File-sharing tycoon arrested in New Zealand

The Finnish founder of file-sharing site Megaupload has been arrested by US authorities in New Zealand for massive copyright infringement.

Kim Schmitz, who legally changed his name to Kim Dotcom, is being held without bail in Auckland, where he is known for his lavish lifestyle.

A dual citizen of Germany and Finland but a resident of both New Zealand and Hong Kong, 37 year-old Dotcom is the chief innovation officer and former CEO of Megaupload. He was arrested with three employees on Thursday, while three others are said to still be ‘at large’. US authorities also closed down the website in their controversial battle against online piracy of movies and music.

Megaupload made more than USD 42 million (EUR 33 million) in 2010 alone, according to the indictment, and several expensive cars and artworks were seized at ‘Dotcom Mansion’. A further NZD 11 million (EUR 6.9 million) has been frozen in Dotcom’s New Zealand bank account pending the outcome of proceedings.

Dotcom was a well-known hacker when he was just a teenager and has been convicted for insider trading in Germany. His mother and siblings live in Turku, but he has not been to Finland in several years.