Kim Dotcom… point, counterpoint, discuss

Kim Dotcom posted this video:

and a parodist posted this one

16 Responses to Kim Dotcom… point, counterpoint, discuss

  1. Charles Platt says:

    The entertainment industry saw this guy ripping people off. The industry is accustomed to ripping people off itself. Very little difference.

  2. John David Galt says:

    Whatever you think of the morals of copyright infringement, Kim Dotcom and his company have yet to be tried for any such thing. His business of file storage (aka “cloud provider”) has been destroyed without due process, and his bank accounts frozen so that he can’t even hire lawyers to defend himself.

    Any system that would do this is unworthy of being called American and must be overthrown. Getting our constitutional form of government back (and in the process, getting Kim’s innocent customers their stolen data back) is more important than all the artists in the world.

    I call for a total boycott of Hollywood until this occurs.

  3. Charles Platt says:

    I have a friend (a trader and investment guru) who was pressured by the SEC and FBI to incriminate someone higher up, or else face years in jail for supposedly giving advice on TV that related to stocks that he owned. Unlike most, he chose to fight. By the end of it he had lost his NY condo and was living on a houseboat, but he had put two of the FBI agents in jail for giving false testimony. He won the case but it cost him more than $1 million and took years out of his life. Justice as usual in the United States, unfortunately. Kim Dotcom, same kind of thing, larger scale. I also have two friends who are in the vitamin mail-order business and went up against the FDA. They were threatened with more than 80 years in jail. It took them about 10 years to win their case. Fortunately they persuaded a judge to unfreeze their assets and allow them to run their business during this period. Dotcom, not so fortunate.

    Meanwhile Jamie Dimon walks free.

    Personally I have been boycotting Hollywood for years (they offer nothing of interest to me) but, it doesn’t seem to be working.

  4. Truth says:

    I’m an entertainment attorney representing recording artists, producers, songwriters, etc, and can tell you that MegaUpload would’ve never succeeded if it wasn’t a hotbed for infringing content. I sent hundreds to take-down requests to them on behalf of clients.

    People without any experience in the music industry talk about how labels/publishers rip off artists. While the majors might take a disproportionate share of the income and many execs might have their heads up their asses creatively, they still employ a shit-ton of people and artists DO get paid, some very well. I have clients who work in music part time all the way to guys making $10+ million/year and everything in between, and nearly all of them rely in some way on a major record label or publisher.

    Kim Dotdouche has tens of millions of dollars, mansions, exotic cars, etc., all from a business that earned money by enabling and encouraging the infringement of others’ works. Fuck him and his silly rap.

    • I just find his invocation of “free speech” in this context to be nauseating. Maybe his business was legal, maybe he has been the victim of some conspiracy cooked up by Hollywood, but even if all that is true, this is not a fucking First Amendment issue.

    • Charles Platt says:

      I didn’t see the video as emphasizing a first-amendment aspect. I saw it as being all about money. Music business royalty rates might have been sort-of reasonable in the era when there were large production costs, but no longer make sense to me:


      Artist iTunes Royalty (with wholesale markup)
      $0.99 download single song price to the consumer
      less $0.29 to Apple
      left $0.70 less a digital mechanical royalty of $0.091 cents
      left $0.609 x 130% ( wholesale markup)
      x 12% (net artist net rate) = $0.095

      Artist iTunes Royalty (without wholesale markup)
      $0.99 download single song price to the consumer
      less $0.29 to Apple
      left $0.70 less a digital mechanical royalty of $0.091 cents
      left $0.609 x 12% (net artist net rate) = $0.073

      With respect to mechanical royalties paid for digital distributions of musical compositions, although this may change in the future, record companies in the U.S. have been using a notice of compulsory license when notifying music publishers of their intention to offer digital downloads of musical compositions.

      • Ancel De Lambert says:

        None of that made sense to me. What the flying hell is net artist net rate and how do you calculate it?

    • G Thompson says:

      I agree with you Marc, it’s not a First Amendment issue at all. Mainly since the US constitution doesn’t and should not even come into this situation.

      Though sovereignty laws, equity, reciprocity, and more to the point the absolute Doctrine of Procedural Fairness does and should always come into these case(s) . This situation with MegaUpload and Kim Dotcom should be an absolute embarrassment to anyone in the US legal fraternity and should be placed as an abject example of what not to do when dealing with external jurisdictions. Especially ones where there is a history of co-operation on one hand and pure (with reason) distrust on the other [NZ-US history should of been required reading by DoJ].

      No matter what you think of the company, or it’s figurehead he/they have a right to create these videos and websites to show the world their side of the story. Let the courts and history decide who was doing allegedly unlawful things, because personally I see the allegations of what the US DoJ, FBI, and NZ LEO’s have done to be far worse and illegal instead of maybe unlawful. Even the New Zealand courts agree somewhat it seems.

      Oh and calling him names like DotDouche is not a good way to plead your case since people like myself get the impression that you are the one acting douchy (is that even a word?)

      • Whitehall says:

        The US Constitution Article 1, section 8, clause 8 “To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.”

        One can argue that rap music is not “useful Arts” but the point is finding a balance. I don’t rip music but RIAA suing kids who do is too far the other side.

        I suspect we’ll be debating this issue for some time to come.

  5. Ancel De Lambert says:

    It’s not DEVO, but I was feeling it. The “parody” sucks, too on the nose. It was basically “he’s a douche, he’s a thief.” ad nauseum. You may not like’s message, but at least he put some work and feeling into his song.

  6. Kim Dotcom, you keep using that word, “First Amendment”. I do not think it means what you think it means.

  7. I say bring back indulgences. Seriously, let me pay a fee or a license and be immune from copyright infringement prosecution. We allow mandatory licensing so that one musician can cover another without asking permission, so why not put some provision into law that states as long as I am paying into a fund artists can be compensated out of this fun. Like the Canadians do with their libraries and the Brits do with their TVs.

    I know I’m not like everyone out there, but I have a finite entertainment budget, so I tend to put that cash towards whatever has the biggest bang for the buck. Back in the days of Napster I bought WAY more music than I do now. I don’t know any of these artists these days and I don’t have a good way to discover them. Sure, I can listen free on YouTube, but that place is full of idiots.

    At the end of the day I would love to pay into a fund like ASCAP or whatever and download whatever the fuck I wanted with impunity. Let the lawyers go after the freeloaders.

    It’s the fucking dinosaurs like HBO that don’t realize they can no longer control their own distribution that piss me off. I have to get cable to then subscribe to your service? Can I do it over the internet and buy from you directly? No? Ok, then can I get it in a timely manner so I can participate in current discussions? I’ll even pay a premium if it means I don’t have to subscribe to Fox News and send cash to Rupert Murdoch just to get your product. Oh, I have to wait a year? And then it’s $4 an episode? Screw that. Anymore this just means I fire up Netflix or Amazon Prime and find something from a decade ago to watch.

    Screw HBO. In 2 million years we’ll be using them to power are cars.

  8. regeorge says:

    that parody video is terrible because it doesnt improve or even make a better song.

    mpaa and riaa have shown they will sue their own customers. its a dumb idea, i havent supported them since they started suing teenagers, back in the napster days. ruining lives over a handful of songs? i’m surprised the artists involved havent made more of a stink.

    • I find this idea that the MPAA and RIAA suits “ruin lives” to be a little bit melodramatic. If $3,000 or so “ruins your life” then perhaps the market has spoken about what your life is really worth. If your life is worth less than $3000, then I have very little sympathy for you in any regard.

      Of course there are the high-profile cases in which some people actually did have their lives severely impacted by the suits. However, those were suits where the defendants listened to idiots who told them to fight to the end and that they would eventually prevail. Ms. Thomas and Mr. Tenenbaum can probably attest to the fact that that didn’t work out. But I would say that in their cases, their lives were ruined by their own attorneys and their own intransigence.

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