Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom appears in New Zealand court

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50 Responses to “Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom appears in New Zealand court”

  1. bbonyx says:

    Dot com?

  2. Rider says:

    Thank God, the world is a much safer place and I know I personally will be sleeping much better tonight.

    • guanto says:

      Schmitz is a well-known fraudster and criminal. He’s actually been convicted of insider trading and embezzlement (multiple times!) because of his shady activities. They had to have him extradited from Thailand too.

      So yes, a world with Schmitz behind bars is a safer world. No matter what he does, it’s bound to be criminal. Still not crazy about the circumstances of this particular raid though to say the least.

      • Frederik says:

        Yup, remember, All Capone got arrested for tax evassion. What ever it takes to get scum of the street. 

      • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

        So that whole debt to society paid thing is just an illusion in your mind.
        In the US Congresscritters take part in insider trading, but have made themselves immune to the laws about that.
        It is nice that before he gets a day in court you want to convict solely on prior bad acts.
        It is nice to know we have people in the world who want to consider everything but the actual facts of the case to come to a determination of guilt or innocence.

        She had a wart once, SHES A WITCH BURN HER!

        • C W says:

          “It is nice to know we have people in the world who want to consider everything but the actual facts of the case to come to a determination of guilt or innocence.

          She had a wart once, SHES A WITCH BURN HER! ”

          There are a few issues at work here.
          * He seemed to be a prick, every time he hit the news for the last 10 or so years I’ve heard of this guy.
          * The actions of his company seem to indicate that his company does hold guilt past being an “innocent” operator.
          * This is the court of public opinion, not a court of law.* We are still concerned about unnecessary infringement of our rights.
          * Should anyone be fined/arrested for profiting directly off piracy?
          * He’s the one that got caught, that does not mean that ~all~ insider trading should be legal.

          He has more than a wart, a full-on outbreak. That’s why he’s got very little sympathy from the public.

          • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

            So hes a prick and he had it coming. 

            The actions of his company that I’m told about 3rd hand make me think he must be guilty, when properly framed to make even everyday business requirements look illegal.  Paying for servers and bandwidth is not money laundering, its called paying ones bills. 

            Knowing what sites are linking to you is made to look like a crime, Google Analytics… they are coming for you next.

            Piracy, he sailed his yacht up and boarded an ocean liner and stole things?  His company works alot like dropbox, Google, and several others… one should be cautious how far this gets to go.

            Alleging he profited from piracy and proving it are 3 different things, remember according to the RIAA the back catalog of Vanilla Ice is worth more than $42 million. (source: http://www.cracked.com/funny-4003-the-pirate-bay/?wa_user1=1&wa_user2=topic&wa_user3=topic&wa_user4=topics)

            Actually all insider trading should be illegal, giving people the inside track on things so they can profit at the expense of others is wrong.  Like banks who created mortgage backed securities designed to fail and sold them to people while placing money against them being successful.

            Being an asshole isn’t a crime, Limbaugh, Palin, O’Reilly, etc.

            This case could have NOTHING to do with the amount of money flowing into the offices of power.
            This case could have NOTHING to do with the abuse of the DMCA by UMG and subsequent lawsuit.
            This case could have NOTHING to do with Mega getting ready to launch a platform for artists to sell directly to fans and get 90% of the price paid.
            This case could have NOTHING to do with tremendous over reach by the Government deciding they rule the entire world.
            This case could have NOTHING to do with make sure corporate interests are put ahead of anything else.

            Kim DOTCOM might be a flaming ball of giant douchebag, this does not automatically mean he deserves to have his life dismantled and his corporation seized before getting a day in court.  The US Government seized a blog for over a year on charges from the music industry of piracy.  After a year of game playing, including keeping the blogs lawyers from seeing the charges, they found out the record labels lied.  They finally returned the blog, but still have yet to say sorry or do anything about false allegations leading to the silencing of people.

            Due process its for regular folks and even giant flaming cocks.

          • guanto says:

            AC, almost everyone here agrees with you that this is not how it should have gone down. No objection there.

            However, before Megaupload this guy made his ill-gotten fortune by defrauding ordinary people who were then left with nothing. So yes, he practically stole from others, i.e. he broke the law to get their money while lying to them.

            In the case of Megaupload, if they really did pass around messages in his mansion to the tune of “hey, get me this TV series off of Megaupload, will you?” as is being alleged, he’s just stupid and can’t claim safe harbor or anything like that.

            That being said, yes, he probably shouldn’t have been arrested like that; if they’re that determined to get him they should have found some NZ law and tried him.

          • That_Anonymous_Coward says:

            guanto Disqus decided I wasn’t able to reply to your comment directly bad software is bad.
            What I have seen in this thread is far to many insults about his weight, and about his history.
            I am not claiming he is as innocent as the driven snow with his actions in the past, he was punished by the legal system.  Its not like he is Chris Dodd who had a special VIP account with CountryWide, promised he would not become a lobbyist, and has publicly admitted to purchasing influence in Congress.

            The emails purported to have been passed around the mansion, we’ve seen employees asking other employees for things.  We have not seen if they were fired, or if there were any repercussions to their actions by the business, just the “damning” messages without ANY context.  We have seen no explanation of how the US Government was able to obtain a foriegn corporations emails covering a span of several years.  Sony lied about their total lack of security, no US court has had their email records to go trolling through looking for a smoking gun.

            Kim DOTCOM is not the CEO of MegaUpload, SwizzBeatz (sp) is.  Why has he not been arrested?  Could it be pissing off the fans would be much more dangerous than going after the easy target with a bad history?  Why was the graphic designer arrested?  Where did the amounts of losses caused by Mega come from?  Why don’t they match the income of the corporation?  Are they more of the numbers from studies paid for by the **AA’s , you know the studies the GAO showed were flawed pieces of crap.

            Kim DOTCOM is not exactly low profile, why did they need to swoop in like he was a drug lord?  Could this timing have anything to do with the defeat of SOPA/PIPA?  Why is it a lawyer who was going to defend him forced off the case by unnamed other clients of the lawfirm?  (ProTip: Those unnamed clients are members of the **AA’s.)There is this amazing rush to judgement that because he did X in his history he has to be guilty now.
            Him not being entitled to the DMCA safe harbors is the ultimate insult, Mega is NOT a US corporation and not subject to US law, they could have just had it blocked under their questionable actions to seize domains they have been using lately.  This takedown is repaying donations made by the **AA’s, who are in total fear of the new Mega platform to sell music.
            IFPI is claiming their internet spying law in France cause a bump in iTunes sales, they were lying.
            An independent study shows that pirate sites are not making billions of dollars as claimed by the industry.They are known liars and yet our Government jumps when they say jump.
            We still have had no investigations into the bad acts that detonated the world economy, into the unaccounted for billions the Federal Reserve can’t remember where they handed them out, and a whole cart load of other issues in this country, but OMG MEGAUPLOAD MUST BE DESTROYED FIRST!
            While everyone seems to want him to burn for being a douche, they seem unable to notice the ripple effect.  The US is being blocked by a majority of cyberlockers now, and despite the claims they are not all dens of pirate file sharing.  If they win against Mega, they can work on shutting down dropbox, or forcing dropbox to scan EVERYTHING people upload and invade their privacy to make sure that UMG doesn’t miss out on an extra dollar. 
            When they came for Mega, I said nothing because I wasn’t a fat douche.
            When they came for HotFile, I said nothing because my files were cold.
            When they came for Google, I couldn’t say anything because the platforms to talk back were seized and shuttered.

        • guanto says:

          Nah, I don’t think he should have been arrested in NZ on US orders; or arrested at all, for that matter. Never said anything like that.

          But that guy had it coming, is all I’m saying.

          • Steve Wells says:

            The NZ government will bend over and take whatever the US government asks of it, primarily out of fear of them possibly causing problems for Weta & Wingnut films. That’s pretty much it, the whole country being sold away to benefit Peter Jackon and those who directly benefit from his productions.

            Supposedly the only time we’ll put up any resistance is when it either a) involves nuclear power or b) involves the death penalty. I’m sure if they could get away without the media covering it, they’d happily ignore those too, but that’s just my opinion…

  3. millie fink says:

    “Let’s see, I have everything now, it seems. What is there in the world that I don’t have yet? What could it–I’ve got it! Get me a PINK CADILLAC!”

  4. Wreckrob8 says:

    Curious! What was that pink car? Aaargh!

  5. ChicagoD says:

    For some reason I expected Kim Dotcom to look like (or even BE) Tila Tequila, or somebody from Jersey Shore.

  6. Chicago_SC says:

    You’ll be sorry Pee Wee Herman!

  7. I have a long-ago internet memory of some dude named “Kim” something or other, and a totally over-the-top video of how badass he was with all his cars, yachts helicopters and what-not. He was supposedly some sort of “l33t hax0r”, and fabulously wealthy. At the time, I was pretty sure it was total fantasy/parody. Knock about 100 lbs (maybe less, dude I’m thinking of was chubby to begin with. Just not *that* chubby.). Is this the same dude?

  8. Aaron Shorr says:

    Augustus Gloop  http://www.planetdan.net/pics/misc/augustus.jpg

  9. andygates says:

    You can take the commenters out of the schoolyard but, apparently, not the schoolyard out of the commenters. 

  10. synesthesia says:

    he’s a communist and his activities endanger our freedom. 

  11. el dueno says:

    Based on this news story, I have changed my pet’s name to Sparkie dot dog.

  12. I read that the NZ police had to cut into his safe room where he had fled to avoid them. Doesn’t sound like much of a safe room to me.

    •  Most hitmen don’t have ready access to giant circular saws and the “jaws of life”. Plus if you are hiding out from hitmen who actually do have these  implements of destruction, you only have to hold out long enough for the police to arrive. However, when it’s the police breaking in, you’re SOL

  13. futnuh says:

    Being a ginger in New Zealand, he hasn’t a hope …

  14. LogrusZed says:

    Kim is a shit-heel of fairly high order, no doubt. For evidence just look up videos of his personal behavior towards others; particularly his blase attitude towards endangering pedestrians and drivers in places like Morocco and anywhere he was involved with Gumball.

    But I am very dissapoint in how man Boingers can’t find anything to say other than to mention that he’s a fat person. Body-snarking is pretty base and indicative of the snarkers pathetic inability to actually discern his transgressions from just being unpleasant for some folks to look at. For shame.

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      Unfortunately the epithet fat goes with German. It is lazy, I know, with no Homeric mnemonic justification. Guilty as charged. But he doesn’t help himself with the pink Caddy. Sometimes people act up to stereotypes, too.

  15. loroferoz says:

    Kim Schmitz is quite a shady character. However, they didn’t take him in on account of being shady. He was taken in as a directive of Megaupload/Megavideo, together with 6 others who were nowhere as “shady”, or as portly, or as flashy, or such douches.

    Their  crime against humanity: Enabling filesharing / not kneeling fast enough before our Overlords the Rights Holders. In fact, the Justice Department took good care to insure that all the Mega sites were pulled down. They succeeded in scaring the lights out of other filesharing sites that can’t be rightly called “filesharing” anymore. 

    Concerned? Not! If you can only make jokes about the fat douche. Joke while you can, joke! before somebody claims you infringe on their copyright by telling jokes.

    • guanto says:

      No, the others don’t quite have Schmitz’s history or stature. If what’s being thrown around is true, however, they did knowingly host (and access) copyright-infringing content on their site. They were slightly gullible douches alright.

      I still think they shouldn’t have been arrested on US orders but they certainly aren’t as innocent as they claim (not that what they did should be a crime in the first place but man, did they ever fuck it up).

      • loroferoz says:

        For that, a real crime was committed against Megaupload and all of its users/visitors. The whole operation was pulled down. Did they arrest the founder, and let somebody else take charge? No, they pulled it down, in the most terrorist-like fashion possible, because they had copyright infringement. They raided homes as if this were Pablo Escobar and associated, which they clearly are not.

         Do we have to stand for this kind of heavy handed and ultraviolent law enforcement? Do we? Why should NZ’s government? Don’t you find it extremely worrying that RAID is an acceptable synonym for police action, particularly because it describes the actions accurately? What about the future, shoot the animals (they already do that!), burn the place and rape/murder everybody for good measure? 

  16. Ceronomus says:

    Their crime wasn’t ENABLING filesharing so much as making 100′s of millions of dollars through piracy. There is a big difference between the kid up/downloading songs and the guy turning a HUGE profit over it.

  17. Flashman says:

    Not just a German, he’s a German national.

  18. tvugly says:

    It’s funny how often assholes look like assholes.

  19. zyodei says:

    Really disappointed by the comments on this post, and around the internet.

    Have we forgotten due process? Have we forgotten ‘innocent until proven guilty?’

    There was a clear criminal act here. There was stealing that took place. The stealing was the FBI coming and stealing all the server’s, denying the legit users access to their stored files basically forever. That is much more damaging than anything mr. dotcom did.

    People are just jealous because he lived a larger than life lifestyle. But if he committed crimes in the past and served the sentence, the presumption is his debt to society is paid. 

    The real story is not his car collection, but the global lawlessness of the US Federal Governemtn.

  20. Steve Wells says:

    The NZ media is going out of their way to make him looksound like a criminal regardless of whether he is or not. A local headline was about him telling neighbours to “bring the cocaine” while happily omitting the fact that the next word after that comment was “(Joking!)” – they’re also omitting the fact that MegaUpload had files _other_ than just pirated data, and failing to substantiate the claim that the site had cost the rights holders $500 Million – a figure seemingly plucked out of the ether. Also pointing out that the police found shotguns and only begrudgingly admitting that there wasn’t actually any ammunition for them other than a couple (literally) of rubber bullets.

    Given past history it certainly sounds like the guy is at least “shady” but he’s not being given a fair suck of the sav.

    Most of the relevant information can be found by trawling through the related articles at stuff.co.nz.

  21. Daemonworks says:

    I still can’t get over the fact that his name is Dotcom and his huge tech company has just died.

  22. Daniel Carollo says:

    Am I the only one to think of Baron Harkonen when I see his picture?

  23. David Dolnick says:

    I partied with Kim Schmitz in 2000 at a conference in Prague. He was wild, with a full entourage of ladies that followed him around. I followed him on the web for years after that and he has always been wild. No other comment than the guy is a trip.

  24. mrtruffle says:

    I wonder if he allowed pirated copies of LOTR on the servers. That will make NZ angry :)

    I found the fact he paid users money for popular downloaded files the most amazing. That, while a great plan, seems to be the most obvious act of allowing piracy.

    Id rather this guy go to jail and his assets redistributed to something better than “war crimes” people like Bradley Manning.

  25. Petzl says:

    I was originally going to throw some snarky comment like “He probably won’t have any transition issues; he’s just exchanging black sweats for orange ones.” Now, no.

    I don’t get how the US can order NZ around like a vassal state.  Whatever happened to extradition?  He wasn’t being arrested for breaking NZ laws right? Plus, how do they confiscate all his property at the time of the arrest? Where’s his presumption of innocence? The only time you see this type of police action is when drug kingpins are involved. Anyone with legal skillz have expert knowledge of this case?

    • loroferoz says:

      Exactly:  
      Why should NZ’s government act on orders and use this kind of ultraviolent law enforcement on copyright infringement? Were the Megaupload crew dangerous? Isn’t it scary that RAID is an acceptable synonym for police action, because it describes the actions accurately? What about the future, shoot the animals (they already do that!), burn the place and rape/murder everybody for good measure? Heads on spears at the boundaries?

      By golly, I hope they “raid” a more obviously innocent target, and that such a target will sue, for hundred of millions in damages and career-ending public humiliation of whoever instigates this.

  26. zyodei says:

    Wait. Wait. WAIT. Stop all the presses.

    Megaupload was about to start their own cloud based alternative to iTunes, called MegaBox. In a way, their own record label. Giving artists a *90% CUT*…

    Within weeks, the hammer dropped down on them.

    Fascism anyone?

    Boingboing, I think this deserves a post of its own.

    https://plus.google.com/u/0/111314089359991626869/posts/HQJxDRiwAWq

    http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2011/111221airvinyl

  27. Most Obvious says:

    MegaUpload was not only a bitlocker but a legitimate transient file service website. I don’t think it’s right that US allows for this type of takedown. Data stored online, legal or illegal, can disappear in an instant without warning due to United States government ruling. but there’s much more to the story here. Kim Schmitz was about to launch MegaBox, a service much like itunes only that it would give musicians 90% of the proceeds. Look at the MegaUpload video to see that Kim had a lot of support from famous and influential artists in the music industry. This is something that big media companies like UMG and CBS media (who recently bought last.fm) don’t want to compete against. And THAT is why they strong armed US legislatures to take action against Kim.

  28. Jardine says:

    Hurr-durr, because he’s fat, amiright? Just like Michael Moore and Rush Limbaugh.

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