He’s back in court today to appeal the previous ruling that he should be extradited.
The appeal is due to last eight weeks, though Mr Dotcom’s lawyers have said they expect the case to be appealed by either side through all stages of the legal system up to the Supreme Court – a process that could take many more years to complete.
Mr Dotcom has already fired an opening salvo at US authorities, asking the High Court to let a livestream of the appeal hearing go ahead.
His lawyer Ira Rothken said the only reason the US could have for opposing the livestream was if they feared their case was not strong enough to stand scrutiny.
The burden of proof for extradition is low – like a committal hearing in a domestic criminal case, prosecutors do not have to prove guilt; they need only show that on the face of it there is a case against the men.
Crown lawyers have argued on behalf of the US that Megaupload was a “simple scheme of fraud” that wilfully breached copyright on a huge scale by hosting illegally-created movie, music and software files. The site aided and abetted users who uploaded popular illegal files by paying them financial rewards, the US said.
Mr Dotcom’s lawyers argued Megaupload was set up as a legitimate file-storing site, and there were a large number of people who were using it for that purpose. They said their client could not be held responsible for the illegal actions of some users.
However, the North Shore District Court found there was an “overwhelming preponderance of evidence” against Mr Dotcom and the other men.
Under digital copyright law both in New Zealand and the US, an internet service provider is protected from liability for the behaviour of its users, provided a major purpose of the service is legal, and the site complies with takedown requests.
But the court found that ‘safe harbour’ provision did not apply because there was evidence to suggest the men knew the site was hosting copyright-infringing files and encouraged that behaviour.
Like it or not. Our jolly German “Internet Entrepreneur” is going to grace us with his presence for some time to come. All we can hope for is that the last judge in this elongated process is going to be the one that puts him on a plane.