The judge who was due to hear Kim Dotcom's extradition case has stood down following comments criticising the United States' stance on copyright law.
District Court Judge David Harvey claimed the US was "the enemy" at a recent launch of a campaign opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Harvey said the TPP could stop the practice of hacking around DVD region codes, a currently legal technique New Zealanders use to play DVDs from other parts of the world.
The TPP would also force New Zealand to recognise software patents, potentially opening local companies up to a series of lawsuits.
Last week it was announced Dotcom's extradition hearing would be put off until next year, after being scheduled to start at the North Shore District Court on August 6.
The Megaupload founder called the change "dirty delay tactics" on Twitter.
Dotcom's lawyers say the resignation is unlikely to affect proceedings.