Opinion: Bernard Hickey argues Kim Dotcom is a convicted thief and insider trader who exposed NZ's naive and loose immigration and money laundering rules. Your view?

Opinion: Bernard Hickey argues Kim Dotcom is a convicted thief and insider trader who exposed NZ's naive and loose immigration and money laundering rules. Your view?
Kim Dotcom brandishing a shotgun and posing in front of his NZ registered Mercedes coupe with the number plate GUILTY.

By Bernard Hickey

I'm surprised at how much support Kim Dotcom has got from New Zealanders in the initial reaction to his arrest here and indictment by US authorities.

Talkback radio, Facebook and even some local blogs have variously called for the German-born New Zealand resident to be freed, for New Zealand not to help US authorities extradite him, or have at least questioned both the motives and methods of the US authorities.

Russell Brown in his Public Address blog has asked about the fate of the legitimate customers of Megaupload who have lost access to their material. He also wonders why others, including Youtube, are not also infringing under the rules in the way they have applied to Megaupload, and whether the take-down of Megaupload is an over-reaction that sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

But before unleashing on the American law enforcement system or New Zealand's cooperation with it, it's worth looking at the allegations detailed in the 72 page indictment and the evidence (albeit unchallenged) that was presented within it.

The allegations of copyright infringement costing US$500 million and massive money laundering are substantial and backed by numerous intercepted emails showing both how large and profitable Megaupload was for Kim Dotcom and his colleagues at Megaupload (even the company's graphic designer Julius Bencko made US$1 million in 2010).

It details how Megaupload's users and subscribers (which is interesting in itself) were encouraged to upload copyrighted movies and music to Megaupload's servers and then how Megauploads executives, including Kim Dotcom, were fighting against and ignored demands from the music and movie studios to take down this copyrighted material.

One email details how Dotcom encouraged others to copy videos wholesale from Youtube. Megaupload even paid heavy uploaders and then frustrated attempts by movie and music studios to get the uploads taken down.It also forced those who were heavy watchers of copyrighted video to become premium subscribers, helping Megaupload make more than US$175 million from its 180 million registered users. Dotcom personally made US$42 million from Megaupload in 2010, the indictment says.

Traffic around Megaupload made up around 4% of global Internet traffic. When it was shut down over the weekend there was a signficant drop measured in global internet traffic, GigaOm reported.

Here's a sample of what the FBI found in the emails showing Megaupload knew was it was doing:

On or about July 9, 2008, VAN DER KOLK sent an e-mail to a thirdparty, entitled “funny chat-log.” In the e-mail, VAN DER KOLK copied the text of a previous online conversation between himself and ORTMANN, in which VAN DER KOLK had stated, “we have a funny business . . . modern days pirates :)” ORTMANN responded, “we’re not pirates, we’re just providing shipping services to pirates :)”.

And this one shows how Dotcom was directing blocking the deletion of copyrighted material:

On or about April 23, 2009, DOTCOM sent an e-mail message to VAN DER KOLK, ORTMANN, and BENCKO in which he complained about the deletion of URL links in response to infringement notices from the copyright holders. In the message, DOTCOM stated that “I told you many times not to delete links that are reported in batches of thousands from insignificant sources. I would say that those infringement reports from MEXICO of “14,000” links would fall into that category. And the fact that we lost significant revenue because of it justifies my reaction.”

There is definitely a case to answer here. That's reason enough to allow his extradition.

You know it's true

Those who say Kim Dotcom was simply operating a completely legal cloud storage service akin to Dropbox are simply wrong. A good read of the indictment shows that. A few questions to regular users of Megaupload will also uncover the guts of the problem. It was a vehicle for people to download illegal material. A few simple questions around my office and household uncovered that. We all know it. Let's not pretend otherwise.

It was startling to hear that John Banks, the newly elected ACT MP (and my MP by the way) swore black and blue this morning to a Radio Live reporter this morning that Kim Dotcom was doing nothing wrong. Banks knows Dotcom because Dotcom tried to pay for a fireworks display in Auckland, but it seems he didn't really know Dotcom's business.

Those who argue there is nothing wrong with downloading illegal copies of movies and music are simply deluded or in denial. That may be a large number of people, but they still have no legs to stand on.

But there are much more important public issues for New Zealanders, its banks and its government to consider, which again overwhelm both the specifics of the indictment and the albeit entertaining atmospherics around Dotcom himself.

Immigration and money laundering

Let's not forget Dotcom is a convicted thief and insider trader who has served jail time in Germany. Germany's Manager Magazin reported (in German) he was convicted of computer fraud and handling stolen goods in 1998. He had broken into corporate PABX systems and had also stolen telephone calling cards. He was given a probationary sentence of two years.

Three years later he was convicted of insider trading in Germany after he pumped up the price of an auction website letsbuyit by suggesting he was going to buy it and then dumping it for a profit of US$1.5 million without following through on his promise. He spent over 5 months in jail.

It was a celebrated case in Germany and cited as a reason ordinary Germans didn't trust the stock market after 2001. It became the Germany equivalent of our own Tranzrail. Sir Michael Fay was the part owner of a company, Midavia, which paid NZ$20 million to settle allegations of insider trading over Tranzrail shares.

All this information is easily found on Wikipedia and via other search engines.

This begs the question: why on earth did our Immigration bureaucrats allow Dotcom (also known as Kimble, also known as Kim Schmitz, also known as Kim Jim Tim Vestor and Kimble) in to New Zealand as a resident running his business under the 'Investor plus' category that requires any investor to stump up NZ$10 million for New Zealand government bonds?

Stuff reported the Immigration Service said it knew about Dotcom's criminal history, but let him in anyway. Here's what the Immigration service said:

Mr Dotcom made full disclosure of his previous convictions and they were taken into account in the granting of his residence. The Immigration Act allows for discretion to be exercised in certain cases. In this particular case, Immigration NZ weighed the character issue and any associated risk to New Zealand against potential benefits to New Zealand

Failed the good character test

However, it seems some of New Zealand's bureaucrats are more...er...sceptical than others. The NZ Herald's David Fisher reported in January 2011 that Associate Finance Minister Simon Power and Land Information Minister Maurice Williamson stopped Dotcom from buying the Coatesville 'Dotcom mansion' he was living in because he failed the good character test.

Here's what Dotcom told the NZ Herald:

"Officially I am as clean as it gets. I am not a bad person with a bad character and, in my opinion, Simon Power is small minded and unreasonable. "In New Zealand, murderers have been released from prison within a decade. You would think that the New Zealand Government believes in giving people a second chance." Dotcom said his crimes were "victimless" and "committed from my home computer".

So we have the Immigration Service saying he could be a resident as long as bought NZ$10 million of government bonds, but the rest of the government saying he wasn't of good enough character to buy land here?

By the way, those government bonds were seized over the weekend by the FBI. Although, ironically, Dotcom's investments in these bonds performed well over the last couple of years because of a rally on bond markets, as Roger J Kerr pointed out here.

Easy touch for dodgy 'economic' migrants

The risk here is that New Zealand's desperation to tempt wealthy immigrants to call New Zealand home (and invest here) is simply encouraging them to launder their ill gotten gains through the New Zealand government's accounts. That's one way to finance a deficit, but I can think of better ways.

It's good to see the Overseas Investment Office (OIO) taking its time to research the potential purchasers of land. It eventually rejected a bid by May Wang and her associates at Natural Dairy for Crafar Farms last year because she failed the good character tests. Subsequently, she was charged with fraud by the Serious Fraud Office. Good.

The OIO's caution about Shanghai Pengxin's bid for Crafar Farms should also be welcomed. China Merchants Bank and Bain and Co published a report in April last year showing that more than half of China's millionaires wanted to emigrate to protect their often recently (and shadily) acquired wealth from reposession by China's government. See an AP report on that here and a WSJ report on that here.

Trying to unravel where wealthy migrants have obtained their money is never easy and unfortunately New Zealand is acquiring a reputation as something of a soft touch, thanks to the exploits of Kim Dotcom and others.

Money laundering rules

Our banks need to ask themselves some questions. The indictment shows Dotcom set up accounts with BNZ and Kiwibank, we reported earlier.

The Reserve Bank has been introducing tougher new rules to combat money laundering since the introduction of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, but it won't be fully phased in until mid 2013. See more details here at the Reserve Bank's website.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has introduced its anti-money laundering regime in a more prescripted and phased way than our Reserve Bank, which has preferred to guide our banks through. Our banks seems to be taking a softer line than the Australian authorities. Here's what our RBNZ said about why it is taking a different approach than the Australian authorities:

New Zealand has not implemented an “assisted transition period” as was used in Australia. This means that reporting entities must comply with their obligations on 30 June 2013. The Reserve Bank of New Zealand intends to work with reporting entities in the lead-up to 30 June 2013 to help ensure that they fully understand their obligations and are in a position to comply.

Here's what the RBNZ says about 'customer due diligence'.

Customer Due Diligence (CDD) involves: 
a) gathering information about customer identity; and 
b) verifying a customer's identity, to ensure the customer is who they say they are.

In many cases, reporting entities will also need to establish the identity of the beneficial owner, meaning the person who ultimately controls the customer.

The Identity Verification Code of Practice 2011 sets out methods by which reporting entities can comply with their obligations to verify the name and date of birth of customers who have been assessed as low to medium risk. The Code is not mandatory, but provides a “safe-harbour” if followed correctly. If a reporting entity decides to opt out of this Code, it must adopt practices that are equally effective.

Here's a couple of questions that I suspect BNZ and Kiwibank might be asking themselves. Did they know Kim Dotcom had multiple identities, places of residences and criminal convictions before they allowed him to open accounts? Did they reassess his status after the government rejected his application to buy Dotcom mansion because he failed the good character test?

NZ an easy touch for fraudsters?

New Zealand also has some history as a place that international criminals can use relatively easy as a base to commit fraud.

Back in September last year Gareth Vaughan reported here on Simon Power's revelations via a Cabinet paper that 143 New Zealand registered companies had been implicated in criminal activities overseas including money laundering and tax fraud.

Later that month Gareth reported on the Reserve Bank's comments that at least 1,000 shell companies registered in New Zealand had been used to carry out fraud.

Here's what was said in that cabinet paper:

"A New Zealand registered company with its effective base in Panama recently committed a significant tax fraud in the United Kingdom. This sort of fraud affecting our OECD partners impacts negatively on New Zealand’s international reputation. IRD is concerned that New Zealand will receive a poor report in an OECD forum later this year because it is unable to provide information which many other countries would be able to supply about such companies," the cabinet paper says.

Green Party co-leader Russel Norman recently questioned Power about New Zealand International Savings & Loan Ltd, which is New Zealand registered with its registered office at 9/22 Curran Street, Herne Bay, has its sole director - Rodrigo Edgardo Alvarado - located in Panama, and its shareholder listed as the Stockholm-based Eurocapital New Zealand Limited Partners SA. Norman was alerted to the company by a Naked Capitalism blog. On its website New Zealand International Savings & Loan says it offers banking services as a registered financial services provider in New Zealand.

SP Trading had no business presence in New Zealand and its sole director was a New Zealand-based nominee director who had signed a power of attorney handing over all authority over the affairs of SP Trading to two Ukrainian individuals. The sole shareholder was another New Zealand registered company, which held those shares on trust for the same two Ukrainians. The paper notes SP Trading's sole shareholder and sole director are now based in Vanuatu.

Earlier this year Fairfax Media's Mike Field reported that Kiwibank had closed the bank accounts of Auckland operation, but Vanuatu-registered, GT Group headed by accountant Geoffrey Taylor and sons Ian and Michael that had created around 2500 shell companies, including one for SP Trading.

Kim Dotcom has again exposed New Zealand's light touch on money laundering and immigration.

He should be sent packing back to America post-haste and New Zealand's government (sadly now without the hard-working and vigilant Simon Power) needs to be a lot more aggressive and careful about money laundering and economic migrants.

A quick look a the cars he drove (with the number plate GUILTY in the picture above), what he was saying about his activities (on this Torrent Freak website) and what he was doing in Monaco (in this Youtube video) should have been plenty enough warning for Immigration NZ, the OIO, BNZ and Kiwibank.

A simple Google search would have done the trick.

New Zealand needs to stop being so relaxed and loose about these sorts of things.

And we need to stop defending convicted thieves, insider traders and self-aggrandising money launderers who buy residency here by investing in New Zealand government bonds.

True Internet hero

Some paint Kim Dotcom as some sort of Internet hero, a type of Robin Hood character helping the little guy get one over the rapacious and corrupt Hollywood studios.

I don't buy that.

Here's a true Internet hero.

Her name is Lina Ben Mhenni. She used a blog to report on what was really happening in Tunisia. There was no media covering what was happening. She used the freedom and technology of the Internet for good. It was personally dangerous for her and even now, after the change of government there, she has received death threats by Islamic extremists.

She has made no money from her use of the Internet to get around official restrictions on publishing information. She does not have a Mercedes Benz and has not hired a yacht for a week in Monaco to entertain her friends.

Here's a good Sydney Morning Herald profile on her and here's her Wikipedia entry.

Final word to Kim Dotcom

Here's Kim Dotcom's comments in his own words from just a month ago about being persecuted by the movie studios:

Mega has nothing to fear. Our business is legitimate and protected by the DMCA and similar laws around the world. We work with the best lawyers and play by the rules. We take our legal obligations seriously. Mega’s war chest is full and we have strong supporters backing us. We have been online for 7 years and we are here to stay, so no need to worry about us.

But you should be worried that these guys might be successful with SOPA or PIPA or any other legal tool for Internet dictatorship.

They are buying politicians to go against the people, freedom and innovation. They want to censor the Internet and bring innovation to a standstill by having their rip-off monopoly protected by Washington. They want to intimidate innovators and take all of us back in time.

But I am telling you, these guys should soon be history, just like cheap oil, because they underestimate the power of the people, the power of the Internet and the power of innovation. To stop them you need to get moving. As you read this the payroll politicians of the MPAA and RIAA are trying to take control of your Internet.

Show your government what you think about all of this. Because if you don’t you will regret it.

Almost the last word. The atmospherics around Kim Dotcom actually tell you a lot about this guy when compared to what he says about himself and his motivations. It also should make New Zealand wonder what we gained from encouraging him to reside here.

The NZ Herald reported this morning that Kim Dotcom ordered NZ$4 million worth of renovations to the Coatesville Mansion after moving in, according to someone who knew about the renovations.

He said Dotcom's master suite had a television at the foot of the bed believed to be the biggest in New Zealand. Off that room was an ensuite and a dressing room. A heated lap pool is just off the master ensuite, boasting underwater speakers, imported spring water and a custom ladder worth around NZ$15,000.

He imported the spring water for his heated lap pool.

Is this how we're going to build our economy?

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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More here from Dubdotdash on the saga around Gin Wigmore's on-again off-again song for Kim's website that prompted his Torrentfreak comments linked to above:

It's not enough to cite the indictment, Bernard. Or even Dotcom's own words.
The point of the legal system is to test perjorative claims in a court of law, so that only those things that can stand after being challenged may be held against someone.
I'm not saying he's guilt-less, I'm saying that his guilt has only been alleged, not proved.   
And, I suspect that the reason many have jumped to his defence is because many read of, and do not like at all, America's seemingly hell-bent intent to destroy the rights afforded by due legal process. 
I am disquieted to the extent that NZ is apparently supporting that type of action, even if in this case it turns out that the accused is, in fact, guilty.

That's fine aaron.
It should be tested in a court of law.
A US court of law.
Extradite him and allow those claims to be tested in a court of law.
The other thing I didn't get to (because my opinion piece was way long enough already) is that people like Kim Dotcom undermine the good things happening on the Internet and encourage the madness in the likes of SOPA and PIPA.
I'm with Clay Shirky on this one who says the current laws are ok for policing piracy. He pointed to the eventual takedown of Pirate Bay and Napster after legal action. In the same way Megaupload is being dealth with.
Here's Clay on this:

Thanks, Bernard. Yes, Clay Shirky is good in that video. 
I agree that an American court is appropriate, although I don't agree that his business should be shuttered or his assets seized before he gets his day in court. (However, I've no idea how to resolve the practical issue of preventing him (for instance) making all his assets/proceeds 'disappear' while waiting for court.)
On a broader point - don't you think that the record companies etc have to contend with a changing world?
Technology gave them the ability to create the form of property from which they have made immense profits (permanently saved sound), and technology is undoing a crucial attribute of that property - its defensibility. We naturally think it absurd if someone claims to 'own' that which they cannot easily defend (such as "all that my eye can see"). And, with the complete democratisation of digital reproduction, technology is simply undoing something that it had temporarily created while in a less advanced form.
What we're left with is a public policy issue. How and in what form should we preserve the legal fiction of 'intellectual property'?  That's where the real battlelines are, and that's where Dotcom's claims for his own work begin to get traction in the broader historical shift casued by technology advancing further.
These are genuine and complex questions that are very hard to answer. I'm not sure that the cry "he's a pirate! throw the book at him!" quite does the situation justice, and so I'm reacting to your article on that basis.
Nonetheless I'm sure we actually agree on a lot :)

Good to see some deeper thinking on the issue of intellectual property. It would be good to see a thread exploring this issue alone.
I have posted before on the topic of a concious culture vs an unselfconcious culture and this touches on why China doesn't abide by the prinicples. It simply isn't in their culture as they don't see personal ownership of things as we view them.
Maslows hierachy of needs is considerably different for an unselfconcious culture and they value their position within a group higher than their individuality. I would suspect that intellectual property therefore belongs to society rather than the individual. Not necessarily a bad thing because then it works for the good of the community.

Bernard wrote: It should be tested in a court of law.
A US court of law.
Extradite him and allow those claims to be tested in a court of law.
Bernard - do you honestly believe people in America get a "Fair Go" in court ?

The Sopa & PIPA bills have not being past in law. The House of Representatives kicked them into touch 2 days ago and political commentators in the US are suggesting those bills are dead.
File Sharing isn't illegal.
PinoKeyo and his dodgy immigration policy "Fast Tracking" the wealthy failed NZ's sovereignty and allowed our justice system to look embarrasingly amature by allowing the FBI to extend it's reach without any hard evidence, allegations is all this is based on.
Because Dotcom is not part of the elite's & corporates he's automatically an easy target.
How about comparing Mr Bryers? He's caused more harm to NZ'ers at a greater cost and gets to walk away from it? Our justice system is deeply flawed and does protect the corupt, wealth and privileged.
I understand your agnst, but I think you've missjudged Dotcom as he's followed the process and was accepted to reside here legitimately. 
It this dodgy National governments policy that has turn NZ into an international laughing stock! Unfortunatley we've got another 3 years of these clowns.

The extreme political actions of the movie and music studios is an extreme response to the extremely illegal and brazen actions of the likes of Kim Dotcom.
He is indefensible and should be thrown to the wolves at the FBI.

Ok so according to you he’s a dick head who had illegal content on his servers. Then try him, in a court of law, here in NZ. Oh that's right nobody will get much out of him here. They can only squeeze him for all his worth only in the US where they can seize every penny.
BTW I have read the indictment and i still can’t understand where the money laundering comes into play? If having a couple bank accounts while residing in NZ is the statue requirement to be considered engaged in “money laundering’ then I think we are all guilty here.

The servers were in Virginia, where he is indicted. Many of the uploaders paid by Megaupload were in America.
Many, if not most, of the movies uploaded illegally were made in America by American-owned studios.
That's where he should be prosecuted.
The judge in Auckland has to make a decision about flight risk.
Stuff reported prosecutors said Dotcom had multiple passports in 3 names, 20 credit cards, multiple bank accounts, a helicopter and had previously fled Germany to Thailand when accused of crimes. http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/6297454/Internet-piracy-accused-Kim-Dotcom-in-court

Since I only deal in fact. The fact is that the entertainment industry has failed to make a cogent argument that piracy is or has caused substantial monetary damages. Study after study not funded by the entertainment industry has dispelled any myth of lost revenues due to piracy. However, the corrupt election system in the states has somehow swayed the argument too far towards the copyright holders and making ANY perceived infringement, no matter how small,  a criminal act the is now extraditable.
If anything the film industry is releasing too many products on the market. The main issue is that the market is saturated and awash with low quality or inferior products. In order to get the first run releases that will make money Theater owners are forced to run 3 rate crap for weeks on eed. The film industry doesn’t have a piracy problem isn’t has a quality and mafia problem. Studio heads have even admitted that there is a large scale quality issue in Hollywood right now. They also need to admit to using RICO to sustain an outmoded business model.
BTW it’s still not illegal to be stupid or a dick head. I have yet to see any evidence of money laundering. Now if you were to tell me this guy had a criminal enterprise in Drugs, prostitution, and piracy I would be the first one to punch his ticket back the US.

I note that in the indictment they've used the exact same pulled-out-of-someone's-arse and completely fictitious damages estimate as the music industry did.
If the entertainment industry want to continue failing to adapt or hold their end up on supply and distribution, and  let the profits they could be making go to proxy services and file lockers instead, then they deserve everything they get.  Quit restricting access and eliminating millions of potential customers, quit wasting time and money on pointless legal action, use the distribution technology that exists rather than trying to hold back the tide, sell people what they want at a reasonable price.  Why is this so difficult?

Because people and industries will violently resist and use every tool available to ether stall of defeat change. I find it ironic that the government is picking the side of an industry the got started as patent violators literally stealing Thomas Edison’s equipment from Menlo, NJ and moving it as far as they could to LA. And now almost 100 years later that same industry that has fought change at every turn are now having people sent to prison as their final gasp of power. Every industry where the barriers to entry have become so cheap anyone can now do it the only thing you have left is quality. I can start a proper film studio for less the $20K. A few computers and a Red Epic camera is all you need to enter the film industry nowadays. So the only way to attract customers is have a quality message. They tied it with 3D but the “inferior quality machine” that is Hollywood will beat any new technology into the ground and milk it for every drop until everyone can’t stand it anymore.
Personally I still can’t understand why anyone wants the government to pick sides on this issue. The government is always terrible at picking winners.

It's just absurd.  Bunch of dinosaurs gazing up at an approaching meteor and trying to stop it by legal action.
A couple of times I've tried to buy audiobooks from Audible, but they can't/won't sell outside the USA.  I'd be less enraged if they didn't make me go through the whole registration palaver before telling me to piss off.  So screw 'em, if they won't take my money I'll listen to freebies from librivox and podcasts instead.  But what the hell kind of business model is that?  Frustrate and infuriate legitimate customers who are trying to pay for something, while they could more conveniently get the same thing from alternative sources for free?

I think the new business model will be make movies, sue anyone that downloads it, and take everything they own then throw them in private prisons. Besides it keeps the unemployment rate low.

You're probably onto something there.
They won't even need to make movies, and can just run off the back-catalogue.

The US private prison industry will be the largest industrial complex in the next 20 years. Instead of innovation the US will be known as the land of perpetual prison system and the new slave labor paradigm.

I asked Bernard earlier: Bernard - do you honestly believe people in America get a "Fair Go" in court ?
No answer.
The American legal system has been corrupted almost beyond recognition, Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, told the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School on February 28.
..and more cases - hundred's -

I’m a firm believer of innocent until proven guilty.  I also find it abhorrent that someone can be arrested and all their assets seized before trial such that they are unable to form an adequate defense. Talk about tilting the scales of justice. I thought someone was supposed to lose their assets based on a jury conviction not an indictment.
I usually agree with Bernard with most topics but I feel this is one in which I think his personal distain for Dotcom is clouding his objectivity to the larger picture. I also think its rash for any person in the media to condemn those prior to trial. Better to let cooler heads prevail.

Societies have unlearned what is right and wrong.
Looking into current developments on many fronts – the world will never recover again, simply because among the powerful in societies ethic and moral requirements and standards don’t prevail.
This sentence, I’m regularly promoting becomes much more important in the future, when societies risk to fall into anarchism.

I will concede Bernard on one point. The one aspect of this case that I find doesn’t pass the smell test is how Dotcom acquired residency. That is the one aspect of this case that I feel is open to media scrutiny since it matter for public record, facts that are not in dispute, and happened prior to his arrest. If there is quid pro quo with the immigration then that should be brought to bear.

Remember the bloogers comments here about dotcom - some are just amazing - considering the latest:
Here the latest:  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10792862

Like I said the crown will be on the wrong side of history on this. I went on a 25K pub crawl on Saturday and spoke to many Aucklanders about this matter and to a person they all agreed the Dotcom hasn’t been given a fair go. The social reciprocity here is truly amazing.

Doesn't Pirate Bay offer the same service?  Anyone care to explain how it differs from DotCom...because I'm confused...not to mention Youtube..

Right on the money there Rastus. Got me a fine collection of old Lynard Skynrd concerts from Youtube. You can get addons to Firefox, which means you only need to stream it once and it saves it as a mpeg4. Go youtube!!  Must be legal, otherwise why are they all on Youtube?
Don't see Larry Page doing the perp walk anytime soon.    Do You Mr Hickey?

PIrate Bay doesn't host content.
YouTube does but abides by the provisions of the DCMA act.

Youtube takes down pirated material when asks.
Pirate Bay has also been prosecuted a few times... Detail here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pirate_Bay

You really need to answer this question , for yourself , Bernard .......

The PirateBay does not profit from hosting pirated content, and does not pay uploaders to pirate content for them.  Megaupload did both.

Yo, wassup wassup. What'cha talkin' bout Hickey? Haters gonna hate.
Why would all these people endorse a criminal enterprise?

It's true. I don't like thieves.
Ever had anything stolen from you.
Tends to make people grumpy.
They even pass laws and form police forces to stop it. They even have legal systems...

So all the links posted to this site with excerpts of the Simpsons or Southpark etc.
Got a licence for those have you? And you are a commercial beneficary too, draws users to your site and you make money from them
Better get deleting Mr Hickey, I got FOX on speed dial!

Moa man
Good questions.
I only link to articles and sites that are legally available and that I am allowed or encouraged to link to. Dilbert etc. The videos I link to are on Youtube, which offers embed code for others to use.
Any Simpsons/Southpark episodes on Youtube are there because Simpsons/Southpark allow them to be there or benefit from them being there.
The Daily Show links I use are the ones Daily Show encourages bloggers to use. I always cite my links and ensure readers know I am linking to others.

Not really talking about the links you post Mr Hickey,  As you well know.
Talking about what users post here, that you don't verify the copyright on, and you benefit commercially from.

A lot of telegraph.co.uk articles appear here, both via links and copied content within posts on interest.co.nz
Here's the relevant parts of T/C from telegraph.co.uk site .........
5. Intellectual Property
We are the owner or the licensee of all intellectual property rights in the Site the Content and the Trade Marks. Subject to these Terms, we grant you a limited, temporary, revocable, and non-exclusive licence to access, browse and use the Site (including the Content and Trade Marks) in accordance with paragraph 6 below.
6. Access and use of the Site
You may use the Site for personal non-commercial use only. You may only download and print extracts of the Content for your own personal non-commercial use.
You may not:
(1) download or print any Content or extracts in a systematic or regular manner or otherwise so as to create a database in electronic or paper form comprising all or part of the Content from the Site; nor
(2) reproduce, republish, modify, archive, distribute, store, archive or commercially exploit the Content without our prior written consent; nor
(3) modify or adapt or create derivative works of the Content; nor
(4) utilise links to this website received as part of a paid-for media monitoring service; nor
(5) systematically forward links to this website within a business or outside a business for business purposes; nor
So do tell me Mr Hickey, got written consent for reproducing telegraph.co.uk articles?
A simple Yes or No will do.   Or are you a thief too?

No answer ............

He has taken refuge under the rights afforded to him via the Fifth Amendment. Strange how that happens, when convenient.

Perhaps seeking legal advice, in case a bunch of British bobbies turn up on the front doorstpe.

Exactly robby,   seemed a pretty straightforward question.
I suppose I could always ask the telegraph.co.uk ............................
but no, let's wait some more and see if Mr Hickey deigns to answer.

Pirate Bay et al don't store media files and charge for downloads - Megaupload's business model.
Pirate Bay simply acts as an information portal hosts magnet links and .torrent files which allow users to share files.
End result's the same. (Not that I'd know, of course... Ahem...)
Cyberlockers actually started out as a legitimate business.  I used them 10 years ago to managed shared task lists and calendars with clients (major IT services provider with Star Alliance client airlines) and to share files larger than the ones that email filters would let through. (Before Google Docs/Calendar and corporate intranets/extranets)

NZ has a serious case of the slows.
"New Zealand has not implemented .... as used in Australia. This means that reporting entities must comply with their obligations on 30 June 2013"
To open a bank account in australia requires proof of identity in the form of a 100 point check list and it has been in force since 1988. The 100 point check was an outcome of the Australian Commonwealth Government's desire to limit opportunities for individuals and companies to hide financial transaction fraud, enacted by the Financial Transactions Reports Act (1988) (FTR Act) which gave rise to the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/100_point_check

Bernard seems to have had a somewhat visceral reaction to Mr DotCom, just as many have raced without thought to proclaim that NZ police are now a branch office of the FBI.
Mr DotCom is a pretty undesirable character, though that alone doesn't make him a criminal. I've never used megaupload (or even heard of it until recently) and always downloaded music through itunes because it's more convenient and safe.
DotCom's vehicle for piracy may be illegal, but we also need to remember why do these laws exist and who do they protect? To be sure, they partly exist to protect the property of the artists themselves. But I think we'd also be naive to think they don't also exist to protect the vested interest of the oligpology that is the music recording and motion picture industries.
DotCom may be screwing over Universal and others, but how much are they screwing us over? I think if you're wondering why some are leaping to his defence, that's the question you need to ask.
I'm reminded of this classic from The Onion...

You say: "they partly exist to protect the property of the artists themselves. But I think we'd also be naive to think they don't also exist to protect the vested interest of the oligpology that is the music recording and motion picture industries."
Yes they protect the artists. And the companies that employ them.
I'm a journalist. I work for a company. We don't want our stuff stolen. Otherwise we don't have a job.
Ever spoken to any of the people who do the amazing work in Wellington making movies?
Ever wondered how they feel about pirates who do them out of jobs?

That's fair enough, and I am not actually condoning or encouraging piracy. However, (and this is kind of impossible to prove either way) I don't think piracy has cost any of the good people at Weta Workshop a job. Likewise aspiring actors, musicians, sound engineers, and so on.
What has cost some of those people jobs, or at the very least extracted wealth that really belongs to them is the monopolistic behaviour of the mass media cartel. Universal (and co) doesn't regard any of the artists it employs as anything more than a commodity. What this profit maximisation motive has done to popular music is obvious for anyone over the age of 18 to see and hear ... through the miracles of marketing it has brought us pre-packaged brain cell destroying garbage ("the radio plays what they want you to hear").
I don't like pirates (digital, Somali, or of the Caribbean) and I don't use them, but we probably wouldn't have itunes, or netflix, or similar, which are brilliant, had digital piracy not started to cut into the greedy, inefficient and outdated business model of the media cartel.
You are right to say that DotCom is not a hero. He may be a criminal. He is certainly a pretty repulsive rich douchebag. But he's being taken down by richer douchebags. That's why this news doesn't bring satisfaction to most people as would say the busting of a drug or people smuggling ring. Furthermore it raises all sorts of interesting legal questions, which I guess we will get answers to over the coming weeks and months. It is fascinating that's for sure.

Why is everyone getting excited now.
This was old news back in April 2010
Kimbo wasnt exactly flying under the radar back then

Glad we have at least one investigative journalist in New Zealand. 

Wishart has been good at times, but there are other senior journo's hereabouts, who choose to drop the ball, even when the info is laid at their feet.
When it's an inconvenient truth, it's amazing how many shy away. Pre-held beliefs, religious and other, seem to preclude.
This incident is part of that big picture - as all things are - in that there was an expectation that folk could become unlimitedly rich - entertainers among them.
Now we have a societal expectation of free internet, and clearly an inability to 'pay' more for anything, unless it be at the expense of something else.
Big-picture, we're going to see a lot more squirming in separate spheres of operation: Hughey and his median multiple, the Auckland watersiders and this incident, are all indicative of the sinking lid. Sure, there will be winners (Dot.com temporarily) and losers, but the average is down.

I don't know that it was my intention to malign staff at this site, but you make a good point. 
The beaty of Wishart is that he is meticulous, so it permits him to make claims that would stand up to scrutiny in the courts. There is then some basis for placing a higher degree of trust upon what he says. He still has his faults certainly, but that requires the filter on as you point out elsewhere.
The last three or four chapters on Aunty Helen are very interesting. I know there is some truth in the claims as several people I know have pointed out how the radicals like Helen hijacked the feminist movement.
(Edited for defamatory content)

Scarfie - wasn't staff at this site I had in mind, maybe I should have punned it more clearly.
I think Wishart did his best stuff some time ago. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but I seem to recall he's religious, and that can skew even the best intentioned. There can also be pressures on when you have to stay fiscally afloat........no editor is immune from that. I read just about everything with some kind of filter on.

Not shut down for long by the looks of it
Not that I have ever used or plan to use such a service.

New Zealand has right and proper treaty obligations to arrest those indicted in US courts of alleged crimes committed there, at the request of the US govt. The United States also holds exactly the same treaty obligation to New Zealand. Moreoever, it is not the job of the New Zealand courts to determine the guilt or innocence of those charges, but merely to hand that individual over to the United States to stand trial for their alleged American crimes.
Or would people here rather that New Zealand picks and chooses which requests for extradition it will respond to, according to say, the court of public opinion? That been so, would those who oppose the arrest and extradition of Kim Dotcom to the US because you can’t get a fair trial in the US, or because he’s innocent, be happy for the US to then pick and chose which NZ criminals it will arrest and extradite back to New Zealand, based on their perceptions of free trials and innocence? For example, why should the US have arrested Nai Yin Xue who murdered little pumkin's mother in Auckland, stuffed her body into the boot of a car and then abandoned his daughter in Melbourne, have been sent back to New Zealand. Was he ever going to get a fair trial in New Zealand due to all the publicity? Maybe he was innocent? After all he said he was.

Of course that would depend on the particulars of the treaty, and the US providing sufficient process to meet them.
In my opinion, NZ should require the highest standard of the US because of their long history of abuse of due process. The NZ government should also reform the business incorporation law to reduce abuse.

When you have a lot of money, as Kim Dotcom has, and you can afford to buy the best lawyers, believe me, there is no abuse of due process. In fact in this instance, it is the US that will be on the back foot here.
New Zealanders should not allow their knee jerk anti-American prejudice to cloud their judgement.

So the extradition will be tested in a NZ court first? Maybe this would be appropriate.
Its not a knee jerk reaction to insist that due process is followed. I have no problem with Americans the majority are very nice people. I would hazard a guess Kim Dotcom is not one of those nice people, but the NZ government should not give away yours and my rights in the process of him potentially getting what he may well deserve.

Yes, it will. That's the whole point of the extradition hearing by the High Court in NZ as I understand it. To ensure that the request by the Americans for extradition has all the i's doted and the t's crossed, according to the treaty we have with the US. Our court hearing is not to determine their guilt or innocence, but to determine if they meet the test to be extradited or not. As part of that review the High Court would no doubt want to be satisfied that there is a legitimate case to be answered based on the evidence put before it but, as this has already been before a grand jury in the US who found that there is a case to answer, that would go some way towards satisfying the New Zealand court’s need I would have thought.

The point is the NZ Government has  already given away our rights... given how this person has been treated todate. His assets are frozen and I note the legal representation engaged in the US  has now withdrawn through conflict of interest. All the money in the world will not buy him the best defense as I suspect he will not be able to engage the best.
Any NZ business or resident who finds their activities cross over US law runs this risk. The law is often used for leverage,  taint someones reputation  and a common business strategy.The calls for more regulation come from the usual suspects... individual rights and  enterprise take another hit, shame they do not consider them.
The mechanism has always been there and I have always advise clients to take legal advice concerning the US at the time. The precedent of this case and due process todate leaves many people open even if they have taken due care.
I make no judgement on this individuals case or copyright issues as it is not my area although  the individuals lifestyle seems simply irrelevant to the case at hand.
There is a wider issue for enterprise and individual rights here guys especially given international agreements being worked on currently.

Not so, it is for the NZ courts to determine if there is a high likeyhood the accused will get a fair trail and the charges they face is a true criminal charge and not political or politically motivated...or in such a context......Also there is a difference between dotcom which is really more of a civil case and Yin Xue which is a clear criminal case. Given the powers of the Hollywood lobbyists and its election year and Obama/Newt needs the bribes I would question the true criminality its dubious on the face of it....
From memory such is also applied in the US, ie those accused often fight extradition tooth and nail....so no, simply handing over should not occur.

When I buy a song, an album, or a movie, I buy the right to listen to, or watch it. I do not own it and I have not brought it. I own an individual listening right or watching right. As I do not own said song, album or movie, I have no right whatsoever to then make that song, album or movie freely available to members of the wider public. If I do so then I am defeating the property rights of the owner of that song, album or movie to collect their lawful viewing, listening fee. In effect I am stealing from that owner the benefit that they are legally entitled to receive by virtue of their ownership.
Kim Dotcom, it is alleged by the United States Government, has knowingly and wilfully provided a platform that has aided and abetted that theft, has financially benefited from doing so, and, in so doing, has deprived the legal owners of those songs, albums, movies, etc., their lawful and expected fees.
It’s as simple as that. And at the end of the day, it is for a US court to decide, as most songs, movies, albums etc., are American.

I find it interesting that there are those quick to raise their pitchforks and torches and arguing in favor of locking up and throwing away the key of anyone that seems to be “stealing” anything these days. When you are arguing in favor of FBI raids to expunge the possible dissemination of copyright material I think as a society we are losing the plot a bit. In fact I smell an air of tall poopy syndrome emanating from this particular treatise.
I will continue to use the patent system with is the technological version of copyright as an example.  Copyright and Patents are two sides of the same coin. They both allow a monopoly on ether technology or art. I’m a holder of several patents, and if someone infringes my patent is behooves me to sue them in the country of infringement. There is always a logistics to deal with and yes there will always be areas of the world were one can hide and infringe technology, and it’s frustrating, but it happens.  My best recourse is to partner up with a firm with large legal resources.  I could waste my time chasing every single infringer but at some point it becomes a zero-sum game.  Infringements happen all the time and it’s the price of dong business. In fact, patents are now uses as leverage to negotiate long term mutual contacts between counter parties.  Almost every titan of technology is suing everyone else. Yet nobody is sending in the FBI, ICE, and any other three letter agency to raid Google, Apple, Nokia, Viacom, et. al.  Why, because patent infringement is and always will be a civil matter.
The issue at bar with Megaupload isn’t whether they were selling access to copyright material the real issue is the law being applied equally? Bernard you easily dismiss the claim that RICO laws shouldn’t be applied to Youtube et al because somehow they have the moral high ground. Youtube and everyone other service of its type DOES NOT have the moral high ground in this debate. If stealing and using copyright work for profit is against the law punishable by extradition to a US prison for more the 50 years then the law must apply to any and ALL similar business models up to and including Google. That means the board of directors, chairman and CEO of any tech companies should be arrested and all these site and sorted out in a court of law. You can argue that Megaupload made a few hundred million in running their “criminal enterprise” akin to drug dealing. And you might not even agree how they spend their loot or turn your nose at their decision to reside in NZ but the simple fact is that if they are making a few hundred million then sites bigger than them are making billions. So those sites making billions are now protected by the MPAA/RIAA and will be untouchable (i.e, Cnet,Vviacom, Youtube, etc.)
There is also a spate issue. When law enforcement starts picking winners and gets themselves involved in civil matters what is the end game? There is a long an undistinguished history of large corporations abusing unpopular laws to get their way and quash dissent.  The current copyright statutes around the world have swung too far in favor of copyright holders and there is a recipe of disaster for rampant abuse of process and denial of due process.  I for one would rather error on the side of caution and assume all parties are innocent until proven guilty. I also don’t besmirch those not convicted yet. Of rush to judgment based on an indictment no matter how thick it might be. I also don’t support the use of RICO statutes the were ment to break up the mafia to be used on residents of foreign countries, especially if they don’t pose an immediate danger to anyone except those that continue to implement an outmoded business model and continue to cry wolf and any and all format changes. I prefer to allow due process and have a strong barrier between civil and criminal matters.
Some would say that the internet killed SOPA/PIPA but I would argue that in light of recent events the SOPA/PIPPA is alive and well as long as you are doing businesses with e US entity. These raids and possible extraditions only demonstrate the there is an industry of luddites that is so desperate to keep their inefficient business models intact that they are willing to throw anyone in the world under the bus.

At least there is plenty of Chinese money still willing to buy NZGBs when Dotcom sells. No problem with China and copyright infringement.

Bernard I agree  , but we cozy up to the Chinese who ignore all copyrights wherever they are registered . There is also much anecdotal evidence that Chinese money laundering is also rampant ...... and we do bugger all about it .

After watching the dotcom video i couldn't help but compare him with a south american drug lord or a drug dealer from miami.
All sleaze.

EU urges balance between copyright, internet freedom
"Governments must strike a balance between policing the internet to protect copyright and upholding freedom of expression, EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said"
"The protection of creators must never be used as pretext to intervene in the freedom of the internet," Reding told an international internet conference in the southern German city of Munich, noting the "heated debate" surrounding the issue.

Maybe you should read up on what copyright was originally intended for instead of becoming a puppet for US corporate greed

So, according to the article, Dotcom is guilty because he knew that his platform was used for unlawful activities.
There’s no doubt that the author of the article knew it when his interest.co.nz platform was used for publishing defamatory comments about prominent (and not so prominent) people – does that make the owner of this platform guilty?

Bernard. How would you like it if the FBI came to your house with a couple of helicopters and the AOS because I posted some copyrighted text to  your site? Then details of your assets will be given to the media to make you look like a "rich prick".
Not very fair, is it?
This guy has most likely done nothing wrong. In NZ we let celebrities off after they sexually assault or molest children. You can drink drive and kill someone, and you won't go to jail. Dotcom ran a site where you can upload whatever you want, a bloody website.
He provided a service. He brought a lot of money to NZ. Good on him.
I proudly never pay to listen to music. There's no reason why our governments should be protecting the music industry to the detriment of its own population. There's no natural reason that someone should be able to be paid for a recording of something. I can't record my day at work, play it back in front of my boss, and expect to get money for it.
It's disgusting our government should be able to control what we do on our own computers, and even more disgusting that the US government is allowed to do it.
The whole thing is an affront to justice (especially with the number of rapists that go uncaught or unpunished) and completely over the top.

"You say: I proudly never pay to listen to music. There's no reason why our governments should be protecting the music industry to the detriment of its own population. There's no natural reason that someone should be able to be paid for a recording of something."
Do you make something or provide a service for a living?
How would you feel (let alone react) if someone took what you made or used your service and didn't pay for it?
That's what you are doing and defending.
You are a thief.

.... he's on such thin ice , he's even spelt his own name incorrectly ! ...... isn't that right
Benard ?

"This is in complete opposition to what happens in a download - where the owner still has full control, access and abilities to their property." Correct me if I'm wrong but are you saying that Microsoft, or any software provider, should let us download copies of their products for free instead of having us buy a license?
Just because you can't hold the said product in your hands does not mean that the cost and effort involved in developing it was nil. Far from it in fact...

As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.

"It's easier for our software to compete with Linuxwhen there's piracy than when there's not."

—Bill Gates

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else."

"We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products. What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software."

- Jeff Raikes, (Microsoft Exec)



You are a thief?
Lets face it, Bernard appears to be losing it. This article in particular supports that view.
In general, and rather than learning from comments and evolving his ideas, Bernard seems to prefer imposing his somewaht entrained views on the site's readership. That doesn't do much for me so I now rarely comment, and am selective in what I bother to read - based mostly on who is commenting.

I felt the same after his mid-life-economic theory crisis , when he ditched the free enterprise market economy in favour of a centrally controlled bureaucratic model ......
..... but this last chapter of his sanity implosion , where he favours draconian big brother measures to stomp upon a new industry , has me stumped .......
You're losing the plot , Bernard !

I fear that once you become engaged as part of the defence of the staus quo - and start hanging about with Treasury officials and other neoclassical economists, any road to thinking well will be very difficult.

Sorry for the slow reply.
"Do you make something or provide a service for a living?"
Yes. I do it most days of the week. I don't get paid when I don't turn up, and I don't get paid for recording it. Every time I see someone I provide a service for, I don't ask them for royalties. Sadly I can't record what I do, give people a tape, and then charge people every time they watch the video.
It might cost me a lot of money to build a fancy fence outside of my house. I might put a lot of effort into its design and construction. Doesn't mean that people are stealing from me every time they walk by my fence without sticking $1 in the letter box!
Earlier you mention the hard working film makers in Wellington. I've met them. They all very well off, and have all seem to have portable HDDs with every movie released in the last 5 years on them that they trade at work! It's human nature to share.

The day will come , Ivan , when Captain Calamity will storm troop his way into your house ..... abley assisted by the goons from the Secret Services Squad ( on free loan to Bernard , from John Key ) ........
....... thence  they will restrain  you & your family on the sofa ...
... and then you'll be forced to listen to Captain Calamity's gloomsterationalysing views of the world economy ...... hour after grinding hour ......
aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !

If not for Napster etc we'd still be stuck with vinyl records if the RIAA had their way... technological innovation will force change in business models, and it is not the place of the legal system to preserve a given industry that fails to adapt.
However my simple rule of thumb is that you enter another (illegal) realm entirely when you start charging for such a service. 
On another tangent the extensions to the terms of copyright law are completely ridiculous... Mickey Mouse. 

To me it's like the Mafia taking the Gestapo to court for being bad guys - I don't want either of them to win.
'Dotcom' is a big fat twit, and has been for many years (google 'Kimble Secret Agent').  He deserves everything that's coming to him.  He shouldn't be profiting from people ripping off the artists.
The U.S. is a corrupt plutocracy, in the pockets of whomever gives the politicians money.  They've had copyright extended and enhanced to crazy proportions (which they're now trying to foist off on the rest of us).  Copyright is meant to be about maximising benefit for all people, creators and consumers, but instead is tilted too far in favour of the mega-corporates.
Copyright should be reduced to 10 years so that producers are forced to provide their services in an efficient manner, and so that their contribution to our culture can be correctly preserved - right now they're not doing a very good job themselves, and it's illegal for the rest of us to do so.
Finally, there's the issue of juridiction.  In this case MegaUpload actually has servers in the US, so it's fair enough I guess ... though it's close to the line, if Mega doesn't have any other actual business prescence in the U.S.  But even if those servers didn't exist I don't think that would have stopped the U.S. from going after him.
What would we say if it wasn't the U.S., but a middle-east country going after them?  I've heard of a recent case of a man sentenced for death simply for creating an image upload tool.  This tool was then used in porn sites (without his knowledge, he claims).
I create database software.  What would happen if my software was used in one of these sites and one of these countries wished to extradite me so that they could have my head?  How is this different and where do we draw the line?
As a chap I read wrote - if it came to a choice between the Internet or copyright, I'd choose the Internet every time.  And that's despite the fact that my livelihood depends on copyright.

There are two issues here,
The first is the legal issue, which is yet to be decided upon by the judicial system..We will have to be patient on that.
The second is our immigration issue...there was absolutely no case for discretionary approval in the case of a previously convicted migrant..even if there was, it should have been decided at the ministerial level rather than the official level..especially when large funds were coming in ostensibly for business purposes, involving world-wide activities...
Hope NZ Immigration learns from this and tightens the rules..
They can also examine whether the residence permit in this case can be revoked so even if extradition does not happen, this person can be denied the right to reside here and carry on his activities in NZ.

send him to Australia, many crims from NZ are getting in scoth free!

Sorry didn't have time to digest all that info posted above
So can I still able to use Copy and Paste function without having the FBI dudes knocking on my door?

Of course you can .. so long as it is for your personal consumption .. and not business purposes where you on-sell it for personal gain

So why ISPs are sending out warning letters of infringement to their subscribers?

Having often forwarded your viewpoints to others as examples of wisdom, I am discouraged by your mostly emotional reaction on this one:

"The extreme political actions of the movie and music studios is an extreme response to the extremely illegal and brazen actions of the likes of Kim Dotcom.  He is indefensible and should be thrown to the wolves at the FBI.
There is also an undertone in your argument that a person with wealth and multiple cars nicer cars than your own is prima facie evidence of criminal activity and guilt.  If that's the case, perhaps you would also like to see the owners of YouTube/Google, Sony, Disney, etc. also thrown to the wolves?
I was in court yesterday and heard the defense's reponses in full -- which your employer has done a good job of not disseminating to the public.
#1 The day prior to the raid on Mr. Dotcom's residence a NZ police officer met with Mr. Dotcom's lone security officer who was a live-in staff member on the estate.  The purpose of the arranged meeting was to discuss and review security measures in place on the property.  At this meeting, the NZ police officer used a video camera hidden in his pen to case Mr. Dotcom's place. 
In spite of having obtained detailed information on what police could expect to encounter when arriving to present an arrest warrant to Mr. Dotcom and his fellow "conspirators," NZ authorities -- put in a role of having to serve as lackeys to the US government -- staged a shock and awe mission for full media effect --- of which you are letting yourself be sucked into.
Where is your outrage over NZ taxpayer dollars that were spent to deploy helicopters and a 70 man commando unit to do the work that could have been done with a couple of patrol cars and a half dozen police officers on regular assignment?  Seriously, there was more armed manpower put into raiding the "compound" of an alleged copyright infringer in North Shore than was used to take out Osama bin Laden.
#2 Weapons found on property: 2. Both indentical.  One actually loaded -- with rubber buckshot.  It was not made clear but it seems that the live in security guard did have a weapons license but not for these particular pistol grip shotguns -- possiblly only becuase they had detachable stocks of which one was found with its detachable stock laying next to it.  Detaching the removalbe stock represents illegal modification? I'm not sure if that represented the illegal weapons charge.
#3 Megaupload provided unrestricted access to its database to the "183 largest copyright holders" to monitor data content.  Their servers where located in Virginia to demonstrate efforts to comply with US law.  They were not operating from some shady server farm in China or Uzbekistan.  To limit the abuse that occurs in all such services, they actually blocked Google from being able to search and present information to would-be downloaders of infringing material.  Not mentioned was that it might also be good business pratice to not let the owner (Google) of one of your competitors (Youtube) canvass through your customer base.
#4 The percentage of illegal content in the 12 billion files in the megaupload system was a small fraction of their business -- possibly no different than Youtube and other content sharign services.
In the end, we may find that Mr. Dotcom's greatest crime was that he was providing a service for creative people to share their original content directly with their paying subscriber fanbase thus bypassing "approved" information providers and their banking syndicate advertisers.  That's the Robinhood scenario that I think you should open your mind to considering.  As you've currently framed it:  Youtube/Google/Sony/Disney good. Megaupload bad.  I think you are being presumptous and risking your credibility.
Slightly off-topic last things to consider:
#1 If you want to stop people with large net worth from locating and spending some of that net worth in New Zealand, throwing them to the wolves at the first drop of the hat is a good way to start.
#2 Compare the effort of the US government to track down the "Mega Conspirators" to getting people arrested, trialed and put in jail for the trillion or so dollars that have disappeared in the US banking syndicate.  Where were the helicopters and commandos when Lehman, BOA, Merrill, Fannie and Freddie, et. al. went poof with the average schmoe's money?
All longwinded I know. But someone had to say it.


Apologies for lack of paragraph spacing.
Had them in there.  Not sure what happened.

May be he is a hardcore Labour supporter.  Anyone with a nice big house, expensive cars are crimminals and big corporations are evil..

Another fall out of this...now the whole world knows that..'The internet is free, only to the extent the Americans allow it to be..'...

Isn't true that they started the internet in their armed forces back in the 70s.  So I guess they are holding the copy right!
(the same goes fot their postioning satellites, if they switched them off all the GPS will be useless! can we still be able to read normal map?)

I think CERN had a major role when it comes to the Web.

Kim Dotcom is living proof of what an awesomely fun lifestyle one can have if you don't have too many scruples.  I'm sure many are enveyous of the stuff he has and the things he has done.
One would have thought these guys would have kept their communications a little more private.  Then again, looking at the 'dotcom' mansion, the fireworks display over Auckland, the yachts, the helicopters, and goodness knows what else, he's not the kind of guy to lay low.

Envy? You might be right if the trappings of wealth is your measure of enjoyment.

However think of it this way.
If you spend your adult life ripping people off, people who are unknown to you, you run the risk of leaving a lot of time-bombs in your wake. Most people will rely on the rule of law to obtain redress. But if you rip enough people off, the odds are, one day your luck runs out, one of them will be a psycho who doesnt respect the rule of law, and you spend the rest of your life looking over your shoulder. Kimbo knew that. That was the risk he was willing to take. That's why he had armed bodyguards.

Warren Buffet also has armed bodyguards, that piece of your argument doesn't hold water.
However, knowing when to quit making hay while the sun is still shining, does. You gotta know when to fold 'em and walk away happy.

"Envy? You might be right if the trappings of wealth is your measure of enjoyment."
It's not wealth per se, it's what you can do with it...  Cruise around on a super yacht, have parties with scantily clad gorgeous women, race across Europe in supercars on open roads; what an absolute blast!
Obviously he didn't take enough precautions with the 'psycho' who turned up to make him pay.  Funny, I would have thought a secret tunnel leading from the safe room, fully equipped with a high speed escape pod, rushing him to an off-site covered heli-pad from which he could escape in a fully loaded gunship. ... Or no, no, even better to one of these submersible speed boats http://twistedsifter.com/2009/10/can-your-boat-dive-100-feet-under-water/ ...  Now that would have been a classy exit.

Kim Young Un got a whole army of armed guards and the people of North Korea love him...

Chairman Mao did too. You're in the right vicinity. Birds of a feather ... Problem is this fat-cat has just done the rotten-apple spoiling the whole barrel for a few others. Have just been advised the Vito "Don" Corleone family were looking for a quiet place to come to, somewhere they could bring their legitimised billions, somewhere without a CGT, but things look a bit uncomfortable at the moment. Will check again in a couple of years.

Dotcom bubble was bound to burst, right ?

"Prime Minister John Key says immigration officials are looking at the way they dealt with the New Zealand residency application of German millionaire Kim Dotcom."
Mind you don't get splashed with whitewash folks...Sir Humphrey will be using a wide brush and hundreds of gallons on this one.....

Bernard, don't worry about the opinions of the loud miniority too much.  Most Kiwi's are not haters of America, or defenders of money laundering and piracy for profit.  
Anyone who even skimmed the legal case agaist dotcom can see its pretty comprehensive and he should have his day in court, in the country where he was hosting his business. 
The reason some people defend dotcom is because they hate the US.  Or more accurately, love the US and its culture, but think they should hate it, and so that love makes them angry.  
They watch American movies and TV but when the screen is off, its all hate towards the US and its 'corrupt' government and 'stupid' people.  Most of these haters have *never even visited the US*, but think they know everything because they watch TV! 
Its cool to hate the US, hate Australia, hate poms etc.  Its cool to hate white people because the media tells them to.  These people would all be Nazi's if this were 1930's Germany, hating who they were told to hate.  The target of media hate right now is the US and dotcom benefits on talk radio in NZ, but he's still going to jail.

Are you a child?

There are a number of parallel issues on this that are being confused and should cause us some concern.
Firstly there is the American request to arrest Dotcom for alleged copywrite enforcement.  I suspect (and accept it is a presumption that may not be correct) that the racketeering and money laundering charges ensue from the allegedly ill gotten gains made through the MegaUpload activities. 
We have an extradition treaty with the US that provides for their request as long a the activities are a crime in NZ and the maximum prison term is at least a year.  From what I have read that appears to be the case.
What I do find concerning is the actions of the NZ police. How long have we been utilising armed offenders, helecopters etc to make arrests for what appears to amount to copywrite infringement charges.  Clearly the police knew he had arms at the house as he had been photographed with shotguns etc in the past but in reality did it warrant the hollywood approach.  Hopefully the police at some point might explain themselves on that.
When you think of the American approach to this however there are some fundamental justice issues that need to be questioned.  Dotcom's business has been closed, company assets seized because the FBI has alleged he has breached the law.  There has been no court case and yet they have destroyed this business without giving Dotcom the right to defend himself in court.  He may well be guilty but if he is not the movie studio's have achieved their aim of putting him out of business anyway.  Guilty until proven innocent is a bloody dangerous road for the law to head down.
On to the residency status of Dotcom.  We are confusing the two issues and should not be using the US extradtion request as a convenience to solve what appears to be a shoody job by the immigration department and minister of immigration on approving his residency status.  The news this morning is pointing out that while Coleman did not object to his residency, Williamson and Simon Power vetoed a sensitive land purchase because of doubts about Dotcoms character.  Key may well have some issues in trying to explain this one away.  
Dotcoms residency status has been brought into focus because of the Megaupload saga however they need to be treated separately.  Immigration and the Government need to account for how this guy gained residency in NZ given his known past activities whatever happens at the extradition hearing.

Cracking Chris Keall story here at NBR on Kim dotcom's email to his neighbours at Coatesville joking about hacking into their email serves, providing a money laundering service and having them over to chare cocaine.
Some lawyer/PR person needs to tell Kim to SFTU.
Trouble for him is so much of this is out there from more than a decade of e-exhibitionism.
What a wonderful thing a search engine is.
And the power of copy and paste distribution tools... ;)

..... his snooty neighbours got the rag out because he scared their precious ponies & pussies !
I'm liking this guy more & more by the day .......
Bernard Hickey : Last bastion defence of the rich & privileged ! .... aha de haaaaaaaaaaa
..... and you really believed that joke Email he sent to them ..... more creative than my old approach of leaving road-kill in the neighbours' letterboxes ........

Fascinating - that email (and in particular the follow up demand that coffee was conditional on the other - more offensive in his opinion - neighbour attending as well) is a very interestng insight into his personality.
Check out the parallels;


Illegally downloaded and copied from " the Daily Reckoning " :" Orwellian Wisdom : Knowing your role as an obedient citizen " ( Joel Bowman ) :.
... Barely a day goes by when we don't read of some new encroachment on our freedoms . Last week it was the freedom to share information online ...
The four men were arrested in New Zealand , with , presumably , the collusion of the New Zealand government . The arm of the Empire is indeed long . So what did these individuals , who face a maximum prison sentence of 55 years each if convicted , do , exactly ? They hosted a website , megaupload.com , that allowed for digital file sharing ..
... ( Jeffrey Tucker ) " The trendline with Megaupload was clearly toward using the space to launch new artists with new content ; not piracy but creativity ... They had rallied a whole host of musicians including Will.i.am , P Diddy , Kanye West and Jamie Foxx to endorse the cloud locker service . Megaupload was building a legitimate system for artists to make money and fans to get content .."
...... an old entrenched industry with political clout ( and a distinct lack of actual artists ) hires the arm of the state to ride roughshod over a new , innovative competitor with a super distribution model ..... a model actually endorsed by artists .

I can sell one of my original paintings once to one customer – expensive.
I can make limited copies of one of my original paintings and sell these to a limited number of customers – cheaper.
I can make unlimited copies of one of my original paintings and sell these to an unlimited number of customers – very cheap.
Someone can .....................................????

Kunst: I'm unsure of the point you are making.
If you are saying that technology, and the web in particular is creating opportunities for creators of content to use different selling models, then sure - the success that content creators are having with selling songs for 99c on iTunes is a great example of that.
But if you are saying that the same principle is a defense of the downloading of copyrighted content, the argument is flawed.  Firstly, by logical extension, you can make the same money by selling to an infinite number of people by dropping the price to zero - which clearly doesn't make any sense. Secondly, the key point in your comment is that it is *you* selling *your* original paintings according to the model that *you* choose. Which is entirely *your* right as the content creator.
But what pirates and people who willfully and knowingly facilitate and financially benefit from content piracy (as Dotcom clearly did from the indictment) do is take that right away from you as the content creator. *They* are deciding, without consultation or consent, how your content is going to be sold, and *they* are receiving the benefits of your labour (either the content itself or payment for that content), not you.
If someone doesn't like the model under which you have chosen to sell your content under, they have the right to not buy it, and they have the right to tell the world how much they dont like your business model (and, I guess, tell the world how big a jerk you are).  I've got no problem with that - it is at least a form of ethical integrity.
What they *don't* have the right to do is to ignore the model you have chosen, take your content without paying you for it, and then try to defend their position as somehow noble and "fighting for the cause" - that position is legally, morally, logically and ethically bankrupt.

Cwh - first it is very difficult in my view to talk about an issue, while hardly anyone here is an expert on copyright law. On the other hand, how greedy and corrupt is the industry in relation/ interpretation of the law ?
Obviously the entertaining industry is a multimillion business with countless people making countless amount of profits, which is crazy.
After all as an artist I have an obligation to make my works accessible for younger people, not having a lot of money - so I sell directly and not to an agent, who sells my product more expensive again.

I absolutely applaud the fact that you as a content creator are weighing up what is important to you, and are making your content available to your audience in a way that fits comfortably with your objectives and principles.
As a content creator, I may choose a different model that fits with my objectives and principles - that choice is each of ours by way of right. Neither of us is right or wrong, each of us have weighed up the costs of our effort required to produce our content, and we are the ones taking the risk that whatever model we choose to distribute our content will deliver the rewards that we deem important - whether they are financial, recognition, sense of self worth, or greater good.
My objection is to others taking that choice away from you (and from me), be it a member of your audience (by stealing your work), a record executive (by virtue of dubious contracts) or a file sharing site (by knowingly  financially rewarding people who upload copyrighted content without your permission).
You may well be right about the entertainment industry - but the fact that one group of people (entertainent industry) make disgusting profits at the expense of artists does not excuse another group of people (filesharing industry) making disgusting profits at the expense of artists.

" so I sell directly and not to an agent, who sells my product more expensive again." - It is really good that you are able to do this but it is not always possible. I know for a fact that in some industries it not the case and you are forced to go through a middleman.
When I published my first book (and didn't know the first thing about the industry), I talked to a few book shop owners who all said I needed to go through a distributor/agent. Even if a few independent stores would talk to an author directly, they are a tiny minority and the main chains can't and won't talk to individual authors (and these stores are where you not only want, but need to be if you are to ever make a $).
My distributor, who also quickly became a good friend, makes a tiny margin (the book stores on the other hand demand 50-60% off retail price and they are pretty much the ones setting the retail price in the first place, and after you take off the author's share + distribution costs there isn't much left for him, and sometimes he even ends up owing money!). After a few years getting to know the book industry and my experience of a large publishing house with my last book, I seriously doubt anyone makes much money in this business except maybe the book stores and a few very succesful authors. I don't know many people who actually make a living from their writing and it's just as well I got into it for the fun & experience of something totally different to what I do as a living than as a career :)
Re-copyrights - I talked to a few people in the know about that when about to conclude contracts to sell translation rights to foreign publishers. They all said it was nearly impossible to make sure they were enforced. I agree: I can not exactly see myself going to Lebanon or wherever to check that the print run I got paid for for the Arabic translation corresponds to the actual print run that was done, or to confirm that no reprint was done without me being notified and paid. So with these deals, I've just relied on people's honesty (and have no real desire to find out if I made a mistake). I have also made the books available as ebooks (for a much lower price than printed version but not free) so anyone could have paid for one download and then made it available for download from their own site (for a fee, or not) I suppose.  

@ cwh, Elley – of course your views are absolutely justifiable.
What I don’t accept are industry sharks, which make undeservedly massive profits under the copyright law, charging customers again and again. I’m wonder if the copyright law in the music/ film industry has enough ethical principles ??

Kunst: You assert that the music and film industries are sharks and therefore are to be brought to their knees. That may be so. There could be an opposing view that without the ongoing rivers of gold from copyrighted material, the film and music industries "might" wither and die, to the disadvantage of everyone.
Where I disagree with you is this:
The issue at stake here is it's a conflict between the Majors and the Pirates. It is akin to two Drug Lords engaging in Drug Wars where a new gang-banger drug-lord upstart goes into business inside the Big Drug-Lord's territory. It's a turf war. The consumers are probably better off in that they get their supplies a little bit cheaper. They dont really care who their dealer is. You are arguing that the smaller shark is preferable to the bigger shark. The question for you to answer is, will the smaller illegal shark re-invest back into the industry for the benefit of the originators, by paying royalties, as the bigger shark does?

 iconoclast - in principles, I have questions about the music/ film industry.
 Please, read also my today's comment at 9:19am

From an article in Nz Herald today :

Mr Key repeated that he did not think criminal convictions should, by themselves, necessarily disqualify an applicant for residency.
"It's not unusual for someone who has a criminal record to be granted residency. It happens every day."
Can God Save NZ ?

Here we go again: Looking into current developments on many fronts – the world will never recover again, simply because among the powerful in societies ethic and moral requirements and standards don’t prevail.

I agree with LSE educated Mick Jagger, who had this to say:
Also, I never understand the patent/copyright system.
I mean developers of new (potentially life saving) drugs get a 10yr patent coverage, perhaps another 10yr extension if they can reformulate it and then re-patent the formulation before it is opened up to generics.
Yet music artists and authors etc, get protection, in many cases long after they are dead.
Truly bizzarre.

Saw this a few weeks ago on ritholtz.com. This is very interesting on the subject of  a war on general purpose computing.
Worth a watch/listen although it is an hour long so perhaps background listening if you don't have the time. First 9 to 10 mins are right on point ...
Cory Doctorow: The coming war on general computation
The copyright war was just the beginning

The last 20 years of Internet policy have been dominated by the copyright war, but the war turns out only to have been a skirmish. The coming century will be dominated by war against the general purpose computer, and the stakes are the freedom, fortune and privacy of the entire human race.
The problem is twofold: first, there is no known general-purpose computer that can execute all the programs we can think of except the naughty ones; second, general-purpose computers have replaced every other device in our world. There are no airplanes, only computers that fly. There are no cars, only computers we sit in. There are no hearing aids, only computers we put in our ears. There are no 3D printers, only computers that drive peripherals. There are no radios, only computers with fast ADCs and DACs and phased-array antennas. Consequently anything you do to “secure” anything with a computer in it ends up undermining the capabilities and security of every other corner of modern human society.

There have been reports, exaggerated or not, of an emerging shitfight between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. So far, Silicon Valley has the upper hand right now, having quickly learnt the art of Washington lobbying. It'll be interesting to see if Obama is forced to choose sides, given both camps have donated heavily to him.

this is the real story, smells like the record industry got word of this and got their pals at the FBI to shut him down...

.... this is the story some of us have been banging on about all week .
Bernard has blithely ignored this , in his slavish agreement that the state should take total control , and throw these upstarts to the wolves at the FBI .....
....... the record industry has a massive vested interest in preventing innovators  such as Megaupload from changing the rules of the game ....... anyone care to question Megaupload's customers & artists if they prefer  the old entertainment industry business model , or the new one .....

too right Gumbo. Hollywood ain't exactly big on other people's innovations:
If their legal arm gets out of control? This is an industry that demands payment from summer camps if the kids sing Happy Birthday or God Bless America, an industry that issues takedown notices for a 29-second home movie of a toddler dancing to Prince. Traditional American media firms are implacably opposed to any increase in citizens’ ability to create, copy, save, alter, or share media on our own. They fought against cassette audio tapes, and photocopiers. They swore the VCR would destroy Hollywood. They tried to kill Tivo. They tried to kill MiniDisc. They tried to kill player pianos. They do this whenever a technology increases user freedom over media. Every time. Every single time.
While that tubby german might not be the most upstanding chap in the world i'd rather that teams of cops had choppered in and seized all the possessions of petricevich, hotchin, watson and fay/richwhite. 

I can't help but take issue with the suggestion that Megaupload is a representation of a new business model that is more fair to artists than the traditional model.
Had you said iTunes or the Appstore, I would have agreed - the Appstore cuts out the middleman, connects consumers directly with content creators, and takes a fixed percentage per transaction in return for establishing and providing a global infrastructure for secure distribution and payment.
But I must have missed the bit in Megauploads business model where they pay artists who own the content for each download. The only rewards program I see was for anyone  who could uploaded as much content as they possibly can without having to demonstrate ownership to do so. As for pay per view? Not happening, or at least not to the artist.
At least the traditional business model payed *some* attention to the the artist, who have a choice in whether they sign a contract or not.
Megauploads business model was only innovative in that they cut out the artist as well as the middlemen, knowingly and wittingly, without regard for anyone's interests other than their own.  

I'm going to sue my car manufacturer next time I get a speeding ticket

i think that happened to porsche in the USA....?

We have an extradition treaty with the US.  We have to kick the bum out, or cancel the treaty.
If people think he won't get a fair trial in the US, do they support backing out of the treaty?

Has Peter Jackson said any thing about this ?

anyone really surprised yhat Dotcom appears to have alot of 'moral' support from NZers?
Ethics and morality these days are not as black and white as they used to be. It's all relative.
When mega-greed is glorified in the US and its satellite nations , when corruption is rife  and unpunished (except when Average Jo is caught with a finger in the till and the full weight of the law comes down on him/ her) .... who can truly wonder why this bourgeois slob gets a standing ovation. 
this is an example of globalisation at its moral crossroads.

Are you surprised? Hardly.
If you have followed both the main-stream-media and the new-media reporting of this issue, and even now if you were to go back and review it all you will find that the headlines and the articles themselves are designed to elicit that very response. Not one has attempted to set out the full facts of the issues involved preferring instead to sensationalise the story. So far the only report I have seen that attempted to set out a summary of the real issues was the first article published in stuff.co.nz. Subsequent to that Bernard Hickey has touched on some of the underlying principles, but indirectly.
The case involves internet protocols surrounding copyright, attribution, citation, plagiarism, theft, then international definitions of money laundering, racketeering, wire fraud, immigration, deportation, extradition, etc, etc, it goes on and on. Then there is the FBI. Then there is the fact that few people acknowledge that laws in other countries do differ. What does come to mind is: try going to Singapore or Indonesia with a baggie of funny baccy in your pocket and see what happens. In the past 10 years 2 Australians have been executed in Singapore, and a number in Indonesia are currently serving long term jail sentences for "offences" that would be lucky to get community service punishment in NZ and Australia and USA.
All of the above can be discovered and learned by searching the internet. Nothing difficult. I'm more than familiar with the application of copyright and the internet. But read my posts above on this issue and you will see I consider Kimbo to be a stupid self-indulgent fathead. Ask yourself why he came to New Zealand. He didnt come for the snorkeling and pinching a few paua or toheroa.

In 1998 Kimble Dotcom was convicted in Germany for "insider trading" and given a 2 year suspended sentence. What he actually did was run a "pump and dump" scheme that would have attracted a minimum 10 year jail sentence if he did it in the US. A search of the internet finds 2 Americans got 25 years each for the same thing.

Iconoclast – does that mean the US law system is 5 times more corrupt then the German one ?
It seems to me, when billions are involved, court cases turn political and often we see acts of caprice.

Kunst - I would say the other way round. Germany went to a lot of trouble to extradite him from Thailand, then, having gone to all that trouble, convicted him and slapped his wrist with a wet bus ticket. To answer your question I would need to know how much money he used to grease the palms of the German authorities to get off so lightly.

Iconoclast – and how much paid the US music/ video lobby the court system to jail those guys 5 times longer ? Look - I honestly don’t trust either.
I published that link earlier:

Kunst: I know what you mean, and I dont disagree. It's a question of degree. But I do know this. If Kimbo was going to go to war with the american triads, on their own turf, in their backyard, then he knew the risks he was running.

Under the influence of propaganda, corruption and greed, societies are brainwashed and often stupid enough to unlearn what is right and wrong. That makes a fair judgment in such a complicated case very difficult – even impossible at least for outsiders.

iconoclast - pump and dumps occur regularly in all stockmarkets. But it is is an art form in the US.
It's only when the' influentia' get burnt that you will hear that some sucker outsider  was sent down for 25 years for shiiting in the eagle's nest.

That's why I can't understand why the dumb fat-head set up his operation and servers etc in Virginia USA. How stupid can you be.

good point.
"I might be dumb but I'm not stupid"  hehe I love that saying.
well maybe in this case Clever & Stupid met Hubris in a pub and they all woke up together with Dumb on top.

Just to get back to BH's headline....
NZ / Aotearoa is not naive.
Just modernising and playing catchup to the ugly reality of globalisation - where each global citizen unit  is required to go mano-a-mano,  in order to be recognised as an 'individual of merit'. May even get a knighthood for your gravestone key.
Well - this is how it's always been for 90% of the rest of the world
No free western enclaves anymore - feudal history is repeating.
 Middle class welfare will vanish in a bewildering instant -  so be prepared.
Other organised  foreign' nations will  bloom and rule. 
The freezing cold philosophy of the west will lose its influence of emnity towards all things "not freely christian capitalist' .
Oh well - it was magnificent whist it lasted !!
Like  jacarandas.

Bernard you seem to be taking this all a bit personally now. If you read the email that Kim wrote to them you would see that it is heavily sarcastic and more just him having a laugh at how they are going all conspiracy theorist on him. Indeed all that his email showed is that he has a sense of humour and doesn't mind having a coffee with his neighbours. Also you don't seem to have replied at all to Calvin Elliots post which really makes your uninformed argument seem silly. Please go ahead and reply to it. We would all enjoy to hear your drivel of excuses. 77 police and 2 helicopters for goodness sakes... i suppose he did arrange to put up a rubber tank (after he was arrested). The guys got class hes smart and what he did is no different to 100's of other media upload outfits. These outfits going after him are just huge money corporations who want all the wealth for themselves. Rich American politicans who own the copyrighted material and most won't even go to the artists. So yea maybe you should "SFTU" as you so eloquently put it :)

1 million doallars to christchurch earth quake relief fund... oh and im sure you enjoyed the fireworks. What a nasty nasty man!

While Mr. Dotcom tries to portray an image and fights this case showing that he stands for freedom of use of the internet and freedom of speech, I think a lot of the people do not really know the money laundering process that goes on behind the scenes. - http://www.mediasnap.co.uk