Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz), the internet entrepreneur, has followed through on his long-standing threat and is suing the government of New Zealand for an illegal arrest.
Six years ago, Dotcom's Megaupload site (and others associated with it, like Megavideo) was closed down by the US government for copyright infringement. At the time of the shut-down it was one of the world's largest file-sharing sites, accounting for about four per cent of global internet traffic.
On Friday the 19th, Dotcom tweeted that he is officially seeking damages from the government in New Zealand:
Today, 6 years ago, the NZ Govt enabled the unlawful destruction of Megaupload and seizure of my global assets. I was arrested for the alleged online piracy of my users. Not even a crime in NZ. My lawyers have served a multi billion dollar damages claim against the Govt today.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 19, 2018
Dotcom's lawyers have apparently served a "multi-billion dollar" claim (here) against the governments of both the USA and New Zealand, having filed the claim in December. One, Ira Rothken, told TorrentFreak:
"We confirm that our legal team filed a Statement of Claim in the New Zealand High Court for monetary damages on December 22, 2017 on behalf of Kim Dotcom against the United States and NZ governmental entities, alleging that defendants pursued with malice and material non-disclosure an erroneous arrest warrant."
While the exact scale of damages is not specified, you can be sure that they'll be high. As well as the illegal arrest, Dotcom is seeking compensation for legal costs, lost profits, lost business opportunities, loss of reputation and more.
At the time of the shut-down, Megaupload was valued at around $2.5 billion.
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