world over. It did what SOPA couldn't.

         

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          Killercool (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:15am

          Re: Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

          whoop. No, you missed it this time, TAC.

          If megaupload resurrected somewhere out of the US' reach, how would that be illegal?

          However, I'm left to wonder if, after the hearing, NZ will apply standard extradition limits (anything he did that was legal here cannot be prosecuted if you wish to extradite)?

          Not that it's a hard and fast rule (see Britain extradites one of their citizens for activities legal on their soil).

           

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            That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:25am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

            Aroo? What did I miss, sorry muddled brains atm...

            There is a reason he is facing charges with 5-6 year sentences, needs to be more than 4 for the first hurdle in NZ extradition, IIRC.

            The UK case is disturbing as the Judge felt that US law trumped UK court findings.

             

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 2:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

            '(anything he did that was legal here cannot be prosecuted if you wish to extradite)'

            and you think that once they got him to the US, they would abide by that agreement? the rules are bent, even broken, simply to enable the entertainment industries to close down any and all competition. why? simply because they cant, well, compete!

             

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        Robert, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 2:16am

        Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

        A 'complete' internet ban, is obviously a pathetic US attempt to prevent Kim from making any public response to his arrest.
        Deny him any ability to publicly challenge those that abused him and are currently slandering him all over the press (guilty until proven innocent all over mass media).
        Whilst mass media does everything it can to taint, every possible member of a jury and fix the idea of guilt into every judges mind, they want to ensure he can not reply.
        This is some pretty sick distortions of the law by the US government up to and including doing everything possible to deny him the attempt to 'pay' for his legal defense.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:53am

          Re: Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

          "Deny him any ability to publicly challenge those that abused him and are currently slandering him all over the press (guilty until proven innocent all over mass media)."

          While Kim can't, himself, access the net, there's nothing stopping him from dictating text to someone who would then keyboard it from a different location and posting or e-mailing it to any site or addy they choose.
          And, if a tv crew happens to show up on his doorstep...

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:29pm

          Re: Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

          "guilty until proven innocent"
          That would suggest that the "system" is unbiased. We shall see, until we do, id say its more like, guilty untill proven guilty

           

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            Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:04pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

            the NZ justice system is Usually somewhat better about this than the US justice system. (most common complaint is that serious offenses are not punished harshly enough, though there's a whole lot of back and forth on that and related issues.)

            still not perfect though, and the shift from the privy council to a NZ based court does reduce the potential for successful appeal if it is screwed up. (that was a change made by parliament as soon as they could after they got taken to court, had it appealed all the way to the privy council, then Lost, having won at every level before that. the main advantage of the privy council was that our government had No Control Over It. it looked at the law at the time the incident took place, the evidence presented by the parties, and Absolutely Nothing Else. ... parliament tried to claim this was a bad thing. so now we have a court that parliament can control, though not directly, instead.) this would not be such a huge problem were it not for the party currently in power having no discernible policy other than 'line our own pockets, damage the economy in the name of saving money, and be as much like the USA as possible' :S

             

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      Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 2:44am

      Re:

      fun part: a real tank (possibly sans machine guns) would be entirely legal.

      driving it on the road requires special modifications to make it road worthy, a special license, and you get charged based on your usage of the road (mass, distance traveled, stuff like that) like a truck, rather than your fuel purchases like a car,

      he'd still be limited to going 80km though. add to that the fact that tanks are, generally speaking, slower than cars, and that's perhaps not a major issue :P

      (the Illegal part would be if he'd bought Ammo to go with it. actually, i think the MGs would require a special gun license, the ammo for them (and anything smaller) certainly requires a gun license, and the ammo for the tanks main gun is, like as not, outright illegal for civilians to own under any situation.)

       

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        btr1701 (profile), Feb 23rd, 2012 @ 10:47am

        Re: Re:

        > driving it on the road requires special
        > modifications to make it road worthy

        I would think there's no way to modify a tank to make it road-worthy, as the sheer weight of any tank would tear the road to shreds.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:34am

      Re:

      I wonder if people will show him a doll and ask where the law touched him.

       

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      ltlw0lf (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:50pm

      Re:

      I notice that the DoJ is still up to its tricks here. A prosecutor once denied Kevin Mitnick a bail hearing by telling the judge that all Mitnick needed to do to launch WWIII was to whistle into a phone. Luckily, in this case, the Judge was smarter and nicer than the prosecution.

      Stay classy, DoJ, Stay Classy.

       

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    Rikuo (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:16am

    Someone tell me please.
    Can a judge bar a suspect from using a telephone? Using a phonebook? Using a television, a dvd player, a computer? Talking to people? Reading a newspaper, a book, a magazine?

    Because, seriously, that is the thought process of this judge. Dotcom here is accused of a crime that involved the internet, therefore he must be barred from the internet. What about if I use a telephone to scream death threats at someone? If I did that, you can't be barred from using a telephone at all (at most, I can see being forbidden to call that particular number). What if I published an article in a newspaper glorifying murder and rape? I can be punished for that, (depending on jurisdiction, that would include imprisonment) but I wouldn't be told that I then can't write for newspapers anymore.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:30am

      Re:

      Ask Kevin Mitnick. He had quite a few limits imposed on him before, during, after trial.

      Ask the others accused members of Mega, they all have the same internet ban.

      The US prosecutor is arguing that he can do all sorts of horrible things if he touches a keyboard, not understanding the internet the judge errs on the side of caution.

      But then this is a case where a graphic designer was arrested, so using to much orange is punishable by law now.
      :D

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:16am

      Re:

      Yes a judge can bar a suspect from using a telephone.

      But to be fair, such restrictions really only work with law abiding people.

      Hmmm, I'm sensing a problem

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:56am

        Re: Re:

        "Yes a judge can bar a suspect from using a telephone."

        Actually, boy, he can't.
        What if the suspect needs a doctor and no one else is around?
        According to you, he has to die rather than call 911.

        At best, a judge can prohibit him from calling specific phone numbers.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 11:13am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No the judge could ban him "with the exception of calls to 911 or equal emergency networks".

          Sorry to spoil your fun. It can and has been done before.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 2:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            You see because it was done before doesn't it make it right or useful.

            The first time I saw this crap was with the Mary Typhoid story where the woman was forbidden from taking up a job a cook, in her case she was literally spreading death since she was a carrier, and that didn't stop anything.

            She may have been the first person recorded in history to have had all of her rights violated because of panic and fear.

            Apparently the justice department haven't evolved much past that point.

             

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            Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            also note that this is taking place in New Zealand.

            among other things, the emergency number is 111 (though 911 may also work due to issues with tourists, can't remember)

            I'm not sure if a telephone ban is actually allowed, not being a lawyer and all, but it should be noted that with the way NZ is set up, telecommunications wise, while he might be banned from using a cell phone or the Internet, a landline telephone would probably not be forbidden. it would, however, most likely be monitored.

            i say this mostly because, here abouts, the landline telephone and it's importance is Well understood. (there are laws and regulations that say that residential calls within a certain zone (defined based on some level of exchange) must not be charged for, and i'm pretty sure there's a maximum on the per year fee they can charge you for having a landline. (they are allowed to charge a fair bit extra if they have to lay more cable than just from the road to your house for you, but even then they can't charge you the full cost of it.)

            this might have something to do with the phone system starting off as a government service as part of the postoffice though. all these regulations were the price extracted for privatization of the phone network monopoly, which finally been broken up. (and even before then the regulations were keeping it in check. the Lack of regulation on mobile phone networks has lead to some outrageous pricing for some things though.)

            should be noted that Useage of those landlines, at least until recently, was high enough that when they did some major upgrades a couple of decades back, they had some foreign engineers over to help out... apparently NZ's normal useage was putting a load on the exchanges not seen in Japan except when they were doing Actual Load Testing.

            so, yeah, the phonelines go Everywhere and the telephone itself is a long understood technology, even by the government. far more likely to be tapped than banned (after all, if you pay attention, it's to their advantage to catch him breaking bail, rather than have him not do it, so long as they don't loose him.)

             

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    Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 2:49am

    YAY!

    always nice to see any part of our system do what is RIGHT in the face of US interests attempting to demand otherwise.

    of course, the part of our justice system that has been suspect has always been the honesty of the prosecutors (the police have a long history of being very good about their investigations in the first place, but there's a fair bit of evidence that they're quite willing to attempt to rig a trial to make sure it agrees with their conclusions after that. not often and not always successfully, but it has happened.)

    and it would be even Better if our executive would actually do so (... of course, that would require the head of the executive to actually do their damn job, heaven forbid...) likewise the legislature (as if they're functionally different things...)

    but still. while the Internet ban might be a bit ridiculous, it's a nice step up from the 'ship him to the states and be done with it' many were advocating.

     

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    vukovar (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:18am

    I would think the prosecutors were the ones asking for the conditions of bail, not the judge. Once they knew they couldn't prove any hidden assets they would have that discussion internally and list conditions on which they would agree to his release on bail. That said, I'm hoping the rest of the case can be shown to be equally misrepresented by the U.S. Attorneys.

     

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      Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:20pm

      Re:

      i've never heard of the prosecution having much, if any, input into the conditions of bail beyond a bit of effort to prove that it shouldn't be granted at all.

      i mean, i'm not a lawyer, but the news reports seem to indicate that granting bail or not, and it's conditions is entirely the decision of the judge.

      (the prosecution may Ask for certain conditions, i suppose, but whether they 'accept' them or not would seem to be irrelivant.)

      perhaps a New Zealand based lawyer could actually comment on this... if any read techdirt...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:27am

    Oh no! Kim Dotcom received bail! Now the Internet is doomed.

    Why are you pro-piracy, Masnick?

    [/chubby]

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:41am

      Re:

      I do believe your having a stroke.
      Press the little call button and have the nurse come check on you.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:16am

        Re: Re:

        I really should include proper [/sarc] tags instead of little touches like [/darryl]. I apologise.

         

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          It didn't ring darryl sounding, so I was afeared you were a new troll and were having a stroke. That would explain so much wouldn't it?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Darryl is a more extreme example; I had hoped the word "chubby" would allude to another troll I was attempting to mimic.

             

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              That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              My problem is they all blend together. ootb, darryl, and a couple other at least "own up" to their words, the rest all just use AC and blather...

               

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:44am

    He'll run. While I think due process has served here - the American prosecutors had a legitimate fear.

     

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:54am

      Re:

      An indictment is due process?!

      Maybe your unfamiliar with the idea of the adversarial process, where both sides get to present evidence and then a jury decides.

      What we had here was an overwrought case stated to a Grand Jury who only heard bad things. The indicted the people based on nuanced information designed to portray the accused in a bad light.

      They have yet to have a day in court about the indictment, and used a 76 man terrorism response squad to take someone into custody fearing he had some giant magnet that could erase their case.

      This is not due process, this is a travesty.
      Remember the case is based on "Estimated Losses", they seem to be unable to prove any actual harm.

       

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        Niall (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:12am

        Re: Re:

        They can't even prove Dotcom has alleged money, let alone alleged losses!

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 7:04am

        Re: Re:

        An indictment is due process?!

        It's been part of American jurisprudence for a very long time; and seemingly has passed the due process test.

        Maybe your unfamiliar with the idea of the adversarial process, where both sides get to present evidence and then a jury decides.

        That is the trial phase. It comes after an arrest or indictment, not before.

        What we had here was an overwrought case stated to a Grand Jury who only heard bad things. The indicted the people based on nuanced information designed to portray the accused in a bad light.

        Were you on the grand jury or have access to a transcript? The indictment itself is not a transcript.

        They have yet to have a day in court about the indictment, and used a 76 man terrorism response squad to take someone into custody fearing he had some giant magnet that could erase their case.

        This is not due process, this is a travesty.

        You have no factual basis for that claim. Clearly the grand jury and indictment process are well within the bounds of due process and have been for generations.

        Remember the case is based on "Estimated Losses", they seem to be unable to prove any actual harm.

        Again you talk out of your ass. In a wrongful death case, part of the damages are estimated earnings of the deceased. It doesn't have to be black or white in order to comport with the tenets of due process.

         

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          TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 11:44am

          Re: Re: Re:

          As long as we're going on about the AMERICAN judicial process let's remember that the bust took place in New Zealand. And as far as Grand Jury's go I don't know that they even exist in New Zealand any more than they do in Canada.

          This is a bail hearing in a New Zealand court to decide whether or not to keep Dotcom in jail. The lawyer acting for the United States and the New Zealand prosecution couldn't prove establish that Dotcom was a flight risk and so now he's out with conditions.

          Say what you will about the conditions in that sense the system worked. Not a flight risk, you can go home now. I'd say, off the top of my head, that this isn't all that good for the case the prosecution wants to build when this does come to a fully blown trial.

          As for the Grand Jury system in the United States, little, if any, of what is heard by a Grand Jury ever makes it into a criminal trial in Canada as, at best, it's considered hearsay evidence of the weakest kind. It's both the structure of the system with Grand Jury's acting as "investigators" and often hearing what evidence they do hear behind closed doors instead of in public as Magna Charta demands it to be.

          So let's just calm down here. The prosecution couldn't establish a flight risk so Dotcom is out of jail with some odd conditions, I admit, but he's out.

          Lots more good stuff happening when the trail itself begins. As I said tough it's not a good start for the prosecution when they can't find the wealth that was part of the bust and a central point in the charges in the USA against him.

          I guess his wealth is all tied up in Canadian Tire money! :-)

           

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            Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            ayup.

            it's a fair bet that the NZ system is a lot closer to the Canadian system than the US system... the US system is designed to manage a continental empire, after all. (and is all kinds of weird and twisted as a result)

            NZ is much smaller and it's systems often reflect that.
            the use of tribunals as step one for a large number of non-criminal legal issues which leads to many of them being resolved before they even Get to court is a big one. (basically, in most of these cases, the tribunal is enforced arbitration, with a ruling only if the parties prove incapable of reaching an agreement and a court case only if one party or the other fails to follow through on their side of the agreement/ruling, or sometimes if it is a big enough issue to be appealed.)

            our court system has a number of Layers, but the only difference between one district court and another is it's location. all the rulings hold across the whole system (unless it is appealed, of course, in which case the result of That is what holds.)

            such is my understanding, anyway. much easier to keep track of what's going on.

             

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          That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:07pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "That is the trial phase. It comes after an arrest or indictment, not before."
          So seizing all of the property and having them roughed up was just them getting ahead of themselves?

          "The indictment itself is not a transcript."
          However the actual charges and the support of those charges listed in the indictment are a freaking joke. THEY LAUNDERED MONEY!!!! by paying the hosting bills.
          They scanned for and removed child porn!!!! But not copyrighted material!!!!
          They are a Hong Kong based corporation not bound to follow the DMCA process, but they did... but not good enough.

          And yes they assumed that he had a button he could press that would somehow remove Mega from existence, but they have "evidence" so this would have mattered why? Oh because they have an alleged insideman who magically got them records of skype calls and emails going back to like 2007, that or someone was hacking the information. What kind of warrant do you need to secretly hack an international corporations communications?

          No this is a travesty, their entire case is he hurt copyrights, everything else was added to meet the requirements to have NZ honor the extradition request. They seized property belonging to innocent bystanders, and are unwilling to return it and infact created the illusion it was just going to be erased... and that was happening because Mega wouldn't do anything.... while behind bars, with no access to the company or its funds...

          Wrongful Death vs Copyright Infringement, those are both civil matters where they could play with future potential... except this is a criminal case. Yes is does need to be black and white in a criminal case, there is this thing called the burden of proof instead of the standard of more likely than not.

          You might want to check your own ass, as you seem to be unable to differentiate between a criminal case and a civil case.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:10am

      Re:

      The American prosecutors had a legitimate fear over what? That Kim Dotcom can cause more untold damage to the industry from mere access to the Internet? Wasn't the whole idea of the raid to remove all his ability to do so? If so - why would access to the Internet change anything? Or was the raid not thorough enough (in which case, wouldn't that be the fault of the prosecution for not being thorough)?

       

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:13am

        Re: Re:

        "Prosecutor Anne Toohey said that Internet access would increase the risk of a Megaupload resurrection in a jurisdiction where US authorities canít touch it."

        That is their fear, that the site would come back up someplace they couldn't muscle an anti-terrorism team of 76 to copter into and raid.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's what I don't get; the raid removed all possible resources that would allow Kim Dotcom to get the site back up. Unless you propose a conspiracy that Kim could launch some signal via the Internet to relaunch a backup of the site run by someone else?

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The industry is just shocked by the resilience of the Pirate Bay, when people really want to be in business not for the money but just to piss you off they can do it and legally too.

            I don't think that Kim is that guy though he is more the opportunistic kind of dude, certainly not a flower but less of a turd than the MAFIAA that is for sure.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 9:06am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Face it, he's pretty much an ass any way you want to look at it, but if being an ass were a crime Kanye West would probably be doing consecutive life sentences.

              IF Google had concern of potential infringement as far back as 2007, why did it take almost 5 year to actually take some action? Why did they wait until:

              a)The day after massive demonstrations against overreaching legislation (which comes off as nothing more than "we don't really need these bills to do what we want when we want")?

              and

              b) Shortly after he appointed an industry insider as CEO, lined up a bunch of big name talent for support, and prepared to launch some serious competition to the current industry giants?

               

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  •  
    identicon
    Pixelation, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:32am

    Banned

    "It seems perfectly reasonable to say that he can't have anything to do with cyberlockers or Megaupload or such, but a complete internet ban seems extreme."

    He will obviously use P2P to download music and harm the industry even more! He should be banned from having fingers to use a keyboard.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:37am

    If he can't access the net, how is he supposed to work on his defense?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:41am

    I was referring to 'due process' as per the decision on bail, not the whole case - but at any rate, there is no question that there were losses. Let's keep it real here; Megaupload was a piracy haven for all sorts of things. Did companies lose potential profit as a result of it? -Without question. Does that mean there should be quantifiable evidence to support an indictment? -Under present law, yes - but you do realise that it puts copyright into a 'Catch 22' situation, right?

     

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    •  
      icon
      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:58am

      Re:

      I think there are serious questions about losses, they are basing this case on estimated damages. Factual information should be required in a courtroom, not guesses.

      Lets keep it real indeed.
      Some people used a tool to infringe upon copyright.
      Some people use guns to shoot other people, we haven't raided and shutdown gun manufacturers yet.

      Potential Profit... as opposed to actual profit. Potential Profit can be the wistful dreams of a kid in a garage band who is sure he is going to be a millionaire rockstar someday. If he doesn't make his million by 24 does he get to sue?

      They can indict a ham sandwich as the old saying goes.

      If people uploaded copyrighted material to the site, shouldn't they be held accountable?
      They seized all of those records, but instead they are trying to shut down a service provider.
      They called paying the companies bills laundering money, they really can't be taken seriously anymore.
      This hurts Megas plans for a music selling site, scared the crap out of other cyberlocker sites, and serves the interests of the copyright cartel.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Hephaestus (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:50am

      Re:

      "Did companies lose potential profit as a result of it? -Without question."

      Yeah, one minor thing you can't loose potential profit. You either have a profit or you do not.

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:59am

      Re:

      "but you do realise that it puts copyright into a 'Catch 22' situation, right?"

      And the problem with that is...?

       

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    •  
      icon
      JMT (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 2:49pm

      Re:

      "Did companies lose potential profit as a result of it? -Without question. "

      Thank you for demonstrating your total lack of understanding of economics. You'd get laughed out of a first year econ class for making a ridiculous statement like that.

      "Does that mean there should be quantifiable evidence to support an indictment? -Under present law, yes - but you do realise that it puts copyright into a 'Catch 22' situation, right?"

      Right, and if a law creates a Catch-22 situation, it's a bad law. Copyright law is simply inconsistent with the realities of the digital world we now live in.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 4:41am

    I was referring to 'due process' as per the decision on bail, not the whole case - but at any rate, there is no question that there were losses. Let's keep it real here; Megaupload was a piracy haven for all sorts of things. Did companies lose potential profit as a result of it? -Without question. Does that mean there should be quantifiable evidence to support an indictment? -Under present law, yes - but you do realise that it puts copyright into a 'Catch 22' situation, right?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:12am

      Re:

      Utter BS

      There is a question as to whether there were any kind of losses, there has been no compelling evidence linking any kind of infringement to any level of losses.

      What evidence there is, and there certainly isn't enough yet to make any kind of definitive statement is that infringement boosts sales, as with Go the F*&% to sleep and numerous other examples.

      So where on earth do you get your "without question" comment, it isn't based on evidence because no evidence shows it, it must be based on it must be true because you think it's true, but the world really, really does not work that way.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:55am

        Re: Re:

        So where on earth do you get your "without question" comment

        I think it's a quantum thing and largly exists only in the same realm as the number i. At least that's the only explanation I can think of as to how you can "lose" something you never had. Binary states and all that - you both have and dont have the money until observation collapses the waveform. Similar to when I come over all "Schroedinger" and want to simultaneously laugh and cry every time I see an argument that goes something like: "Dirty pirates stealing my moneny!"... "Uh, but you made billions last year"... "Yeah! and it would have been TRILLIONS if not for those dirty pirates they stole the rest"

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 7:07am

        Re: Re:

        "There is a question as to whether there were any kind of losses, there has been no compelling evidence linking any kind of infringement to any level of losses."

        Theoretically, According to the RIAA, sales should have increased since MegaUpload was shut down and his major contribution to "piracy" ended.
        Have sales jumped through the roof?

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 8:18am

      Re:

      Oh there were loses. Loses that nobody can quantify or show, loses that are like unicorns, we hear about it and they are supposed to exist but nobody seen them.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:39am

    As soon as Mr Dotcom leaves the country (probably by boat) and disappears laughing into the night, the courts will have egg on their faces and another criminal will have avoided justice.

    Not a very good situation.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:54am

      Re:

      One can only hope that all criminals were like Kim DotCom, seriously if that is a dangerous man, I hate to see what unicorns would be in your world.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 7:37am

        Re: Re:

        Have you ever seen how this idiot drives on public roads? He's a danger.

         

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      •  
        icon
        TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        As leaving NZ by ship required such niceties as having a passport somehow I'd put that low on the list. Unless he chooses human smugglers and if the court can't find any wealtyh then he can't afford that either.

        By ship, boat or air it's a long way from New Zealand to any other land if he decides to steal a boat and motor off. Then there's the minor issue of reading navigation charts.

        Actually, he's better off sitting back at home thumbing his nose at the prosecutor.

        oh and didn't you know that unicorns lead tigers to tasty humans? ;)

         

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        •  
          icon
          Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          even Australia isn't as close as it looks, the Tasman Sea is very dangerous. strong winds, unhelpful currents, and a tendency towards the formation of tornadoes (waterspouts) which occasionally make landfall in the North Island.

          you need a big, and incredibly freaking obvious, ship to make That trip safely... and even then most wouldn't.

           

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    •  
      icon
      JMT (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:19pm

      Re:

      The flight risk argument is nonsense, for three very important reasons.

      Firstly, he has consistently stated that the charges will be vigorously defended with the intent of completely clearing the company of all changes. Any flight would seriously undermine that defence, and be completely counter-productive.

      Second, flight would almost certainly guarantee he would not see any of the money and assets seized even again, so heíd be on the run with nothing.

      Third, (and as a parent, equally as important IMO), he has three young children and a wife due to give birth to twins within a few weeks. Those so sure heís a flight risk must be pretty callous people themselves if they thing thatís not an extraordinarily compelling reason to stay exactly where he is.

       

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      •  
        icon
        Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:38pm

        Re: Re:

        indeed. it is complete nonsense.

        i mean, maybe if he were facing execution he might flee and take his family with him or something, but that's not the case here.

        (well, not legally or legitimately at least. who knows what'll happen if the court finds no grounds to extradite him or otherwise cripple his business further.)

         

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:09am

    "US Fails To Prove He's Got Cash Stashed Away"

    To be fair, standard US government behaviour is not geared to proving any wild claims they make.

    The pattern is more usually when dealing internationally,
    1) make wild and usually knowingly false claims
    2) criticise anyone who criticises those claims as being in league with the enemy/ in favour of child porn etc
    then
    3) bomb/invade country / assasinate/murder person or spirit person away for torture

    It can work for dotcom everybit as well as it worked for Vietnam/Afghanistan, Iraq and coming soon to Iran

     

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    •  
      icon
      Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:44pm

      Re:

      well, save that any of the more Obvious courses of action against NZ would have much more serious international diplomatic consequences than in those places.

      people actually LIKE us :P

      (basically if you list off the USA's allies that actually helped them in those cases, you can take pretty much every english speaking one as an ally who would bail on them, or possibly actively work against them, depending on the situation, if they invaded NZ. ... France, on the other hand... yeah, you know how the US has this stereotype of france always surrendering or whatever? well, the NZ image of France, if they care at all, is based on their spies infiltrating the country, conducting acts of sabotage and, at least, manslaughter as a result, being caught by Common Citizens while the country was NOT in any way geared up mentally, organizationally, or in any other way, for war, being tried and convicted, being handed over to the french government to serve the rest of their sentences after not very long at all, and not long after being Let Go by that french government... so no one would be surprised if they helped the USA with such a move. and the few who would be surprised by the USA Doing it would be surprised only if they hadn't been involved in helping have it done.)

       

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  •  
    identicon
    TDR, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 6:20am

    Somehow I don't think Kim's going to follow that ridiculous ban. Not to mention it's completely unenforceable, given how easy it is to be anonymous online. Might as well try to ban the sun to keep it from rising.

     

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    •  
      icon
      Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:48pm

      Re:

      unfortunately, the NZ telecomunications system has taps in it that allow them to monitor just that. (this was snuck through and caused some public outcry, but by the time the public heard about it it was already done and there was the classic 'oh, but we won't actually USE it' spiel combiend with 'if you're not doing anything wrong you've got nothing to hide' and such. complete bullshit and a major weakness in the system as Anyone who gets a password or two can activate and use them, but oh well.)

      they cannot prove if it's him or just someone in his house using the internet, but it's a fair bet that they'll be set up in such a way that Anyone using it via the land line from that building will count.

      hard to stop someone using a prepayed data plan and a smartphone, i suppose, but one would imagine all such would be confiscated at the begining and the movement restrictions (a large part of the point of the 24 hour notification would be to let them escort/monitor him) would prevent him aquireing new ones.

       

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  •  
    icon
    ComputerAddict (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 11:42am

    Spam Mail

    ugh I can see the spam mail now...

    __________________________________

    Hi this is your cousin kim dotcom you probably didn't know I was related to you, but desperate times have caused me to reach out to you.

    I have millions of money stored in secret accounts that the both the Austrailian and US governments couldn't find. I need your help to smuggle the funds out of the country. All I need is your bank account and routing number and I can deposit [insert rediculous amount here] and once I am able to get out of the country all I ask is you return $1.53 to me.

    _______________________________________________

    Although the spelling would be all horrible and there would be links to domain names consisting of random strings of letters and numbers and ending in .cn

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 11:53am

    Fair play to them, not being swayed by big organizations

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 11:56am

    Makes you think, dont it?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:15pm

    "no internet usage"

    Does that include, Dotcom being in th same room with someone else "using" the intenet, and having him/her dictate to Dotcom, who is on the otherside of the room, what he/or she sees, reads or hears?

    Bloody hell, im thinking like a politician.......sssshit!!!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 12:19pm

      Re:

      Wait, how about, Dotcom is calling the he/she over the phone, and he/she, is "using" the internet, and he/she dictates what he or she sees reads or hears.Does that count?

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 3:33pm

    The flight risk argument is nonsense, for three very important reasons.

    Firstly, he has consistently stated that the charges will be vigorously defended with the intent of completely clearing the company of all changes. Any flight would seriously undermine that defence, and be completely counter-productive.

    Second, flight would almost certainly guarantee he would not see any of the money and assets seized even again, so heíd be on the run with nothing.

    Third, (and as a parent, equally as important IMO), he has three young children and a wife due to give birth to twins within a few weeks. Those so sure heís a flight risk must be pretty callous people themselves if they thing thatís not an extraordinarily compelling reason to stay exactly where he is.


    Please. The fat fuck could spirit his entire family to any of the destinations below if he was smart enough to stash away a few million somewhere- which most big money criminals do before they buy their first mansion.

    What would you rather have a few million and wile away your days as a free man on Vanuatu (where he could doubtlessly recreate his business) or risk a decade of pillow-biting in a federal penitentiary in the hope of getting back $50 million the government froze? And do you doubt that the $50 million isn't going to be frozen against the inevitable civil suits?

    No extradition from:

    Bhutan
    Botswana
    Brunei
    Burkina Faso
    Burundi
    Cambodia
    Cameroon
    Cape Verde
    Central African Republic
    Chad
    China
    Comoros
    Djibouti
    Equatorial Guinea
    Ethiopia
    Gabon
    Guinea
    Guinea Bissau
    Indonesia
    Iran
    Ivory Coast
    Jordan
    Kuwait
    Laos
    Lebanon
    Libya
    Madagascar
    Mali
    Maldives
    Mauritania
    Mongolia
    Morocco
    Mozambique
    Nepal
    Niger
    Oman
    Qatar
    Russia
    Rwanda
    Samoa
    Sao Tome e Principe
    Saudi Arabia
    Senegal
    Somalia
    Sudan
    Syria
    Togo
    Tunisia
    Uganda
    United Arab Emirates
    Vanuatu
    Vietnam
    Yemen
    Yemen South
    Zaire

     

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    •  
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      Chargone (profile), Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 5:53pm

      Re:

      a large number of those are places that no sane person would want to Be if they can avoid it... being rich mitigates or nullifies the issues in several more, i suppose.

      a few of them i've never actually heard of. heh.

      and a lot of them are in situations where, while there may be no extridition treaty, the USA could A) lean on the government there and have them deal with it, or B) conduct covert or military ops to deal with it themselves and have the international community not bat an eye lid (or at least be unwilling to risk getting embroiled in said war on the opposite side from the USA.)

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Feb 22nd, 2012 @ 8:09pm

      Re:

      >Please. The fat fuck could spirit his entire family to any of the destinations below if he was smart enough to stash away a few million somewhere- which most big money criminals do before they buy their first mansion.

      It's funny how you're willing to insist that Kim Dotcom has the ability to "spirit his entire family" without Internet access, but you're not willing to point out that if Kim Dotcom still has assets out there, it's the prosecution side's fault for not doing a thorough enough job.

       

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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