POSTED: 09:43 p.m. HST, Feb 22, 2012
WELLINGTON, New Zealand >> Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom made his fortune and even took his name from the Internet, but now he's barred from logging on.
Dotcom, accused by U.S. authorities of facilitating millions of illegal downloads through the file-sharing website, has been ordered not to access the Internet as part of his bail conditions. Another unusual condition: No helicopters can land at his home.
Dotcom was arrested Jan. 20 in New Zealand in a high-profile raid and released Wednesday. New Zealand court authorities released his bail conditions Thursday following a request from The Associated Press and other media.
Under the terms of his release, Dotcom may leave his Auckland home only for approved outings such as court appearances and medical appointments. He is banned from contacting three Megaupload colleagues who were also arrested during the New Zealand raid and have also been released on bail pending extradition proceedings.
U.S. authorities have charged Dotcom with racketeering. They say he and his colleagues cheated movie makers and songwriters out of half a billion dollars in copyright revenue while making a fortune for themselves.
Dotcom did not have to post any monetary bond for his bail, a standard policy for New Zealand's district courts. He has an extradition hearing scheduled for August.
Dotcom was born Kim Schmitz in Germany but legally changed his name.