AUSTIN, Texas — Kim Dotcom is the poster child for why the current set of copyright laws have gone horribly wrong, so naturally he made his way to the South by Southwest interactive show — sort of.
Dotcom is currently being prosecuted by multiple governments, including the U.S. which is trying to extradite him over his role in facilitating piracy and copyright theft through now shuttered cloud locker service Megaupload. So since he can’t just hop a plane to the States for a quick keynote, Dotcom decided to answer questions via a Skype video call that was projected on a large screen at the event.
If you could get over the fact that Dotcom’s face was basically the only thing you could see floating around above interviewer Charles Graeber of Wired (think Zordon from Power Rangers or the Wizard from Wizard of Oz, except more German) and the constantly spotty connection, the conversation itself was a fairly decent overview of most of the stuff you’ve already heard.
“Let’s not forget, the White House agreed with SOPA. SOPA was going to be the gift to Hollywood for helping the president win the election,” Dotcom said. “When that didn’t happen, they needed a backup plan, and that was Megaupload.”
Dotcom said he still plans to sue both the U.S. government as well as the major movie studio who helped treat civil law violations like copyright infringement as if they were criminal charges, (having explained that the U.S. can’t extradite a criminal on civil charges alone, so they engineer new reasons.)
Other Dotcom shared during the spotty video call:
- Mega is moving full steam ahead, with 3.5 million users, over 200 million files uploaded, and more than 80 third-party developers using its API.
- Dotcom doesn’t believe the U.S. will attack him with drones, but he does expect it to use them to spy on him.
- The artist-specific cloud media digital store/service for artists, MegaBox, should be released in another six months.
- He’s OK with you making a movie about his life story and screwing him on royalties by uploading pirated copies to the web.
- Supposedly, Dotcom still has a relationship with most of the artists from his MegaVideo (but he only mentioned Swiss Beatz).
VentureBeat photo/Tom Cheredar