Former operators of cloud-based file hosting site Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann and Bram van der Kolk, took their appeal to the High Court in New Zealand yesterday.
Last year a District Court judge in New Zealand found an “overwhelming” case for the three to be extradited to the United States to face trial for their alleged roles in the Mega Conspiracy. They face decades in jail on various charges including copyright infringement, money laundering, and racketeering.
In 2012, Megaupload was shut down in a massive international operation. At the time the file-storage site had been one of the most-visited on the planet with around 100 million users.
U.S. authorities subsequently claimed that Megaupload illegally generated more than US$175 million and cost copyright owners more than $0.5bn in lost business.
Dotcom’s lawyer, Ron Mansfield, claims the site should not be held responsible for the actions of its users, and said that his client did not get a fair hearing last year. He also argued the hearing show be Live streamed, which has been opposed by the US authorities.
German-born Dotcom has become somewhat of a celebrity locally in New Zealand with a huge profile online as a serial entrepreneur, privacy activist, and video gamer.