Kim Dotcom will sue US gov't and Hollywood, use the money for free nationwide Internet in New Zealand

Kim Dotcom is going to sue the US entertainment industry and the US government over the illegal raid on him and Megaupload, and has promised to use his winnings to pay for free Internet access across New Zealand. The Guardian's Peter Walker reports:

The latest salvo involves resurrecting a planned second fibre optic web cable across the Pacific to the US, which would have doubled New Zealand's available internet bandwidth. A New Zealand company, Pacific Fibre, hoped to build the £200m link but announced in August it could not secure the funding.

Dotcom's proposal is to supply broadband free to domestic customers, charging only businesses and government users, the New Zealand Herald reported. His share of the capital would be provided by lawsuits against the US government and film studios for their "unlawful and political destruction" of his business, he said.

Kim Dotcom: fund free NZ internet by suing Hollywood and US government


  1. If only the money to pay the damages would come out of the pockets of the entertainment industry executives, and the corrupt government officials that have abused their authority to prosecute the interests of the industry, but we know full well that if Kim Dotcom wins damages, the money for that will be extorted from the American people, in the form of higher costs for media, higher taxes, cuts to government programs desired by the populace, and new laws enabling the industry to recoup its losses through monetizing activities formerly allowed without charge. Not a single penny will be taken from the people actually responsible for this travesty of international malfeasance, and not one of those people will stand in peril of their employment or office. This is the way our system works. Those in authority are only held accountable for their actions under the most extreme of circumstances, and only when their peers and superiors see value in throwing them to the wolves. In all other cases, people who hold government office and/or hold great wealth are exempted from being held responsible for the consequences of their actions, and are not only allowed, but encouraged, by our economic and legal systems, to pass on the impact of those actions to the general populace, without bearing any of the weight themselves.

    1. You can’t believe all of that!
      When the labels were caught stealing royalties from artists in Canada to the tune of 6 billion, they settled for a much lower amount and one of them sued their insurance carrier to get them to pay for their illegal acts…  er.. wait…

      When the label was caught stealing money due Eminem they totally expensed the cost of their defense against the payments they owed him… er wait…

      Sigh maybe your right…

          1. I’m guessing because it became public knowledge they made sure it was fixed.
            But they were holding over half the amount owed to him, by their own records, back to fund a lawsuit defense… because they refused to pay what they owed…

          2. I think you’ve read too much into that. Holding funds due to someone you think is suing you without justification is not uncommon. Having to disgorge it all if they prevail is also not uncommon. Hard to imagine Eminem’s lawyers would let that stand.

          3. At the time the lawsuit was filed the record showed he was owed close to 4 million dollars and change.  They took 2 million of the money owed to him and set it aside to pay for their defense of the lawsuit.  It is one thing to hold the funds, it is wholly another to use those disputed funds to pay for the fight.
            It also came out that while they claimed he was being paid from the YouTube settlement, they never managed to write that check to them despite the supplied record claiming otherwise.

    2. Every judgement against every company always comes out of the pockets of subsequent consumers.

      Company A get levied with a heavy fine.
      They pass on this business cost to consumer in the form of higher prices or shoddier goods and services.
      The consumers in turn either accept this cost, or go elsewhere.

      Except in a monopoly.
      Like that @#$%@! one-choice-cable company I’m stuck with.

  2. Reality is indeed a cyberpunk book these days.

    Talking elephants, Ethiopian illiterate hackers, dotcom billionaires suing govts and funding free Internet for all…

    1. It’s worth bearing in mind that the “for all” in this case is less than 2 million subscribers with an average usage of 15 gigabytes a month.

        1. That fat pipe he’s laying is going to be immediately funnelled into the massively obsolete New Zealand domestic pipes which are thimble-thin and are only on schedule to be 70% replaced by 2019. Usage has been rising in response to the rolling out of better internal network connections (especially for businesses) – his additional external connection will certainly lower overall costs, but usage will still be choked by the fact that the internal network is too slow across consumers for streaming services like Netflix.

      1. Yes, but when someone with as long and crooked a history as this guy promises to do something “for the public good”, I start looking for the hand stealing my wallet… Do a search on ‘Kimble’ or ‘Kim Schmitz’ and tell me if you’d trust this guy.

        1. You don’t have to condescend, I’m aware. You’re saying that his actions went on longer than those in the Gilded Age that were punished by the formation of the foundations meant to right those wrongs?

          1.  I don’t mean to condescend; his past is noticeably unreported in every article I see on him, and I’m never sure if anyone else makes the connection. But were those foundations started and run by the same robber barons whose excesses made them necessary? I just get a picture of a guy standing there with his hand out, saying “Hey, if you just give me a bit more money, this time I’ll do something halfway decent with it, rather than just pocketing it & running, like I did every other time anyone gave me money for something before…”

          2. I can’t find a cite, but I’m under the impression that at least one of the Ford/Rockefeller/Carnegie/etc. foundations were court-ordered.

  3. I am looking forward to reading this complaint, as there may be a lot of legal hurdles the plaintiff will have to sort out. I have not been following this case, and I do not know what causes of action he is alleging, but here are some of the issues off the top of my head:

    1) the United States enjoys sovereign immunity from most suits
    and it is not clear to me the normal exceptions would apply in a suit brought by Mr. dotcom

    2) I’m not totally sure what the subject matter of a suit against the US government would be; civil rights generally don’t apply to foreign nationals living abroad, and further, if I understand correctly (and again, I haven’t been following this at all, so I may be wrong), Mr.  dotcom was arrested as a result of actions taken by the New Zealand government.

    3) I believe Mr. Dotcom may have had some servers seized which were in the United States, but even (in the highly unlikely event) if those seizures were for some reason legally improper, I doubt Mr. Dotcom would recover anywhere near the “lay a new fibre optic cable under the ocean thereby doubling the internet capacity of New Zealand” kind of bucks he seems to think are possible. Then again, I don’t know how much something like that would cost.

    4) I’m not sure what causes of action he would allege against record companies, unless he could blame them for some sort of tortious conduct (which again, given the facts I am aware of, seems sort of unlikely, unless they directly arrested him / commandeered his servers) he would have to make a pretty complicated argument that they were acting under color of state authority to recover against them for any civil rights violations, which again, it seems unlikely he is protected by.

    I would love to hear from a lawyer who works in this area (Under these facts, I cannot even figure out what “this area” means, until I read a complaint) to see if I am missing some huge piece of the puzzle which makes a gumby bucks recovery likely for Mr. Dotcom. In the meantime, I am somewhat skeptical.

    1.  1 – Even when the violate the rights of thousands of US citizens?
      “The United States has waived sovereign immunity to a limited extent, mainly through the Federal Tort Claims Act, which waives the immunity if a tortious act of a federal employee causes damage”  from your wiki link even.  They took down an international company based on fabrications and lies.  They violated his right to due process, had him arrested internationally for what at best are civil charges but are being presented as criminal, and worked to destroy evidence in the case.

      2 – The NZ government arrested Dotcom based on a request form the US government which was full of fabrications and lies.  They took evidence from NZ in violation of that sovereign nations laws and courts order.  They moved to extradite him when they have yet to even properly lay charges on Dotcom et al.

      3 – As a trial would lead to the discussion of the evidence provided by the **AA, and the fact that some was planted by them they would also become defendants.  They fact they took out a business rival with this scheme could be seen as antitrust behavior where they colluded to destroy competition to their market.

      Your leaving off that he can resume his lawsuit against UMG for using their super secret takedown button with Google to actively remove advertising for a product that was going to compete with them. 

      They have overplayed their hand quite a bit here, and given how they seized other websites and domains at the says so of the **AAs and then fought for months to pretend it was legal and then had to admit there was no evidence and they had impeded the legal process with their lies there is a chance that even thou many people find Dotcom distasteful, he is entitled to equal treatment under the law and this was denied.

      1.  Hello, and thanks for your reply and thoughts.
        Happy to chat about this stuff more, but again, I am shooting from the hip here, and am not really up to snuff when it comes to the facts of all of this stuff. Also, forgive the bullet points, there are a lot of issues being bounced around here, also, I am writing entirely generally about some of the interesting legal issues which this case seems to raise.

        1) Violation of rights of US citizens
        -yes, this is a good point, let us presume that hypothetically the rights of American citizens were violated. In Federal court there is a concept known as “standing” (I’ll skip the wikipedia links, but they should all be pretty easy to dig up).
        Standing requires that the actual person whose rights are violated (very generally) bring the claim. It seems very unlikely that Mr. Dotcom could bring a claim on behalf of a bunch of citizens who may have injured as a result of the taking down of his servers. Also, it sort of wouldn’t be super fair to give Mr. Dotcom money for the violation of the rights of others.

        There are sort of ways around this (such as class action suits), but it is a bit complicated to get into here, and also pretty unlikely

        2- The Federal Torts Claims Act (FTCA)
        you are indeed correct about the FTCA, it does allow for the waiver of sovereign immunity in some instances in which government employees have acted tortiously, however a) it does not apply to tortious conduct which does not occur in America, and b) if it did, it is not totally clear to me that the federal government asking a foreign government to enforce some sort of criminal law would qualify as tortious conduct. It is actually a bit of a confusing issue, which would be fun to hash out in another forum, but the short version is, the FTCA is almost certainly out as a means of waiving sovereign immunity.

        3 – The actions were taken by the New Zealand government, not by American commandos or the like. Which even barring all of the other problems here, makes this a bit more complicated. I don’t know of any instances where one country has been liable in a civil court for asking another county to do something, which it then did.

        4 – I think you are suggesting the United States (which is what I think you meant with **AA, but I’m not entirely sure) “planted” some sort of evidence on Mr. Dotcom; I am out of my depth on this matter, and do not have any basis on which to respond, however, I must say that I am extremely skeptical of this view in general. Also, I am not sure what UMG is either. Actually, I am a bit lost on your post after this point unfortunately, which is probably my fault, as again, I am not well versed on the facts here.

        Anywho, thanks for your response.

        1. Kyle Goodwin (sp, I get confused.  I read many court docs in the average day.) is working on getting his day in court.  I think the “former” BSA prosecutor might have damaged his case, the **AA’s rattled off a list of reasons why Kyle was an evil pirate that could only have come from access to his files.  The access they claim no citizens can have unless we wave a magic wand and make sure no piracy happens.  One has to wonder why on earth the **AA’s have ANY access to evidence in an ongoing case, and how it was the tiny bit of data they pulled from Carpathia’s servers contained his work as well.

          Dotcoms rights were violated when unbeknown to him his entire business was seized in a case where he was never actually served or made aware of.  Looking closer they were providing data to the grand jury that appears to have been intercepted from the internal network of a foriegn corporation, and while you can present improperly gathered information the act of spying on a corporation for years should be seen in a dim light.

          Carpathia’s servers were in the US, US courts authorized the seizure of money globally.  Copyright infringement is still a civil matter, not criminal.  The criminal charges are laughable at best.  This corporation paid its hosting bills, and that is money laundering.  A grand jury can indict a ham sandwich.

          The NZ Government went well overboard in what they did, and the depths of it have yet to be fully revealed.  There are also questions about what help the provided to the US in their spying operations on Dotcom.

          No the **AA’s (MPAA & RIAA) gave the government a list of files to retrieve from the petabytes stored for Mega and they knew exactly what files to get and then the government said the hell with the rest.  The **AA’s have a history of creating situations in which to attempt to profit or shore up their cases.  See AFACT vs iiNET in OZ, they used Dtectnet (the company tracking IPs for the upcoming 6 strikes program in the US) who had an employee get an ISP account with iiNET and then create the filesharing.  They seeded the files themselves, making the issue worse to help support them getting a court ruling favorable to them.  Unclean hands and all of that.  If a lawyer cut the brakes on a car to cause an accident so he could sue the car maker, one might think maybe he wasn’t being honest.

          UMG – Universal Music Group.  They took down a video created by MEGA to promote their upcoming music service offering.  UMG claimed, erroneously, that they owned the music and that some of the stars appearing had not agreed to appear when Dotcom had signed contracts with everyone involved.
          When challenged about what appeared to be a DMCA takedown they admitted they have the ability to just pull any video they dislike.  1 music company sabotaging a rival firm, seemed like a nice lawsuit until suddenly the raid on Dotcom and all assets personal and corporate being seized.

          There is also the DoJ arguing that Dotcom should not be allowed to fiance a defense, should not be allowed to use certain lawyers and firms.  The FBI at the behest of the DoJ stole evidence from NZ.  How are those charged with upholding the law supposed to be taken seriously when they violate it so easily?

          To see how these cases have gone before, they are more about trying to destroy the company than about enforcing the law, one need only look at the case of Dajaz1 – a blog accused to stealing and sharing music.  Music that was sent to them by the very labels involved in getting their domain seized with instructions to post and share it with their users.  There is also the overreach in the Rojadirecta seizure case, seizing a domain outside of the US for alleged crimes when the site was ruled legal in Spain.  18 months and no case ever appeared despite them claiming there was one.  Dajaz1 was returned when it became clear that the RIAA who had been screaming so loudly they were being robbed were unable to provide the prosecutor with ANY evidence of wrongdoing.  Instead they silenced a blog at the behest of rightsholders with no actual basis in law.  They played games with the Judge and the lawyers representing Dajaz1 and flat out lied on the record of the case.

          Dotcom might not be the nicest person in the world but to accept how this case has been railroaded from day 1 is perfectly fine means the entire justice system is broken.  They picked someone the public was not meant to like and wouldn’t question the charges and methods being used against him.  The problem is they took others property that is outside the scope of the warrants and are still refusing to return it to the rightful owners… all to please the copyright cartels.  That isn’t how the law is meant to work and everyday this farce continues is giving us more of a black eye.

          I enjoy chatting about this because people seem to be blissfully unaware of how the cartels are taking control over more and more things.  They were unable to get SOPA passed, so they now have resorted to making corporate law and using ISPs to met out punishments on accusations alone.  They accusations must be perfect… they hired a lobbyist firm used by the RIAA previously to vette the technology.

          This is just but 1 battle in the copyright wars, and like it or not we are going to be faced with some horrific things unless we begin to push back… even if it means supporting Dotcom.

  4. Being a confidence trickster by trade, Kimble is plenty known for making promises he has no intentions of keeping. If he does, good on him. Otherwise I just associate this with all the other self-serving blather that’s come out of his mouth.

    1.  I just think he’s unlikely to actually find a court willing to take the case that has the authority to force the Americans to pay. The NZ Gov perhaps, but not the US one.

    1. It’s entirely possible to believe that Kimble is a fraudster by trade and Assange sexually assaulted someone and not support “corporate masters”.
      You don’t somehow become a less horrid person because of the character of your enemies.

      1. Good point. I wasn’t being clear. What I wanted to say was too long. I should have said I think the media parrots the government and creates public enemies of people and groups that threaten to shift power from ruling institutions to citizens. The mode of discourse tends to involve reducing abstract entities to a personality that can be reviled.

        Kim Dotcom is the reviled personality we have created for copyright infringement. He’s no hero, but the process is the same. It all seems very Orwellian to me.

        Julian Assange is the reviled personality we have created for whistleblowing. We can’t stop the idea of WikiLeaks from spreading, but we can make people too afraid to use it. 

        Beyond that, I know the US news media has a tendency to vilify people that the BBC or CBC for example would not be capable of. To be blunt, US news includes a lot of made up stuff that no one else is willing to report because it’s not true.

        On a related note, a leading representative of the Bank of England recently admitted the Occupy movement was completely correct in their assessment of our political economic problems. Were we wrong to believe the description of them as crazy, dirty, shiftless, jobless, clueless, leftist, anarchist hippies on drugs? What was their message again?

        On another related note, the IMF recently changed it’s mind about austerity because it’s stupid and counterproductive. Thus, our continuing torture of the crazy, dirty, shiftless, jobless, clueless, leftist – socialist! – Greek people is destructive without meaning or purpose. Turns out they weren’t any more “socialist” than any other EU country and they didn’t “deserve” this. Oops. Sorry about your decent into neo-Nazi brutality and civil war guys. We could have helped, but we were busy mocking you for your misperceived difference from us, and then making moral judgements about that construct without ever acknowledging that it’s just a bunch of shit we made up. 

        1. “Kim Dotcom is the reviled personality we have created for copyright infringement.”

          I think it’s done nothing but improve his image among people who haven’t been paying attention for the last what, 15 years?

    1. I like how he says this stuff with zero intention of ever following up.

      “Dotcom yesterday tweeted: “I will relaunch Pacific Fibre. Free broadband for all Kiwi’s [sic].”Pacific Fibre was the company part-launched by Morgan in 2010 to build an ambitious 13,000 kilometre high-speed fibre-optic cable connecting New Zealand and Australia to California.
      It was to have been the second such cable and would have brought competition to the market, pushing down broadband prices. But the company ceased operations in August after failing to find the required $400 million of funding.
      Morgan, who was chairman of Pacific Fibre, said: “I haven’t talked to him [Dotcom] but I would be happy to have a chat. I’m keen to see it happen. It is an extremely important piece of infrastructure. What we really need is a cornerstone investor with a couple of hundred million dollars.””

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