New Zealand judge rules Kim Dotcom can be extradited to US to face criminal copyright charges

Kim Dotcom
FILE - In this Sept. 21, 2015 file photo, Kim Dotcom sits in the Auckland District Court during an extradition hearing in Auckland, New Zealand. The much-delayed extradition hearing for Doctom and three others who owned or helped run the website Megaupload began in Auckland this week in a case that could have broader implications for Internet copyright rules. (Jason Oxenham/New Zealand Herald via AP, File) AUSTRALIA OUT, NEW ZEALAND OUT

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A New Zealand judge has ruled that colorful Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States to face criminal copyright charges.

Dotcom’s lawyers said they will appeal the decision.

Judge Nevin Dawson’s ruling on Wednesday comes nearly four years after U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom’s Megaupload website, which some visitors had used to illegally download songs and movies.

The U.S. has charged the men with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. If found guilty, they could face decades in jail.

The case could have broader implications for Internet copyright rules. Dotcom’s lawyer Ron Mansfield said earlier that if the U.S. side prevails, websites from YouTube to Facebook would need to more carefully police their content.

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