Samantha Demetriou ⬥ 24 January
Please note: this blog post is meant to be a humorous piece. I advise placing your tongue inside your cheek before reading.
I’m wiling to bet that nearly every tech entrepreneur out there dreams of coming up with the idea for THE new technology, the one that changes the way humans conduct their lives or interact with content and each other. And I’m sure none would shy away from the fame, not to mention the financial windfall, that such an invention would entail.
At the same time, I’m also willing to bet that very few of these entrepreneurs dream of going down in a massive police raid during their birthday party, or of being found hiding in their safe room clinging to sawed-off shot gun. No one dreams of being infamous instead of famous. No one dreams of going out like Kim Dotcom.
Call him the Jabba the Hutt of digital piracy. The media has painted the German-born Kim Dotcom, formerly Kim Schmitz, as a self-styled gangster and international digital kingpin. Aside from putting the “mega” in MegaUpload.com, the founder of the massive Hong Kong-based file hosting site also has a penchant for hacking and even racked up a conviction for insider trading. Reports from the raid say that police seized various luxury cars, including (of course) a Rolls Royce; valuable artwork; and over $8 million. No word yet on whether Dotcom also had a gold-bikini-clad princess chained up somewhere in his mansion.
The indictment, which charged Dotcom and his associates with conspiracy to commit racketeering, piracy to commit copyright infringement, and piracy to commit money laundering, claims that MegaUpload.com inflicts harm on copyright holders to the tune of $500 million. MegaUpload.com is what’s known as a cyberlocker, a site where users can upload files for others to download. Unsurprisingly, these kinds of sites, while they have many legitimate uses, are often hotbeds for the exchange of pirated content.
Interestingly, Dotcom’s arrest came just a day after the widespread protests over two anti-piracy bills, the PROTECT IP Act and the Stop Online Piracy Act.
When asked to comment on his arrest, Dotcom muttered, “Bring me Solo and the Wookiee. They will all suffer for this outrage.”
Tags: copyright infringement, cyberlocker, digital piracy, enforcement, file hosting site, Hong Kong, indictment, insider trading, Kim Dotcom, Kim Schmitz, MegaUpload.com, money laundering, PROTECT IP Act, racketeering, Stop Online Piracy Act