Campbell Live’s exclusive interview with Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom in his first appearence since being arrested. Dotcom faces a barrage of FBI charges relating to the operation of his file sharing company Megaupload.
He raises a number of very interesting points. Essentially the US is using Dotcom as a scapegoat to protect an antiquated, “monopolistic” system of Copyright protection. Megaupload was protected by the DMCA which is a law in the US protecting online service providers of liability for the actions of their users.
Megaupload offered an exclusive service not provided by any other online hosting service where members of the MPAA could have direct access to the company servers and remove any link they thought was in violation of copyright.
The FBI’s actions have been described as an “excess of authority,” and if you have been following the case at all, the US has being blundering it from the very beginning:
- The New Zealand government is refusing a resident due process and a fair defense by allowing him to be extradited to be tried in US court.
- New Zealand’s High Court ruled that the police raid on Kim Dotcom’s house was unlawful along with seizure of the hard drives that were later cloned and illegally taken from New Zealand to the US by the FBI.
This is an interesting case which may well be instrumental in ushering in a new era of internet legality, or in denying it. If all due process can be ignored on the whim of the governing body, in spite of legislation, then why do we have the legal system to begin with?
Why not just put some idiot in charge as judge, jury and executioner of all internet related affairs even if they don’t know what HTML stands for… (It’s hypertext markup language by the way) That’s more or less what the Center for Copyright Information six strike policy already does with its new restrictive powers over internet access.
Top executives at CCI include those whose corporations (Recording Industry Association of America, Motion Picture Association of America, Inc., and Viacom) directly profit by keeping outdated Copyright laws in effect. The fees that government allows copyright holders to impose create economic distortions the way tariffs on imports lead to economic distortions. Prices are inflated and the legal leeches are lax to release their grasp while the money flows.
We need more efficient mechanisms, whereby a larger percentage of the cost borne by the public ends up in the creative workers’ pockets, and not in cavernous corporate coffers. Copyright protection is a relic that has no place in the digital era. Now that the internet allows material to be instantly transferred at zero cost anywhere in the world, copyrights are clearly a counter-productive restraint on technology and creativity.
I don’t want to live in a world that restrains and stifles creativity so lawmakers can siphon off cash. I don’t want to live in a world with a governing body dictates what information I absorb and whether it is relevant or allowed. I want to live where there is freedom to create, discuss, share information and collaborate on ideas without someone peeking over your shoulder. I want a world where the individuals who create a film, song or program are the only ones who profit from it.
- All of his assets are still frozen and he cannot pay for his legal fees because of it.
- The NZ court ruled that the restraining order and the search warrants used to seize his property were illegal.
- The NZ court ruled that the FBI / NZ law enforcement removed data from the country illegally and did not return the hard drives it seized after reviewing them.
- The U.S. Department of Justice argued in a U.S. court that DotCom should not have access to frozen assets for his defense.
- The U.S. Department of Justice argued in a U.S. court that DotCom should not have lawyers of his choosing because of “a conflict of interest with rights holders.”
- DotCom says that there is no criminal statute for secondary copyright infringement in the U.S.
- DotCom claims that only 10 percent of Megaupload users and 15 percent of the site’s revenue came from US users. But the DOJ argued in U.S. court that all the assets on the site are “tainted.”
- The U.S. Department of Justice told the Grand Jury that Megaupload employs 30 , but DotCom claims that 220 jobs were lost when Megaupload was shut down.
- The U.S. Department of Justice has made mistakes in shutting down companies “for alleged copyright infringement including N1 Limited – A fashion label making clothing.”
- The U.S. Department of Justice is charging Megaupload’s founders with “Money Laundering and Racketeering cause Copyright Infringement isn’t enough for Extradition from NZ.”
His final tweet from the 18th of July is directed squarely at the New Zealand government who he claims is complicit in the whole case against him and his co-defendants related to Megaupload:
“And the NZ government is an accomplice in this insanity: Guilty until proven innocent, without funds for lawyers or access to evidence.”