Kim Dotcom is one court ruling closer to finding out that, as one of the many songs you used to be able to download via his shuttered Megaupload service quasi-patriotically proclaims, it's so sexy to be living in America.
The United States won an appeal earlier today as it seeks to extradite the file-sharing mogul from New Zealand, as the AP reports. His extradition hearing is slated for August. An earlier ruling would have given Dotcom extensive access to evidence against him. Now, the appeals court has found that all the extra documents would slow the process down unnecessarily and Dotcom's lawyers will have to get by with a synopsis of the government's case. The purpose of the hearing, the court pointed out, isn't to prove guilt or innocence, just that the U.S. has an actual argument.
Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz in West Germany, still won't be enjoying our purple mountains majesty or amber waves of grain anytime soon. One of his lawyers said they'll appeal the ruling to New Zealand's highest court. And the hearing that's currently set for August has already been pushed back from March.
Nor, frankly, should the man who once had "GOD" on one of his many luxury-car license plates be in a rush to humble himself before mere mortal judgment. He's currently free on bail, which could change if he loses the extradition hearing. In the meantime, sweet Schmitz has launched a new file-sharing service called MEGA, which now has a not-very-useful search engine that theoretically would make it a bit like, well, Megaupload.
Dotcom, you'll recall, was the subject of a dramatic raid early last year at his cartoon-villain mansion outside of Auckland. U.S. authorities accused Dotcom of facilitating copyright fraud on a grand scale. He says he's innocent and isn't legally to blame for anything illegal the rest of us may or may not have done using his website.
The part where we always get confused is how it's totally okay for people to make mansion-worthy money from others' illegal behavior, but any responsibility goes out the window once courts get involved. Don't worry, though, Kim! That happens in the United States, too! Did you hear about the financial crisis?