A New Zealand judge has ruled that colorful Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and three of his colleagues can be extradited to the United States to face criminal copyright charges.
Dotcom's lawyers said they will appeal the decision.
Judge Nevin Dawson's ruling on Wednesday comes nearly four years after U.S. authorities shut down Dotcom's Megaupload website, which some visitors had used to illegally download songs and movies.
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The U.S. has charged the men with conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. If found guilty, they could face decades in jail.
The case could have broader implications for Internet copyright rules. Dotcom's lawyer Ron Mansfield said earlier that if the U.S. side prevails, websites from YouTube to Facebook would need to more carefully police their content.