New Zealand Steps In To Block US Gov't From Stealing All Of Kim Dotcom's Stuff

from the that's-not-how-the-law-works-there dept

Back in March, we explained the ridiculous process by which the US government was able to steal millions of dollars from Kim Dotcom. If you want the details, go read that post, but the shorter version is that entirely separate from the various lawsuits involving Dotcom, the US government filed a separate lawsuit against all of Kim Dotcom’s stuff (literally). Using the highly questionable process of civil asset forfeiture, the government is able to declare the stuff guilty of a crime, and thus making it ripe for the government to just take and keep. There are, of course, all sorts of questionable things about civil asset forfeiture, but it got even more bizarre in this case. That’s because, after Dotcom’s lawyers sought to intervene (which is how you block this kind of theft), the government had Dotcom declared a “fugitive” even though they know exactly where he is and he hasn’t “run” from anything. Then, as a “fugitive,” it was deemed that he did not actually intervene, and thus, the government was granted a “default judgment” (what you usually get when someone doesn’t respond at all to a case).

Any judicial system that actually believed in due process would at least wait until the rest of the legal issues played out, including Dotcom’s extradition and, if he is extradited, his trial over the criminal charges against him. If he loses all of that, then it seems reasonable to seek to forfeit his assets. But without a trial and conviction, it seems ridiculous to even go through the forfeiture process. And to basically force him to lose by declaring him a “fugitive” is just spitting in the face of due process.

At the end of that last post, however, we noted that the situation wasn’t final. Since most of the assets were in New Zealand and Hong Kong, it was possible that he could get those countries to block the US from just taking those assets. And, that’s exactly what’s happened. A New Zealand court has ruled in Dotcom’s favor [pdf], blocking the US from taking his stuff. The key issue: New Zealand takes a very different approach to these issues and (quite reasonably) finds the US process absurd. It starts out by pointing out that the whole “fugitive” designation is ridiculous, and that under New Zealand law, someone in the same situation would not be declared a fugitive:

While I accept that s 57 would permit the court to make a forfeiture order in the absence of a respondent, it does not expressly authorise the court to proceed on an ex parte basis or to decline to receive submissions made on behalf of an absent respondent who wished to be heard

The court also notes that just because Dotcom is fighting extradition in a New Zealand court it does not mean that he is “not amenable to justice” as is required for such a forfeiture of assets.

Further, the court recognizes the due process issue inherent in taking away all of the money from a defendant seeking to defend himself in court:

The application of the fugitive disentitlement doctrine to a person who is exercising a bi-laterally recognised right to defend an eligibility hearing, with the result that he is deprived of the financial means to mount that defence, is to put that person on the horns of a most uncomfortable and (the plaintiffs would say) unconstitutional dilemma.

And thus, after a lengthy discussion delving into many of the details about this, the judge concludes that she will not, in fact, allow the US government to take Dotcom’s stuff, because doing so would be a huge burden on someone trying to defend themselves:

It is, I think, self evident from the above discussion that the plaintiffs have a substantial position to preserve and there will be very real consequences if it is not protected, pending final determination of the claim for review. If the provisional view I have formed about the unavailability of post-registration relief is correct, authorising the registration application to proceed now might deprive the plaintiffs of any ability to defend the extradition or to pursue their appeals against the forfeiture order in the United States.

I have little hesitation in concluding that interim relief should therefore be granted. Accordingly there will be a declaration that the Commissioner of Police is to take no further action that is consequent upon the decision by the Deputy Solicitor-General (Criminal) to authorise him to apply to register the foreign forfeiture orders made by Judge O?Grady in the District Court in Virginia on 27 March 2015 until further order of this Court.

This is far from over, as the New Zealand government is likely to appeal as well, but this whole process continues to be a fascinating power play by the US government — with it repeatedly assuming that everyone will just follow what it wants. And, so far, the New Zealand courts have been ready to push back on the more extreme requests like this one.

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Comments on “New Zealand Steps In To Block US Gov't From Stealing All Of Kim Dotcom's Stuff”

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154 Comments
PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Response to: jupiterkansas on Jun 4th, 2015 @ 10:09am

“Kim Dotcom and everyone who knowingly downloads infringed content”

What about the people whom knowingly used the system Dotcom used to download non-infringing content, to store their own work, or even to make money from their own content?

But, one of the many uses of the system Dotcom designed was infringing, so the whole thing must be destroyed, right?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Response to: jupiterkansas on Jun 4th, 2015 @ 10:09am

Your hatred for Kim and Google demonstrates your true colors. Kim and Google offer(ed) people the opportunity to get their content distributed without going through the IP extremist middlemen that takes control of the content first. Kim complied with takedown notices. The middlemen don’t like competition and so they do everything they can to attack it. They don’t want anyone to be able to independently distribute their content without first going through them.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re: I wonder what other dangerous objects (pencils? power tools? satanic rock-&-roll?) are also banned in New Zealand

The difference is, all those items you mentioned have constructive uses. Pencils can be used to draw diagrams and write articles illustrating why guns are so dangerous. Power tools can be used to build new furniture, new houses, and fix damaged ones. Rock & roll provides pleasure to some without hurting anybody else.

Guns, on the other hand, are purely destructive. They can do none of the above. All they are good for is blowing holes in things. And people.

That’s the difference.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I wonder what other dangerous objects (pencils? power tools? satanic rock-&-roll?) are also banned in New Zealand

Guns, on the other hand, are purely destructive. They can do none of the above. All they are good for is blowing holes in things. And people.

Poor argument. Guns can be used destructively, but so can pretty near anything. They’re just tools. They’re even used in at least one Olympic event. They can be used to protect yourself from wild (or rabid) animals, or people, intent on causing harm (those are destructive!).

In my country (Canada), there’s a lot of places where guns are essential, especially the far north or just Hudson’s Bay. Polar bears are not amenable to reasoned discussion. The Inuit can’t just call a cop and expect him to arrive in time to be of any use. As usual, the most you can expect from a cop is he’ll clean up the mess.

I’ve never owned a gun of any kind, nor fired one of any kind. I do think everyone should know how to use them, whether they want to own one or not. For me, it’s almost a civic duty. I hope I’ll never need to use one, but it would be pretty silly to need to and not know how.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Guns can be used destructively, but so can pretty near anything.

The difference is that guns can only be used destructively. That’s what makes them “weapons”. Whereas “tools” (like those other items mentioned) have predominantly, even entirely constructive uses (when used as intended). A gun is designed to inflict damage, injury and death. A tool is not.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Guns can be used destructively, but so can pretty near anything.

The difference is that guns can only be used destructively.

That is a meaningless, emotional argument. You’re wrong. What you’re talking about are bombs, and by that, I’d agree. Guns are force focusing and targeting tools. That’s the big difference between guns and bombs.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Bombs...

Like the stuff which we do most of our mining these days?

Those aren’t bombs; they’re explosives. Controlled demolition uses the same stuff, but the last thing they want is slabs of buildings flying off-site. They don’t even want to break windows in the bldg. next door.

There’s also rocks the size of houses flying out of volcanos, …

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

A gun is designed to accurately and effectively stike its target. What the shooter has in mind is another thing which should have no connection whatsoever with what the designer had in mind. It’s just a tool. What’s done with it is on the shooter.

I wasn’t trying to talk fancy. I was trying to explain it with physical principles.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:7 A gun is designed to accurately and effectively stike its target.

When you can use your gun to “accurately and effectively” make holes in the pieces of a PC case of the right position and size to put screws through to join them together, I will concede that you have a point.

Until then, you and your gun-loving ideologue mates can fuck off.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Inserting bolts at five hundred meters

If I understand the situation correctly, it’s you, Lawrence D’Oliveiro, who is trying to impose your belief that we should have fewer liberties.

It’s nice that you have the ability to trust your state administration and the system of checks and oversight that monitors them with such absolute faith.

We, here in the US, are a bit more cynical, and expect our government agencies to eventually fall to corruption. Not that we expect our guns to see much use if we must resort to violent revolt, but when they start collecting them, that will be a sure sign it’s time to head into the hills.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Not that we expect our guns to see much use

Given that your idea doesn’t actually work for you—look at the number of people shot by cops every day in your country—why should it work for us?

Or is gun love like Communism—it will only work when the whole world can be forced to embrace it?

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:11 Are you meaning to imply all of America's woes come from our right to bear arms?

Weren’t you the one earlier suggesting that if we had such a “right”, it would be good for us?

Yet when I suggest that the demonstrably superior way we do things in NZ might help with your woes, suddenly you get all huffy and puffy?

Poor you.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 Supposition: It would be good for New Zealand to enshrine a right to bear arms

Looking in our past dialogue I can’t see where I specifically said that New Zealand would be served better were such a right enshrined. I only objected to the implications that such rights are universally bad or wrong, even in the US.

But now that you mention it, let me clarify my position.

I think people should be at liberty to do what they want to do so long as it doesn’t transgress on the rights of others. And from that perspective, I think the burden of proof that ownership of contemporary-era weapons is a bad thing and should be proscribed is on those who want to prohibit it.

This is not to say that you have to prove that guns are dangerous — we know this already — but you have to be able to demonstrate that they’re too dangerous for public access, and comparably all other things that are similarly dangerous are equally regulated.

Ergo power tools and swimming pools would require a similar proportion of safety precautions and licensing taken for ownership and use.

Otherwise, the implication is that your restrictions on guns have to do with something else, say an irrational fear, or insecurity by the state of it’s people’s confidence.

But as you say, the NZ way is demonstrably superior. I’d say the two nations are distinctly different enough that it would be impossible to fairly compare one to the other considering all circumstances, but I’ll bite: Do please elaborate.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:13 I can't see where I specifically said that New Zealand would be served better were such a right enshrined.

You said:

Considering some of the questionable maneuvers taken by the New Zealand state in the whole Dotcom affair, maybe you should have such a right.

And yes, I believe that your having such a “right” is actually a detriment to your civil liberties. Not only does it lead to your population living in fear (look at your violent crime statistics compared to ours), but it also becomes a giant red herring that your Government can use to whittle away at your rights.

Your gun enthusiasts like to claim that the arms you bear will be some kind of last bastion to defend your rights against encroachment. Yet your rights are eroded every day, and you are powerless to act. Because you know that, if you were to point a gun at a representative of the Government, you would be immediately shot. And this is not a hypothetical situation: it is already happening, on a daily basis.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 The purpose of a right to bear arms...

…is for when the state ceases to serve the will of the people, as ours is doing.

I think the behavior of the NZ administration in the Dotcom affair has shown that your own rights are not as secure as you pretend they are. Yes, they’ve made a good number of rulings in the favor of Mr. Dotcom, but not always, and not in full consideration of the overreach of the US DoJ. As I specified, it’s on that basis that absolute trust of your state is warranted, and the right to bear arms might be a good thing to have enshrined. To be fair, I can’t say for certain: if New Zealand ever requires an extra-systemic reform you may find the means without the legality of weapons. But ones accumulated legally during times of peace might also be nice to have available.

It’s rather presumptive of you to assert that arms in the hands of people are what drive the US culture of fear or is what drives the government to infringe upon the rights of the people. That’s a simplistic hypothesis and I am skeptical of its veracity.

And as I’ve noted, most moral panics are commonly driven by presumed causal relationships, so there is plenty of history to suggest they cannot be trusted, and are a bad premise by which to pass policy.

It was on the basis of the contingency of the need for violent revolution that Jefferson wanted the right to bear arms enshrined in the US Constitution, and that is a premise by which we still defend the right (though like many rights in the US, it, too is being constrained and limited). But it’s also telling when a liberty is infringed without good cause. Gun enthusiasts should be free to enjoy guns the way literary enthusiasts should be free to enjoy books. And historically those are two of the first liberties that are constrained when a government ceases to recognize the good of the people.

Also the US was founded as a frontier nation, and expects always to have windows facing untamed territory teeming with hostile and dangerous fauna.

JP Jones (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

Do hunters in NZ use bows and arrows? Spears maybe? Throwing knives? Or maybe you’re more “humane” and just pen up everything and kill it via slaughterhouses?

Last I checked NZ wasn’t a vegetarian nation. So before you get on your high horse about how guns are a tool that’s only designed to kill people you might want to stop forgetting about the major other purpose behind guns.

Also, if you honestly believe you could live freely in your nation without a military force or allies with military force you are hopelessly naïve. The U.S. is a country founded on the basis of people fighting against an oppressive government (ironic, I know). Being able to defend oneself is a core element of U.S. culture, and was considered important enough by our founders to place directly below the right to speak freely.

Guns have many more purposes besides murder. They can be used to protect you from others who would do you harm. A gun is a great equalizer between the sexes; a woman can defend herself with a gun as effectively as a man, unlike most other weapons. They can be used to teach responsibility and safety. They can be used for recreation and mastery, which in turn can build confidence.

Just because you don’t understand them or want them doesn’t mean they have no purpose beyond what your extremely limited view believes.

MrTroy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

Also, if you honestly believe you could live freely in your nation without a military force or allies with military force you are hopelessly naïve. The U.S. is a country founded on the basis of people fighting against an oppressive government (ironic, I know). Being able to defend oneself is a core element of U.S. culture, and was considered important enough by our founders to place directly below the right to speak freely.

That will never work again in the US. It is considerably harder to overthrow a domestic government by force than it is to remove a foreign government. The only guns that have an impact in domestic revolutions are those held by the domestic army.

Guns have many more purposes besides murder.

Let’s have a look at those purposes, shall we?

They can be used to protect you from others who would do you harm.
Apart from the fact that this is still (justified?) murder, they can also be used by those others who would do you harm, and allow them to do even more harm in a much more expedited fashion. In countries where neither party is likely to have access to guns, harm is notably less even if violent crime is not.

tl;dr: You can protect your loved ones much more effectively if the other guy doesn’t have a gun.

A gun is a great equalizer between the sexes; a woman can defend herself with a gun as effectively as a man, unlike most other weapons.
So is a taser or pepper spray. Martial arts training is also a great equalizer, with awesome health benefits.

They can be used to teach responsibility and safety. They can be used for recreation and mastery, which in turn can build confidence.
I have no problem with guns being used in this way, but guns are hardly unique in this regard. Back to you, is there any problem with needing to go to a shooting range (or a farm) to get access to the gun for recreational shooting?

I had a problem, so I got a gun. Now I got two problems.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

That will never work again in the US. It is considerably harder to overthrow a domestic government by force than it is to remove a foreign government. The only guns that have an impact in domestic revolutions are those held by the domestic army.

[citation needed]

This also doesn’t address the point that nations that provide for their own defense tend to have guns, even if they are regulated to the active services. And as a note, it’s impossible to prevent those weapons from leaking out to those who want them, especially the veterans.

So is a taser or pepper spray. Martial arts training is also a great equalizer, with awesome health benefits.

Firstly, no, they’re not. They fail to equalize when both sides have them in the same way that firearms do. They also don’t work as well (though granted, heavy duty pepper spray guns — the kind used by the police in crowd control — get statistically close to handguns and are better in some circumstances).

Secondly, they’re all bettered by firearms. You could bring pepper spray to your defense, but if your enemy has a firearm, his weapon outranges yours and is more lethal.

If I were a small person who had a known stalker, I’d probably feel as secure having a riot-control pepper spray gun in lieu of a handgun, but I somehow suspect you’d be disinclined to let me arm myself with one. Here in the US, the police don’t like it.

Tasers don’t work very well at all, and they’re illegal in most US counties. Those counties that do allow civilian-owned tasers only allow special hobbled civilian versions.

You can protect your loved ones much more effectively if the other guy doesn’t have a gun.

Exactly how do you propose to ensure that the other guy doesn’t have a gun? Prohibiting guns from the white market only confines them to the black market, meaning only those who are willing to access them via the black market will have them.

I think it’s pretty naive thinking that by passing laws, you will constrain those who don’t respect law in the first place. Though it does ensure that neither you nor the police know who does have guns and where they keep them.

…Is there any problem with needing to go to a shooting range (or a farm) to get access to the gun for recreational shooting?

Gun enthusiasts often like to own and modify their own weapons. They also like to take them to multiple ranges.

You seem to be making the same kinds of incorrect presumptions that Lawrence D’Oliveiro was making in this same comments section, particularly about substitutes for specific purposes. It brings me to wonder if you two are the same person, or at least pull your information from the same dubious sources.

I had a problem, so I got a gun. Now I got two problems.

Then perhaps you got a gun for the wrong reasons, and perhaps you are too irresponsible to own and maintain a firearm.

That doesn’t mean the rest of humanity is.

MrTroy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

That will never work again in the US. It is considerably harder to overthrow a domestic government by force than it is to remove a foreign government. The only guns that have an impact in domestic revolutions are those held by the domestic army.

[citation needed]

Unfortunately I had a better article on this a few days ago, but that was on a different computer. Try these:

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=WhTuhiIfouwC&pg=PA51&lpg=PA51&dq=has+any+civilian+revolution+succeeded+without+support+from+army&source=bl&ots=Ogof5Qm4LB&sig=uj1R09hcIceiQ_-TEe_aUoBIYsw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=O9d2VfisPIOwmwWHooLoCQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=has%20any%20civilian%20revolution%20succeeded%20without%20support%20from%20army&f=false

Nonetheless, the revolution could not have succeeded without the support of a significant section of the Chinese army

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=HKvSBAAAQBAJ&pg=PA116&lpg=PA116&dq=civilian+revolution+without+support+from+army&source=bl&ots=61Qa2jXuS6&sig=JwP55lKwLWnYRJv5G62rIqHVInA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ttV2VaCELaXMmwXUwoEQ&ved=0CEwQ6AEwCA#v=snippet&q=loyalty&f=false
Unfortunately the previews of this book don’t include the conclusions, and they cite the Cuban revolution as a possible counterexample to my claim, but it also traces the claim back to Lenin – that a revolution cannot succeed without the assistance of part of the armed forces (p5-6)

Another interesting link is this one (http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=5203&context=faculty_scholarship)…

To the contrary, the Constitution is replete with provisions intended to quell uprisings. For example, Congress is empowered to call out the militia-the very force envisioned to resist usurpations of power-to suppress insurrections and rebellions.60 Significantly, treason is the only crime the Framers believed important enough for the Constitution to condemn explicitly.61 In defining the crime, for example, the Constitution expressly lists “levying war” against the United States as a manifestation of the offense.62 Thus, the theory that the Second Amendment contemplates armed confrontations against the government is seriously undermined. (p654)

So my comment may not be true (kinda curious what that book says now), but I still consider it likely to be true in practice… and it looks like there’s a strong case to be made that that’s not even the point of the second amendment anyway.

You can protect your loved ones much more effectively if the other guy doesn’t have a gun.

Exactly how do you propose to ensure that the other guy doesn’t have a gun? Prohibiting guns from the white market only confines them to the black market, meaning only those who are willing to access them via the black market will have them.

True, there’s no way to eliminate guns entirely. Restricting the supply of guns goes a long way however, and the rates of gun-related crime in Australia have gone down since gun control laws were passed in 1996. Sure, people are still killed each year with guns, but you are extremely unlikely to be shot by a police officer (they have no reason to assume that anyone might be carrying a gun), and even criminal shootings tend more towards shooting other criminals (rival gangs) than shooting civilians.

I think it’s pretty naive thinking that by passing laws, you will constrain those who don’t respect law in the first place. Though it does ensure that neither you nor the police know who does have guns and where they keep them.

Isn’t it naive to ignore the reality of low gun-related crime in countries with stronger gun control (Australia and New Zealand in particular, the UK to a lesser degree)?

…Is there any problem with needing to go to a shooting range (or a farm) to get access to the gun for recreational shooting?

Gun enthusiasts often like to own and modify their own weapons. They also like to take them to multiple ranges.

Gun control laws in Australia don’t prevent you from owning guns and taking them to multiple ranges. I must admit I have no idea what degree of modification is permitted under the laws, that may be one of the more regrettable losses if it’s not permitted.

You seem to be making the same kinds of incorrect presumptions that Lawrence D’Oliveiro was making in this same comments section, particularly about substitutes for specific purposes. It brings me to wonder if you two are the same person, or at least pull your information from the same dubious sources.

And you seem to be speaking from the same emotional standpoints as tqk, but there’s no other reason to believe you’re the same person, or that it would even matter if you were.

I can’t speak for Lawrence D’Oliveiro, but my dubious sources derive from living in Australia before and after the gun control laws were enacted and seeing how people reacted, and being a (very) minor gun enthusiast (firing pistols and revolvers at shooting ranges, and rifles at my parent’s farm).

I had a problem, so I got a gun. Now I got two problems.

Then perhaps you got a gun for the wrong reasons, and perhaps you are too irresponsible to own and maintain a firearm.

That doesn’t mean the rest of humanity is.

I don’t have any problems that a gun could possibly solve, and don’t own a gun (my father does, and does). You seem to be missing the fact that my support for gun control laws is in no way tied to a desire for people not to own guns and maintain them responsibly; it is rather tied to a desire for people not to be killed by other people with guns, and I’m not aware of a better method than gun control laws to do this. Arming more of the population seems to me to be exactly the wrong thing to do.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Revolutions without assistance of the military.

You may be thinking of some very traditional forms of revolt. The US isn’t China, nor Cuba, nor Mexico (though closer to Mexico than we’d like to admit).

Firstly, the US Military doesn’t function very well when pitched to fight against civilians and especially not against the people of the US. Heck, thanks to our deep involvement in the Americas, we’ve done a lot of study into counter insurgency, and still the best recourse we have to this day don’t shit on the common people so much.

Even in our efforts in the Middle East against irregulars and rebels (who we call terrorists, partially for their love of IEDs) the US military takes to that theater like the Roman Army took to nautical fighting against Carthage.

I suspect that once the rebellion in the US evolves into an organized front, the combination of asymmetrical tactics, shooting at Americans and the home turf advantage of the people will shorten the resolve of our regular troops. If the legitimacy of our grievances is well known by then, we may see our solders going AWOL by the troop, or our officers realizing it’s a fight they cannot win.

Incidentally, my hope is that the insurrection proceeds as a sabotage campaign (rather than a terror campaign). Either way, guns will be incidental: nice to have, but only useful after a mission goes wrong. Regardless, when the rebels cannot seize enemy firearms to fill their shortages, they’ll be able to manufacture guns from molds based on printed prototypes, so as guns enter the on-demand market, stockpiles, arsenals and collections may not matter as much.

A note about violent crime, that we’re still enjoying a drastic slowdown in violent crime here in the US even though some of our gun restrictions from the 70s and 80s have sunsetted, so there’s the matter of questionable correlations (the best arguments I’ve heard suggest that leaded gasoline, not drug trafficking or gun ownership or lack of internet porn, is the most likely culprit for the crime waves of the late 20th century). Also, when looking at violent crime, there’s the matter not simply filtering for gun crime. China has tight gun control and has a lot of stabbings.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

My support for gun control laws is… tied to a desire for people not to be killed by other people with guns, and I’m not aware of a better method than gun control laws to do this.

I think we’re far better off looking into the reasons that people kill other people, with or without guns. Here in the US, where 40%+ of the population is in poverty, and a single forty-hour work week on minimum wage doesn’t earn a living, it can be easier to see how people would engage in crimes of desperation, or go into organized crime for steadier, better-paying work.

Ours is not a society that rewards fair dealing, and the police are less interested in reducing crime as they are in filling prisons. So there’s a lot of attraction to occupations in which violence might be an occasional necessity.

When we have a happier society, we have less need for people to be predatory with one another.

Considering government policies regarding drone strikes and extrajudicial detainment and torture or police brutality, it’s also not like our representatives or agents are serving as role models.

JP Jones (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

That will never work again in the US.

Duh. The American Civil War proved that rather decisively. The U.S. has a culture of self defense, much like the Japanese have a culture that reveres the Samurai. I doubt many guys with swords are going to rule in Japan any time soon. Just because something is useless or outdated doesn’t mean it doesn’t have an important cultural purpose (cough like religion cough).

Apart from the fact that this is still (justified?) murder…

There’s no such thing as “justified murder.” Murder is unjustified or illegal homicide by definition. Killing in self-defense is both legal and justified, and therefore never murder. Which brings me to my next point…

So is a taser or pepper spray. Martial arts training is also a great equalizer, with awesome health benefits.

Bullshit. Tasers are typically single shot and have barely any penetrating power. While they will penetrate most standard clothing, a glancing blow means you now have a stun gun, and if a woman is having to fight in close quarters she’s already most likely lost. Pepper spray is likewise short-ranged and can easily backfire. It can also be shrugged off depending on the sensitivity and strength of the target.

And martial arts are a great confidence builder and workout, but do little for actual self-defense. The 5’2″ female roundhouse-kicking the big dude unconscious only happens in the movies. In reality a big guy has reach, muscles, adrenaline, and raw strength far above the average female. There has to be a significant difference in training between the male and female to close the natural gap. In real life situations it’s nearly impossible for the average woman to fight off a determined male attacker without a weapon.

That being said, nonlethal weapons do have advantages, but the main one is the fact that it’s nonlethal, not anything inherent to the weapon itself. Someone is much less likely to hesitate when using a nonlethal weapon than a lethal one, and in a close quarters situation hesitation can be death (especially if the attacker gains control of the gun).

You are extremely unlikely to accidentally kill the wrong target with nonlethal weapons as well, which is a bonus. I personally prefer them for home defense for precisely that reason, but I’m also a man living on a military base, so I’m not in a situation where I’m particularly worried about being attacked in my home. If I were a single woman living in a high crime area, however, that gun could save my life.

I had a problem, so I got a gun. Now I got two problems.

And there is your problem. You already assume guns are a problem, when in fact they are simply a tool. They’re a tool designed to fire projectiles and hit a target. There are plenty of “destructive” tools with productive uses; saws, drills, sandpaper, knives…guns shoot things. They can be used productively, for defense, hunting, or fun, and they can be used for harm, such as murder or suicide.

When someone misuses a tool, it’s never the fault of the tool, it’s the fault of the person using it. Blaming the tool is simply scapegoating, because most people don’t like admitting that maybe, just maybe, the problem is them. Maybe you don’t like them. That’s fine, don’t get one. But your hang-ups are not my problem.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Still waiting for the "how"

Even if New Zealand is entirely free of dangerous fauna, or anything worth hunting, you still haven’t justified the dismissal of those who gain great joy of tipping over tin cans at five hundred meters.

Now as Anonymous Coward notes, below, guns aren’t necessarily banned in New Zealand so the point here is moot.

But that doesn’t change the invalidity of your argument, or how extending that argument to other hazardous instruments of no (recognized) constructive utility yields unfortunate implications.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:you still haven't justified the dismissal of those who gain great joy of tipping over tin cans at five hundred meters.

If you want great joy in exercising a skill, there is no need for lethality. Learn to use a slingshot, or a bow-and-arrow. It may not have the range and the firepower, but it is a much greater exercise of skill and intelligence.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Given you don't have any respect for their rights

You have no moral right to brandish dangerous weaopns just for the sheer hell of it. Just because your country, alone of all the countries in the world, gives you the legal permission to do so, does not make it right.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Given you don't have any respect for their rights

You have no moral right to brandish dangerous weaopns just for the sheer hell of it.

Who said anything about brandishing? Who gave you the right to decide someone else’s morality?

Just because your country, alone of all the countries in the world, gives you the legal permission to do so, does not make it right.

Many would say they have a moral obligation to their country to do that. You don’t understand the US, nor must you be familiar with its history.

BTW, this is the Canuck writing this. Canada, NZ, and decreasingly Australia are traditionally much closer together wrt mores and values than any of us are with the US. The latter broke away from the mother ship (Britain) a long time ago. They’re different, not necessarily wrong. They are supposed to cherish freedom over order, which is the opposite in our countries, though recent events show a reversal of that trend.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 The moral right to use.

From an idealist sense, yes, each person should have complete liberty to do as they wish, so long as it doesn’t transgress on the liberty of others. And that includes owning, collecting and use of weapons in a safe (low-risk) sporting environment, such as a shooting range.

Not brandishing per say, and I’m confused why you brought up brandishing. I expect that even in states in which firearms are criminal, brandishing otherwise legal objects (e.g. cutlery or power tools) may not be. In the US, brandishing a kitchen knife or a rotary saw would be regarded as assault.

And no you don’t get the right to live in a world clear of from you find offensive, whether it is because they open carry or have dark skin, or show affection to their (same-sex) partners. Part of living in a plurality is having to tolerate that some people are going to be different than you and like things that you don’t like. And that may include an appreciation for and the possession of arms.

The United States is not singular in the established right to keep and bear arms (England had it historically, and Mexico and Cuba still hold such rights), but those states being a minority doesn’t make such an established right somehow improper either. You have no authority to declare otherwise.

But an outward proscription of weapons does belie a distrust by the state of its own people, the implication being they cannot be respected enough to manage their own conduct when handling dangerous things, and while that may start with weapons, in no instance in history has it ever ended there.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:9 But an outward proscription of weapons does belie a distrust by the state of its own people

The difference between us is that our state serves us, your state does not serve you.

Remember the comment that started off this whole thread, that NZ seems to have more respect for (at least the principles of) the US Constitution than the US does?

Maybe if your Constitution did not have such a bizarre and anachronistic provision in it, your judiciary might be persuaded to take the rest of the document more seriously…

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:10 But an outward proscription of weapons does belie a distrust by the state of its own people

The difference between us is that our state serves us, your state does not serve you.

[Citation Needed]

If you’re referring to New Zealand, The whole Dotcom affair suggests otherwise.

Did you really intent to attribute to the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights the decline into corruption of the US Department of Justice?

You’re going to have to be more specific as to how you think that supposition logically follows.

And your attributions to the Second Amendment of Bizarre and Anachronistic suggest you know neither the history or context from which it was included.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:12 [Citation Needed]

You’re really not very good at specificity are you.

Or for that matter, avoiding false generalizations.

If the New Zealand government truly served the people the Dotcom raid wouldn’t have happened in the first place, now would it? At that point your system was clearly serving US corporate (big content) interests.

So yes. If you’re going to claim that New Zealand’s administration serves the people (whereas the US’ administration does not) you’re going to have to make some more specific contrasts.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:13 Re:the Dotcom raid wouldn't have happened in the first place, now would it?

That’s what “checks and balances” are all about. Instead of the judiciary pliantly going along with law enforcement’s claims, as happens in the US, they call them to account, here in NZ.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:14 Checks and balances

That’s the problem.

Not always. Like the US’ robust checks and balances system, the NZ one is imperfect.

There have been incidents in the Dotcom affair when the NZ administration has declared some of their actions acceptable just because they said so. (e.g. Illegal spying on the presumption Dotcom is a racketeer)

New Zealand’s law enforcement shouldn’t have cooperated with ICE in the first place to secure a NZ citizen with no cause to presume wrongdoing. That happened. Ergo, your own system, no matter what systemic checks you believe to function, are not enough.

On the other hand, people sometimes like to just believe that the state knows what its doing despite a long historical list of states deteriorating into tyranny.

But if that’s the case, you should accept that you just like it that way, and not attribute your preference to misaimed excuses and false pretenses.

MrTroy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Utility is not relevant when it comes to our liberties

Here in Australia, there are guns that provide plenty of pleasure for people who want to use them, AND we also have gun control laws. The two concepts are only barely related in that they both involve guns.

Gun control laws don’t stop people from enjoying using guns. However, they DO demonstrably reduce people from being killed with guns. Being anti gun-control just sounds like you want to kill people, to us.

The idea that you think your government is threatened by private gun holders (as opposed to by the political power wielded by the NRA) is absent from any kind of validity in the real world: no uprising has ever succeeded without the support (or at least lack of opposition) of the military.

There is almost nothing that can be achieved with guns, that can’t be achieved better in other ways… other than killing large numbers of people.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Utility is not relevant when it comes to our liberties

I think the subject of gun control laws is too broad a spectrum of potential regulations for anyone to be able to be abjectly for them or against them.

There is almost nothing that can be achieved with guns, that can’t be achieved better in other ways… other than killing large numbers of people.

I’m pretty sure that we have better ways of killing large numbers of people.

But I don’t know how you could determine your statement to be true. But it’s ambiguous, and I’d question your use of better. To be sure, the enjoyment from having guns is best achieved by having guns to enjoy.

Even if you mean to imply guns are an anachronism (some are) there are plenty of other anachronisms that people like to have, and that brings us to the prior issue: why would their right to have guns be trumped by your right to object to them having guns?

MrTroy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Utility is not relevant when it comes to our liberties

There is almost nothing that can be achieved with guns, that can’t be achieved better in other ways… other than killing large numbers of people.

I’m pretty sure that we have better ways of killing large numbers of people.

I think guns are one of the more efficient ways of killing large numbers of people, but it does depend on what you’re optimising for. Anyway, that part of my comment was a little incindiary, and debating it doesn’t really lead anywhere. Sorry about that.

Even if you mean to imply guns are an anachronism (some are) there are plenty of other anachronisms that people like to have, and that brings us to the prior issue: why would their right to have guns be trumped by your right to object to them having guns?

Why would somebody’s right to enjoy torturing people be trumped by somebody else’s right to object to being tortured? Not all personal choices are equal.

However, I have no objections to people owning guns. My father has owned a gun since before I was born, and I’ve occasionally enjoyed going to a gun range to shoot pistols. My point is, sensible gun control laws do not preclude people enjoying guns. They do however reduce gun-related crime. Of course they don’t eliminate it, but that’s a pipe dream, and the reduction in gun-related deaths in Australia since the laws were brought in has been well worth the small but measurable reduction in peoples’ freedom (to own automatic weapons).

John Oliver has covered Australia’s gun laws, I’d recommend seeing it if you haven’t. There’s a lot of viable grey in-between “gunz r evul” and “you can pry my gun from my cold, dead hands”.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 The Right to Torture People

…momentarily disregarding the US extrajudicial detainment and torture program, is a thing. and is legal in most of the western world. You may not want to be tortured, yourself, but there are plenty of people who do, and your objection to torture in general doesn’t extend to

As for nonconsensual torture, I’m pretty sure that general assault, battery and abuse crimes (and all-too-commonly, neglect) cover transgressions of one person upon another that would qualify as torture. I’m pretty sure we also have rules covering rules covering heinous crimes in which suffering is maliciously prolonged.

Similarly laws against murder or manslaughter would cover trangressionary use of firearms or chainsaws.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 pre-coffee posting. Just don't.

You may not want to be tortured, yourself, but there are plenty of people who do, and your objection to torture in general doesn’t extend to your neighbors who openly and eagerly consent to torture in the privacy of their own home.

You may have a case objecting to her screaming at all hours. Most couples know to keep their exploits down or behind soundproofing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: And in the meantime, gun enthusiasts in New Zealand don't get to enjoy their hobby.

Guns aren’t banned in NZ, we just don’t have a ridiculous right to bear them. Hunters hunt, collectors collect and the NRA doesn’t exist. People don’t carry weapons, so the police don’t carry weapons ( not on their hips, there are guns in some cars). And the only people that get shot are hunters.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 A ridiculous right to bear arms

Considering some of the questionable maneuvers taken by the New Zealand state in the whole Dotcom affair, maybe you should have such a right.

If nothing else, to remind your representatives that selling out to corporate interests such as US big content can have unfortunate repercussions.

It’s the primary cause for why we have that ridiculous right. That, and because as a large expanse, our lands brim with dangerous fauna.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:3 maybe you should have such a right.

We have something better. We have an Independent Police Complaints Authority. We have an independent judiciary and a free press, none of which are afraid to expose Police misconduct when they see it.

This is why we do not have our Police shooting the people they are supposed to be protecting on a daily basis.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 maybe you should have such a right.

“Independent” agencies are still prone to capture. Given the whole Dotcom affair happened on New Zealand soil (when it clearly should not have), and isn’t even being reviewed for wrongdoing indicates that some capture has already taken place.

So I’d be cautious about contrasting NZ favorably to the US. In our present you may be watching your future.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Given the whole Dotcom affair happened on New Zealand soil

Your point was that, if guns were somehow more common here, that might not have happened, right?

It’s interesting to note what did happen: the cops found a gun on the premises, and were initially trying to claim that Dotcom (or his bodyguard) were ready to use it. When in fact it was locked away in a room somewhere.

Remember, the cops went in all Hollywood-SWAT-style, with big guns at the ready but no bulletproof vests. In other words, they went in ready to shoot, but not to be shot at. And that is a key point that has served to undermine their claim of the dangerousness of the “villain” they went in to catch: the public perception is very clear that the cops’ show of force was designed to initimidate, not to respond to a real threat.

If KD and his crew had shot at the cops, no-one in NZ would have had any qualms about the cops shooting back. And public sympathy for the survivors on his side (if any) would have been essentially zero.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 My point was that...

…The police were ready to go in and shoot up Dotcom and crew regardless of whether or not he was armed. I suspect they (US ICE agents, not New Zealand police) were hoping they would be able to justify gunning him down where he stood.

Otherwise, as Dotcom had already noted, they could have simply arrested him at his car during his routine commutes to and from work. The police weren’t short of opportunities to catch him out in the open rather than in his house.

No, I don’t presume to say that guns would fix the Dotcom affair at all. But I also don’t think a lack of guns really helped the situation all that much.

Do try not to conflate the scenario of Dotcom owning a gun collection with the scenario of Dotcom using said collection to make a violent stand against the ICE agents. That probably would not have ended well for him. I think his retreat to his saferoom was a good tact.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s agencies are slowly getting captured by corporate interests, just like the US’s, and that is what I was saying. It’s distressing when the New Zealand courts aren’t protecting Dotcom from what is clearly a matter of legal overreach on behalf of the US DoJ clearly acting for big content, specifically the MPAA who had representatives on site at the time of the raid.

Rights are enforced by the power of force, and when you find those rights are no longer defended by the system on which you currently depend, that’s when you might want those guns after all.

Al. A. Gator says:

You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

SAME PRINCIPLE HERE. Not true at traffic stops and so on, but Dotcom is EXACTLY why civil forfeiture exists. Dotcom produced nothing, never “made” any money, just hosted content, used the products that others made in contributory infringement.

You piratey clowns are just clinging to the difficulty of extraditing and prosecuting Kim Dotcom to maintain that he won’t be handily convicted of criminal infringement if the US ever gets hold of him.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

Again your understanding of the facts leaves much to be desired. He didn’t “produce nothing”, he created a platform. He made money by selling access to that platform. He hosted content others uploaded to his platform. He didn’t use any products others made in any infringement. The people who posted the material are at fault.

I want the US government to abide by due process. And not horsetrade with Dotcoms rights and legal avenues. Playing games with his ability to mount a defense is not exactly going well for the US Government, if you hadn’t noticed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

Marked as funny.

While I’m sure your post was probably meant to be a joke the reality is it’s the strongest IP proponents that haven’t produced anything. Instead they simply want to scam the public and exploit content creators. Kim offered people an alternative way to get their content distributed and that’s why IP proponents hate him and Google so much. They don’t like the competition. They want to be the only legally authorized intermediaries so that everyone that wants their content distributed must go through them and they get the largest cut.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

Innocent until proven guilty. And in proving them guilty the justice department has to follow the law.

You half-cocked, Jack Bower-esque clowns are so ready to point a finger and see a man in jail that you’re willing to hand over our culture and trample the rule of law in doing it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

You can’t rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

Civil forfeiture allows the government to do exactly that – take assets without any sort of due process, and then use them to fund departments that do more of the same.

So it seems your initial premise is wrong.

Anon says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

Of course, you can’t call someone a bank robber and take all they have, then expect them to properly defend how they didn’t rob the bank. Unless you catch them red-handed with specific, identifiable stolen property, the rest should wait until there’s a conviction on a crime – don’t take their house, car, phone, and clothing leave them naked on the street, and wonder why they are unable to defend themselves. If that’s not how the USA works, well, surprise, the rest of world occasionally disagrees.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

Not true at traffic stops and so on, but Dotcom is EXACTLY why civil forfeiture exists.

Civil asset forfeiture exists mostly because of the War On Drugs, you ignorant twit, and because LEOs and judges don’t appear to care anymore about the Constitution or individual rights. Copyright enforcement maximalists (like you?) have managed to bribe their stooges in Congress to apply it to copyright infringement as well. This is a common thread in US jurisprudence. RICO was intended to go after the Mafia and their violent criminal conspiracies, but was soon extended to lots of entirely unrelated things.

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: Re: And in Dotcom's case...

Hire US Immigration and Customs Enforcement like cheap mercenaries to invade his home for ambiguous charges.

Civil asset forfeiture only served as a means to bolster their confidence they could detain Dotcom under the pretense of due process. Instead it’s been one of many incidents that has raised the question of the legitimacy of the DoJ courts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

OK then al a gator, then I hereby find YOU guilty of having money / posessions under the ‘give all your money now’ law.
Please sell everything you own and send the money to Mike Masnick c/o Techdirt.com.

Thank you for your co-operation citizen.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: You can't rob a bank and defend yourself with stolen money.

“Dotcom produced nothing”

…apart from an internationally used service that allowed people to distribute content (yes, including the content they themselves legally produced) without having to depend on a legacy corporation.

You know, if you’re going to launch false personal attacks on people, you might as well back them with actual facts rather than hastily constructed strawmen. So long as you pretend that services are somehow built and operated for nothing and that the tools are not something a person has to create, your other lies will be just as laughable as your grip on reality.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Stop the charade

As usual, he’s got nothing. He speaks more from emotions than logic just like with his baseless lies that Google and Kim are funded from infringement. The true problem that he has is they offer content creators alternative methods to distribute their content and he can’t have that.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Stop the charade

You’re like the Bill Laimbeer of tech, Masnick.

I have no idea what that means. But, I’m still waiting for you to point out where I made the claim. I’ve never been particularly impressed by Dotcom and his business model, but unlike you, I can see nuance, and am much more worried about US gov’t overreach here and what it will do to plenty of online services.

Anyway, once again, I’ll ask if you would be so kind as to point out where I’ve ever argued that Dotcom was some sort of “poor unsuspecting entrepreneur.” I’ll wait.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Stop the charade

Yes, he does. You’re the one making claims about intent, why not prove them?

Then, we can get on to other things, such as the fact that it’s problematic that a foreign government can step in and override local authorities at a whim, the lack fo due process or chance to defend himself, the fact that everything can be shut down before the man was even charged with a crime (and has never been charged with a crime in his country of residence), the fact that infringement on his platform was never anywhere near 100% of its usage nor committed directly by Dotcom, and many other points that are the real problems here.

But, you don’t want to address the actual issues, you just want to pretend the US government and corporations are perfect because otherwise you’d have to start addressing real issues and nuanced opinions.

tqk (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

Some common sense needed.

That’d be nice, but I’d settle for proof instead. That is how a justice system is supposed to work.

MPAA: “Mega robbed us!”

DoJ: “We got your back, ’cause we just robbed him back! Yay justice!”

That’s not justice, and I don’t care how many in Congress, or state attorneys general, you bribed that say it is.

bob (profile) says:

Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

Oh please. Everything Kim Dotcom has there was paid for with the profits from his skeezy business. It’s one thing to defend some pimply teenager who’s truly “sharing” content with his neighbor and it’s another to fall in love with a 1%er who made it into the 1% by stealing from the artists.

(OOOOh. He used the “steal” word. Let’s argue that point!)

He deserves to lose everything including his freedom. He took from artists– many poor or middle-class– and gave to himself.

Quit drinking yer Robin Hood kool aid and face the truth.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: May I present: 'Innocent until proven guilty'

Maybe, maybe not, but only after he is found guilty in a fair trial, which everything the USG has done so far shows he will not get in the US.

Destruction of evidence, treated as guilty with his business destroyed before trial, illegally taking evidence out of the country, knowingly lying in court about the legality of serving him and then trying to get the law changed afterwards to make it retroactively legal, knowingly lying to the NZ courts in order to get a SWAT style raid for PR/intimidation purposes… what part of any of that makes you think he would get anything even remotely resembling a fair trial?

And I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention, but if you want to go after those taking from artists and giving to themselves, you’d be better off looking towards the major labels and ‘collection’ agencies, as they’ve gotten that trick down to a work of art, whether creative accounting(‘It’s a sale when it comes to paying the artist, and a license when it comes to what the customer may do with it’), or simply not paying anyone but the top 200 acts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

You know, when I originally read this, I thought “what a snarky fucktard who doesn’t have a single solitary thing to say other than “No it doesn’t”” – kind of like a 3 year-old would – and then has the audacity to ask me if I was dropped on my head as a child.

However, I know you’re better than that, and wouldn’t waste your time with such a nonsensical response. I must’ve read it wrong. Instead of my original premise, you must have a genuine concern for me, to which I should reply accordingly.

No, I wasn’t dropped on my head as a child. Come to think of it, not as an adult either. To be honest, my head has been hit so infrequently that I’m having a hard time thinking of any incident in recent (or less than recent) history, where trauma to my head/neck/back/abdomen had occurred.

However, I do sincerely appreciate your concern for my cranial integrity. It’s certainly a refreshing change to see such caring from an anonymous person on the Internet. It kind of restores my faith in humanity, and for that I thank you!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

He took from artists– many poor or middle-class– and gave to himself.

Doesn’t the RIAA/MPAA do exactly the same thing?

But they (RIAA/MPAA) do this much more efficiently and effectively, and Dotcom reduced their take …

And THAT’s the illegal bit !!

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

He deserves to lose everything including his freedom. He took from artists– many poor or middle-class– and gave to himself.

Fair enough. Once it has been proved at trial that he is actually guilty of those things, then it’s reasonable to argue for the forfeiture of his stuff. Before that? Not so much.

Or is it that you don’t believe in due process?

Quit drinking yer Robin Hood kool aid and face the truth.

I’m not arguing that he’s robin hood. Not at all. Just that he deserves due process. Are you arguing against that premise?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

“Once it has been proved at trial that he is actually guilty of those things”

You know exactly what Kim Dotcom was doing. You just won’t admit it because you’re a pathetic weasel.

And that is why you are so mercilessly mocked outside of your echo chamber here.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

You know exactly what Kim Dotcom was doing.

So in other words, no trial needed, accusation is good enough. Thanks for admitting your stance on the matter.

You just won’t admit it because you’re a pathetic weasel.

‘Weasel’? Like, oh I dunno, making claims about what someone said and then dodging the question when people ask that you back up your claims?

You are really not one to talk.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

Mocked outside of here? By what? A bunch of giggly little schoolgirl who spam the site, got their asses blocked and now have to use TOR to spam the site even more?

Go back to crying about Evan Stone and John Steele, wankstain.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

You know exactly what Kim Dotcom was doing. You just won’t admit it because you’re a pathetic weasel.

Yes, I know what he was doing, and I’m perfectly comfortable with him being tried in a court of law for it. I just think that we should wait until a court finds him guilty (or not guilty) before we assume as much.

There’s a difference between you and me, it appears. You dislike the Constitution, due process and such things because you have an emotional response to Dotcom (and, it appears, to me). I would prefer to let logic, evidence and due process lead the way.

I notice that you still don’t answer my question. I wonder why? You have been doing this for many years on the site. You snidely insist that things are obvious, but you never present evidence, merely emotion. It’s hard to see how that’s even remotely convincing.

Yes, the way you made money under the old system is dying. We’ve offered to help you adapt. I’ll even help you for free. But you choose to insult us all instead. Very odd choices you make.

RD says:

Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

bob! By your same reasoning, you deserve to be censured, silenced and jailed for the rest of your life because you are “guilty” according to…anyone. Apparently, according to you, proof doesn’t matter, just “belief” so please submit yourself for processing and live by your beliefs.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Now if only they would protect the artists' work with the same fervor

One of my favourite things is when these assholes start blathering on about corporations and the 1%, blissfully unaware that they’re trying to defend those exact people.

Well, I say blissfully. They say ignorance is bliss, and the regular trolls are some of the most ignorant people I’ve ever encountered online or off, but they do seem extremely angry about most things.

That One Guy (profile) says:

That's gotta sting

And yet again, the DOJ’s bumbling approached to the case gets them slapped down, with a NZ judge having to step in and school them on the finer points of law. At this point the NZ judges need to connect all the dots, realize that Dotcom will never get a fair trial if extradited, and give a final ‘No’ on the extradition request, closing the case for good.

sigalrm (profile) says:

Re: That's gotta sting

Bumbling, perhaps, but caused in large part by hubris on the part of the DOJ.

“Sit, Stay, Fetch, Rollover, Good New Zealand, Good Country”

The DOJ clearly didn’t expect New Zealand to anything but what they were told to do, and got caught flat footed when the NZ judiciary started to call the DOJ out on both US and NZ procedural problems.

At the end of the day, the DOJ might actually have a solid case, but they’re have to be able to articulate it well enough to convince a foreign judge to issue an extradition order, and so far they’ve been unable to do so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: That's gotta sting

At the end of the day, the DOJ might actually have a solid case,

Any case they had is now badly tainted by their own actions o prevent Kim defending himself properly. For instance, given that the servers have been destroyed it is no longer possible to find out the ratio of infringing to non-infringing material made available to the public via the servers, or how many files were made public compared to those kept private.

sigalrm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: That's gotta sting

Once he finally gets extradited (and realistically I do think it’s when, not if), I think he’d be able to make a fairly compelling case for summary dismissal of charges for a variety of reasons, and failing that getting an Adverse Inference instruction from the Judge against the DOJ based on spoliation would seem to be viable as well.

Without respect to either of those, It’s still going to be incredibly expensive for him, and he’ll be in court over this for years.

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 That's gotta sting

Remember the story about the US diplomat charged with negotiating peace in the Vietnam war showed up in Paris and rented hotel suites and negotiating rooms and was all set to negotiate with the Vietnamese.

The Vietnamese negotiators showed up in Paris and bought a house, then spent the next year and half(?) talking about the shape of the negotiating table.

Has anyone heard about Dotcom doing any real estate shopping in the Virginia area?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 That's gotta sting

Once Dotcom is extradited (if he ever is) then the prosecution will no doubt do everything they can not to rush for any trial and to drag the start of trial for as long as possibly that they can whilst at the same time putting as much pressure on Dotcom to take a plea bargain in return for saying he is guilty thus avoid for the prosecution having to go trial to prove their case (if they ever had a case at all).

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:2 That's gotta sting

“Without respect to either of those, It’s still going to be incredibly expensive for him, and he’ll be in court over this for years.”

Don’t forget the other side of the equation: it’s going to be incredibly expensive for the US taxpayer, whose legal representatives will also be in court over this for years, all at the behest of a few relatively small businesses in the content production industry. It’s not like artists would ever benefit from any of this.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: That's gotta sting

Sure they might, but everything I’ve seen regarding the case, from day one, indicates at least to me that they absolutely don’t.

If they had a solid case against Dotcom, he would have been extradited and tried years ago, the fact that he’s still sitting in New Zealand makes it pretty clear that they’ve got nothing that would actually hold up in a fair court, and they were banking on, like you said, the NZ courts just following orders like good little lapdogs. When the NZ judges didn’t, well, they had nothing, no backup plan, so they’ve been stumbling about ever since.

sigalrm (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: That's gotta sting

I’m in full agreement with you, but I’m only aware of the “evidence” that’s made “public”.

Also, given that the DOJ is comprised of people, There’s at least a chance that it comes down to lazy, instead of nefarious. After all, why go through the hard work of putting together solid case when you really don’t expect that it’ll be needed?

MadAsASnake (profile) says:

Re: Re: That's gotta sting

NZ prosecutors found no case to answer. That is why there is no NZ case for this. You might also remember that they have been caught using 5-eyes (this is about terrorism?) and there is plainly some parallel construction going on (perjury, in fact). Then, they have shipped Andrus Nõmm half way around the world and jailed him for a year: for watching 2 movies. You know, if they had a case we might have seen something a little more solid on the accusation front by now…

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