A judge in New Zealand on Tuesday gave permission for German tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom to stream his appeal against extradition live on YouTube. It is the country’s first court case to be broadcast on the Internet.
The hearing, which would last up to six weeks, opened in Auckland this week, after a lower court ruled in December Kim Dotcom’s extradition to the United States. The founder of the seized Megaupload websites in the U.S. could face charges of copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering.
The U.S. had opposed his proposal to broadcast the hearing on YouTube. The lawyers had argued on behalf of the U.S. that live streaming could influence the future trial in the U.S. because of inadmissible submissions made in the New Zealand court."It's very important that the entire world gets to see the courtroom. The Internet isn't run by any one nation, so we thought the solution itself would come from the Internet,"
said Dotcom's lawyer, Ira Rothken.
The proceedings will be recorded started Wednesday. They will appear on YouTube with a 20-minute time lag to ensure removal of any material suppressed by the court. The judge has also ruled that once the six-week hearing is over it cannot be kept online forever and should be taken down.
Dotcom is charged in U.S. for running ran file-sharing site Megaupload.com, which once had millions of users storing files and downloading movies and songs. The FBI said it had cost movie studios, music labels and other copyright-holders more than $500m in lost revenue.
After New Zealand court ruled in December that the German-born entrepreneur could be extradited to face charges in U.S., Dotcom's lawyers launched an appeal, arguing that he should not be held responsible for the actions of the site's users.