Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom gives PR master class
March 2, 2012 § Leave a comment
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has given his side of the story on TV3’s Campbell Live programme in New Zealand and it is proving to be a master class in public relations. The man accused of being a piracy king made some excellent points during the interview last night. He denies being a flight risk because he says everything he owns has been seized by the authorities and he wants to fight the charges.
As Dotcom pointed out, there are hundreds of other file sharing websites that do what Megaupload did. They include Mediafire, Filesurf, Rapidshare and others. “We are not responsible for the problem. Where does piracy come from? Piracy comes from people – let’s say in Europe – who do not have access to movies at the same time as they are released in the US. This has been born within the licensing model and the old business model that Hollywood has where they release something in one country but they release trailers around the world pitching that new movie …. If the business model is one where everybody has access at the same time, you wouldn’t have a piracy problem. It really is the Government of the United States protecting an outdated business model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the Internet.”
He claims that content owners had ways of removing links to any content that they said was infringing copyright. Megaupload enabled them to have “direct delete access” to all its servers and they could remove links to content that infringed their copyright. “So they could access our system and remove any link that they could find on the Internet without us being involved – and we are talking about 180 partners including every major movie studio, including Microsoft and all big content producers – and they have used that system heavily… They had full access.”
One of the biggest contributors of evidence against Megaupload, the Motion Picture Association of America, had never taken legal action against Megaupload during its seven year existence. “If you are a company that is hurt so much by what we are doing – billions of dollars of damage – you don’t wait and sit and do nothing. You call your lawyers and you try and sue us and try to stop us from what we are doing.”
Dotcom says it is because Megaupload was not responsible for the actions of its users. The same United States law that came to YouTube’s defence in a law suit taken by Viacom, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, shields online service providers from the actions of their users. “We are a lamb compared to what was going on at YouTube at the time.”
He says the amount of traffic going through Megaupload made it impossible to police for copyright infringement. He cited the figure of 800 file transfers every second.
You can watch the John Campbell interview here (nearly half a million views in less than 24 hours!).
Whether Kim Dotcom is guilty or innocent remains to be seen but his performance was a masterful exercise in public relations. The instant reaction on Twitter and Facebook showed how effectively he has turned some public opinion his way.
Hayden Raw of The Common Room posted this comparison taken from Campbell Live’s Facebook page.
Hayden Raw (@haydenraw) March 01, 2012
Here are some Twitter reactions – both for and against Dotcom. There is also praise for Campbell Live for attempting to balance excitable and one-sided news coverage of an issue that has become emblematic of the Internet era and the current war between the legacy content providers and the digital insurgency.
Ash Tulloch (@Ash_Tulloch) March 01, 2012
Niemand (@zv470) March 01, 2012
HogsAteMySister (@hogsatemysister) March 01, 2012
Louise Armstrong (@TorontoLouise) March 01, 2012
Watching the Dotcom interview on 3. Fascinating guy. Can't believe NZ is buying into the USA's case when it's clearly bollocks #KimDotcom—
Lawrence (@suburban_ennui) March 01, 2012
@minecrafted_ totally agree, they just singled out megaupload, they shouldn't punish hosts for their users breaking the rules.—
Trey (@TreyDeLonais) March 01, 2012
What strikes me as interesting is his self awareness - seems to know who he is and what he represents. #KimDotCom Smart guy at face value.—
sjw (@stevenjwoodman) March 01, 2012
If you took the search function away from Megaupload you'd have Dropbox.—
seth simonds (@sethsimonds) March 01, 2012