A New Zealand court has ruled that Kim Dotcom, the larger-than-life founder of the now-defunct Megaupload, is eligible to be extradited to the US. Along with three co-defendants, Dotcom faces charges including money laundering, criminal copyright infringement and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

As The Wall Street Journal correctly points out, however, this is just the first battle of a war that will drag on for years to come.

Dotcom seemed surprisingly upbeat given the ruling. In speaking to media outside the courtroom, he said they plan to go through the entire process to the end. Dotcom lawyer Ron Mansfield told the Journal that they remain pretty confident and that even if they were successful today, the United States would have appealed.

Dotcom and the three co-defendants have already appealed the ruling.

Ultimately, Mansfield believes the case is destined for the Supreme Court, something he says both sides knew all along.

It's been nearly four years since the US government, in cooperation with authorities in New Zealand, shut down the popular file sharing site and raided Dotcom's New Zealand mansion. Authorities claim Megaupload cost copyright owners more than $500 million in lost revenue while amassing roughly $175 million for its operators.

Image courtesy AP