Megaupload Founder Kim Dotcom Freed on Bail

Tue Feb 21, 2012 6:18pm EST

Kim Dotcom, the founder and ringleader of online locker service Megaupload, has been granted bail by a New Zealand court, the registrar's office of the North Shore District Court confirmed to TheWrap.

Judge David McNaughton had initially denied the request from Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, because McNaughton thought Dotcom was a flight risk. However, the judge has reversed his position after an appeal.

Dotcom was thought to be in court for a hearing on his potential extradition to the United States, but it turned into another hearing on his standing for bail.

New Zealand authorities arrested Dotcom upon the U.S.’s request, leading to a showdown  involving firearms, cash and luxury cars at the native German’s mansion.

Also read: Megaupload Founder Discovered in New Zealand Safe Room With Gun

Police had to cut their way through electronic locks to a safe room, where they discovered Dotcom with a firearm. 

Federal authorities had shut down Megaupload Jan. 19, charging its owners and operators with operating a criminal enterprise that distributes pirated material.

The FBI has been seeking to extradite Dotcom to charge him and his associates with criminal copyright infringement and other charges.

Although the sites they operate advertised that they provide personal storage for users' content, the indictment claims they actually trafficked in hosting television shows and movies -- often offering them to users before their official release.  

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