MPAA and the U.S. government will have to wait a little longer for Kim Dotcom and three other defendants to head to the U.S. to face criminal charges for pirating Hollywood movies.
The New Zealand Supreme Court has agreed to hear Dotcom's appeal of a March Court of Appeal decision denying his bid to force the U.S. to give New Zealand courts extensive trial evidence before moving forward with the extradition.
Also read: Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom Freed on Bail
Dotcom and the defendants, who operated Megaupload, were charged in January 2012 by the U.S. Justice Department with operating a criminal enterprise that trafficked pirated material in a $500 million theft of intellectual property. It represents one of the biggest intellectual property cases the U.S. has ever brought against a defendant.
The Justice Department charged that Dotcom, whose original German name is Kim Schmitz -- and the others pirated TV shows as well as movies.
Dotcom was arrested in a raid on his barricaded New Zealand mansion that included lawmen repelling from helicopters. He was found holding a gun in a locked room.
Dotcom mocked the raid when he opened a new Mega website.
Dotcom has been fighting the extradition, arguing in part that U.S. prosecutors should demonstrate in New Zealand courts that they have evidence of illegal activity.
Dotcom won a round in a lower court, but the New Zealand of Appeal sided with the U.S. The New Zealand Supreme Court issued a short order agreeing to hear the case, but offer no explanation.
The Megaupload owners each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison on the charge of conspiracy to commit racketeering, five years in prison on the charge of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, 20 years in prison on the charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering and five years in prison on each of the substantive charges of criminal copyright infringement.
The indictment alleged that the criminal enterprise was led by the site's founder Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, residents of both Hong Kong and New Zealand.
Also charged are the company's Chief Marketing Officer Finn Batato, a German citizen; graphic designer Julius Bencko, a Slovakian citizen; business development chief Sven Echternach, a German citizen; Chief Technical Officer Mathias Ortmann, a German citizen; software programmer Andrus Nomm, an Estonian citizen; and programmer Bram van der Kolk, aka Bramos, a Dutch citizen.