Feds Move to Extradite Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom

The U.S. officially moved to extradite Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom from New Zealand, where he was arrested in January on criminal copyright charges. Photo: Handout

Federal authorities have moved to extradite Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, who was arrested in New Zealand in January in connection with what authorities called one of the largest criminal copyright infringement cases ever.

The New Zealand Herald said Monday that the paperwork, which the Justice Department declined to make available to Wired, was filed with North Shore District Court.

The U.S. government wants New Zealand to extradite Dotcom and Megaupload associates Mathias Ortmann, Bran van der Kolk and Finn Batato.

Among other things, the government is demanding New Zealand authorities send the four, whom remain free on bail, to the United States to face trial on racketeering, money laundering, copyright infringement and other charges.

The United States claims Megaupload facilitated copyright infringement of movies, music, television programs, electronic books, and business and entertainment software on “a massive scale.” The government said Megaupload’s “estimated harm” to copyright holders was “well in excess of $500 million.”

A hearing in New Zealand — which has an extradition treaty with the U.S. — won’t likely be held until August.