Explaining the Kim Dotcom/Megaupload case

Confused about all the fuss around Kim Dotcom and Megaupload? Wondering what it’s all about? Let us explain it so even mom will understand

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Were lots of people using Megaupstairs to illegally share files?

It’s Megaupload, mom. Anyway, it’s hard to know how much copyrighted material was being shared, but Megaupload had 150 million registered users, 50 million daily visitors and it accounted for four percent of total Internet traffic. The FBI estimates that the illegal sharing cost the copyright holders more than $500 million.

Wow! His mother must be very disappointed in him. If you did that you would be seriously grounded.

Yes, mother.

So Mr. Dotcon is in big trouble?

Dotcom, mom. Well, if he ever gets sent to the U.S. for trial and is convicted he (and his co-defendants) could be sentenced to up to 55 years in prison. 

kim_dotcom_mansion300-199.jpgREUTERS/Nigel Marple
Kim Dotcom is keeping a low profile in New Zealand

He’s not in the U.S. right now? Should I call Dog the Bounty Hunter?

No, he’s in New Zealand fighting extradition.

I thought you said he was German. Why is he in New Zealand? He must really like shrimp on the barbie.

That would be Australia, mom. He became a permanent resident of New Zealand in 2010 and that’s where they arrested him last January.

I assume he claims he’s done nothing wrong - like most men?

Yes. He feels he’s being unfairly targeted by, among others, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Motion Picture Association of America and Vice President Joe Biden.

Joe Biden? He’s the vice president! Vice presidents have many more important things to do than that, like, for instance... uh, actually, he may be onto something there. 

I guess.

Why hasn’t been sent back to the U.S. for trial yet?

He’s been fighting extradition and the New Zealand authorities have bungled much of this process, which has helped his case. First off, they were spying on him before he was arrested, which apparently is illegal since he’s a permanent resident. Then, when they searched his house, they used improper search warrants.

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