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Kim Dotcom, the founder of content-sharing site Megaupload, can legally be extradited to the US, New Zealand’s High Court has ruled.
Dotcom is wanted by the US on a number of charges including fraud and copyright infringement. Megaupload, which was shut down in 2012, allowed users to download digital content, including films, music and TV shows, for free.
The NZ High Court agreed with the defence that the accused could not be extradited on the basis of alleged copyright infringement, since “online communication of copyright protected works to the public is not a criminal offence in New Zealand”. However they can be extradited on the fraud charges, as they are crimes in New Zealand.
The ruling does not yet determine the defendants’ guilt or innocence, only that they can be sent to the US for trial.
Dotcom responded on Twitter, saying he had “won” as the ruling agreed he cannot be sent to the US for copyright infringement, but had “lost anyway”, calling the ruling “a political judgement”.