Megaupload founder in helicopter scare

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jan 28 2013 02:39 PM | Updated as of Jan 28 2013 10:39 PM

WELLINGTON - New Zealand-based Internet tycoon Kim Dotcom said he was involved in a mid-air scare Monday when his helicopter had to make an emergency landing in remote terrain.

True to form, Dotcom kept his 280,000 Twitter followers updated on the micro-blogging site as the situation unfolded, posting pictures of himself after he landed safely with the chopper in the background.

"No kidding. Emergency landing in the middle of nowhere," he tweeted, adding: "Will be late for dinner baby. Fuel dropped to zero with a rotor speed warning." The 39-year-old, who launched a successor to his outlawed file-sharing site Megaupload earlier this month, later said that the pilot had found a disconnected wire on the fuel gauge and he completed the helicopter flight without incident.

"Almost died to meet the Knight," he said after finishing his journey and making a scheduled meeting with New Zealand broadcaster Sir Paul Holmes.

Dotcom, on bail awaiting a US attempt to extradite him from New Zealand to face online piracy charges, launched his new Mega service on January 20, exactly a year after armed police stormed his Auckland mansion.

He said at the weekend that the site had attracted millions of users in just a week, describing its growth as "phenomenal".

Mega promises to use state-of-the-art encryption to ensure only users, not the site administrators, know what they are uploading.

That would theoretically stop authorities from accusing administrators of knowingly aiding online piracy, the central allegation facing Dotcom in the Megaupload case.

US authorities allege Megaupload sites netted more than $175 million in criminal proceeds and cost copyright owners more than $500 million by offering pirated copies of movies, TV shows, music and other content.

Dotcom denies any wrongdoing, with his extradition hearing due to be heard in August.

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