Print 22 comment(s) - last by CZroe.. on Feb 6 at 7:22 PM

Courts consider Dotcom a flight risk

The founder of the file-sharing site Megaupload was in court this week in New Zealand on appeal after the courts denied him bail citing flight risk. The courts again refused founder Kim Dotcom bail. The courts continue to agree with prosecutors that Dotcom is a flight risk because he has bank accounts and passports under three different names and is a German national.
Dotcom has been known to go by the names Kim Smits and Kim Tim Jim Vestor. The man remains in police custody in New Zealand until February 22 when hearing on extradition to the United States is set. A High Court judge in Auckland said the lower court judge was correct in assuming Dotcom to be a flight risk. Justice Raynor Asher said there was nothing to keep the man in New Zealand other than the desire to collect his money. The man's accounts have been frozen.
Prosecuting attorney Anne Toohe said, "The judge correctly concluded that the risk of flight cannot be mitigated by the imposition of conditions, including electronic monitoring."
Dotcom is accused of being the ringleader of the group that willfully bypassed international copyright law while amassing fortune of around $175 million since 2005. The money was made by allegedly copying and distributing multimedia content with no authorization from the copyright holder. The defense attorneys claim Dotcom simply offered storage isn't responsible for the content users put on website.
Dotcom said in court, "I will not run away. I want to fight these allegations on a level playing field. I have three little children. My wife is pregnant with twins. I just want to be with them."
While Dotcom sits in the New Zealand jail denied bail, Megaupload's U.S. CEO and musician Swiss Beatz was detained on similar allegations and then release from custody. In fact, the U.S. CEO isn't even named the court documents while almost every other employee is.

Source: Reuters

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By geddarkstorm on 2/3/2012 11:46:46 AM , Rating: 5
His name alone makes this story awesome.

RE: Seriously
By Samus on 2/3/2012 12:04:42 PM , Rating: 5
I feel bad for this guy, not because I think he's innocent, but because he is taking all the legal pressure. I'm also hearing the 175 million figure is being greatly exagerated and he alone has profited less than 1 million since 2005. Sure, its still a 6 figure income, but whats the difference between him and Sean Parker?

RE: Seriously
By maven81 on 2/3/12, Rating: 0
RE: Seriously
By chizow on 2/3/2012 6:58:06 PM , Rating: 2
You're deluding yourself if you think his take was <$1m. I guess you didn't see the aerial shot of the $25M "Dot Com Mansion" with 3 subsections, 2 pools, and a 40 car garage. Or the line of trailers wheeling out the 30+ luxury cars worth millions alone? Hell even the "Dot Com Mansion" marquis and guard house probably cost more than some people's condos/apartments.

RE: Seriously
By CZroe on 2/4/2012 1:14:41 AM , Rating: 1
Who cares? You say that like you hate successful people for their success. Unless there's some nasty business dealing that we are all unaware of, this guy is innocent of any wrong-doing.

RE: Seriously
By chizow on 2/4/2012 1:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
Obviously the federal government cares or they wouldn't have bothered to arrest him and his co-defendants.

As for whether he's innocent of any wrong-doing, I guess that's what the trial will determine, but in the meantime, claiming this guy was running some kind of for charity and not profiting immensely is pure naivete.

But that's really the crux of the trial is it not? Whether or not he was making millions using infringed material. We've got the millions accounted for, the only question is whether or not he was seeding his servers with infringed works.

RE: Seriously
By CZroe on 2/6/2012 7:14:47 PM , Rating: 2
So being OK with him profiting as long as he isn't guilty of wrong-doing is acting like he was running some kind of charity? As if someone needs to be running a charity to justify receiving so much money and having me be OK with it? That says a lot about OWS and the people who resent success.

The Feds care about profiting off of copyright infringement. They genuinely should not care if he weren't. The fact that they and other seem to is what I am objecting to. I don't see them even accusing him of doing anything worse than YouTube allowing users to submit works they don't own and then responding to take-down notices after-the-fact.

I never saw any accusation that he was "seeding," or ACTIVELY and deliberately placing copyrighted works on his servers to share until yours. Either the places reporting it are leaving that part out or it's a baseless lawsuit that may go farther than it ever should in order to justify the actions they've already taken.

RE: Seriously
By mindless1 on 2/4/2012 7:42:32 PM , Rating: 2
That's sort of like saying why hate a bank robber if the robber succeeds at his "job", so long as there's no "nasty business" going on while the bank's being robbed. Obviously the bank robber, having done no "nasty business" while robbing banks, must be innocent of any wrong-doing.

Yeah, keep living in a dream world.

RE: Seriously
By CZroe on 2/6/2012 7:22:45 PM , Rating: 2
Not at all. He is accused of wrong-doing ("bank robbing") but the money came from the otherwise legitimate business that "robbing the bank" supports. This only makes sense if "robbing the bank" provided some other incentive because the money is already his. Basically, the crime he's accused of is doing something illegal to attract more otherwise-legal money.

RE: Seriously
By karndog on 2/4/2012 10:51:30 AM , Rating: 2
Not true..

"So far investigators have frozen $23 million in a Hong Kong bank account, $10 million in New Zealand government bonds, $6 million in expensive cars, the Herald reported, with Crown prosecutor Anne Toohey, acting for the US government, alleging there could be more money."

That's just what they've found so far, not even including his multimillion dollar mansion.

Innocent or not he is worth much closer to 100 million than 1 million.
Innocent or not he is worth much closer to 100 million than 1 million.

By Beenthere on 2/3/12, Rating: -1
RE: Really?
By NellyFromMA on 2/3/2012 1:43:53 PM , Rating: 1
Um you could apply that [lame] assessment to anyone arrested but not tried. So you think we should hold people on whether we THINK he cares about the law or not?

Why don't we just assume anyone a police officer arrests doesn't care about the law either.....


RE: Really?
By Flunk on 2/3/2012 2:30:30 PM , Rating: 2
I think you've totally missed the point here. The OP is inferring that Mr Dotcom doesn't believe in law and justice because he ran a website dedicated to breaking the law through copyright infringement.

You comment about assuming that any random person doesn't care about the law is nonsensical unless that person also built a multi-million dollar criminal enterprise first.

RE: Really?
By geddarkstorm on 2/3/2012 2:48:07 PM , Rating: 3
And what ever happened to innocent until proven guilty? Megaupload acted on DMCA requests. The question is, what charges are they actually levelling here? Because he set up a service where people could host files, and said people could host copyrighted files if they wished? Or did he himself and his team host copyrighted files and directly profit from them? I'm not even sure exactly what the charge is about, it's that nebulous.

And just because he ran a Cloud storage business, does not make it a "criminal enterprise" nor an attempt to intentionally break the law (unless you want to accuse Google, Microsoft, Mediafire, Dropbox, the entire internet, etc etc all of the same "criminal enterprises" as they give the ability to store files and share with others). Nor would breaking copyright law mean a person has no regard for any laws, and would break other ones. Do you see him murdering folks, because he "doesn't care about the law"? If he's a "flight risk" it only implies he has the resources to leave the country, and he's too important to whatever the authorities are up to to allow that possibility (I am not sure now NZ does flight risk laws).

Innocent until proven guilty. Let's wait and see what this whole hooplah is actually about and he's given a judicial verdict before we pass ridiculous judgements.

RE: Really?
By someguy123 on 2/3/2012 3:01:11 PM , Rating: 3
Megaupload was shut down because of emails sent amongst the staff supporting piracy and actively trying to pirate things to gain attention for megaupload. FBI claims the staff actively pirated and also supported the idea of users posting illegal files if it meant more attention for the website.

If they weren't blatantly discussing the act of piracy they would never have been taken down/should get off scot-free.

RE: Really?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/3/2012 5:11:26 PM , Rating: 2
Man if you would have told me that less than 20 years after the Internet launched, crap like this could have taken place, back then I would have said you were full of it.

Now the Internet is just another place for the over-funded police state to break in, violate your privacy, and turn your opinions on things into crimes.

RE: Really?
By kleinma on 2/3/2012 6:13:23 PM , Rating: 2
facilitating the sharing of copyrighted materials is a crime regardless of anyones opinion. Also regardless as to if it should be a crime or not, which of course is also opinion. The fact is there are laws, they were broken, the people breaking them knew they were breaking them when said laws were broken.

These guys went down because they made a ton of money essentially by selling ad space by offering viewers of those ads content that they are supposed to, but did not pay for. They knew what they were doing... it was no accident.

RE: Really?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/3/2012 6:42:14 PM , Rating: 1
Since when did every little crime demand the maximum possible police response? We're wasting billions of dollars we don't have to punish people harmlessly downloading zero's and one's. It's absurd, I'm sorry. This isn't kiddie porn.

Just leave the Internet alone. File sharing is a victimless crime.

RE: Really?
By Solandri on 2/4/2012 1:32:41 PM , Rating: 2
These guys went down because they made a ton of money
I actually agree with copyright, and think these guys are probably guilty as h*ll. But a few hundred million dollars over 7 years is not a ton of money these days. To my mind it would've been enough to invoke a raid on criminal enterprise which was operating entirely in your own country. But a coordinated multi-national raid? We just went through an economic downturn precipitated by a handful of high-level execs overselling on Wall St. to the tune of hundreds of b illions of dollars. Not a single one of them went to jail.

The law enforcement response to this has been completely disproportional to any other crime I know of. I hate to Godwin this thread, but heck, there were former Nazis we were never able to arrest and/or extradite. Apparently violating copyright is a worse crime than crashing the world's economy and genocide? It's stuff like this which makes people think Hollywood is ramrodding undesirable copyright legislation onto the public via bribed politicians; and reduces the moral resistance people naturally have against pirating.

RE: Really?
By Reclaimer77 on 2/4/2012 2:01:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not a single one of them went to jail.

And they never will. If there was a trial, do you think anyone in the Government wants these people to testify and illustrate for the American public how things really work and what the Government's true role was in it?

No, it's much better to let everyone go on thinking a handful of people somehow bypassed thousands of pages of regulations, escaping notice by officials, and caused a recession all on their own.

The law enforcement response to this has been completely disproportional to any other crime I know of.

Totally agree. That's what I'm saying! Since when was file sharing worthy of millions of dollars spent on multinational agencies pulling these Gestapo tactics?

RE: Really?
By someguy123 on 2/3/2012 6:37:19 PM , Rating: 2
Not really. Like I said they would've been just fine had they not actually taken things and posted it on their website, as well as promoting the idea of people using it as a pirate sharing service. They were free to have their own opinions about piracy.

Big difference between just running a host and posting pirated content in an attempt to increase subscribers.

RE: Really?
By geddarkstorm on 2/4/2012 1:29:31 AM , Rating: 2
Now that is some interesting information, and pretty damning if true; the sort of stuff that is blatantly illegal, no hemming or hawing. We've seen outrageous e-mail based claims like that turn out to be bunk before, but it does sound like the FBI probably has a reasonable case. This shall be intriguing to watch.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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