The US government has filed an official application to have Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz) and three of his associates extradited to face serious charges regarding breaching copyright laws, conspiring to commit money-laundering, conspiring to commit racketeering, and aiding and abetting copyright infringement. For those that haven’t followed the story, Megaupload was essentially a file-hosting service that operated on the guise of legitimacy but had direct knowledge of the copyright infringing that was going on through their company, and in fact where profiting from it.
Under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act a website is provided safe harbor when infringing content is found, if they didn’t directly know about it and promptly take down the problem content. One major infringer that operated through the site was known as “VV” and over a six year period had uploaded roughly 17,000 files to Megavideo (part of the company). According to the prosecutors, numerous takedown emails where sent yet nothing was done about it.
Crown Law had 45 days to file the papers following raids on the internet millionaire’s rented $30 million Coatesville mansion and other sites across Auckland in January. In total, Dotcom and his associates are are accused of breaching international copyright laws to the value of US$500 million. A date for the extradition hearing has been set down in August.
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