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back to article Breaking: Megaupload seizures illegal says NZ High Court

America’s case against Megaupload boss Kim Dotcom is looking increasingly shambolic, with a New Zealand High Court judge finding that the property seizures in January raid were illegal. Both New Zealand’s National Business Review and TVNZ are reporting that Judge Helen Winkelmann has declared the warrants used in the searches of …

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Anonymous Coward

BAU for the US then?

Shoot first and ask questions later.

In other news, It will rain somewhere in the world today.

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Anonymous Coward

Think of litigation think of the compensation!

Could this really be true justice?

The man will be richer still.

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Anonymous Coward

Return of the clones?

Which ones? The clones of the clones, or the clones of the clones of the clones?

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Anonymous Coward

New Zealand

No suing down our way. He won't get much on the official side either. It's not our culture.

The chances of successfully suing the US? Riiiiight......

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Trollface

Re: BAU for the US then?

It just finished pouring over here.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BAU for the US then?

"Shoot first and ask questions later."

Corrected for you:

Shoot first, hit you allies with friendly fire, ignore their sovereignty and legal system, then ask questions later.

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Re: Return of the clones?

The Yanks can keep the clones, but it won't be much point since they won't be able to use them in any future court case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: BAU for the US then?

The US didn't really give a monkey's about DotCom or his assets as such, they simply want to shut his site down for along enough for his business to collapse and stop him hosting the supposedly copyrighted stuff MegaUpload's users had posted. The "meeja" corps in the US had obviously been making a big noise to the US Gov, so the US Gov thought they'd push their luck see how much trouble they could cause DotCom. The US knew full well they were skating on thin ice, they're not stupid but they just needed enough time to allow them to keep up the pretence long enough to achieve the aim of tripping up DotCom and his mates.

If when DotCom is allowed to to go free and get on with his life, how long is it going to take for him to get his business back together, if he even bothers? It's not going to be instant is it and the threat that US Gov will find another loophole to be pain in the arse, will be at the back of his mind.

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Re: BAU for the US then?

Shoot first, hit you allies with friendly fire, ignore their sovereignty and legal system, then ask questions later.

Corrected for you:

Shoot first, hit you allies with friendly fire, ignore their sovereignty and legal system, then ask the wrong questions (mainly about who leaked the bad news) but not necessarily on topic later.

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Re: Return of the clones?

And so the Clone Wars began...

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Pint

Re: BAU for the US then?

I am sure that our NZ coppers will now know what those devious yanks are really like now, and wont be so obliging in future.

The trouble is that they are now tarred with the same brush as the FBI etc. who don't give a shit about proper legal ways or the law at all.

It has been revealed that the FBI actively encourage their men (or persons) to not be concerned about how to get evidence.

This plus the law Obama has approved that allows for indefinite detention without charge or trial shows that the "Land of the Free" should used only in the past tense.

At least the Winter weather so far is not too chilly.

Peace be with all you Poms.

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Devil

Re: BAU for the US then?

Just to clarify: nicking the server clones was a violation of New Zealand law.

That doesn't mean it was against US federal law, and it certainly doesn't mean the evidence can't be used in a US federal prosecution. We're talking about a jurisdiction that publicly defends kidnapping people from foreign cities in order to get them in front of its courts, if it finds that extradition is too much like hard work.

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So, who carries the can?

Given that the High Court considers that the law was broken, who takes responsibility for that?

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Thumb Up

Reasonable business model

I don't expect someone to take responsibility, but the authorities might be a lot more careful next time. Will this be a big boost for file hosting in NZ in the future?

Megaupload looks like a reasonable business model now. Thanks for clarifying that, US and NZ authorities!

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Pirate

Possible Copyright infringement by the US then

So if they have illegally taken a clone of his data, does this mean he can take action against them for copyright infringement ?

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Re: Possible Copyright infringement by the US then

I wouldn't have thought so. Copyright of the individual files probably stays with the uploader. It would be surprising for Mega's T&Cs to say that copyright vests with them when you upload - it would make them more liable to the copyright claims from the film companies.

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Re: Possible Copyright infringement by the US then

You are forgetting that he may own copyright to any file names and structures, metadata files, source code that may be on the same share, and other database rights in the organization of said copyright infringing data..

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h 2

Re: Possible Copyright infringement by the US then

I refer to the megaupload data, user info etc

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Re: Possible Copyright infringement by the US then

Damages should be awarded to Megaupload using the RIAA formula, this should result in a figure larger than the annual GNP of the whole planet ;)

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Anonymous Coward

Good news

Good news and a typical example of how the US just do whatever they want regardless of the law.

Haven't they already frozen his assets and such like though? What about those...?

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Re: Good news

Haven't they already frozen his assets and such like though? What about those...?

Not to mention the destruction of a business with a $4 billion dollar evaluation that was just preparing to go public and enter the US stock market with a multi-billion dollar IPO. Major auditors and world investment banks were apparently looking favourably at this so there should be some good evidence for a lawsuit to recover some of that. It's a bit of an international incident if you ask me.

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"the country should “request” that US authorities return clones taken offshore."

<bark of laughter> Yeah... that'll be the day. And even if the "clones" are returned, I can guarantee you it won't be before copies are done.

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Re: "the country should “request” that US authorities return clones taken offshore."

How admissible would data they can't legally have been in a us court though?

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Silver badge

Re: "the country should “request” that US authorities return clones taken offshore."

It's a US court, they'll do whatever they fancy if they think they can get away with it to prosecute Johnny Foreigner

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Anonymous Coward

Illegal Damage

So the raids were illegal, and impeded someone's business. How does NZ law deal with damages resulting from its justice system making a major boo-boo?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Illegal Damage

Presumably the same way we do here, if the cops kick down your door by mistake. "Gee, sorry about that, but no we're not buying you a new door. Shit happens."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Illegal Damage

The UK is slightly better, at least on the door front. I heard of one bloke who had his door kicked in by police in England, just a couple of days after he had sold his car. The vehicle registration documents had not yet been processed, and the car he sold had been used in an armed robbery. It was clear fairly quickly to the officers that he did not match the description of the robbers, and they had the damage repaired.

Sometimes kicking in a door is not quick enough... there is a device that is bolted to the ground outside the door, and then uses hydraulic rams to smash the door in one go.

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Bronze badge

Re: Illegal Damage

I second that. Back in the day (1994 or so) I lived in the middle flat of three in an old terraced house. The [redacted] on the ground floor were bad boys, and Plod came calling one Saturday afternoon. They broke the lock on the outside (shared) door, and I presume on the ground floor flat's door as well. I peered outside a moment or two later, and saw one of the bad boys' mates being led away with his hands cuffed behind his back. A phone call to Plod followed. "Where do you live, sir?" "(address)" "Ah, ok, have it repaired, and put this operation number on the bill and send it to us, we'll take care of it."

Times change, so your mileage may vary if you try this these days...

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Big Brother

Thank goodness for someone here (NZ) wading in. It looked like we had become the 51st state and at the call of the Americans for a while.

Big brother ´cause this is not going away any time soon.

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"It looked like we had become the 51st state and at the call of the Americans for a while."

52nd... The UK is 51st, and our politicians are damn proud of it!

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Beat me to it

Yeah the gleeful sycophantic rubbing of hands whenever the 'Special Relationship' is mentioned.

I tell ya, when I'm Prime Minister... etc, etc

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Err

NZ has a history of telling the USA where to shove it. See also: ANZUS treaty.

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Facepalm

Re: Err

History means happening more than once

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FAIL

Extradition

Given that the judge appears to have destroyed the whole NZ case against him, I don't see how he can be extradited and he would seem to have a great case for huge amounts of compensation. The US appears to have stitched NZ up good and proper. There can be little doubt that the NZ police will be liable for several reasons. Not least amongst these being that they obviously didn't follow the laws of NZ or their own protocol as otherwise the warrants would have been legal. Given the soon to be IPO, the compensation must run into hundreds of millions at least. What about the customers? If they were inconvenienced or they lost their data because of this, they could have a claim as well.

It all seems to me that NZ could end up with a bill for a very large sum. The US will, as usual, simply walk away. In some ways, this is fair enough. If the US hadn't provided enough information and evidence, the NZ cops should have walked away. The worst they could be accused of is playing the NZ police and national authorities for fools, which seems more than ably demonstrated.

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on the contrary

destroying a case to be tried outside of america may be good for the americans. If Gary McKinnon had been tried in the UK, he wouldn't still be facing extradition. All the Yanks seem to need is a desire to try someone, and little evidence.

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Re: on the contrary

And an agreement they never reciprocated upon

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Unhappy

Re: on the contrary

>> All the Yanks seem to need is a desire to try someone, and little evidence.

The Yanks never need any evidence. Shoot first and spit on your grave afterwards, that has always been their policy.

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Meh

Re: Extradition

this is probably true, eventually(except the sum offered will be tiny) and it will take years of chasing it through the NZ Establishment which hates with a passion, anybody telling them that they got it wrong, probably even more so when they were obviously wrong.

(See David Bain and Arthur Allen Thomas and they were accused of Murder) Dotcom would be better served by taking the broken fragments of his business and creating something new.

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Unhappy

Re: Extradition

Dear Heathroi,

Our beloved Prime Minister Piggy Muldoon pardoned Thomas.

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Happy

Re: Extradition

eventually. after a royal commission led by an aussie judge (ie one familar with police practice) said the police were lying. and planting evidence.

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Unhappy

Illegal or not... The raid had the "desired" effect...

Megaupload is out of action and will remain out of action for ages... and quite a few of the other web-locker firms have become web-lockers for personal access only (ie, you have to login with the same account that uploaded the content).

Personally, I'm rather annoyed as a perfectly good method of sharing collaborative work files has been destroyed. Audio projects where each of us would add the required instrument/vocal etc. parts and then get them mixed down.

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Re: Illegal or not... The raid had the "desired" effect...

Now that there is a precedent I think you'll find they're likely to spring back into action but might have some tougher T&Cs and use of GeoIP to restrict access from the US.

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Black Helicopters

Re: Illegal or not... The raid had the "desired" effect...

I'm not so sure that the NZ side didn't do a little 'fuck america' creative sabotage...

It's easy to envision the FBI/whomever charging in shooting their sixguns in the air but for the NZ side to screw up as well on something basic like a warrant?

Do NZ have black helicopters?

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Black Helicopters

Re: Illegal or not... The raid had the "desired" effect...

No. No black helicopters

Just a copper with a propeller beanie running around making phwup, phwup phwup noises

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Facepalm

"We shouldn't have sent them abroad - please can we have them back"

[slow hand clap]

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Thumb Up

I used to think

that NZ was a pretty cool country.

Now I think it's fucking awesome.

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Re: I used to think

I would rate them higher on the awesome scale if they had told the US to bog off in the first place.

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Mushroom

I wonder if America will now 'invade' or 'free' New Zealand from its* 'corrupt leaders'.

DISCLAIMER: *Unsure of whether or not an apostrophe is required

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Anonymous Coward

Its and it's

possesive:

mine

yours

his

hers

its [no apostrophe]

abbreviation of two words:

it is a nice day today, so it's a nice day. The apostrophe is to represent the combination/abbreviation of two words.

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Re: Its and it's

What about its' (Apostrophe after the s) ?

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