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)
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
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.