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Saturday, February 25, 2012

MegaUpload Co-Founder Released On Bail

Mathias Ortmann, the co-founder of the world’s known cyberlocker MegaUpload has been finally released on bail by a court in New Zealand. However, he is obliged to adhere to some strict conditions, like the absence of Internet access. The government of the United States will handle extradition of the cyberlocker’s team depending on a United Nations treaty. In addition, it turned out that raids carried out month had been remotely supervised by the FBI itself.
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Having got arrested around a month ago, Mathias Ortmann has been conceded bail after all. The co-founder of the closed MegaUpload cyberlocker was expected to be freed in the end of January, after the previous hearing, but the court decided to delay the order because of the inconsistencies in Ortmann’s finance reports.

The FBI accused Ortmann of making about $14.5 million from MegaUpload service within 2005-2010 time period, plus another $3 million last year. However, Ortmann’s accounts indicated an unjustified excess of $3.5 million. The co-founder of the service was set free last Thursday and will join his fellows Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batato at the former’s house in Auckland. All of them are bound to harsh bail conditions, which include a complete ban on web access.

So, thus far the only member of the cyberlocker team who remains detained following the last month’ s raids is Kim Dotcom, the founder of MegaUpload, who will have to appear in court next week. American authorities claim that they are going to use a United Nations treaty targeted at combating international organized crime in order to extradite all the New Zealand-based MegaUpload members to the United States.

An attorney representing the US government has disclosed that the extradition treaty doesn’t cover copyright offences in particular, but has also pointed out that the local Extradition Act still lists certain offenses, including trans-national crime.

New Zealand legislation considers crimes carrying a 4-year prison sentence as extraditable. Meanwhile, copyright infringement carries a 5-year maximum sentence. Nevertheless, the industry observers believe that because of its ground breaking status, the extradition campaign for the Dotcom and his fellows will likely to be both complicated and prolonged, and might even go all the way to the Supreme Court.

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