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Say what you will about ridiculous Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, but the way authorities went about prosecuting him was sloppy and (in part) illegal. Dotcom is understandably angry, and now he has someone to direct all that anger towards: Vice President Joe Biden.
Cloud-locker and file sharing service Megaupload was shut down in January by U.S. and New Zealand authorities as part of a massive sting operation against websites that facilitated copyright infringement or piracy. The governments, which claim that the site was responsible for pirating over $500 million worth of digital content, had Dotcom arrested and seized many of his assets, including his $4.3 million home. The U.S. government filed an extradition request for Dotcom, who lives in New Zealand, which has yet to be resolved.
Dotcom told TorrentFreak today that Biden is responsible for having authorities target Megaupload under direction by MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America) president and former U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd. A case against Megaupload was discussed at the White House in June 2011 during a meeting that included several international figures and movie studio representatives, according to one of Dotcom’s unnamed informants.
“After we received information from an insider, we scanned the White House visitor logs for all meetings of Chris Dodd and studio bosses with Joe Biden and Obama,” Dotcom said, noting that the logs are publicly available on the White House’s official website. “It is interesting that a man by the name of Mike Ellis of MPA Asia, an extradition expert and former superintendent of the Hong Kong police, was also at a meeting with Dodd, all studio bosses, and Joe Biden. The same Mike Ellis met with the Minister of Justice Simon Power in New Zealand.”
So, Dotcom knows when, where, and who met to discuss how best to take down Megaupload. He also apparently knows that Biden was the one suggesting a plan of action regarding Megaupload’s take down to the attorney general. Congratulations, Mr. Dotcom, you’ve solved … well, nothing. Yet, he does promise to reveal more “at the appropriate time.”
“The whole Mega case is quite the political thriller,” Dotcom said. Yes, a “political thriller” much in the same way an awesomely bad movie is.
I could debate Biden’s view points on piracy for several paragraphs, but I won’t. That said, I have no doubt that Biden was involved with the Megaupload case in some shape or form. He’s got a long history of advocating for harsher digital piracy laws and has gone on record saying that digital goods are no different from physical goods in the entertainment business. But when it comes to his involvement with the Megaupload case, he really can’t be held accountable for anything. He’s got opinions about how to stop piracy, and the people who run the government probably asked for his advice, or at the very least listened to whatever he had to say.
The other thing that strikes me as odd about Dotcom’s “investigation” is that he’s trying to gather dirt against a group of business leaders and politicians who aren’t hiding their opinions about piracy. Of course they’re biased toward taking Megaupload down. They all think the site is guilty.
And while it’s certainly amusing to watch him play the New Zealand version of Sherlock Holmes, his best bet for coming out on top is to continue exploiting the government’s missteps. For example, the disregard for keeping Megaupload user data (found on third-party servers) as incriminating evidence, the illegal search/seizure of his property, and the lack of due process prior to Megaupload’s shut down.