'LITTLE KIM' Dotcom has lost his latest appeal to avoid extradition to the US on charges that no one really remembers anymore. Piracy? Was that it?
The New Zealand Court of appeal has upheld a ruling that means that Dotcom and three associates, named as Mattias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato, can be sent to the US to stand on copyright infringement counts caused by his now-defunct Megaupload file-sharing site.
The accused have always denied that this is the case, with many arguing that blaming piracy on Kim DotCom is a bit like blaming Louis Vuitton when someone smuggles cocaine in your designer suitcase.
Those in favour of extradition argue that if Mr Dotcom didn't want to get into trouble for smuggling, he shouldn't have gotten into the suitcase game in the first place, to extend this woeful and unnecessary metaphor to its logical conclusion.
The last option the defendants have, assuming that Justice Minister Andrew Little decides to pursue the matter further, is a review from the New Zealand Supreme Court. Beyond that, there's every chance that Mr Dotcom's a*s will be booking two seats on a one-way ticket to the US.
The prosecution, representing rights holders for the music, games and movies held on the site, argue that it was an example of a global criminal enterprise that cost them half a billion dollars.
The Dotcom camp says it just wanted to run a file-sharing site and the copyright theft was a by-product.
As such, under New Zealand law, they could not have been extradited as digital copyright laws aren't a separate offence there. This new ruling - which still isn't a ruling on guilt - states that the fraud aspect does qualify them for extradition and that the US court should get to see him in the ample flesh for a hearing.
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