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First off today, the Associated Press reports that the Kim Dotcom extradition hearing has wrapped up and it is now up to the judge to issue a verdict.
Kim Dotcom and his alleged co-conspirators were arrested in January 2012 as their site, Megaupload was shuttered. However, Dotcom lives in New Zealand and is facing extradition to the United States on charges of criminal copyright infringement and money laundering. However, the extradition hearing was delayed multiple times finally beginning in September, continuing for 9 weeks, much longer than anticipated.
The judge has not said when he will issue a ruling though it’s expected to take several weeks. Even after that it may not be the end of the extradition process as the losing side can appeal, possibly to the country’s Supreme Court.
Next up today, in other Megaupload news, David Fisher at the New Zealand Herald reports that Andrus Nomm, the only person to be sentenced in the Megaupload case, has been released from prison in the United States.
Noam, who was based in the Netherlands but worked as an employee for Kim Dotcom, chose not to fight extradition and, instead, took a plea deal and came to the U.S. voluntarily. He began a one-year prison sentence in February and was just granted early release. Part of his deal was that he would testify against Kim Dotcom and others involved in the operation of Megaupload.
However, the release doesn’t mean it’s the end of Nomm’s troubles. He has been ordered to repay $175 million in damages to copyright holders. It is unlikely that Nomm will be able to repay much, if any, of that amount because, prior to returning to the United States, he claimed he had little money or job prospects.
Finally today, Asha Barbaschow at ZDNet reports that a District Court in Stockholm has ruled that rightsholders can not force a local ISP to block access to The Pirate Bay.
The lawsuit was brought by the major music labels as well as representatives of the Swedish film industry. They had sought to force local ISP Bredbandsbolaget to block access to The Pirate Bay but the ISP fought back.
The decision one by the European Court of Justice, which ruled that national courts can not force ISPs to block copyright infringing websites. However, site blocking remains the law in several EU countries, most prominently the UK.
That’s it for the three count today. We will be back tomorrow with three more copyright links. If you have a link that you want to suggest a link for the column or have any proposals to make it better. Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email. I hope to hear from you.