Lifestyle, Ludotheque

What is going in with Dotcom and Megaupload?

More revelations in New Zealand relating to the case and also its founder Kim Schmitz, alias Dotcom, with American political figures, including Vice-President Joe Biden, being implicated in the case, according to Internet sources including the Spanish language site Nación Red.

Kim Schmitz, Megaupload founder.

Pedro Blas García

Dotcom recently stated: “We have it from a credible source that it was Joe Biden, best friend of former Senator and current Executive Director of the American Society of Cinematographers, Chris Dodd, who ordered Neil McBride, his former lawyer and now District Attorney, to shut down Megaupload.”

The site’s founder, currently freed on bail, maintains that the real reason the government is attacking him is to protect the interests of the major Hollywood corporations.

He points to the fact that a meeting took place at the end of 2011, at the White House, where the attendees included Joe Biden and the directors of corporations such a Warner Bros, Sony and Walt Disney, among others, as well as Mike Ellis, former Superintendent of the Hong Kong police and an expert on extradition.

According to lawyers for Dotcom, as instigator of a large scale FBI operation in Hong Kong and New Zealand in January 2012 which resulted in Megaupload being shut down, and Schmitz and other network executives being taking into custody, Ellis’ actions are very significant.

These revelations, which have been widely broadcast across the Internet, add more elements to the scandal, which include songs and documents in which Dotcom is critical of US President Barack Obama and also openly criticises things like Hollywood’s trade policies.

Vicepresident Joe Biden, EE.UU

The situation as it stands

For the time being, the New Zealand authorities have decided to postpone the hearing and request for Dotcom’s extradition to the United States until March 2012.

They have also requested that the US Attorney General’s office provide concrete evidence of the offences he is being accused of, which include computer piracy and copyright fraud.

The President of New Zealand’s Supreme Court, Helen Winkeldon, has suggested that amongst other things, the FBI need to copy and analyse the materials confiscated from Megaupload.

However, the US authorities claim it would take a significant amount of time to go back over the at least 10 million emails, thereby delaying the extradition process.

Aside from this, the New Zealand authorities have declared the process of search and seizure of Dotcom’s goods and other property to be illegal.

They have ordered his release on bail and little by little they are permitting him to use his property for personal and family use, as well as to record materials and make a documentary about his life.

The situation has become yet more complicated because the judge who should be heading up the trial has stood down on the basis that he would not be able to maintain impartiality due to his bias in favour of the defendants.

Before being shut down in January of this year, Megaupload was one of the world’s most popular Internet sites, with millions of users and, according to some assessments, this made it a strong competitor for the major film studios in the free or discounted distribution of films, music and other content.

*Editor in Chief, Asia & Oceania, for Prensa Latina

(Translated by Viv Griffiths)

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