The legal wrangling for Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon. This time though, it is he who is in a position to press charges and file a lawsuit. According to a New Zealand court, Dotcom has valid grounds for suing New Zealand’s spy agency. Dotcom had accused the agency of being involved in illegal surveillance which ultimately led the authorities to his Auckland mansion. Dotcom has proceeded against the NZ government and is seeking compensation.
A raid was conducted on Dotcom’s mansion in January last year. The local police had been alerted and assisted by the spy agency which had been keeping an eye on Dotcom for some time. The raid had been carried out at the behest of authorities in the US, where Dotcom is facing legal charges in several copyright infringement cases. Even though the Attorney General had personally applied to the Appeals Court to keep the spy agency out of the case, the court sided with Kim Dotcom.
This follows a ruling last year which deemed any surveillance activity carried on Dotcom in New Zealand to be illegal. Since the spy agency was directly involved with it, it comes as no surprise that Dotcom has been threatening to sue them. In fact the Prime Minister had to apologize for the actions of the spy agency. However, Dotcom is not content with an apology and might move ahead with the lawsuit in the not too distant future.
The case in question is against Dotcom for launching the file-sharing platform Megaupload. The case deems that Dotcom has been making a lot of money off the website but the content which is being shared and distributed is copyrighted and illegal distribution counts as infringement. The case clearly states that Kim Dotcom, or Kim Schmidt as is his real name, has made over $175 million over the past eight years from Megaupload along with some associates.
The reason why the spy agency was prohibited from spying on him is because Dotcom is not a NZ national. He had been living in the US before moving here to escape the authorities. However, basically he is a German national, which means he cannot be spied upon or tried in NZ. He would have to be extradited to Germany or the US to be tried for the charges levied against him. He has been battling the extradition case for several months as the authorities want him in the US.
Even with all this hullaballoo, Dotcom maintains that his website was a simple storage website that provided people the change to upload any content they wished. Over time, the usage of the website grew and it had a wide range of data, from movies and music to family pictures on it. Megaupload was finally shut down last year for good and now Dotcom has to find a way to get it off its back. It may be some time before he is able to clear his name, of which the chance is already slim.
[Image via blouinnews]