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After falling into third-party hands, the main domain of Kim Dotcom's K.im project has been returned following a settlement agreement. While this progress is being welcomed by the Megaupload founder, even more serious matters lie on the horizon. Will the New Zealand Supreme Court decide against extradition to the US? Dotcom predicts that while close, the judgment will not go in his favor.
As previously reported, communication issues with the registry led to the domain expiring and it was quickly snapped up by Kalin Karakehayov, an expired domain specialist.
Dotcom informed TF that the project’s lawyers filed a complaint with the domain registrar in the hope that the domain would be returned. Indeed, following a review process completed around two weeks ago, the .IM registry determined that since the registration by Karakehayov had been abusive, the domain should be transferred back to the K.im project.
On the day the decision was handed down, Karakehayov told TF that he intended to appeal. However, just two weeks later it now appears that peace has broken out.
“After getting to know the people behind k.im, we have agreed to a small, cost-covering settlement to save mutual legal expenses and downtime of their project,” Karakehayov told us via email.
“They were very fair in its implementation that due to time constraints was based on pure trust from both sides. We’re on good terms and I wish all the best for their project.”
With the domain now apparently back in the hands of the K.im project, TorrentFreak caught up with Kim Dotcom who informs us that he didn’t personally speak to Karakehayov but the end result is welcome.
“We are happy to have the domain back,” he says.
“We are aiming to release K.im this year and I’m confident that millions of users will love it. We are changing how commerce is done on the Internet for the benefit of all. You can expect some whining from the established monopolies.”
While Dotcom is pleased that this latest roadblock has been overcome, the New Zealand-based entrepreneur has bigger issues to deal with. Specifically, a Supreme Court judgment that will decide whether he and his former Megaupload colleagues will be extradited to the United States to face copyright infringement, racketeering, and money laundering charges – not to mention the possibility of decades in prison.
The Supreme Court hearing took place in June 2019 after several lower courts had determined that Dotcom, Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk, and Finn Batato can be sent to the United States to face justice. The defendants are hoping that the Supreme Court will decide to the contrary.
Dotcom informs TorrentFreak that he doesn’t have a date for the judgment but he’s nevertheless looking forward to “dissecting the judgment with the best legal minds.” That being said, he isn’t optimistic that the decision will go in his favor.
“I expect a 3:2 majority in favor of extradition because three of the five judges were appointed by the National Party and the former Attorney General who was responsible for the actions taken against me in New Zealand. This is a political case and it will most likely be a political judgment,” he says.
“The law in New Zealand couldn’t be more favorable for me so the judgment will probably be a hack of the law for the history books.”
While another adverse ruling would represent a significant setback for Dotcom, he maintains that the battle against extradition is far from over.
“The process doesn’t end with this judgment (unless I win) and Crown Law suggested at the start of the hearing that we could be fighting for another seven years until any finality is achieved,” he concludes.
If that timeline of events plays out, it will have been 15 years since the shuttering of Megaupload and the raid on Dotcom, his twins born in 2012 will be almost ready to leave school, and at least two US presidents will have come and gone.
Originally published as “Kim Dotcom Domain Dispute Settled, Next Up: Supreme Court Extradition Ruling” with the Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) license