Dotcom's trial to be streamed on YouTube
A NEW Zealand judge gave permission yesterday for the hearing of German tech entrepreneur Kim Dotcom's appeal against his extradition to be streamed on YouTube, making it the country's first court case to be broadcast on the Internet.
The six-week hearing opened in Auckland this week after a lower court ruled that he could be sent to the United States to face copyright infringement and money-laundering charges over file-sharing website Megaupload.
The case has been closely watched by the media industry and developers in the file-sharing business for signs of how far the US is willing to go to protect US copyright holders.
"It's very important that the entire world gets to see the courtroom," said Dotcom's lawyer Ira Rothken.
"The Internet isn't run by any one nation so we thought the solution itself would come from the Internet."
Dotcom was arranging for a videographer to start recording the proceedings from today, the lawyer added.
They will appear on YouTube with a 20-minute time lag to ensure removal of material suppressed by the court.
The judge ordered the stream to be taken down at the end of the hearing.
New Zealand government prosecutors, representing the US, had argued against the live streaming.
They noted that live streaming could be prejudicial, as submissions made in the New Zealand court could be inadmissible in a future trial in the US.
"The New Zealand judiciary have been very cautious about letting cameras into the courtroom," said Bill Hodge, a criminal law professor at Auckland University, noting the exceptional nature of the case could have led to the decision.
Years of legal wrangling followed Dotcom's arrest during a raid by New Zealand police working in cooperation with the US' Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2012.
US authorities say Dotcom and three Megaupload executives cost film studios and record firms over US$500 million (S$680 million).