Given all of the mistakes made by both US and New Zealand officials in the raid on Kim Dotcom and Megaupload, there are a series of appeals going on in the case in New Zealand concerning some of the evidence as well as what information Dotcom is allowed to see. While the extradition hearing was set to occur next month, it’s now been pushed back until at least March 2013 and could get extended longer. The idea is to give some time to let the appeals process run its course.
Dotcom seems pretty pissed off about this, as every moment of delay means more time during which his business has been shut down without a single adversarial hearing — and during which it can’t be re-established. For pretty obvious reasons, this is immensely troubling. There was no reason why Megaupload couldn’t have been brought to court under a normal civil lawsuit process, like so many other companies over the years — including Napster, Morpheus, Grokster, Aimster, Veoh, YouTube and others. After the judge was able to hear both sides, they would have been able to determine if an injunction (and eventually, a complete shutdown) made sense or not. Megaupload didn’t have that luxury. Instead, the US government simply decided to shut them down on what increasingly appears to be extraordinarily weak evidence. And as the legal process draws out, that business is gone.
What happens if the entire case falls apart? The US government then will have destroyed what turned out to be a legitimate business on no basis. This way, Hollywood gets to be happy, because the US government took out (at its own expense) a service they hated (but which many artists loved). That doesn’t seem right at all.