Controversial tech figure Kim Dotcom, who was arrested six years ago for copyright infringement in New Zealand over his MegaUpload file-sharing site, is seeking US$2.6 billion in damages from the New Zealand Government.
Kim Dotcom claims the warrant for his arrest in 2012, when his mansion was raided, was invalid. He’s accusing the NZ Government of negligence and misfeasance, which is a fancy word for using the law all wrong.
The arrest of course let to the shuttering of his highly profitable MegaUpload, the largest file-sharing site at the time.
Just how profitable was the service? In the ongoing case, authorities claim that through MegaUpload, entertainment industries lost more than $500 million in revenue and the site generated over $175 million “in criminal proceeds.”
Dotcom took to Twitter to announce the damages claim:
Today, 6 years ago, the NZ Govt enabled the unlawful destruction of Megaupload and seizure of my global assets. I was arrested for the alleged online piracy of my users. Not even a crime in NZ. My lawyers have served a multi billion dollar damages claim against the Govt today.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 19, 2018
Dotcom’s lawyer Ira Rothken told TorrentFreak the claim was filed in December:
“We confirm that our legal team filed a Statement of Claim in the New Zealand High Court for monetary damages on December 22, 2017 on behalf of Kim Dotcom against the United States and NZ governmental entities alleging that defendants pursued with malice and material non disclosure an erroneous arrest warrant,” said Rothken.
So where did the US$2.6 billion sum come from?
According to the claim obtained by TorrentFreak, when Kim Dotcom was arrested there were plans to list MegaUpload on the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong “at a conservative valuation of not less than US$2.6 billion.”
The sum is based on a valuation of US$40 for each of the 66 million users MegaUpload had. The claim suggests that due to MegaUpload generating US$45 million in profits per year, it would have been worth up to US$10 billion.
Kim Dotcom, the confident German-born entrepreneur that he is, says he’s hopeful in winning the claim:
Our damages claim against the Government is strong. Any jury will be absolutely shocked by the malicious and unjust persecution that my family had to endure in the last 6 years. The bullying will result in an unprecedented award of damages and full exposure of those responsible.
— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) January 20, 2018
If he’s successful, Kim Dotcom says the majority of damages awarded will go to “good causes”.
“[…] like ending homelessness in Auckland and significantly reducing the numbers of youth suicides in New Zealand. I’ll also make sure that we can compete with Sydney when it comes to welcoming the New Year, every year!