America Arrests God
So, hot in the press the past few weeks has been the arrest of Kim Dotcom. Kim Dotcom. What a slippery foe for legal agents throughout the world he has proved to be. Loud, proud and glaringly arrogant Dotcom has flaunted international copyright laws for the better half of the last decade. And as a techie I can honestly say I have never been more entertained by another person in the industry, not even after the I-Phone 4 fiasco in 2010, when all the excuses for poor reception were made by Apple spokesmen. Seriously, Dotcom, if nothing else is deliciously entertaining.
Can you imagine being an international fugitive, wanted by (to name a few) the FBI and US Justice Department, HK customs, HK Dept of Justice, the Netherlands Police, London's Metropolitan Police Service, Germany’s Bundeskriminalamt, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (the mounted police – I mean what could he have done to those guys? Pirated Due South??) and the Canadian Department of Justice and yet still being brazen enough to stump up half a million US dollars to fund the 2011 New Year’s firework display in Auckland? The guy’s got a seriously funny sense of humour. No matter what you think of the guy, that takes balls. Most of us, knowing we could be done for copyright infringement, racketeering and conspiracy would be investing that piracy money into discovering how we could actually get to the moon and build that secret lunar bunker. We’d invest in trench coats, sunglasses and large moustaches, lest we get caught and spend years and years tied up in legal knots in the American Justice system , facing up to 20 years in jail. But not Kimble, no, no. As if that wasn’t enough, a few weeks before his arrest he releases a music video called the Mega Upload Song which boasts artists such as Kanye West, Will.I.AM, P.Diddy, Kim Kardashian, Macy Gray and Chris Brown publicly endorsing the service that Mega Upload provides. The video, as well as giving the metaphorical middle finger to International Piracy laws, also makes a significant point that cannot be ignored: Mega Upload had 50 million hits a day and can boast 4% of the total bandwidth of the internet. In lay man’s terms – people use it. Irrespective of law and artist’s rights and all the other arguments which will no doubt be thrown at Dotcom at his trial, the fact remains that 50 million people a day use Mega Upload and it doesn’t take a genius to see that if there was no demand there would be no service. The video, if anything, is an extremely clever protest against these international piracy laws and highlights that whether people like Dotcom or not as a personality, people still endorse the online product Mega Upload.
Regardless of Dotcom’s arrest the fact remains that even if an example is made of him it will not kill piracy. Even before services from Mega Upload were halted Videobb was already taking over for link share percentages on sites such as Sidereel.com, the difference is that Dotcom flaunted his cunning and did it with a wry smile on his face whilst driving around in cars like the Rolls Royce Phantom with a license plate reading God. No matter what you think of Dotcom and his “screw-you” humour at least Dotcom doesn’t hide behind the product he endorses and fights for complete freedom on the internet. After all, how sorry can you feel for Hollywood when they are the main victims of piracy? Dotcom isn’t exactly extorting the common man, is he? So all I can say is: Kudos for that, Dotcom, kudos for that.