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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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:02am

    Lol the US law enfocerment must've thought they're back in the US where they can just take people's stuff without actually winning a case against them.

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    • icon
      Almost Anonymous (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:41pm

      Re:

      The sad thing is, "without actually winning a case against them" is not even the full absurdity. In the US, they can take your stuff without even *charging* you with a crime, much less indicting or convicting.

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  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:09am

    So who are the real pirates here?

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    • identicon
      Captain Obvious, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:31am

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

      >>> So who are the real pirates here?

      Kim Dotcom and everyone who knowingly downloads infringed content. That never changes, regardless whether are other criminals around, including governments.

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      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:57pm

        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?

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Jun 2015 @ 10:44am

        This smacks of accusing the shipwrights and salemakers of piracy.

        I'm pretty sure Mr. Dotcom purchased all of his privately owned content. He certainly could afford to do so.

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    • identicon
      Captain Obvious, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:33am

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

      >>> So who are the real pirates here?

      Kim Dotcom and everyone who knowingly downloads infringed content. That never changes, regardless whether are other criminals around, including governments.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:42am

        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.

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  • identicon
    PRMan, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:16am

    Hmmm

    It seems that New Zealand follows our constitution more than we do...

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    • icon
      sigalrm (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:30pm

      Re: Hmmm

      Considering the US Governments apparent desire to treat New Zealand like the 51st state, maybe that's not entirely inappropriate.

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    • identicon
      RD, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:44pm

      Re: Hmmm

      Insightful comment of the *decade*.

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    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 4 Jun 2015 @ 5:26pm

      Re: It seems that New Zealand follows our constitution more than we do...

      Only the good parts. We have no fondness for your Second Amendment.

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      • icon
        JoeCool (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 7:11pm

        Re: Re: It seems that New Zealand follows our constitution more than we do...

        Small island nations can get away with things like gun control. Such laws don't and CANNOT work in large land masses like the US. We can't stop THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE from crossing the borders, forget about small weapons.

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      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 10:42am

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

        I wonder what other dangerous objects (pencils? power tools? satanic rock-&-roll?) are also banned in New Zealand for the safety of its people.

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        • identicon
          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 5 Jun 2015 @ 5:44pm

          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.

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          • icon
            tqk (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 7:43pm

            Re: Re: 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.

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            • identicon
              Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Jun 2015 @ 1:51am

              Re: 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.

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              • icon
                tqk (profile), 6 Jun 2015 @ 9:02am

                Re: Re: 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.

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                • icon
                  Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Jun 2015 @ 10:15am

                  Bombs...

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

                  It's a notable observation that plenty of the technologies we first invent for warfare have civilian uses once the technology is released to the public.

                  Even nukes would if it weren't for that pesky fallout.

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                  • icon
                    tqk (profile), 6 Jun 2015 @ 2:33pm

                    Re: 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, ...

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                • identicon
                  Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Jun 2015 @ 7:55pm

                  Re: Guns are force focusing and targeting tools.

                  That’s a really fancy way of not even disagreeing with what I said. A gun is designed to inflict damage, injury and death. A tool is not.

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                  • icon
                    tqk (profile), 6 Jun 2015 @ 9:19pm

                    Re: Re: 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.

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                    • identicon
                      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Jun 2015 @ 4:27pm

                      Re: 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.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 12:57am

                        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.

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                        • identicon
                          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 8 Jun 2015 @ 4:56pm

                          Re: 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?

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                          • icon
                            Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 7:40pm

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

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

                            You do seem to believe you know how to cure what ails a very sophisticated society with very complicated problems.

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                            • identicon
                              Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 10 Jun 2015 @ 5:45pm

                              Re: 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.

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                              • icon
                                Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Jun 2015 @ 11:38am

                                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.

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                                • identicon
                                  Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Jun 2015 @ 10:45pm

                                  Re: 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.

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                                  • icon
                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 10:41am

                                    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.

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                  • icon
                    JP Jones (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 7:27pm

                    Re: Re: 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.

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                    • icon
                      MrTroy (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 9:14pm

                      Re: Re: Re: 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.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 3:58am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

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                        • icon
                          MrTroy (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 6:01am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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+civi lian+revolution+succeeded+without+support+from+army&source=bl&ots=Ogof5Qm4LB&sig=uj1R09h cIceiQ_-TEe_aUoBIYsw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=O9d2VfisPIOwmwWHooLoCQ&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAA#v=onepage& amp;q=has%20any%20civilian%20revolution%20succeeded%20without%20support%20from%20army&f=false
                          Non etheless, 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+rev olution+without+support+from+army&source=bl&ots=61Qa2jXuS6&sig=JwP55lKwLWnYRJv5G62rIqHVI nA&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.

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 11:53am

                            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.

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 12:05pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

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                      • icon
                        JP Jones (profile), 9 Jun 2015 @ 1:47pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 8:14pm

            Utility is not relevant when it comes to our liberties

            Here in the United States there are guns that provide plenty of pleasure for their owners without ever harming anyone else.

            Who are you to decide what pleasures carry too much risk and what pleasures do not?

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            • identicon
              Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Jun 2015 @ 1:52am

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

              Hey, I wasn’t the one trying to conflate utility items with weapons—you were. I was simply pointing out how full of hot air your argument was.

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                Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Jun 2015 @ 10:38am

                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.

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                • identicon
                  Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Jun 2015 @ 7:53pm

                  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.

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                    Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jun 2015 @ 3:01am

                    "Learn to use a slingshot, or a bow-and-arrow."

                    In other words, to Hell with the enthusiasts, they should take up a different hobby.

                    Given you don't have any respect for their rights, don't expect them to have any respect for your opinion.

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                    • identicon
                      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Jun 2015 @ 4:29pm

                      Re: 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.

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                        tqk (profile), 7 Jun 2015 @ 5:55pm

                        Re: Re: 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.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 12:35am

                        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.

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                        • identicon
                          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 8 Jun 2015 @ 4:54pm

                          Re: 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...

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                            Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 7:34pm

                            Re: Re: 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.

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                            • identicon
                              Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 10 Jun 2015 @ 5:46pm

                              Re: [Citation Needed]

                              Look above you, at the article.

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                                Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Jun 2015 @ 11:20am

                                [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.

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                                • identicon
                                  Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 11 Jun 2015 @ 10:40pm

                                  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.

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                                    Uriel-238 (profile), 12 Jun 2015 @ 10:51am

                                    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.

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              MrTroy (profile), 7 Jun 2015 @ 5:43pm

              Re: 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.

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                Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 12:45am

                Re: Re: 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?

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                  MrTroy (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 1:31am

                  Re: Re: Re: 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".

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 9:32am

                    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.

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                    • icon
                      Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 9:34am

                      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.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Jun 2015 @ 7:11pm

          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.

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          • icon
            Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 8:19pm

            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.

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            • identicon
              Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Jun 2015 @ 1:48am

              Re: 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.

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              • icon
                Uriel-238 (profile), 6 Jun 2015 @ 10:41am

                Re: Re: 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.

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                • identicon
                  Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Jun 2015 @ 7:50pm

                  Re: 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.

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                  • icon
                    Uriel-238 (profile), 7 Jun 2015 @ 2:47am

                    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.

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                    • identicon
                      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Jun 2015 @ 4:31pm

                      Re: The police were ready to go in and shoot up Dotcom and crew regardless of whether or not he was armed

                      Of course. And if he had been armed, they would have got away with it.

                      But they didn’t.

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                      • icon
                        Uriel-238 (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 12:48am

                        Conflating ownership and engaging in violence

                        Couldn't help yourself?

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                        • identicon
                          Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 10 Jun 2015 @ 5:47pm

                          Re: Conflating ownership and engaging in violence

                          Well, going by the empirical example of the US itself, the connection seems inevitable...

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                          • icon
                            Uriel-238 (profile), 11 Jun 2015 @ 11:42am

                            Re: Re: Conflating ownership and engaging in violence

                            You're going to have to get more specific than that.

                            More guns are in the hands of civilians now than in the 70s and 80s and yet the violent crime rate has plummeted. This suggests to me that there are more factors involved than you imply.

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          • icon
            JP Jones (profile), 8 Jun 2015 @ 6:59pm

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

            And the only people that get shot are hunters.

            The 73 individuals murdered with guns in New Zealand from 2003-2013 beg to differ.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:23am

    Wow... Just wow.

    What has happened to my country? Why does the US think it is the world government?

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    identicon
    Al. A. Gator, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:25am

    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.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:30am

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

      Yawn.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:35am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:36am

      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.

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    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:55am

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

      "but Dotcom is EXACTLY why civil forfeiture exists."

      So civil forfeiture exists in order to prevent people from having a hope of defending themselves against unproven and specious accusations?

      That's a pretty startling admission.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:58am

      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.

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      • icon
        sigalrm (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:32pm

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

        Who needs a trial? The government accused him of something nefarious. (yes, there should be a sarcasm tag here)

        The accusation is sufficient proof for far too many people.

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:04am

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

      Marked funny for the sheer idiocy of it.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:40am

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

      Remember that whole 'innocent until proven guilty' bit? You can't assume the money is stolen until you prove that in court. Not only has Dotcom not been proven guilty in any court, he hasn't even been charged yet.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:46am

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

      That would be CRIMINAL forfeiture you are talking about. CIVIL forfeiture is simply theft by the government.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:50am

      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.

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    • identicon
      RD, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:46pm

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

      Damn funny! Best fake-troll post in a long time!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      RD, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:48pm

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

      Google similarly "produces nothing" so should Google be hauled up on criminal charges because of the actions of their users? (That's you, and every other internet user on the planet btw.)

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 5:43pm

        Re:

        It's not fake - out_of_the_blue is resorting to poor name puns after his "tor" jokes and stealing Gwiz's nickname didn't work out.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anon, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:32pm

      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.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 3:21pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 9:46pm

        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.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:56pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 12:01am

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:45am

    "'due process'? I thought this whole time it was 'DO process'!" - DA

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Does not matter, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:56am

    Stop the charade

    Enough already. The platform Kim built was designed to profit from pirating. He knew VERY WELL that the bulk of the trade would come from this content. It's not like pirated content was an ugly by-product of a useful service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:03am

      Re: Stop the charade

      Does not matter what Kim Dotcom did - it's no excuse for the U.S. government to break the law and resort to stealing just to to stop him or any other criminal, and seizing his assets is closer to piracy than anything Dotcom has done.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Does not matter, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:15am

        Re: Re: Stop the charade

        Agree, was not making that case, all deserve due process, as does Kim!

        I was commenting on this idea that Kim is made out to be this poor unsuspecting entrepreneur who was targeted unfairly.

        These two need not be mutually exclusive!

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        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:36am

          Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

          I was commenting on this idea that Kim is made out to be this poor unsuspecting entrepreneur who was targeted unfairly.

          Where did I make that claim?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

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

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:38pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

              Notice you didn't actually point out the quote that was supposedly made by Mike there...

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:19pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 4:33pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:25pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

          The only one making that case about Dotcom is you.

          This case has always been about the nefarious actions the U.S. goverment has undertaken to stop him. If anything, they've turned him into a hero. His reputation before all of this was "yeah, he's probably a criminal."

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:10am

      Re: Stop the charade

      "The platform Kim built was designed to profit from pirating."

      [citation needed]

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Does not matter, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:15am

        Re: Re: Stop the charade

        Some common sense needed.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

          It takes 3 things to make a working system. The client computer, the network and the server.

          Why are you just blaming the server and it's admin and not the network (Internet) and client (Dell/Microsoft, pick you favorite)?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Does not matter, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:23am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

            Seriously, you want a response to this type of question?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

              I think it deserves an answer - if not for the network and client, how exactly would infringement still be possible?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 12:07am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Stop the charade

          So ... does that mean you got nothing?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          tqk (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 3:35pm

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        RD, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:51pm

        Re: Re: Stop the charade

        "The platform Kim built was designed for people to share things, and a small amount of those people used the site to profit from pirating."

        FTFY

        Asshat.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 3:42pm

        Re: Re: Stop the charade

        The MPIA said so.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:27pm

      Re: Stop the charade

      "He knew VERY WELL that the bulk of the trade would come from this content."

      Prove it, girl.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 10:58pm

      Re: Stop the charade

      Do you also believe in executions before the trial?

      Maybe like the Cardassians, you believe everyone 'in court' must be guilty until proved innocent, because otherwise you've just accused an innocent of a crime?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 12:08am

      Re: Stop the charade

      OK, let's pretend that what you say is true (I disagree, but let's pretend for a minute).

      So? How does that excuse all the actual issues with how this has been enforced?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Eli, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:08am

    Ug that name

    Its too bad the US won't make a deal to have Kim change his name to something less stupid and stop posting stupid pictures of himself online. In return the charges go away and I'm happy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    identicon
    bob, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:36am

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:44am

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

      What did he take from anyone?

      He didn't take anything. People paid to use the higher level tiers of his service. People paid him. He didn't take anything from anyone.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 11:45am

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

      You're hilarious.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MadAsASnake (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:01pm

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

      Thee are a group of organisations that really do steal from artists - you'll find them prominent in the membership lists of the MPAA and RIAA

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:03pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:11pm

      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?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:20pm

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

        No, it doesn't.

        You were dropped on your head as a child, weren't you?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:37pm

          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!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:55pm

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

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:30pm

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

          "You were dropped on your head as a child, weren't you?"

          The child who made this inane statement obviously was...

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 7 Jun 2015 @ 8:19pm

        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 !!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      CK20XX (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:12pm

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

      I know, we all need to rant and rave when we're having a bad day. Do you feel better after slaying that fictitious evil?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:26pm

      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?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 5:31pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 5:39pm

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 5:46pm

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 9:23pm

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      RD, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:13pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      MrTroy (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 8:03pm

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

      ... and it's another to fall in love with a 1%er who made it into the 1% by stealing from the artists.


      Now you're talking about the label heads, yeah?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 5 Jun 2015 @ 12:11am

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:17pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      sigalrm (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 12:48pm

      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.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:03pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          sigalrm (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:18pm

          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.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:34pm

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

            How will he pay for legal advice once he is in the US, as the DOJ will just confiscate any money sent to him or his lawyers?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              sigalrm (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:44pm

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

              The legal system is just that - a system. And like any system it can be gamed.

              Dotcom is a lot of things, including smart. I'm sure he and his legal counsel will figure something out. I'm equally sure it'll piss off the DOJ.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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).

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            JMT (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 6:36pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: 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.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:09pm

        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.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          sigalrm (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:24pm

          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?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        MadAsASnake (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:18pm

        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...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anon, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:41pm

        Re: Re: That's gotta sting

        > "Sit, Stay, Fetch, Rollover, Good New Zealand, Good Country"

        Sheep just stand there and stare, don't actually listen or act...

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Jun 2015 @ 1:17pm

    Seems like the only thing these days saving the US government from facing the consequences for their constant illegal actions is having such a large cache of military gear and forces.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 4 Jun 2015 @ 3:51pm

    Fugitive Disentitlement Doctrine...

    ...doesn't exist as a Wikipedia article.

    Is this some fancy name for pre-emptive strike policy, such as in Bush Doctrine?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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