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Megaupload founder criticises Hollywood's defence of outdated business model

posted 4 Jul 2012, 03:11 by Mpelembe   [ updated 4 Jul 2012, 03:12 ]

A man accused of heading an internet copyright theft ring claims Hollywood is trying to defend an outdated business model.

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND (JULY 4, 2012) (TV3 NEW ZEALAND) - The suspected kingpin of an Internet copyright theft ring was back in court on Wednesday (July 4) and said Hollywood was trying to defend an outdated business model.

The case against German national Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, is being heard in New Zealand's High Court.

He was one of four men arrested in January as part of an investigation of his website led by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Prosecutors say Dotcom was the ringleader of a group that had netted 175 million U.S. dollars since 2005 by copying and distributing music, movies and other copyrighted content without authorisation. Dotcom's lawyers say the company simply offered online storage.

He is on bail in New Zealand.

U.S. authorities are seeking to extradite him on charges of copyright theft and money laundering.

Speaking to TV3 outside New Zealand's High Court in Auckland, Dotcom said Hollywood was trying to defend an outdated business model.

"Hollywood has placed their own people inside the Department of Justice. Hollywood is one of the most significant contributors to the campaign of Obama and his re-election. So when you look at all of this, I think it's really a very commercial interest by the United States and they are trying to defend an outdated business model," he said.

Dotcom added there were people speaking out in his defence.

"They are trying to make me liable for actions of third parties that have used my cloud storage site. And I think, as you can also see, there are experts speaking out for my defence, including icons, technology icons like Steve Wozniak, who say it's outrageous, it's unheard of," he said.

The extradition hearing for Dotcom and his three co-accused on copyright theft and money-laundering charges is set for August. Under New Zealand law, the alleged offences must be an offence in both countries punishable by a jail sentence.