Judge's Opinion On Kim Dotcom Shows An Unfortunate Willingness To Ignore Context

from the this-is-disappointing dept

Last night, we posted the news that a judge in New Zealand had ruled that Kim Dotcom and his colleagues were extraditable. Dotcom is appealing the decision, so it's not over yet. Soon after the decision was announced, the full ruling by Judge Nevin Dawson was released. It's a staggering 271 pages, and I've spent a good chunk of today reading it over. Some parts of it are more compelling than others, and there may even be enough to support the ruling. However, what troubles me is how frequently Judge Dawson appears to totally, without question, accept the US government's arguments (as relayed by New Zealand prosecutors), despite the fact that many of them are clearly misleading at best, or downright incorrect.

It would take too long to go point by point through the whole thing, but I did want to highlight a few points that I found concerning. The key issue in the extradition fight is whether or not copyright infringement is an extraditable offense. Under the treaty between the US and New Zealand, it is not considered an extraditable offense, which is why a variety of other "conspiracy" charges are piled on in the complaint against Dotcom. Yet, Judge Dawson basically tosses much of that out, arguing that "conspiracy to defraud" is an extraditable offense, and copyright infringement can be a conspiracy to defraud. As Dotcom's lawyers noted yesterday, this would basically write out the fact that copyright is not an extraditable offense.

However, almost all of this "conspiracy to defraud," as well as the other issues that the court finds extraditable (such as "money laundering") are all based on the claims of the DOJ, many of which were presented ridiculously out of context by the DOJ in the original indictment, but which Judge Dawson takes as perfectly accurate, without considering alternative explanations. For example, there's the question of whether or not Megaupload had its own search engine. As we noted in the original indictment, this is particularly ridiculous. A key reason why the original Napster got shut down was because it had a search engine, which the court used to argue that it was more involved in the infringement. Thus, there's a strong argument for why a site should not have a search engine, in order to make it harder to find infringing materials. Yet, the DOJ argued that this was part of the "conspiracy" and that it showed that Megaupload was trying to hide the infringing activities from law enforcement. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. But Judge Dawson flat out accepted the DOJ's argument. Judge Dawson quotes a Skype discussion between two of Dotcom's colleagues, Mathias Ortmann and Bram Van Der Kolk, in which Ortmann notes that "searchability is dangerous and will kill us." And the judge concludes:
There was so much infringing content on the sites that its presence had to be disguised and made non-searchable. Traffic flowed to this content through third party sites.
That's one interpretation. A more plausible explanation could be that these guys didn't want to make their site easy to use for infringement and thus didn't make the material searchable. Instead, that's used against them.

Elsewhere, the judge uses a discussion between Kim Dotcom and Ortmann about how to make sure the service is "invulnerable" to legal challenges as proof that they "appreciated that Mega operated unlawfully and was at risk of being shut down by a court." Of course, a perfectly reasonable alternative explanation is that their discussion was on how to make sure they were not unlawful and not at risk of being shut down by a court. There are plenty of business discussions that tons of businesses could have like this that, devoid of context, could be presented in this misleading way. Any time any two executives from a business were to discuss specifics of making sure their business is legal could then be misrepresented as evidence that they "knew it operated unlawfully and was at risk of being shut down by a court."

There are lots of other examples of this, including conversations between basically all of the defendants discussing (and sometimes joking about) the possibility of lawsuits (most of which they assume would be civil lawsuits). But just because you think you might get sued is hardly evidence of a conspiracy or belief that what you're doing is illegal. I've had many discussions with our lawyers about doing things to protect ourselves from getting sued. That doesn't mean I believe I'm operating illegally. It means I understand the legal environment we operate in, where lawsuits happen frequently, and I'd like to minimize the risk. But in this case, every hint of Megaupload doing the same is treated as an admission of knowingly breaking the law. It's true that there are some conversations that do seem to go beyond this point, such as when Ortmann and Van Der Kolk complain that the business can't be sold because it's not "legit" -- so it's reasonable to argue that those are enough. But, so many of the conversations seem to be spun so far beyond reality that it makes the evidence appear a lot stronger than it really is.

Some of the evidence is just outright ridiculous. At one point, Ortmann sends Dotcom a link to an agenda for an "IP Crime Conference" that was hosted in the same building that was officially Megaupload's headquarters (a Hong Kong hotel) with the tagline "in the lion's den." The judge concludes that from this you can infer "Mega's business was copyright piracy." Huh? How is that a reasonable inference?

Now, I know that some folks are already banging angrily below in the comments about this, pointing out that of course Megaupload was used for infringement, and all of this is just hand-waving to ignore that fact. But that's not what I'm doing here at all. Yes, it's quite clear that Megaupload was widely used for infringement. But that alone is not a criminal offense. When the VCR was first introduced, it was widely used for infringement. When the mp3 player was first introduced, it was widely used for infringement. When the DVR was first introduced. Tape players. Photocopiers. Radio. But that alone does not constitute a criminal offense. Yet, here the judge seems to think that any weak inference that the execs at Megaupload knew that their service was used for infringement implicates them in a criminal conspiracy.

That seems incredibly problematic.

Similarly, as the DOJ did in its indictment, the Judge focuses a lot on the "incentive" program that Megaupload put in place, whereby users who post files that get a lot of downloads could profit from those downloads. The claim by the DOJ, and totally accepted by Judge Dawson, is that this is proof that they were encouraging infringement. But, again, such a program could just as easily be useful for non-infringing purposes as well. If you were a singer and wanted to give away your music for free, but still profit from it, you could see how this could be a compelling business model. In fact, some major recording artists, such as Busta Rhymes, were excited about using Megaupload in just this manner. Yes, obviously some would use this to post infringing files, but again the fact that some users could misuse the service does not mean the company's execs are criminals.

For example, the court uses the fact that Ortmann and Van Der Kolk messaged each other about how uploaded files in the program are "not yet" being "audited for copyright violation" as evidence that the program was designed to drive infringement. But there is no requirement under the law to proactively monitor the content for infringement. Later the judge uses the fact that the incentive program was purposely designed to "attract new users" and to reward "huge uploaders" as evidence that "this was not cyberlocker activity but mass distribution of illicit content." Again, this presumes that the only possible use for a cyberlocker is to store personal data, and not to use it to distribute and share files (many of which may be perfectly legitimate).

Again, some of the other statements may cross the line -- including discussions about specific users where the defendants appear to recognize that certain files are infringing. There are also discussions about whether to cut off incentive payments in cases where they know a user is uploading infringing material (where they don't cut off those payments). Those may be the most damning. But, again, straight up copyright infringement isn't supposed to be an indictable offense. And it's all this other stuff that the judge uses to argue some wider "conspiracy to defraud."

Also, as has been pointed out time and time again, there is no such thing as "secondary" criminal copyright infringement. That is, it's not a criminal offense if your tool is used by someone else to infringe. But all that basically gets ignored.

There's a lot more in there, and it's worth reading through and looking at all of the arguments and evidence. I can see why the judge ruled the way he did. And much of it is similar to the arguments in the original indictment. And, again, there may actually be enough in there for the extradition to go forward, but so much of it seems bound up in taking statements out of context that it seems pretty sketchy. If those kinds of arguments were dropped, and the ruling focused just on the clear evidence of some sort of plan to "defraud" it would seem like a much stronger argument. The fact that piece of evidence after piece of evidence just seems so... weak, raises serious questions about the whole decision.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2015 @ 8:52pm

    He's being extradited for the money laundering.

    If you have evidence DOJ is wrong about that, you really should share it with Dotcom's lawyers, shouldn't you?

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    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 23 Dec 2015 @ 9:47pm

      Re:

      So, the DOJ hasn't pulled evidence for this out of their ass? That would seem like a first given how sneakily they've handled this case so far.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2015 @ 11:26pm

        Re: Re:

        If they have, then why haven't his lawyers demonstrated that? They've had 4 years to do so.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 12:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because the DOJ is insisting that they only be allowed to prove it when Dotcom is stuck in the DOJ's field where the DOJ has all the home advantage?

          The DOJ has been playing this game of "Sure I'll let you prove yourself innocent, but only if you stick your neck on this block" for four years.

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

          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 5:34am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            'The sheep is absolutely allowed to present it's case and argue for why it's better for it not to be eaten, all it needs to do is walk into the wolf's den to do so. Refusal or hesitation to take the offer is a clear sign that the sheep doesn't believe that it has a real case, and it should accept being eaten.'

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        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 10:35am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because he can't pay his lawyers properly cause the DOJ has frozen his assets to prevent him from getting a fair trial?

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        • icon
          madasahatter (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 7:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Because in Anglo-Saxon legal precepts Dotcom is innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on DOJ and the NZ prosecutors.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 10:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Because in Anglo-Saxon legal precepts Dotcom is innocent until proven guilty. The burden of proof is on DOJ and the NZ prosecutors.

            A fairy tale and not legally binding, unfortunately.

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    • icon
      Nop (profile), 23 Dec 2015 @ 10:21pm

      Re:

      Is he? Even if he was money laundering, what business would that of the US government? Neither he nor his business have ever been based in the US.

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      • icon
        nasch (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 5:41pm

        Re: Re:

        Even if he was money laundering, what business would that of the US government?

        Everything is the business of the US government. Haven't you noticed their extremely large guns?

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    • icon
      JoeCool (profile), 23 Dec 2015 @ 10:54pm

      Re:

      Again, you asshats have turned things around. Guilty unless proven innocent is NOT how things are SUPPOSED to be done. The DOJ is supposed to provide evidence proving guilt, not assume a few vague statements allow them to presume guilt that must be proven false.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 1:13am

        Re: Re:

        it's not a criminal trial,it's an extradition hearing. He has not been found innocent or guilty. It is only that there is enough of a case to justify sending him to the US for trial.

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        • icon
          techflaws (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 10:37am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Except of course that the land he's been living and working in (hint, NOT the US) doesn't have any law that allows to extradite people for copyright infringement.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 4:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          considering they decided he was guilty years ago long before they saw any evidence about it. I doubt we will see anything other than a sham trial where evidence that could prove his innocence being suppressed to gurrantee a conviction

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 10:03am

        Re: Re:

        Guilty unless proven innocent is NOT how things are SUPPOSED to be done.

        Many things are not done the way they are supposed to be done.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2015 @ 11:06pm

      Re:

      You mean Poisoned Fruit doctrine doesn't apply to scumbags?

      That makes it worse - that the DoJ thinkt hey can just steamroll over any legal inconsistencies in their arguments. But hey, it's only Kim, right? He's an asshole, and laws shouldn't apply.

      ...Think on that the next time you bitch about legal overreach in any circumstance.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 23 Dec 2015 @ 11:15pm

      Re:

      LOL no, he is not facing extradition for money laundering. This whole thing has been about copyright and the US gov't and some of the New Zealand gov't was more than willing to jump into action without any evidence of a crime when Hollywood cried. The problem is copyright infringement is not an extraditable offense so the DOJ added some other extraditable charges in there hoping someone might believe their fairy tale and send him over to the US. The whole thing has just been a complete mess by the DOJ and it's shameful what they are doing to all of those guys.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 1:09am

      Re:

      Money laundering needs illegal money in the first place. You'd have a hard job showing that.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 6:34am

      Re:

      He's being extradited for the money laundering.


      1. Money laundering is only one part of it. Much more focus is on the "conspiracy to defraud."

      2. The "money laundering" charge is ridiculous. Read the details in the ruling. How did they "launder" money? By paying for their servers and paying their own salaries. If that's "money laundering" everyone who owns a business could be deemed money laundering if any part of their business is determined to break the law.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 7:50am

      Re:

      Wait - the DOJ prosecutes money laundering? ... lol

      Apparently they look the other way when big banks are doing it.

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    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 26 Dec 2015 @ 12:48am

      Re:

      You can only launder illegally acquired money. But since this is about copyright, before any copyright violation is proven, you can't have illegally acquired money.

      The only solution would be to first have a civil copyright case in a court in NZ.

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        icon
        Whatever (profile), 26 Dec 2015 @ 6:52pm

        Re: Re:

        Glad you ain't a lawyer!

        Black letter law. You can be charged with laundering money from a source that has not yet been declared illegal if it's part of the same criminal proceeding. So he is charged with illegally selling access to copyright material and then charged with laundering the proceeds of this criminal act.

        You don't have to step through them one at a time.

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    • icon
      Peter (profile), 26 Dec 2015 @ 1:06am

      Re: Money Laundering

      How much money did he launder, then? The only number the DOJ throws around are the $ 500 m Hollywood MIGHT have made if all the movies that have allegedly been shared on Megaupload had been purchased at Hollywood's RRP.

      If the case is about Megaupload subscriber fees, more precisely the fraction of those fees that may relate to subscribers sharing content without authorisation, the case shrinks to a few million at most. Hardly worth the effort the US and NZ governments and their law enforcement agencies put into it.

      More important - if the case is about money laundering, why does the DOJ discuss allegations of file sharing instead of presenting their evidence of file sharing? And what is the MAFIAs role in the money laundering case? Expert witness?

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  • identicon
    Ryunosuke, 23 Dec 2015 @ 10:31pm

    so now what?

    Can we indict Ford, GM, Honda, Toyota, et al. for conspiracy to commit crimes because automobiles are used in criminal offenses EVERY FUCKING DAY?

    How about firearms manufacturers?

    How about Breweries?

    How about Pharmaceutical companies?

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  • icon
    Peter (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 1:12am

    A Christmas Wish ....

    The DOJ and the US government are showing a lot of creativity here to crucify someone who, technically, hasn't really broken a law.

    If they were to bring the same eagerness to prosecuting those responsible for some of the excesses in the war on terror, in police brutality and asset forfeiture, they could really make the world a better place.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 5:29am

      Re: A Christmas Wish ....

      Though I would bet the DoJ has broken quite a few laws in their vendetta against dotcom. I am curious how many international laws they have broken in the process.

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  • icon
    MadAsASnake (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 1:37am

    I've had a short read of this and I too find it a little disappointing. Judge Dawson, in my view, relies too heavily on the DOJ case. The part that struck me was the discussion over Secondary Copyright Infringement and whether it is a criminal offense. The judge accepts that it is simply on the base that Jay Prabhu is the US Attorney General and has signed a document stating that it is. The testimony of one of the top US lawyers in the field with that, and that this should be decided in a US trial, as he says with so much.

    There are other issues that appear problematic, not least the casual disregard law enforcement in both NZ and the US have shown for the law. Aside from the theatrics of the raid, it is clear that much of the evidence was seized illegally and should not be admissible.

    While I am sure a lot of this is allowed for in the extradition treaty, there was plenty there for a questioning judge to be critical of. Shame Dawson lacked the balls.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 5:25am

      Re:

      The judge accepts that it is simply on the base that Jay Prabhu is the US Attorney General and has signed a document stating that it is.

      Bar Grieve Jay if you think he's made a bullshit argument. The ABA model rules state its an ethics issue if you make bullshit arguments....so grieve him for it.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 4:58am

    To sum up

    We have a terrorist criminal gang (the DOJ) seeking revenge on a foreign business because he has not paid his dues (bribes) like the RIAA has. Score one for RIAA. Score negative 10 to DOJ in world opinion for bungled execution. They are forever, lying, duplicitous, douche bags for trying to build a case from thin air based on vague allegations from the RIAA. Whose yer daddy bitch?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 5:25am

    In my opinion he is probably being bribed or threatened.

    I cannot imagine a good judge willing to ignore the law in order to kowtow to a corrupt and criminal government otherwise.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 10:12am

      Re:

      In my opinion he is probably being bribed or threatened.
      I cannot imagine a good judge willing to ignore the law in order to kowtow to a corrupt and criminal government otherwise.


      It's not like NZ is a 5-eyes NSA surveillance partner and the US might a dossier on him or something, is it? /s

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    • icon
      Atkray (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 2:55pm

      Re:

      A good judge, no they wouldn't.

      I suspect you would have a harder time finding a good judge than the FBI has finding terrorists, and they have to fabricate them.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 7:09am

    Pulling at straws

    ----A more plausible explanation could be that these guys didn't want to make their site easy to use for infringement and thus didn't make the material searchable. Instead, that's used against them.

    No, a more plausible explanation is that they knew there was lots of infringing content and if it was searchable it would be easier for content owners to find their content then issue takedown notices. And they know having a search engine was part of Napster downfall and they would like to avoid that.

    I personally don't think it is a crime for them to be aware their site can and is used for infringement, heck that applies to every site that allows users to share stuff.
    I don't think it's a crime for them to take steps to avoid the slippery slope to "inducing" infringement as they have done here.

    If taking steps to avoid breaking the law is a conspiracy then every business on the planet is guilty. That's what makes the conspiracy charges complete BS.

    Is providing a site for users to share stuff a crime? No
    Is not providing a search engine for the stuff users share a crime? No
    Is not giving a crap what your users share a crime? No, if users a breaking the law charge the users.
    Is removing infringing content only when you are made aware of specific instances a crime? No

    That's how I see it, show me an actual crime that they committed.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 8:01am

      Re: Pulling at straws

      No, a more plausible explanation is that they knew there was lots of infringing content and if it was searchable it would be easier for content owners to find their content then issue takedown notices.

      At the same time though one could argue that the very same system that enabled content owners to find their content would make it easier to 'facilitate infringement', increasing how much of it occurred, so by not having a search engine both content owners and potential infringers had a tougher time finding what they wanted.

      MU was really screwed no matter what they did as far as the ability to search the site went. If they had a way to search, then that's 'facilitating/encouraging infringement'. If they didn't, then they were 'trying to hide infringement'.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 4:44pm

      Re: Pulling at straws

      They stood up to the US government. That's the death penalty in most cases, malicious prosecution and or harrassment.

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  • icon
    crade (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 7:29am

    The only way they could be "'invulnerable' to legal challenge" would be to become the govt. Being 100% legal certainly won't protect you.

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  • identicon
    Quiet Lurcker, 24 Dec 2015 @ 7:37am

    The evidence points to the company officers making a good-faith attempt to be legally compliant, yet that is the very evidence the gov't is using against them.

    Ethics violations much?

    Oh, wait. Sorry. My bad. They're the government. They're exempt from those silly rules about ethics and proper procedure.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 8:23am

    Elites gotta protect their way of life dont'cha know

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  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 8:51am

    Last I saw, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and thousands of other websites were rife with infringing content. I guess we should take them all down for conspiracy to defraud.

    Unless the only infringement that really matters is movies and music.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 9:42am

    surely it shows, more than anything else, how those in whatever position, but obviously important, can be influenced to do exactly what the USA entertainment industries mostly the MPAA and RIAA want! it matters not what the law says in the other countries or, for that matter, in the USA, those industries have plied so many with so much, they can get whatever they want! the really shameful thing is, one of the most pro MPAA people is the judge who has been residing on the case in the USA, so he is so biased already, giving the DoJ whatever they want, he should never be allowed to sit on any copyright/file sharing case!!

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  • identicon
    TDR, 24 Dec 2015 @ 10:02am

    I wonder if Dotcom's lawyers can have an investigation begun on both the judge and the DoJ themselves. Put them under the microscope for a change, and when their conflicts of interest and corruption are exposed and proven in court, use that to have the entire case against Dotcom thrown out.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Dec 2015 @ 11:20am

      Re:

      You have hit on a major reason why the DOJ froze and seized his assets, to prevent him hiring anybody to carry out such an investigation.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 11:20am

      Re:

      I wonder if Dotcom's lawyers can have an investigation begun on both the judge and the DoJ themselves. Put them under the microscope for a change, and when their conflicts of interest and corruption are exposed and proven in court, use that to have the entire case against Dotcom thrown out.

      1. No, they can't. And if they could, it wouldn't turn up anything anyway.

      2. There's no corruption here. Lots of people keep claiming that, but it makes people look foolish. No one's getting paid off. It's just that some people are interpreting things in the worst possible light. This isn't surprising. It happens all the time around copyright issues.

      3. Focusing on claims of corruption, rather than the specifics of what's going on smacks of conspiracy theory garbage and makes people take the whole thing less seriously.

      There are legitimate legal issues here. Focusing on conspiracy theories is not helpful.

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      • identicon
        TDR, 24 Dec 2015 @ 4:58pm

        Re: Re:

        How can we be sure the judge wasn't influenced to interpret the information in the way he did? If a judge has a known bias, they should not be allowed to rule on cases where that bias could affect the outcome. And if one tries to, they should be able to be investigated and forced off the case.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 10:18am

        Re: Re:

        2. There's no corruption here. Lots of people keep claiming that, but it makes people look foolish.

        Then what motivation would you propose as the explanation here, considering the revolving door we've seen between the government and special interest groups?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 2:17am

        Re: Re:

        Mike, on this one, I have to respectfully disagree.

        Corruption can take a number of forms, in the Information Age - for example, it could take dissemination of embarrassing photos of the Justice in a compromising position (such as snorting cocaine); it could be a brown envelope full of Benjamins; it could even be outright blackmail, if the district in which the Justice resides is fully elected.

        That said, even the reading of case law isn't in favor of this Justice, in my opinion. The whole DoJ case is based on tainted evidence. Remember in the initial hearing, where the MPAA could cherry-pick the evidence, but wouldn't allow Kim access to his own holdings, for example?

        ...Yeah. This case stinks. IT's a damning indictment of the psychology at the heart of the US.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 5:29am

        Re: Re:

        No one's getting paid off.

        NO one? Come now, blanket statements like that typically are incorrect.

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

  • icon
    GEMont (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 12:04pm

    Conspiracy to commit mass muggery. Legally.

    Methinks this be a "precedent" case, that is, by winning this case, Hollywood has won a set of usable legal means to make its US law enforcement arm chase down and charge just about anyone, for just about anything, using just about any method at hand.

    Since Hollylaw Enforcement has used just about every dirty trick in the book and invented a bunch of new ones in order to destroy Dotcom, if they can pull this farce off in broad daylight without public outcry, then the sky is the limit for all future violations of rights against anyone that pisses off Hollywood.

    Especially considering the bonus they get from all of those phony "trade deals" that increase the public perception of "evilness" of copyright infringement.

    And that methinks, is the plan Stan.

    I think this is what they meant when the Mob said it wanted to use the proceeds of its criminal enterprises to turn legit.

    Not that the Mob would start to obey the laws, but that the laws would be made to obey the Mob.

    ---

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  • icon
    Steve (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 12:16pm

    The US would love to set a range of precedents ti further establish their electronic empire

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

  • identicon
    Judge Dawson, 24 Dec 2015 @ 4:59pm

    I'm crooked, so what?

    Judge Dawson here. So what if I wAs strong armed by the DOJ into making this ruling. What was I going to do, the woman told me she was 18.

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

  • identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, 24 Dec 2015 @ 7:08pm

    A chilling similarity...

    This is scarily similar to the Aereo case, where all the inane steps they took to be in compliance with the law were used as evidence that they must have been breaking the law.

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

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 10:07pm

    Context

    I think the judge got the context right. The real context here is that this is an extradition hearing, and not a criminal prosecution. Just like a civil case, the standards for extradition isn't absolute certainty and a conviction. It's only that the prosecution has some semblance of a reasonable case.

    All that you argue here is guilt or innocence. That isn't the point. Context is VERY important.

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 24 Dec 2015 @ 10:25pm

      Re: Context

      I think the judge got the context right. The real context here is that this is an extradition hearing, and not a criminal prosecution. Just like a civil case, the standards for extradition isn't absolute certainty and a conviction. It's only that the prosecution has some semblance of a reasonable case.

      This is correct, but actually does miss the point. This is not "well, looks like they did something bad, ship 'em off." The key issue is whether or not anything they did actually violated the law in both countries. THAT is the key standard for extradition, and unfortunately, secondary liability is non-existent in criminal copyright. So the argument is that nothing that Dotcom qualifies for extradition, and the judge handwaved around it. I find that problematic.

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      • identicon
        David, 25 Dec 2015 @ 12:12am

        Re: Re: Context

        secondary liability is non-existent in criminal copyright

        That's a technicality that ISDS will do away with. Myanmar is qualified for the trade treaties exactly so that companies may sue for the right of having people like copyright infringement enablers flogged in public.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 6:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Context

          Same goes for overlooking Malaysia's human trafficking just to rush TPP through. Human lives matter less than copyright, it seems.

          Then again, copyrights last longer than humans by seventy years. Maybe it's a mileage thing.

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          • identicon
            David, 26 Dec 2015 @ 12:43am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

            Well, it's really a no-brainer. Humans die under fire and yield under pressure. Copyrights don't. If you are going to conquer the world, what would you rather have your army consist of?

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            • identicon
              Techanon, 26 Dec 2015 @ 5:55pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

              If you are going to conquer the world, what would you rather have your army consist of?


              microbes

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      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 11:34am

        Re: Re: Context

        "secondary liability is non-existent in criminal copyright."

        I think this is where you sort of go off the road on this one. The question of secondary liability is meaningless because the question is that of primary liability - knowing marketing and selling infringing materials.

        I think we can all agree that Kim Schmitz is a pretty bright guy (in his own way). As an astute businessman, you can bet your bottom dollar that he knew exactly what links, what files, and what uploaders were bringing him the most income. It would be a very natural concept to know what people like and to try to give them more of it. In looking at a list of things like name_of_new_movie_rip and name_of_latest_software_with_keygen, you would have to be every so slightly more than ignorant to not know where you are making your money. In fact, you would have to be willfully blind.

        If you are paying out 50k a month to someone for marketing, wouldn't you want to know what people are buying and how the guy is sending traffic to you? Do you not think that at least once in a while Kim or his team mambers would have twigged onto someone being a pirate, and ignored it because it was making them piss pots full of cash?

        One would have to assume that Kim was entirely ignorant to the content of his site, and that nobody at any time every in the company had noted that the most popular content on the site was just about all pirated. It's just not supported by the facts as presented.

        "So the argument is that nothing that Dotcom qualifies for extradition, and the judge handwaved around it. I find that problematic."

        Again, part of the problem here is that they don't have to make the case in NZ, beyond showing that there is enough to merit legal action being taken. They don't have to find him guilty in NZ, only that he could be charged with an indictable offense. Conspiracy to defraud, money laundering, and all that clearly rises to that level. If Kim was so sure his business was legal, why was he (a) operating servers in one country, (b) using holding in another country, (c) living in a third country, and (d) using numerous shell companies in different countries to "extract" the gains away from Mega and out to these shells? Why go to such a huge process on a legal business? MU was already essentially tax free (Hong Kong has no tax on offshore income for corporations), so why work to move the money around like this unless he felt that the income was at risk?

        You don't have to think to hard to realize it doesn't add up. The judge saw it for what it is, a reasonable case with enough doubtful activies and answers to merit a trial in the US.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 3:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: Context

          For Christmas this year, I am thankful that the views of Whatever are the minority and we do not yet live in the 1984 universe. His doublespeak and willful ignorance of any aspect of the law actually being for the good of the many as opposed to benefiting the few. I would love to see these exact charges including the raid and confiscation of goods and property to happen to him just so he can enjoy the irony of learning his entire viewpoint is wrong and always has been. We have gone from being the land of the free where people are innocent until proven guilty to becoming the worst offender for removing rights and preventing innovation. That wasn't by chance, but because of people exactly like him who have been planning and plotting to bring about the changes. The reason you dislike him so much is because he hates everything you stand for and believe in.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 5:13pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

            For Christmas this year, I am thankful that the views of Whatever are the minority...

            Among the citizenry, maybe, but I'm afraid he actually reflects the views of many in the US government. Witness the actions of the US government in this case.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 9:19pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

            "We have gone from being the land of the free where people are innocent until proven guilty "

            Not sure when this was for you, for many it never has been.

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

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            icon
            Whatever (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 9:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

            For Christmas this year, I hope that the Techdirt community can see you for what you are, a nasty person intent on attacking me personally rather than discussion issues. Hopefully more and more people will downvote your hateful, venomous posts and help clean up the community.

            The rest of your post is a pack of lies and misrepresentations. Proof that you are a malicious idiot.

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

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              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 12:15pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

              Um, this is Techdirt, everyone knows what the "community" is all about here...

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

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                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Dec 2015 @ 4:50pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                Go kiss under the mistletoe somewhere else, you pair of spammy fucks.

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        • icon
          nasch (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 7:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Context

          In looking at a list of things like name_of_new_movie_rip and name_of_latest_software_with_keygen, you would have to be every so slightly more than ignorant to not know where you are making your money.

          That would be relevant if he could be extradited for copyright infringement, but that is supposed to be against the law.

          They don't have to find him guilty in NZ, only that he could be charged with an indictable offense. Conspiracy to defraud, money laundering, and all that clearly rises to that level.

          If that had all happened the way the DOJ claims*, but there were no copyright infringement, is it even conceivable that this case would be in the same place it is today? I think not, which straight off raises serious red flags about the whole process. It seems (to this layperson) that the whole extradition case rests squarely on a non-extraditable offense.

          * setting aside for the moment the question of whether paying normal business expenses is money laundering

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          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 25 Dec 2015 @ 9:28pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

            "That would be relevant if he could be extradited for copyright infringement, but that is supposed to be against the law."

            I don't think you understand. Commercial copyright violation is a crime in both countries. Selling access to it (under common law) amounts to a fraud (you defraud the user into paying for something you cannot sell, digital snake oil if you like). Taking the money from that enterprise and and trying to move it to legal ones via sales commissions and other methods is money laundering.

            "If that had all happened the way the DOJ claims*, but there were no copyright infringement, is it even conceivable that this case would be in the same place it is today?"

            The sale of access to copyright material without permission is the underlying crime - it's the illegal act that sets the stage for the rest of it. Kim and his team would have to have been way beyond willfully blind not to know that almost all of their income was derived in this manner. We won't talk about things like playing a copyright movie part of the way through and then demanding payment to download the rest... there is just so much here.

            " setting aside for the moment the question of whether paying normal business expenses is money laundering"

            Paying normal expensives isn't in itself money laundering, unless you are selling those services to yourself at an inflated price to move money away from the corrupt enterprice. If they had 50k a month of real server costs but were paying half a million a month for them, then it's potentially money laundering.

            " It seems (to this layperson) that the whole extradition case rests squarely on a non-extraditable offense."

            That offense is only one of many. It's what creates the situations where the others occur. Pure copyright violation (say someone seeding a torrent from home) wouldn't make it to the level of extradition. But selling access to it and moving the money away to other companies to avoid seizure and legal trouble is an extradition level offense.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 5:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

              I don't think you understand. Commercial copyright violation is a crime in both countries.

              I don't think *you* understand. Commercial copyright violation is not an *extraditable* offense in either country.

              (Or maybe you do understand, but are dishonest)

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                icon
                Whatever (profile), 26 Dec 2015 @ 6:49pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                "I don't think *you* understand. Commercial copyright violation is not an *extraditable* offense in either country."

                Actually, I understand it completely. What you are not understanding is that it's not the offense that is getting him extradited. It's illegal in both countries, and any other bad acts that occur as a result of it may be extradition level offenses. Common law fraud (false representation) in NZ would be. Laundering the proceeds of a criminal enterprise (even if the criminal act itself isn't an extradition offense) is itself valid for extradition.

                It's why you have to pay attention here.

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                • icon
                  G Thompson (profile), 26 Dec 2015 @ 9:09pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                  >> Selling access to it (under common law) amounts to a fraud

                  And here is the real sticking point, and what the appeals should (and most likely will) be based upon. Fraud, or false representations in this regard (though it might be a part of US case law) is NOT part of NZ law.

                  Dawson has done some fancy juggling of outlier cases here that are not IMO contextually relevant at all which means there should be no preponderance whatsoever.

                  Luckily NZ like other common law countries has a great appeal process that is also quick, Federal, and highly unbiased (2 of those are very unlike the USA - you can decide which ones).

                  I'll wait till I read the appeal and any appellate judgments until I make major overreaching statements here,. Though the 'fraud' and highly dubious 'laundering' charges are going to cause lots of handwringing by all sides.

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                  • icon
                    Whatever (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 11:16am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                    Your ideas may hold water if this was a criminal case in NZ, which it is not. Kim wishes like hell the case was being argued there, but it is not. The requirement for extradition is only to show that the extradition level charges are valid in both countries, and that is it. Guilty or innocent under NZ law is not relevant nor is it being judged. The judge has said basically that the charges in the US that merit and extradition meet up with similar NZ offenses.

                    As much as Kim wanted to argue the whole case in NZ, the judge is having nothing of it. He's not there to find Kim guilty or innocent, only that the US DOJ has touched all the right bases and that it all aligns with similar NZ laws.

                    Honestly, if Kim is innocent, don't you think he would have long since come to the US to get this over with? He's arguing in NZ because they have a soft legal system with many ways for people like Kim to delay things for years.

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                    • icon
                      nasch (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 12:12pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                      Honestly, if Kim is innocent, don't you think he would have long since come to the US to get this over with?

                      Nobody is ever railroaded in the US and justice is always served, is that it?

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                    • icon
                      JMT (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 2:50pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                      "Honestly, if Kim is innocent, don't you think he would have long since come to the US to get this over with?"

                      I cringe at the stupidity of this idea every time it's stated, and Dotcom haters just love to repeat it. Being hauled off to a foreign country, probably for years, would have a massive personal and financial cost for anyone. Why would you voluntarily do that if you believed you were innocent and there was a legal process to avoid it? Fighting extradition does not imply guilt, it implies sanity. It you were in a similar situation you'd do exactly he same thing, and it would be grossly dishonest of you to claim otherwise.

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                      • icon
                        Whatever (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 6:36pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                        My fear is that Kim is fighting sort of a proxy war at this point, trying everything under the sun not to even face the charges. Yet, as we have seen, he seems to eventually lose at almost every turn.

                        Meanwhile, he is spending money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. When he gets to the US (and he will, I think), he will complain about a lack of funds. If found guilty, he will forever complain about a lack of money and blame the system (rather than himself) for his wrongdoing.

                        It's sort of like a boxer wearing himself out in the training area before a fight, and getting into the ring already tired and no longer able to fight. So instead of grinding it out in the main event for 10 rounds, he'll end up on his ass in round one too tired to actually put up a good fight.

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                        • icon
                          That One Guy (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 9:38pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                          And of course that lack of fund would have nothing at all to do with how the DOJ first temporarily seized all of his money and assets they could get their hands on, and then permanently took it all when they convinced a judge that Kim was a 'fugitive' for exercising his legal right to fight extradition. Would also have nothing at all to do with the fact that the DOJ has dragged on the case for years, forcing him to pay insane legal fees to his lawyers over that time.

                          Nope, all his fault he might not have enough money to mount an effective defense in whatever joke of a 'trial' they put him through should he be extradited.

                          /s

                          The absurdity of claiming that if he thought he was innocent he'd have come over already is pretty stunning as well. If Kim's fighting extradition, it's probably because he has no reason whatsoever to believe that he would get a fair trial in the US, as everything the DOJ has done so far(lying to US courts, lying to NZ police, willful destruction of evidence and MU) suggests that any trial would be anything but. That's not evidence of guilt, that's evidence of a working brain.

                          To drive home the point even more, as a matter of fact Kim did offer to skip the extradition process if a handful of terms were met, terms which you would expect as a given for any fair trial meaning they would hardly be difficult to grant, in 2012.

                          He said he would willingly go to the US if he and his co-defendants were given a guarantee of a fair trial, money to pay for a defence and funds to support themselves and their families.

                          "They will never agree to this and that is because they can't win this case and they know that already."


                          Last few days of 2015 and the DOJ is still fighting for extradition the hard way. Can't possibly imagine why they might have passed up on an offer like that...

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                          • icon
                            Whatever (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 10:41pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                            I dunno... the courts allowed him access to something like 5 million, and instead of defense, he spent the money on a political party. I can't say that defending himself is top of his list at times. His lives and incredibly extravegent lifestyle for someone who is so desperately poor. I want to be "poor" like him.

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                            • icon
                              That One Guy (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 12:28am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                              Completely ignoring the fact that had the DOJ accepted they could have easily insisted that the living expenses be more moderate and completely separate from legal expenses.

                              He offered to skip the extradition fight entirely if they were willing to agree to basic requests such as guaranteeing a fair trial and allowing him the funds to be able to adequately defend himself in court. That they refused, choosing instead to drag the matter out over years does not speak highly of his odds of receiving either should he be extradited.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 12:55am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                                This quote bears its relevance once again.

                                "Shhh, you'll break Whatever's cognitive dissonance!

                                Weren't you listening? Because of weakened copyright, all art sucks because it's not about creativity and artistic quality, it's all about fame and fortune. However, interesting and creative artists who don't rely on copyright don't count because they aren't famous and rich — and even if they do make good money and have a big fan-base without worrying about piracy, then they still don't count because they aren't worried about piracy.

                                The only people with a valid opinion on any of this are rich, famous artists who are also incredibly artistically talented and creative and also suffer from piracy and are strongly pro-copyright.

                                I'm hoping he'll come join my poker game. House rules are simple: all cards are wild when they are in my hand, also he doesn't get any cards, also he's not allowed in my house."


                                You have to love how he acts like he's not rigging everything in his favor, then pretends to be outraged when he gets called out on it.

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

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                                  icon
                                  Whatever (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 5:28am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                                  It only bears reposting if you being a troll. Hopefully the community will deal with your trolling propertly.

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

                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 4:39pm

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                                    The community has demonstrated countless times that it knows how to deal with trolling. You're mad that it's correctly identified yours and treated it in kind. Go spam somewhere else.

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 12:37pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                      Honestly, if Kim is innocent, don't you think he would have long since come to the US to get this over with?

                      Why would any innocent person be eager to be railroaded? That just makes no sense at all.

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                    • icon
                      G Thompson (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 9:26pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                      >>> Your ideas may hold water if this was a criminal case in NZ, which it is not.

                      I never said it was, in fact its an administrative case that has to abide by criminal structures and ALL procedural fairness principles. Which is why I stated that AFTER all appelate judgements is the time to argue the points you are arguing.


                      >>> Honestly, if Kim is innocent, don't you think he would have long since come to the US to get this over with?

                      The principle of in dubio pro reo (which the US is supposedly all about) states otherwise. And I really cannot contemplate how you could even think that since it is equivalent to the "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear' fallacious argument. It is up to the plaintiff (The USG) which is also the prosecution to prove that all the elements of the extradition are met. In my Legal opinion they are not.

                      They are not trying to argue the criminal case (which it will be if sent to the US), far from it. They are specifically arguing the elements of extradition.

                      >>> He's arguing in NZ because they have a soft legal system with many ways for people like Kim to delay things for years.

                      WTF!!! Soft? you have just insulted the whole of the New Zealand legal system as well as Australia's and to a lesser extent Canada's and England's(UK).

                      Your bias and US Egocentricity is showing!

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                      • icon
                        nasch (profile), 28 Dec 2015 @ 9:51pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                        And I really cannot contemplate how you could even think that since it is equivalent to the "If you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear' fallacious argument.

                        He's willing to propose almost any fallacy in order to support whatever it is the US government is doing.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 28 Dec 2015 @ 11:50pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                        It's a soft legal system... unless it allows for Richard O'Dwyer to be extradited. Then it's suddenly hunky-dory.

                        Whatever is a gutless, lying sack of shit, and it's pathetic that he doesn't even bothered to hide it, then acts surprised when people find out.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 5:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Context

          The question of secondary liability is meaningless because the question is that of primary liability - knowing marketing and selling infringing materials.

          Like knowingly selling and marketing burglary tools (like screwdrivers) or getaway vehicles (like automobiles) while knowing that such items are sometimes used for illicit purposes. Yeah, I see what you mean.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 11:35pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

            except for the simple fact that it is not selling the tool but selling what was taken. Huge difference between the two.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Dec 2015 @ 1:12am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

              Not at all, All Megaupload sold was a service for storing distributing files. The company did not decides what files were stored or distributed. It did pay uploaders based on the popularity of the files with downloaders, which artists were using to make some money from the content that they produced and owned. The latter scared the RIAA and MPAA because it is such a simple concept for allowing artists and producers to distribute their work, and maybe make a living from those works.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Dec 2015 @ 4:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                I am very confident that the big payouts were not going to artists. The rest if your post sort if smacks of pure fan fiction.

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

                • icon
                  nasch (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 6:02am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                  I am very confident that the big payouts were not going to artists.

                  Do you have numbers or is that faith based?

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Dec 2015 @ 7:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

                  I have news for you, not all artists or worthwhile works are published via the AA's. (And I am talking about original works.)

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Dec 2015 @ 10:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Context

          Once again, I refer you to Poisoned Fruit doctrine, which has lots of precedent behind it in both US and NZ law. There is enough doubt about the quality and chain of evidence in the extradition hearing that it should be answered fully first before anything else can happen.

          Unlawful seizure of assets and data destruction in an alleged criminal case by the FBI and GCSB mean that this case shouldn't have even got to this stage under US law and under NZ law at the time. Because illegal evidence doesn't magically become legal.

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          • icon
            Whatever (profile), 27 Dec 2015 @ 11:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Context

            "Because illegal evidence doesn't magically become legal."

            Except that it does. See, part of the problem for Kim here is that the actions in NZ (which were "illegal" mostly because of an incomplete warrant form, and since given a pass by the courts in NZ) don't change the nature of the information collected for the US courts. The legality or not of the NZ search may not end up meaning much in a US court of law, where the information likely would not be suppressed because it wasn't US law enforcement that collected it.

            Essentially, the information does magically become legal in the US, because of where the search occurred.

            Also, any argument of poisoned fruit would be for a US court during a trial in the US. Kim's lawyers at the time tried to argue that the warrant wasn't valid and didn't get much relief on the matter. The courts ruled the searches legal and every appeal on the matter has been shut down and lost.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 1:49am

      Re: Context

      Morally though it is very wrong. If you knowingly send someone to be denied his rights or abused just because the prosecution successfully made a case for extraditing him.

      If you allow harm to come to someone just because it is within the framework of the law is not right.

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

  • identicon
    MAFIAA/DOJ/NZ Judge, 25 Dec 2015 @ 9:58am

    Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

    Yeah, ain't it beautiful?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 10:20am

    holy crap I found am mp3 on google
    Shut em down

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 12:20pm

    You could take a number of these added claims and apply them to many other business' that are considered "legit", such as You Tube and their payback system, software developers used Megaupload legitimatley,

    So what is this, justice based on political correctness? Selective enforcement? Is the court ignoring various attempts by the US to obstruct / tamper with evidence? There's a lot of corporate crime that goes without similar level of criminal charges.

    I think the day is coming that both systems of "justice" in the US will go by different names. This has become a new normal.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 1:50pm

      Re:

      "many other business' that are considered "legit", such as You Tube"

      Speaking of buying off judges...

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 1:54am

      Re:

      the DoJ illegaly went after the sex industry, gun manufacturers and other law abiding citizens they did not like by forcing banks to shut down accounts belonging to people associated with said industries. All because they did not like what these people did legally so they conspired to deprive them of their rights and belongings.

      Operation chokepoint.

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

      • icon
        GEMont (profile), 26 Dec 2015 @ 4:51pm

        Re: Re:

        Actually, that particular "operation" was designed to eliminate the non-complying competition, legally, for members and friends of the USG.

        If the Guv don't get its cut of the profits, then there is no place on earth you can hide your money from their legal wrath and greedy grasp.

        Result: No competition equals quality and pricing control heaven.

        ---

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 12:30pm

    If New Zealand didn't extradite Dotcom, the consequence could very well be the country would end up on USTD's watch list for not having copyright laws up to US standards.

    The US doesn't deserve to be judge and jury for the rest of the world. Does China do the same?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 25 Dec 2015 @ 5:10pm

      Re:

      The US doesn't deserve to be judge and jury for the rest of the world. Does China do the same?

      They very well may someday. And they will hold up the US as an historical example of might making right to justify it.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 26 Dec 2015 @ 1:54am

      Re:

      Or perhaps said country would be bombed without warning for harbouring such a "dangerous" individual.

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

      • icon
        G Thompson (profile), 26 Dec 2015 @ 9:11pm

        Re: Re:

        They have already (the french and the USA) tried that with NZ.. it didn't turn out like they thought it would.. ie: refusal of all US ships in NZ waters, the french were taken to the cleaners etc

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Dec 2015 @ 9:28am

    Looking forward to the circus coming to town.

    I imagine this one will bring some protests. Maybe they'll just do it in the secret squirrel court and we'll never get to have a parade. I'd be very disappointed though. Maybe he can seek refuge in a central american embassy? Nope. He'd pirate T-shirt logos threatening the FTZ labor camps.

    Hmm. Maybe Russia?

    Really I think the DOJ is just pissed nobody listens to the Beatles back catalog anymore. You know, those songs they use during the credits to squeeze that last little squirt of poop out of their copyright holdings?

    Hey DOJ! There is SO MUCH GOOD INDY MUSIC coming out right now, that nobody cares about these crusty old mobsters anymore. Please stop spending tax dollars on stupid shit while AIG execs still walk free.

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


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