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Kim Dotcom Threatens To Sue Google, Facebook And Twitter Over 2-Factor Authentication Patent If They Don't Help Him

from the hmmm dept

So, a lot of people are talking about Kim Dotcom's latest gambit, which was to point out that he holds a patent (US 6,078,908 and apparently others in 12 other countries as well) that covers the basics of two-factor authentication, with a priority date of April of 1997. While interesting, he goes on to point out that he's never sued over the patent because "I believe in sharing knowledge and ideas for the good of society."

But... he says he may sue them now. Specifically, he's asking them to help fund his defense, in exchange for not getting sued for the patent. He points out that his actual funds are still frozen by the DOJ and (more importantly) that his case actually matters a great deal to Google, Facebook and Twitter, because the eventual ruling will likely set a precedent that may impact them -- especially around the DMCA. That's actually a pretty good reason for the tech industry to think about participating in the case even if they don't like Dotcom at all and don't want to be associated with him. Bad cases make dangerous caselaw, so having a good defense would be useful.

That said, the threat of suing over a patent if they don't fund his defense seems like a potentially poorly thought out strategic move that could backfire. Remember, Dotcom has been hit with racketeering claims, and I would think that anything that implies "give me money or I'll sue" isn't the best move for someone already facing racketeering charges.

Reader Comments

The First Word

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  1. icon
    Karl (profile), 23 May 2013 @ 8:29am

    Re: Re: Read for comprehension!

    If IV trolled someone but then pointed out that they should cave in because it was in their best interests on some unrelated matter, do you think Mike would think it was a good idea then?

    Does Mike think it's a good idea now?

    No. He called it "a potentially poorly thought out strategic move that could backfire." Admittedly, I'd like him to use stronger language too, but what can you do.

    On the other hand - if it were IV doing this sort of trolling, you would be on their side, saying that they're just "protecting their property," and that anyone who is against it just hates patent law and loves patent piracy, or some such nonsense.

    Then, spam the comments with some misreading of unrelated case law, or misstatements of the Founders' opinions, or multiple "Y u no debate meeeee!" posts at Mike, or some other idiotic attempt to derail the conversation. Just like you always do.

    I don't think the DMCA applies in criminal cases, but even if it did, what's going to happen that would affect others like Google?

    That's not the only issue, of course, but even if it were, then it would mean that the government could seize Google (or whoever the next Google is), even though they are completely compliant with the DMCA.

    All they would have to do is take Viacom's accusations (or whoever the next equivalent of Viacom is), claim that shows probable cause for criminal infringement, and boom! Instant seizure, shutdown, and arrest. No DMCA defense, no advance notice, no prior chance to defend their actions. And all their assets would be frozen, so no money to mount a legal defense.

    That's exactly what happened to Megaupload.

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