A judge has ordered internet mogul Kim Dotcom to reveal his
assets after fears he is asset-dumping by bankrolling his
Major movie studios and records labels are suing Dotcom and
20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, Columbia
Pictures and Warner Bros claim Dotcom-founded Megaupload and
its key operators "facilitated, encouraged, and profited from
massive copyright infringement of movies and television
shows" before it was shut down in 2012.
They have filed a civil lawsuit in the US against Dotcom,
Megaupload, majority shareholder Vester Ltd, chief technical
officer Mathias Ortmann, and programmer Bram van der Kolk.
The studios claim the defendants generated more than US$175
million in illicit profits and cost US copyright owners more
than half a billion dollars.
The movie studios are seeking profits and damages from the
defendants, and through the High Court in Auckland sought
freezing orders against Dotcom.
They are worried that although Dotcom is subject to orders
restraining the disposition of assets in New Zealand, he may
have assets "that are outside the scope of the criminal
restraining orders and is disposing of them".
In a judgment out today, Justice Patricia Courtney was
satisfied there was evidence that Dotcom was making "very
substantial payments" to the Internet Party, and that he had
offered a US$5 million "bounty" for information on any
"unlawful or corrupt conduct" by entities associated with the
US Government or Hollywood.
It led her to conclude that "there is a danger that any
judgment obtained by the applicants will go unsatisfied,
partly or wholly, as a result of Mr Dotcom disposing of
"I am satisfied that the applicants have shown a good
arguable case for damages in excess of $11.8 million, being
the value of the New Zealand assets currently subject to the
criminal restraining orders."
Dotcom has until August 20 to file and serve an affadavit
setting out the nature, extent and value of his assets
"wherever they are located and identifying the nature of his
interest in them".
- By Kurt Bayer of APNZ