In a New Zealand courtroom, the US government has begun making its case as to why Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom should face criminal copyright charges. Dotcom, who was arrested at his Auckland home after a dramatic raid in 2012, has long argued he shouldn’t be extradited to the Eastern District of Virginia.
Today, Crown lawyer Christine Gordon, representing the US, read out loud communications between Megaupload executives and users who uploaded copyrighted material to the site. One of those power users, nicknamed “TH” by the FBI, was paid $50,000 in rewards between 2006 and 2011 because of the traffic his files drove to Megaupload, Gordon told the court.
TH alone was the subject of 1,200 copyright takedown requests, she said. According to the New Zealand Herald, Gordon told the court that nothing was done to stop TH’s infringement, and Megaupload increased the user’s server space to 2.5 terabytes to make room for the 30,000 files he hosted. When TH asked for more money, Dotcom responded tersely. In an e-mail read aloud by Gordon, he stated: “You and your friends are at most one per cent of our traffic so please don’t overestimate your importance to us… I think we have been fair to you.”