- I will never get tired of posting this photo of Kim Dotcom
Things are looking up a little for flamboyant Internet entrepreneur, accused uberpirate, and recording artist Kim Dotcom, who in January had his rented New Zealand mansion raided by New Zealand police
at the behest of the U.S. Justice Department, which was acting at the behest of major media companies who felt that illegal file trading via Dotcom's massively popular Megaupload file-locker service was costing them money. According to Ars Technica
, a New Zealand judge has ruled that the search was illegal. The problem is that the New Zealand police didn't know specifically what they were looking for, only that it was linked to copyright infringement, resulting in a warrant so broad in what it allowed the cops to collect—for example "all digital devices, including electronic devices capable of storing and/or processing data in digital form," which added up to a whopping 150 TB of data—that it fails to meet New Zealand's legal standards.
According to New Zealand High Court judge Helen Winkelmann, the raid wasn't backed by valid warrants, and the subsequent sharing of illegally obtained evidence with the FBI—who flew in to copy that 150 TB treasure trove—was itself unlawful. Of course the folks at the FBI already have in hand all the evidence they could want (and presumably more) from the raid, and presumably they won't be willing to give it up just because New Zealand says it's no good—unless Dotcom's lawyers can find a legal avenue by which to compel them to do so. Considering how many major services used to infringe copyright are based in other countries and the U.S.'s continuing push to enforce its copyrights globally, this might set an interesting precedent.