Tag Archives: Kim Dotcom

The US/Hollywood War Against Kim Dotcom was an Embarrassing Failure That Almost Toppled the NZ Government

Kim Dotcom

Kim Dotcom

by Legendary Lew

This week Hollywood is very happy to have you turn your attentions to The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Star Wars, instead of what happened to a guy they consider their public enemy number one.  That’s because a New Zealand court just threw millions of dollars back at Kim Dotcom, former head of Megaupload and now CEO of Mega,  for legal and living expenses due to the very well-publicized raid on his NZ mansion back in 2012.

That NZ raid, carried out due to allegations of criminal copyright infringement,   went viral on video worldwide with the flashiness of a major drug bust. His mansion, art, luxury cars (including a pink Cadillac), yachts were all on display for a hungry press.

The press was also starved to hear from Dotcom after his arrest. Kim Dotcom, in no way shy of publicity, came forward with his own allegations against the Hollywood studios, claiming among other things that the raid was payment in kind for supporting President Obama’s election bid and that Dotcom was ready to create an IPO with Megaupload.

Those accusations would be embarrassment enough for the US if proven true.

Kim Dotcom posing before one of his yachts. (Courtesy: thedrum.com)

Kim Dotcom posing before one of his yachts. (Courtesy: thedrum.com)

However, two other damning ones certainly stuck: the illegality of the seizure and Dotcom’s claim of a planned, pre-raid espionage set up by the US and assisted by NZ Prime Minister John Key. Subsequent court rulings regarding both had the effect of making a multi-convicted criminal a folk hero in New Zealand and putting the reigning NZ government in jeopardy.

In June 2012, six months after Dotcom’s arrest, the High Court of New Zealand ruled that the estate raid was illegal because the warrants presented for the siege were too broad, thus allowing the police to grab any unrelated items they could get their hands on.  The US case began unraveling like a loose knit sweater caught in a washing machine agitator.

The US authorities were slapped in the face by the court ruling. But the next allegation would–for Prime Minister John Key–become the equivalent of a 24 hour marathon of Ow, My Balls!

Dotcom claimed Key cooperated with spying on the Megaupload mogul and planned on having him come to NZ , allowing the US to swoop in and extradite him back to the States. On New Zealand media, Key answered a question about this claim brought to him by reporter Glenn Greenwald (now most famous for assisting Edward Snowden):

The video above shows Key being an ass for fatshaming Dotcom and making racist comments about his name. The subsequent knowledge that he was lying through his teeth during the entire segment catapults it into the realm of breathtaking shamelessness.

You see, unlike the United States, New Zealanders don’t take kindly to being spied upon, even if it’s on someone like Kim Dotcom. In fact, it’s illegal. The result of having his nose grow about three feet during the interview was that on September 2012, Key publicly apologized to Kim Dotcom for spying on him. The country went ballistic against Key with one commentary comparing the spy affair to Watergate and another claiming the United States has a 51st state called New Zealand.

Keep in mind, this amazing groin bruiser to the NZ Prime Minister came after

Former Auckland City Mayor John Banks

Former Auckland City Mayor John Banks

another NZ politician, Mayor of Auckland City John Banks,  was convicted on corruption charges for failing to disclose a donation to his campaign from Kim Dotcom.  His conviction was since overturned with a possibility of a retrial. But the damage was done, as Dotcom rated higher in popularity than Banks and the former mayor had to wrangle in the courts for three years before the latest ruling. The lesson here, of course, is that if you are a politician in NZ, Kim Dotcom should probably not be in your vocabulary.

Now Dotcom has been awarded millions back to him. It might seem like he’s come full circle, but Dotcom is still fighting extradition, a divorce, legal fees and the inability to sell shares on the recently formed Mega–all of which are financial drains. However, he’s able to undertake his financial and legal battles from a stance that he was wronged by two countries and an industry hellbent on protecting copyright laws the film industry itself breaks.

You may want to think about that next time you get excited about seeing Hollywood’s next blockbusters.

Internet Hater Chris Dodd Wants Technology to Help Boost Sagging Theater Attendance


by Legendary Lew

Variety reports that last year, attendance for the 18-24 year-old age bracket in movie theaters dropped like a stone. It’s serious because, you know, everyone else is dead and will never benefit from films aimed toward them:

The number of frequent moviegoers in the all-important 18-24 age group plunged an unprecedented 21% in 2013, according to MPAA annual statistics released Tuesday at Cinemacon, while attendance in the 12-17 age bracket also saw a precipitous drop off, falling almost 15%.

Frequent filmgoers from 12-24 are likely spending much of their previous moviegoing time watching a variety of other screens.

Well, heavens to Betsy, whatever shall a bloated, non-innovative, money-wasting, inefficient, money-gouging, hypocritical corporate entity do?!

I know! Call in MPAA head Chris Dodd to give the industry a pep talk:

“We need to keep exploring fresh ways of leveraging our new technology to drive traffic to your theaters,” Dodd insisted during his keynote address delivered Tuesday at CinemaCon in Las Vegas.

“We can embrace technology, and use it to complement our offerings,” Dodd added.

I practically shat blood laughing so hard when reading these statements. This is the same Chris Dodd that backed the SOPA and PIPA legislations–so much so that he extorted the White House to try and have its support. SOPA and PIPA would have destroyed the internet as we know it with opposition to the legislation coming from internet companies that regularly help Hollywood promote its films. The public response to Dodd and SOPA/PIPA supporters was a whole lot of this.

It’s also the same Chris Dodd that supported the arrest of Kim Dotcom, only to have the case against him implode over embarrassing allegations, not the least of which was Dotcom’s assertion that he was ready to start a legally-created IPO with MegaUpload. (Dotcom’s new company, Mega, has since created an IPO in New Zealand)

Now, Dodd wants to urge the industry to use technology, i.e the internet, to boost theater tix sales.  Never mind that he tried to explode it a couple of years ago and will, no doubt, try again, unless Dodd has some other new type of technology he wants to introduce to the world.  Oh wait, I forgot, Hollywood doesn’t have one.

Next time Chris Dodd gives a speech, I suggest this type of formal attire.



MPAA Undercuts Its Own Message: Piracy is Not Theft

Uh oh, Chris Dodd just clued us in on what the new strategy is for fighting piracy: don’t say it’s thievery.

He knows that the campaigns of passing laws like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and CISPA have all gone over like lead balloons. Perhaps he doesn’t want to believe that file sharing doesn’t hurt the studios’ bottom lines, but the numbers don’t lie.

So what to do? Rebrand. But how do you do that when you’ve been pushing the copier-as-thief meme for over two decades? It’s going to be tough to counter your sworn arch-enemies by saying they are perhaps just a little bit right, no matter what sort of covert PR campaign you’re planning next. Somehow, I don’t think that approach is going to help avoid an eventual lawsuit and further embarrassment if Kim Dotcom doesn’t go to trial.

Honestly, I think Chris Dodd’s days as head of the MPAA are numbered.

Kim Dotcom, The Sequel? HBO Behind an Anti-Piracy Case that Melts Down in South America

It’s Not FBI. It’s HBO.

First came the news that Kim Dotcom, Hollywood’s favorite devil incarnate, may not see a trial for piracy, because authorities completely fucked up.

Now we learn that good ol’ HBO decided to shit on its own reputation by pulling an anti-piracy arrest stunt that turned out almost as badly.

Christian Alvarez, a 26-year old student at the University of Chile, was recently arrested after a 2-month sting investigation prompted by HBO (Did any of your cable TV money go towards this? Just asking). The charge was for being one of the main operators of Cuevana.tv, a very popular online site for TV programs and films in South America. Alvarez claimed the site acts like a forum and that he had some extra privileges and nothing more.

Christian Alvarez (Courtesy Latercera.com)

In what seems like a repeat of events in the Kim Dotcom case, after the arrest of Alvarez, everything for HBO started going downhill. He was eventually freed of the original charges and only charged with what would, in this country, be construed as a misdemeanor.

What’s almost hilarious is that he was ordered not to visit Cuevara.tv or other sites like it for 12 months, plus he was ordered to give two talks about piracy to school children, something he planned on doing anyway as he had wanted to talk about the issue of intellectual property.

One thing HBO was able to accomplish from this debacle is to show–once again–how the Hollywood industry is being run by dicks who don’t give a shit about independent productions, even in other countries.  How? By having a spokesperson from the Argentine Pirate Party come forward and explain that Cuevana.tv is a necessary springboard for local South American film producers, because Hollywood films are saturating the local movie theaters.

Thank you, HBO! I actually didn’t know that until this case came along.

Requirement: MPAA Bosses Should Know the History of the Birth of Hollywood

Every time Chris Dodd tries to slam movie piracy, he seems to put his foot in it. Here’s the latest example discovered by the great site TorrentFreak:

The truth is that neither the content nor the technology industries could survive without strong protections for intellectual property.

Many of you are familiar with how the name Hollywood became synonymous with the birth of the American film industry. It was in Jacob Stern’s horse barn, at the corner of Hollywood and Vine, the story goes, that Cecil B. DeMille screened the first full length feature film 100 years ago.

Well, when it comes to the tech sector, replace “Jacob Stern’s horse barn” with “Mark Zuckerberg’s dorm room” at Harvard, and you have almost the same story with the birth of Facebook.

In these and countless other examples throughout our history, the ability to give birth to an idea and convert it into economic success, whether it is the content of a film or the technology of the internet, depends on copyright and patent protection

He spoke these words at CinemaCon, which touts itself as the Official Convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners.  I honestly have to believe that there were owners out there in the audience who know Hollywood’s early history better than Chris Dodd does.

Somebody there had to know that William “20th Century” Fox and others got their starts far away from The Motion Picture Patents Company, which was created by hypocrite Thomas Edison to protect his movies from piracy. The best way to avoid Edison’s grip was to move to Hollywood and start operations there. These “pirates”, which we now refer to as studio heads, got some help from district courts unwilling to enforce patents laws in their districts.

Of course, Chris Dodd is going to perpetuate the lie as best he can given that his resume has not one ounce of experience in the motion picture industry before he took over as head of the MPAA. SOPA, PIPA , ACTA and CISPA are all being crapped on as overreaches, and now the big fish, Kim Dotcom, may never even go to trial. At this point, his disastrous leadership may be the best thing that ever happened to piracy.

Why Am I Not Hearing More About Kim Dotcom?

Back in January this year, you could not get near your TV or computer screen without seeing a report like this:

The arrest of Megaupload founder, Kim Dotcom, was the big fish for the US government and the record and film industries, who, after the SOPA/PIPA disaster, needed to show everyone they meant business. The RIAA and MPAA claim that the industry and artists are hurting and this guy was a major cause of it all. Hauled before cameras like a caught drug kingpin, Kim Dotcom previously had an appearance in an anti-piracy video that made him look like the actual living personification of Dr. Evil and Fat Bastard rolled into one.

The details of his capture became a separate news item. Hiding in secret rooms armed with a shotgun, the authorities closed in with the threat of a major stand-off looming. Once apprehended, the Dotcom lavish lifestyle with babes, guns and a mansion with multiple cars came to the fore. Immediately after Megaupload went down, other sites changed drastically or even voluntarily shut down.

Yes, Kim Dotcom was the BFD set up to be the image of piracy evil that continuously eluded those who ran The Pirate Bay (but not for the authorities lack of trying). The stage was set for daily “breaking news” smackdowns of the horrible excesses of Dotcom and how he was destroying entertainment, especially the movie industry.

Well? What the hell happened? I’m waiting.

I’m waiting for the 24 hour coverage that Megaupload contained perhaps millions of legal files placed there by customers who are not pirating and who may lose those files through no fault of their own when the government decides to destroy them. Where’s the extensive coverage of why authorities seized Dotcom’s property with a bogus court order and then tried to correct it after the raid detailing the new order with the items seized?

Mainstream media: has this report showing that piracy over the last ten years actually contributed to higher profits for all media sectors escaped you? If you want to accept Hollywood’s stats as reason to go after pirates, don’t you want to look at a detailed opposing view? And what of Dotcom’s claims that numerous US government officials had files stored in Megaupload along with over 15,000 accounts from the US Military? If these claims are true, does this mean that the government will have to sue itself or haul veterans of two wars into court for copying some movies and music? I would love to be present in the room when industry lawyers try to explain to an Iraq War soldier who had his arm blown off he’s going to be sued for downloading Katy Perry.

Maybe the government has a case against a site that was the 13th highest ranking site on the internet with 50,000,000 visitors daily. Perhaps the feds have one, even if Dotcom was ready to set up a very public IPO with the help and blessing of financial firms.

If they do, you would think they would leak something by now. Kim Dotcom and his new legal team has come up with something embarrassing to the prosecution’s case practically every week. And this doesn’t even include other factors outside the case, such as the RIAA admitting that the industry’s own innovation could stop piracy and Google’s co-founder, Sergey Brin, telling Hollywood that its anti-piracy efforts are self-defeating.

If Dotcom’s claims are accurate, this is going to be a long legal headache for the government and the FBI. MPAA President Chris Dodd will have to come up with authentic footage of Kim Dotcom eating puppies alive for breakfast or some other such abomination.

I mean, something would have to replace the footage of the FBI raid on the Dotcom mansion that disappeared while in police possession.