Megaupload Owner Denied Bail in New Zealand

Posted January 24th, 2012 at 8:05 pm (UTC-5)
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The founder of the file-sharing website Megaupload has been denied bail in New Zealand as authorities in the United States seek his extradition.

An Auckland courtroom Wednesday denied bail for Kim Dotcom, a German citizen who is accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content through and other websites. U.S. prosecutors claim Kim's activities have cost U.S. copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue.

New Zealand police last week arrested the suspect and three of his employees at the request of the United States.

Dotcom denies any wrong doing and says he poses no risk of fleeing.

The judge is expected to make bail rulings on Dotcom's three colleagues in the coming days.

The first extradition hearing is scheduled for February 22 in a process that could last a year or more.

Megauploads is an online Hong Kong-based company established in 2005 that ran a number of online services related to file storage and viewing. The domain names were seized and the sites shut down by the U.S. Justice Department earlier this month, following the indictment and arrests of the owners for allegedly operating as an organization dedicated to copyright infringement.

The shutdown led to denial-of-service attacks on a range of websites belonging to the U.S. government and copyright organizations.