Kim DotCom Fires Back
MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom gave an in depth interview yesterday to TV3 News in New Zealand. I couldn't get the video to play, but the station posted the transcript.
What's remarkable about reading the transcript is that it feels like you are hearing him speak. That's how passionate Kim DotCom is about his innocence. He explains MegaUpload and copyright laws a lot better than the Government does in its Indictment. And he answers each question directly -- there are no attempts to deflect the interviewer by answering the question he thinks should have been asked instead of the one actually put to him. He really seems to have nothing to hide. In a nutshell: [More...]
We’ve done nothing wrong. I’m no criminal, this website has not been set up to be a piracy haven....These are fabrications and lies. There are a hundred other companies out there that offer the same service like us.
DotCom says the Indictment reads like a press release. If he means a press release for the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), he's right. It reads like something they spoon-fed the Justice Department.
Indictments are the product of one-sided grand jury proceedings and untested allegations. Usually we don't hear the other side until trial. Given the publicity the Indictment has generated, hearing (or reading) Kim DotCom provide his version deserves as much attention.
Some key points he makes:
- On the volume of MegaUpload: 800 files a second were uploaded, 24/7
- MegaUpload actually went above and beyond what the law calls for in deleting infringing files called to their attention.
KD: ...[W]hat you need to understand here is that we provided the content owners with an opportunity to remove links that were infringing on their rights. So, not only did they have an online form where they could take down infringing links, they had direct delete access to our servers so they could access our system and remove any link that they would find anywhere on the internet without us being involved. They had full access and we’re talking about 180 partners, including every major movie studio, including Microsoft and all big content producers and they have used that system heavily and you need to understand that that system was not even something that was even required by the law. We provided that voluntarily and they have removed over 15 million links. (my emphasis)
JC: So every member of the Motion Picture Association, every film studio who is a member of the Motion Picture Association of America had direct delete access to Megaupload.com to take out copyright-infringing material – is that the case?
As to solutions to piracy, DotCom says there would be a lot less piracy if the MPAA changed its business model and released new movies in all countries at the same time.
Where does piracy come from? Piracy comes from, you know, people, let’s say, in Europe who do not have access to movies at the same time that they are released in the US. This is a problem that has been born within this licensing model and the old business model that Hollywood has where they release something first in one country but they show trailers to everyone around the world pitching that new movie but then the 14-year-old kid in France or Germany can’t watch it for another six months, you know? If the business model would be one where everyone has access to this content at the same time, you know, you wouldn’t have a piracy problem.
So it’s really, in my opinion, the government of the United States protecting an outdated monopolistic business model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the internet and that’s what it all boils down to. I’m no piracy king, I offered online storage and bandwidth to users and that’s it.
He points out the lawsuit between Viacom and YouTube where YouTube emerged victorious:
There is a law in the US that protects us which is the Digital Millennium Copyright Act that protects online service providers from actions of their users and this is the same law that allowed Google to still exist, that allowed YouTube to still exist. You know that Viacom sued YouTube and YouTube claimed that they were protected by the DMCA and they won.
And if you look at the YouTube case files, the emails that were exchanged internally we are a lamb compared to what was going on at YouTube at the time but these guys got away. They won their lawsuit and I’m sitting in jail, my house is being raided, all my assets are frozen without a trial, without a hearing. This is completely insane, is what it is.
He explains himself and his lifestyle and his current priorities --even his reasons for moving to New Zealand. He also says his lawyers are "basically working without a penny" because "they are all still on board and all still doing their job because what they see here is unfair, is unreasonable and is not justice."
MegaUpload is dead:
The company that was worth probably a billion dollars plus has been given a death sentence without trial.
If the FBI is wrong about MegaUpload, how do Kim DotCom and his partners get made whole again? Even a not guilty verdict won't bring it back.
As to his future, he says he's in it to win it:
I’m going to fight this all the way and I promise you, and everybody who’s watching this right now, I’m going to win because I’m no criminal and I’ve done nothing illegal.
I hope he wins. He may have been a flamboyant millionaire who let the kid inside him take too much prominence in his life, but he's still the underdog. He's had everything taken from him based on as yet unproven allegations. It's unfortunate and unfair that in some ways our justice system is straight out of Alice in Wonderland:
'No, no!' said the Queen. `Sentence first --verdict afterwards.'
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