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  • Sep 4th, 2015 @ 10:35am

    Interesting, he said.

    I have to say I find this case fascinating, in no small part because it's a clear attempt to create some sort of limit on section 230, at least in an indirect way.

    While there are a number of good legal arguments that lead back to section 230, every one of them is based on backpage being only a service provider who has no control over the content. The reality is that Backpage has a specific series of rules and regulations and continues to support and adult section and adult ads. It's reasonable to assume that Backpage knows the types of services being offered. A cursory glance at their adult section is enough to prove that.

    That backpage has gone out of their way over the years to support these adult ads, and that they make a significant amount of their total income from them perhaps is also a little bit telling.

    I don't think the case will succeed, but it's an interesting swing at the fences. It does perhaps point out that section 230 protects are a bit over broad, and have seemingly expanded to cover all sorts of businesses that might not have been included in the original intent of the law.

  • Aug 31st, 2015 @ 10:35pm

    Re: I thought this was a normal thing for art

    You hit the nail on the head, and pointed out the problem here: Nobody is suing anyone. That part of the story is an amplified supposin' made by another site and repeated here with a big more vigor.

    The reality is Getty has pointed out that their image was the basis. But since painting is not done by digitally manipulating an image but rather by looking at and reproducing certain aspects of an image, it's generally considered a transformative use.

    Many painters work from photographs, rending them in their own way as a painting.

  • Aug 14th, 2015 @ 11:33am

    Re: Re:

    Mason, let's fast forward a bit and look at what you just said in modern terms:

    "The purpose of copyright was to keep abusive publishers from putting authors out of business by printing and distributing their works without compensating the authors."

    With digital copying, high quality printers on every desk, and the software to make it all happen, have the public themselves not just taken the place of the publisher?

    Think about it. The issue with publishers really existed because they had the ability to print and distribute books in ways that others could not. Today, the majority of the public has the equipment to take the same actions, printing and distributing works without compensating the authors. Are things really that different? If the bad acts of a publisher back in the day was enough to harm an author, would not the concerted actions of the public be generating the same net result?

    "The idea that someone would create something that adds to our culture and then actively try to prevent it from being added to our culture was as absurd"

    I don't think anyone is trying to stop things from entering the culture. Rather, I think that the common mistake is to assume that having something enter into the culture can only happen when the author or creator is effectively stripped of their rights. That is not the case at all.

    As an example, we as a people didn't need to have endless playback of the Ed Sullivan show for it to enter into our culture. We didn't need to have torrents of the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson to have it in our culture. We don't need to download the latest SouthPark offering for it to be part of our culture - a goodly chunk of people watch every episode and can quote many of them from memory. For that matter, do we each need our own digital perfect copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail before the Knights who say Ni could enter into culture?

    The answer is obviously "of course not". A book being protected by copyright and having the author decline to to new editions printed doesn't suddenly rip it out of the culture. It's already there. It's already out there, being discussed, being sold and resold, lent, borrowed, and signed out of the library in all of it's existing versions. The author doesn't have a magic button to push to make all of the existing copies turn to dust or spontaneously burst into flames.

    Culture isn't about having your personal copy. You and I can talk about a TV show we both watched last night (OTA, example) or a sports competition we enjoyed on TV or in person. Not having a copy or not having access to full perfect digital copy with replay in it doesn't suddenly make it impossible for us to discuss it as part of our culture.

    Copyright also doesn't exist to "ensure that creative works actually reach the public". It exists to " promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts". Progress could happen if something is shared only with a very small group, or only one person - or for that matter, if a new book by an author is never distributed because the author chooses not to release it, but uses that book as inspiration for their next great work, have we not seen progress?

    To suggest that progress is only made when a bread and circuses mentality is satisfied is to entirely miss the point. Progress does not have to occur only in the public eye.

  • Aug 10th, 2015 @ 9:15pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's not hard to see all sorts of advantages for both Google and Alphabet. These are both financial and legal.

    First and foremost, having everything under one company means that any legal risk in any part of the company is a combined and global risk. So as an example, if the sugar detecting lenses turn out to make people blind, the legal obligation would under the old structure go back to Google as a whole. Now, it would be Alphabet, and Google would be much more insulated.

    The structure also makes it easier to break off pieces and handle them uniquely. That means you can lose the failing businesses, sell under performing units to others, and also take successful projects public, perhaps on a more individual case basis.

    My guess at this point is that the "new" Google will be at some point chopped off of Alphabet, and listed publicly on it's own. Alphabet would still be the majority owner, but in legal terms the separation would be complete. Basically current shareholders would end up with shares of Google and shares of Alphabet, and the two listings could go from there. They could use this move to create the arms length separation between their business units, creating a very powerful defense against anti-trust.

    For what it's worth, it would allow Google (the search company) to sell those top spots to whoever pays the most, and not keep the always in house. I think that Alphabet has come to realize that many of their projects are not as successful as they should be in part because they don't have to fight for eyeballs or attention. If they actually had to pay for that traffic at a level similar to what other companies might pay Google, they may not be so successful. That might lead to actual innovation and development to make the products better.

    This could also lead to an improved bottom line for Google (the search and ad company), as they would be freer to develop new ad spots without having to worry about supporting their own in house products.

    I think of all of this as a mature strategy for Google. It's not unreasonable to consider that at some point in the future, Google will fall like every other search engine before it has. By breaking the parts up, Alphabet can work to develop it's own future without being tied to the search mothership, and produce long term value for shareholders. At the same time, it may encourage the search team to getting back to providing the best search results, and not the best results for Google companies.

  • Aug 10th, 2015 @ 12:24am

    Amusing story, but you need to get out more.

    Let's look at this story more clearly, shall we?

    A threat was made via an internet connection, which was shown to be a given residence. The threat was significant and suggested a real danger, someone saying they would attack police with intent to kill.

    The police did their job to find where the threats were coming from, and taking those threats seriously, they got a warrant and raided the house.

    In the real world (if you got out into it) you would know that police don't generally politely call up someone and go "is there an insane person with a gun in your home wanting to kill police?". If there was such a person, they would likely be alerted and leave the location and possible head out to execute their plan. Getting a warrant and raiding the place is perhaps the best choice under the circumstances.

    Police also don't generally show up knowing on the door asking a similar question. If the person was in the home, they are very likely armed and dangerous. Therefore, raiding the place under the circumstance is generally the safest way to do thing.

    Getting upset about who got handcuffed is to not understand how a raid is executed, generally everyone in the location are "secured" and then the process of figuring out who is who and who is good or bad is sorted out. They can't stop when they get to the first person and have a nice long chat, while others potentially armed and dangerous are in the location.

    So what's left? An open internet connection, and someone with band intention. Not much different from leaving your home unlocked and having someone call 911, when you think about it. The granny here needs to bare at least some of the responsibility for this happening.

    I honestly cannot see another way the police could have moved forward safely and in a timely manner to try to stub out a serious threat. Had they ignored it or just given it over to an investigative unit for follow up laterm and the person had in fact been serious, then this would likely be a story about lazy cops who didn't take action.

    No winning, right?

    Sucks for Granny. Lock your doors and secure your WiFi, the problem ends there. The cops didn't do anything particularly wrong in raiding the place, IMHO.

  • Aug 6th, 2015 @ 2:59am

    Re: Ambiguous meaning?

    It's one of the reasons why the hand waving in the story doesn't make a lot of sense.

    The text is specific and correct, as it covers both sides of the deal. That is both the signal and it's content as presented by the station including logos, local news, whatever, and the shows. In order to rebroadcast you would need the permission of both the station and the content creator. In the US, the content creator part is handled via the copyright licensing setup that exists for that purpose.

    The clause isn't stupid at all. It's very clear.

  • Aug 4th, 2015 @ 11:39pm

    Re: Re:

    Happy August everyone.

    Stories like this are why I generally take Techdirt like TheOnion at times... because you can't imagine them writing stuff like this with a straight face.

    Regardless of source, if you republish a defamatory or libelous statement or article, you are responsible for it. It doesn't matter that someone else wrote it first, you are still the publisher.

    The same general rules apply pretty much everyone in the world, including in the US. Don't let anyone fool you, even the EFF knows it.

    Putting "on the internet" on the end of something doesn't magically make it exempt from the law, especially when the law is reasonable.

  • Jul 24th, 2015 @ 11:44am

    Re: Re: Re: Money laundering?

    "As for the system of companies, I'm not sure if this is particularly less ethical than the double irish and a dutch sandwich tax evasion scheme, or Bain Capital's company-acquisition-bankrupting scheme or the credit-overexertion scheme that caused the real-estate bubble or the LIBOR misinformation debacle that did a bit to wreck the entire world economy, yet there were no SWAT-style raids on anyone's houses, nor extradition issues on the accounts of any of these affairs."

    Actually, it is significant because it shows intent to move money from a potentially lucrative but likely illegal enterprise (hosting and selling access to the works of others without permission), and getting that money into companies who could claim to be "just marketing companies".

    The double irish thing is abhorrent, but it was at the time "the law". I was tasteless but legal. That has since been blocked for the most part.

    "Even if Dotcom is guilty of copyright infringement that doesn't justify ICE's raid."

    They didn't raid him for copyright infringement, they raided him for the multi million dollar money laudering scheme he appears to have been running.

    "Regardless of what Dotcom has done, what the DoJ has done is far, far worse, and reflects on what they'd do to you or me, if ever someone in their ranks wanted to destroy us."

    yeah, total bastards, trying to stop a criminal and all. They really should just sit down and shut up and let people like Kim continue to rip people off and profit from it. Total bastards for trying to do something about it.

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 6:59pm

    Re: Money laundering?

    "I assume there is evidence of actual money laundering on Dotcom's behalf?"

    "But feel free to point to sources that you think vindicate your story."

    You can go read the charges as filed, I am sure there is a link to them around here somewhere. The complaint is based on Kim setting up a number of shell companies to market and promote access to the Mega site in order to gain access to copyright material illegally, and then having Mega pay those companies a handsome commission on every sale.

    The basic theory is to have a way to move the vast majority of the money away from the company which breaks the law (copyright), and move it to companies who didn't have any DIRECT control over the content of the site. That launders the money away from the illegal activities and puts it in the hands of "marketing" companies, clean and out of reach of any civil actions taken directly against Mega.

    Kim Dotcom is a criminal, twice convicted of financial malfeasance. In this case, he is so far not been found guilty, but his actions are similar to those in a past instance where he ended up being found guilty after trying to use another country's laws to shield himself from prosecution in Germany. The result there was being found guilty in Germany and being banned for life from Thailand.

    So yeah, he's a criminal, twice over. Third time lucky?

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 6:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    Nice personal attack! How quaint.

    The US justice system isn't perfect. It's a court of humans by humans, and will never be absolute in it's standing. It is however a system with many checks and balances, many levels of appeal, many benefits to a defendant that just does not happen in many other places on the planet. No matter what you read online, no matter what the judge wrote, the court system of the US is as far from banana republic stuff as you can get.

    If that's drooling, well, get me a towel to mop up the mess.

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 6:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    "I'm sorry, but using the law to defend yourself is not an admission of guilt. Your respect for the law depends entirely on who is weilding it. Everything Kim does legally is wrong, yet everything the good old U.S. Government does legal is right. "

    I'm sorry you get that impression. I am only saying that, like Tenenbaum and a few others, Kim seems to be playing his cards in the manner of someone who smugly thinks he can avoid prosecution through various legal arguments that don't appear to be very sound.

    I don't say that "using the law" is an admission of guilt. However, for someone who has "used the law" in the past to try to avoid prosecution in his home country, it seems there is a pattern to Kim's actions. He has tried everything possible under the sun inside the NZ courts to try to stop the extradition or to relocate the case in some manner to NZ. He has so far failed across the board. There is a point (undefined by clearly evident when it happens) that the "using the law" becomes more of an attempt to use the system to be a fugitive from justice. Kim passed that point IMHO a long time ago.

    The US has a lot at stake here, as do many other countries. The question is one of sovereignty, and the rule of law over it's own citizens. Kim tried to both do business in the US with US customers, and act at the same time as above the US law because of his physical location. This is more than a question of prosecuting a money launderer, it's about the bigger question if a country has legal stake in the purchases made online by their citizens.

    I don't personally find the US government's actions questionable, I find them inevitable. There is a point where the question of where a countries laws start and stop in regards to internet commerce must be answered. It had to happen. Kim is playing out his hand possible to the best of his abilities, knowing that with the data in their hands, the US DoJ is very likely to win any case if he makes it in front of a judge. He is trying like hell to try not to have to face that judge in a US court. He has put up an incredible battle, but he is running out of options and legal arguments that are not frivolous.

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 12:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    "Hardly. As far back as 2012 Dotcom offered to skip the extradition fight entirely if the DOJ simply allowed him access to sufficient funds to defend himself, along with living expenses, and guaranteed a fair trial. Take a wild guess what the response was.

    The DoJ refused."

    What Kim wanted was a special deal. He wanted to be able to use the money generated by the (alleged) criminal enterprise to defend it. Moreover, his version of "living expenses" is enough to make most of us cry, he spends more in a day than many of us spend in a month or even a year.

    Poverty shouldn't be his issue. While crying about a lack of funds for his defense, Kim has spent untold millions on both a political campaign and attempts to launch his music career - both of which have proven to be major failures. The price tag for that stuff is anywhere from 5 to 10 million. I don't know about you, but I could mount a pretty good defense starting with that type of funding. Further, had he not fought extradition, he like could have saved millions more that have been spent on solicitors in NZ.

    "No, it really isn't, not when it involves barring someone from effectively defending themselves."

    See above. Kim has proven to have no control over his spending or lifestyle.

    As for the "fair trial", everyone in the US generally gets one, no matter how hard some people try to paint it otherwise. There are thousands of cases heard in the US each day, and the US justice system is actually one of the fairest and most balanced in the world, biased heavily towards the defendant for the most part.

    "Going to court costs money, lots of it, and only allowing one side access to funds takes an already tilted 'justice' system and makes it entirely one-sided, with one side having effectively unlimited funds, and the other effectively nothing."

    Two things. Number one, you can't outspend the government, not in any way shape or form. The notion of a fair trial being based entirely on the size of a bankroll is absurd. The quality of your lawyer or legal team may differ based on what you are willing to pay, but that does not change the basic fairness of the legal system. That Kim has wasted more than enough money to mount a spectacular defense goes a long way to show that he never had any intent to come to the US to start with. My guess is that given access to all of his funds, he would have found a way to spend every penny of the ill gotten gains in his defense, so that nothing could be recovered.

    "No, it really isn't, not when it involves barring someone from effectively defending themselves. If the government, or other agencies, are allowed to strip someone of their funds merely by accusing them of being guilty, then defending yourself against charges becomes all but impossible. "

    All Kim has to do is come to court and show that some, part, or even all of the funds are the result of legitimate businesses and investments made that do not come from the poisoned tree. He doesn't even have to do it in person, he just needs his lawyer to show up and do it. Yet, it seems that Kim cannot produce anything that goes against the claims of the government, and thus forfeiture has been granted.

    The issue isn't the US government getting uppity, no matter how hard Mike and others try to paint it. Kim could have gotten on an airplane 3 years ago, and the case would already be done and dusted by now. As an innocent man, he would have all of his funds, and potentially an interesting legal claim against the US. As a guilty man, he would probably be service 10-20 years with full forfeiture of all of his assets, and a long series of civil suits on top.

    Kim doesn't want to take the risk. Kim is unable to explain where much of his money comes from outside of the Mega situation. He seems unwilling to make that argument in a court of law.

    Remember, they all have access to THEIR money, just not the money generated by the alledged crime. We don't let bank robbers use the money they stole to fund their defense. Why should Kim get special treatment?

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    " He's exercising his right to defend himself and prove the accusations are false. "

    Actually, what he has been trying to do is get the entirety of the case heard in NZ as the basis of extradition, and that has entirely been shut down by the NZ justice system.

    " You are lynching the criminal before even knowing if he really committed the crimes he was accused of. "

    Not at all. He can come to the US and have his day in court. In fact, if he had done so 3 years ago and was in fact innocent, his problems would already be over. The amount of effort he is putting into remaining out of the US is enough to make one think perhaps he knows that if he actually has to go to court on the underlying charged, he will lose big time. I don't know his thought process, except to say that he is working extremely hard to avoid having to face justice.

    Remember, extradition has nothing to do with guilty or innocence. The NZ courts are in no position to rule on that. They can only decide that the US has presented them with a valid extradition warrant, that the charges are covered by treaty, and that they have some semblance of a case.

    " But he believes the accusations are false so he is fighting them through perfectly legal means. "

    I think he knows he is guilty as sin, and is fighting extradition because once he loses this (and he most likely will) it will be all downhill from here.

    "So you are delusional like that without money involved. Wow."


    "Where are the convictions? Where is the irrefutable evidence? "

    Kim has been convicted twice already in his life. He spent a significant amount of time in Thailand AS A FUGITIVE from German justice before finally being expelled from the country - he is banned for life. He is without a doubt a very smart person in some ways, he is also a twice convicted felon. I have an opinion as to whether he is innocent or guilty, and I also can look at his past acts and see them repeating in this case. I might have a somewhat different opinion if he was not a previous convicted felon with a history of trying to hide out behind other country's legal systems to avoid prosecution.

    The forfeiture, well it's not uncommon in criminal cases with large amounts of "ill gotten gains". The US authorities are pretty much spot on when they say it's likely that Kim would make most of it disappear if he had half a chance.

  • Jul 23rd, 2015 @ 11:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    "Because what he's accused of, "copyright infringement" would usually be under civil law."

    Not true. He is charged with money laundering, which is a crime in both countries. Commercial copyright infringment generally is also a criminal offense and not just a civil one.

    "ut the US insists, because he might have done "aiding and abetting copyright infringement" on a massive scale, its now a crime. Which is not even undisputed in the US itself. "

    There is actually little debate here. The question isn't the copyright infringements in and of themselves, but rather (a) knowingly selling access to the infringing material, and (b) creating a series of shell companies to collect "commissions" on these sales with intent to launder the ill gotten gains created in A, so that even if the site was shut down, that Kim could have retained the money. He didn't bank on anyone dealing with the web of companies created and pinning him down on the movement of the money.

    Money laundering is a criminal act in both NZ and the US. Kim has tried very hard to make everyone think this is only about copyright violations. That is so far from the truth, but clearly you have bought it.

  • Jul 22nd, 2015 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    "How about you read the first line carefully. To be a fugitive, he would have had to have been in US custody, and fled from that, which, as far as I am aware, never happened."

    Read it again. Two separate sentences. He didn't have to be in the US to flee US arrest.

    "Two problem wrong with this. First, is that even you admit that his actions in fighting extradition are legal, yet you seem to see no problem with him being punished for exercising a legal right. "

    Kim has far exceeded his legal rights, making motions in NZ to change the very nature of the extradition hearing, trying to turn it into a full blown court case to judge his innocence or guilt. He ran that one all the way to the NZ supreme court and got decimated. Every action he and his legal team have made have been to avoid the extradition hearing actually concluding with a ruling. AFter 3 plus years, this is no longer a "legal right" thing, it's about trying to exhaust the legal system and put unreasonable delays into the process. It is the same hand he played out in Thailand a number of years ago, just done on a larger scale.

    There is a point where his continued efforts to tie the NZ legal system in knots becomes an attempt to remain at large, a fugitive of the American justice system. The case has been there for 3 years waiting for him. How many more years should they wait before considering he might not be showing up?

    "Second, the ones who screwed up the extradition request was the DoJ, not Dotcom. If they had sufficient evidence to show that he would be convicted, and were able to show that he would get a fair trial if extradited to the US, Dotcom would have been shipped over years ago. "

    Incorrect. That is Kim's argument, which has been shot down in the NZ supreme court. Kim wanted all of the evidence to be brought to NZ and to essentially have a full trial before extradition. That isn't how extradition works. He wants to put the US justice system on trial. That falls flat because the US justice system is generally one of the better ones out there (like it or not). The NZ courts have heard the arguments and dismissed them, they will not try the case in NZ.

    "In attacking someone you accuse of breaking laws and 'stealing' millions, you're defending the actions of people who have, and continue to do, both. Might want to get those standards checked."

    The US government is working within the laws of the US, ones which have passed constitutional muster. They aren't stealing anything, they are seizing it so that the ill gotten gains cannot benefit the accused. The only person prolonging this issue is Kim himself, hiding out as a fugitive in another jurisdiction trying to use that legal system to block the US, which was his intention all along in setting up shop there.

    I have no problems with my standards, I am not defending a twice convicted felon and past fugitive from justice.

  • Jul 22nd, 2015 @ 8:21pm

    Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    Second: Legal recourse is fine. Attempting to fight extradition is fine. However, understand that even if he wins his extradition case (unlikely at this point), he will still be a fugitive. His actions in the extradition hearings (including trying to get the entire case moved to NZ) has been nothing more than time wasting efforts. Endless delays means that Kim has spent millions of dollars trying to keep himself from even facing the US courts. so...

    Kim has made his choices to spend his money on a legal battle in NZ and not in the US. If he arrives in the US entirely broke, it's really his own fault. He could have easily just accepted the extradition and fought the legal battles in the US, which potentially would be already over by now. Instead, he has spent millions trying to avoid even getting to the US to face the legal issues.

    "As for getting the same treatment as druglords and organized crime... Seriously? That's your argument there?"

    Considering the amounts of money involved, the size of his criminal enterprise is significant and not unlike a drug lord or other organized crime figures. We are not talking pennies here, we are talking something between 100 and 300 million dollars. This isn't some torrent site operator who took in a few bucks to pay his hosting.

    " he's not saying "forfeiture shouldn't have been used here". He's saying that asset forfeiture is a flawed procedure, and it's easy to abuse. For anyone. It sounds like, even in case of actual fugitive, he doesn't think it's "due process"."

    What due process are we talking about here? Should the US stand back and allow Kim to continue to enjoy the benefits of his (alleged) crimes, thumbing his nose from afar and spending that money to further delay or avoid facing justice? The delays of due process here are entirely the makings of Kim and his legal team. Securing the ill gotten gains and assuring they are not used to further the criminal's interest is a valid and reasonable concept here. Again,we would not allow a bank robber to keep the money he acquired during his criminal acts to pay his legal fees, why should Kim get any bigger benefit? If you think of it as evidence seized, you get a better idea of the logic to the process. If Kim had justifications for the money that didn't involve the corrupt businesses, you can be sure his lawyers would be in court arguing that point. They aren't arguing it because they know it's not true and they would lose outright.

    Separating a criminal from his loot, no matter the type of crime, is almost always in the public's interest. In Kim's case, it's even more important so as to avoid the likelihood that he would go on the lam given half the chance. Remember, this is the guy who hid out in Thailand to avoid German authorities, and that was for a significantly smaller and less important charge. You don't think that Kim would be on a private plane to Equador tomorrow if he could? he would do it in a flash, I am sure. It's why his conditions in the NZ include not getting on boats, helicopters, and so on. Nobody wants him to act as he has in the past to avoid his legal issues.

  • Jul 22nd, 2015 @ 8:07pm

    Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    Oh Ninja, you are such a dork sometimes!

    POTUS is the end of the line for justice in the US. They don't MAKE the laws, the interpret them and assure that they are applied within the bounds of the constitution. If they are fine with law, then it's the law, unless it gets changed by the congress and of the people. The law as it stands meets all standards of the constitution, as far as they could see. I don't think that POTUS is a Nazi regime. If you do, perhaps you should visit a shrink.

    Dotcom is a fugative. Look at this from Wikipedia:

    "A fugitive (or runaway) is a person who is fleeing from custody, whether it be from jail, a government arrest, government or non-government questioning, vigilante violence, or outraged private individuals. A fugitive from justice, also known as a wanted person, can either be a person convicted or accused of a crime, who is hiding from law enforcement in the state or taking refuge in a different country in order to avoid arrest in another country."

    Read the last lines carefully. He is in another country, trying to avoid arrest. He's continued legal maneuvers to stop the NZ courts from answering the simple extradition warrant are signs of someone trying very hard to avoid arrest - the very definition of a fugitive.

    " the forfeiture system was created to deal with the fact that the Government couldn't get said drug lords with their pants down."

    Actually, the system was created so that the drug lords couldn't profit from their ill gotten games and use it to fuel legal challenges, bribes, and other roadblocks into their cases. In Dotcom's case, it's a clear one: He's only "rich" because of the activities the US government has charged him with. There is no reason he should be able to use that money to try to buy his freedom. We don't let bank robbers keep the money they stole to pay for a lawyer, why should Kim get any better?

    "Why should he face the US justice system if he is in New Zealand?"

    You just answered your own first question. If he wants to hide out in New Zealand, then he is a fugitive from US justice.

    " Does that mean Iran can prosecute American citizens that were less than courteous to Mohammed in America? Can't you see the madness of that idea?"

    I see no madness in Kim conducting business with American citizens and then being asked to face the legal consequences for doing so. Your logic would allow people to sell American citizens illegal weapons and drugs from outside the borders, and as long as they never actually personally enter the US, be totally free from legal obligations. Let's tell the car companies, Honda and such will start selling cars from just over the border so they don't have to be subject to recalls... after all, that's just US law, right?

    "Which is his right given his business is based in goddamn NEW ZEALAND."

    Actually, his businesses were based all over the place, including Hong Kong and other tax havens. The issue isn't the theoretical place of business, but that he offered services in the US to US citizens. He conducted business in each and every of the states, and accepted payment for services rendered to people in those states. Your argument would work only if people had to physically go to New Zealand to download files. That is not the case. He sold access to Americans directly, thus making him subject to US law.

    "He hasn't attempted to flee NZ and has cooperated as possible."

    He can't leave NZ, because they would revoke his visa in a second if they got the chance (you know, the visa obtained apparently with lies and potentially bribes).

    "Actually it is working. He scored quite a few important victories."

    Most of his victories are reversed later on. Data? That was a huge victory, for a short period of time. The courts ordered it released to the US... so much for that victory.

    "Which displeased your overlords at the US"

    See, this is where you need to get back to the shrink's office for medication. I have no overlords. I am not even a US citizen or resident. I don't answer to them or anyone for that matter. It's your way to try to put someone in a box so you feel better about slamming them.

    "You are a rather despicable person."

    Yeah, I am really horrible, hating that Kim got rich on the back of others, that he is on his third go around with breaking the law, and that he used all sorts of mechanisms to try to avoid legal liability including relocating to a country where he felt the US couldn't get at him for copyright violations. Yeah, it really sucks that I think a criminal should be treated as one. Sucks, doesn't it?

  • Jul 22nd, 2015 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re: Think of this as August.

    Actually, the US has lost very few times in this case, almost all of the losses have been reversed by higher courts. Kim in the meantime has face repeated losses in front of the courts, and recently suffered the biggest one, which is that all of that data can now be legally exported to the US authorities without issue.

    Basically, any wins on Kim's side generally lead to more losses.

  • Jul 22nd, 2015 @ 9:41am

    Think of this as August.

    Sorry, can't stay out of this one, the bullshit is just too think.

    First off, forfeiture has been given a pass by POTUS already.

    Second, Kim Dotcom is a fugitive. Rather than hiding out and avoiding his day in court, he is using the New Zealand court system to accomplish the same goal by appealing every ruling, no matter how small, until it gets to the top of their court systems. He has done so for three and a half years, and looks like potentially he could drag the whole thing on for years to come, just based on more appeals and frivolous motions (most of which he keeps losing).

    Third, Kim has a past history of hiding out in foreign countries to avoid prosecution, even attempting to fake his own death while in Thailand avoiding the German authorities. His game back then was pretty much the same as it is today.

    Third, the concept of asset forfeiture isn't unique to this case. Kim got rich off of the crimes he is charged with. There is plenty of legal standing for making it hard (if not impossible) for a defendant to use his ill gotten gains to fuel his defense on the crimes which generated those funds to start with. Remember, this is a money laundering case, which is not a civil matter, and even the copyright infringement is both a civil and criminal act as well.

    Kim is getting the same treatment that drug dealers, crime lords, and other members of organized crime get. If found innocent, he will be able to reclaim all of it. However, that requires something that Kim is loath to do: turn up in a US court and face the charges.

    Much of what is going on now is related to Kim's attempts to block extradition and to avoid facing the US courts. I understand what he is trying to do. Trying to avoid the justice system at all costs is the name of the game here, he was hoping perhaps to drag it all out so long that the US would give up, or that New Zealand would allow him to thumb his nose from afar, protected by their courts.

    It's not working. Even if he succeeds in the courts, it's likely that the government of NZ will move to deport him (likely directly back to Germany), as his visa application (and it's process) seems to have been rather tainted and not in the interest of the NZ people.

    The US won't walk away from this one, Kim will at some point have to face the courts. The only question remaining seems to be if he will have spent most of the money before he gets there, or before they lock it up out of his reach.

  • Jul 8th, 2015 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: No

    1 billion individual actions are just that, individual actions.

    "how are we as a society, humanity are any better by copyright locking it away? "

    It's not locked, is it? Your example is 1 billion people translating it if they so desire, to whatever local dialect they want. The work is published, and people are free to enjoy it. It's not locked.

    What is "locked", as it were, it the ability for a third party to use and profit (in any manner) from translating it and offering it up as part of their own site. Even then, the site could have provided a direct Google translate link and been done with it, while highlighting key points on their site about what people could read in the translation - which would have added to the discussion and made us, as a people, richer with more information and perhaps another view to make us think.

    The goal of copyright is to "better" society, in part by encouraging new works rather than rote replication. It grants a benefit and a form of ownership to those who create new works, and stops others from merely copying. Had the site which posted the translation instead used the space for review, opinion, or adding information to the story, we would as a people be better off and gained improvement. Just translating, in a time when technology can do that fairly well, isn't anywhere near the benefit that additional voices, opinions, and information would be.

    and on that, I shoo shoo. Have a wonderful summer Techdirt, don't let the kool aid knock you down!

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