Skip to main content

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom can be extradited to the U.S., New Zealand court says

megaupload extradition case kim dotcom
Kim Dotcom
A court in New Zealand has ruled that Kim Dotcom, the founder of controversial file-storage website Megaupload, can be extradited to the U.S. along with three other defendants to face criminal charges related to the operation of the defunct online service.

Ron Mansfield — Dotcom’s lawyer — said Monday’s decision by the Auckland High Court was “extremely disappointing” but added that the German-born entrepreneur, whose real name is Kim Schmitz, was “far from defeated.”

Mansfield was referring to the specifics of Monday’s court ruling, which appear to have given hope to Dotcom that he can still avoid being sent to the U.S. In the ruling, which came after five months of deliberations, Justice Murray Gilbert said Dotcom could be extradited, though not on copyright charges, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Dotcom’s legal team had argued that there is no equivalent “copyright” crime in New Zealand, which formed the basis of the American’s extradition request. The judge agreed. But at the same time, the court agreed with the U.S. claim that Dotcom could be extradited because it was essentially a fraud case, which was also listed in the extradition treaty.

Speaking to the Herald after the ruling, a defiant Dotcom said he had “won the major legal argument … that copyright is not extraditable” as far as New Zealand law is concerned. He added, “Now they’re trying through the back door to say this was a fraud case. I’m confident going with this judgment to the Court of Appeal.”

The Megaupload story has been rolling on for years, with no likelihood of it ending anytime soon.

Dotcom’s central claim has always been that the service, which had around 150 million users, operated as a content storage platform where users could store, backup, and view their files. But when opponents in the entertainment industry repeatedly insisted Megaupload was actually a file-sharing site where users could access a large number of music tracks, movies, and other copyrighted material, the U.S. authorities became involved.

Days after it was taken offline in January, 2012, police staged a dramatic raid on the Auckland home of Dotcom, who has permanent residency in the country. After a brief period behind bars, the Megaupload founder was bailed out and has been fighting several extradition-linked court cases ever since.

Megaupload reportedly raked in around $175 million dollars during its seven years online, with the entertainment industry claiming the site’s pirated content resulted in revenue losses totaling approximately $500 million. If Dotcom loses any future appeal and is ultimately found guilty of the charges in a U.S. court, he could be landed with a jail sentence lasting several decades.

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
JPEG vs. PNG: When and why to use one format over the other
A person using Adobe Lightroom CC on an iMac.

In digital imaging, two image formats prevail above all else: JPEG (or JPG) and PNG.

At first glance, a single image shown in both formats might seem identical, but if you look closely enough and dig into the data, there is quite a difference between them. One format isn't always better than the other, as each is designed to be used in specific circumstances based on your needs for image quality, file size, and more. Here's what you need to know about both formats to make the most of their strengths and weaknesses.
What is the JPEG format?
Short for Joint Photographic Experts Group -- the team that developed the format -- JPEG has become the standard compressed format in digital photography and online image sharing due to its careful balance of file size and image quality.

Read more
Is there a Walmart Plus free trial? Get a month of free delivery
Walmart logo.

Take a moment and think about how often you shop at your local Walmart. Is it weekly? Daily? If either of those is the case, it might be time to upgrade your shopping experience. The Walmart Plus free trial is your chance to check out what the retail giant has to offer. Walmart Plus is basically Amazon Prime for Walmart. You get free shipping on most orders, early access to deals and new product drops (like PS5 restocks), the best grocery delivery, and more. If Walmart is your go-to option for the best smart home devices or the best tech products in general, you should get a membership. If you want to test out the service, you can sign up for a free trial. We have all the information you need right here.
Is there a Walmart Plus free trial?
There is a Walmart Plus free trial available, and it’s one of the best free trials we’ve seen in terms of how many great features and conveniences you’re able to access. This is really a reflection of how great the Walmart Plus service is, as the Walmart Plus free trial is essentially a 30-day experience of what it would be like to be a paid Walmart Plus subscriber. A Walmart Plus membership can help you save over $1,300 per year, so taking advantage of the 30-day free trial is a great way to get in there and see what those savings will look like. And if grocery delivery is what you're really after, an alternative you might consider is the Instacart free trial -- they have more than one program to try!

As part of a Walmart Plus free trial, you’ll get free shipping with no minimum order, so even small orders will qualify for free shipping. You’ll get fresh groceries and more with no delivery fees, and all at the same low in-store prices Walmart shoppers are used to. Walmart Plus members, and Walmart Plus free trial members, get exclusive access to special promotions and events, as well as a savings of up to 10 cents per gallon on fuel. A new addition to the perks of being a Walmart Plus member is free access to Paramount Plus, a top-notch streaming service with more than 40,000 TV episodes and movies. All of this is accessible for 30 days through a Walmart Plus free trial, and once those 30 days are up, Walmart Plus is just $12.95 per month or $98 annually.

Read more
The 13 best early Black Friday deals you can shop this weekend
Digital Trends Best Black Friday Deals

Even though Black Friday is still a couple of weeks away, we're already starting to see a lot of great deals on several different types of products. So, if you can't wait for the upcoming Black Friday and need to grab a few things now, we've collected some of our favorite deals across products and budget ranges to make your life a little bit easier. Below, you'll find deals on cordless vacuums, laptops, TVs, headphones, and phones, so it's a great collection of stuff that we think you'll find useful and want to grab. That said, if you can't find what you want, be sure to check our main Black Friday deals page for even more great offers.
Wyze Cordless Stick Vacuum -- $98, was $150

While budget cordless vacuum cleaners can sometimes not be that great, we found the Wyze Cordless Stick Vacuum to be surprisingly good for its price point. At just 2.8 pounds of weight, it's light enough that you won't feel like you're doing a workout every time you use it, and it is great for those who might have issues with arm weakness. Just because it's light doesn't mean it's not powerful, though, with two motors providing 24,000 pascals of suction, which is quite a lot at this price. It also has a HEPA filter to keep the air you breathe clean while vacuuming, which is impressive, but sadly, it does have a big downside in that it only lasts for about 50 minutes of vacuuming. That's not necessarily a dealbreaker, and you can buy a backup battery, but it's an important thing to note.

Read more