Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (right) is a fan of Kim DotCom (left). Wozniak (known as “Woz” by fans and friends) says the United States should be ashamed for not allowing Dotcom to gather the funds he needs to pay his attorneys (Photo Credit: Kim DotCom).
The entertainment industry (and naturally the United States Government alongside them) sees Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom as a copyright criminal. In fact, they label him as one of the largest in history. MegaUpload, as you may have heard, was removed permanently from the web, and the domain has been ceased by the government. It was a file sharing site that millions of people used every day for sharing and storing legitimate files for themselves, coworkers, and their friends.
MegaUpload is a cloud-storage site that DotCom says was completely legitimate and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. U.S. officials say that DotCom encouraged users to store pirated videos, music, software and other media and then share them with others. He charged for premium services and generated advertising revenue.
The list of people who disagree with the MegaUpload takedown is massive and the list includes Apple founder Steve Wozniak. He recently visited Dotcom in New Zealand to show his support
CNET managed to get a few comments from Wozniak. Based on the quotes, it’s clear Woz supports Dotcom all the way, stating comments that speak sensibility about the case.
“When crimes occur through the mail, you don’t shut the post office down”
Some other great quotes from Woz challenge the ethical decisions and morality of the government, and addresses key problems that have caused such a controversy.
“When governments dream up charges of ‘racketeering’ for a typical IT guy who is just operating a file-sharing service, or accuse him of mail fraud because he said he had removed files [to alleged infringing content] when he’d just removed the links to them, this is evidence of how poorly thought out the attempt to extradite him is.”
“Prosecutors are attempting to take advantage of loopholes. Too bad for the U.S. government that DotCom lives in New Zealand, which is better on human rights.”
There is no solid evidence that he encouraged such activities at all. In fact, Wozniak claims he was one of the most active people he knows that were doing their part to remove such activity as fast as possible. Kim Dotcom was apparently very active in the fight against intellectual property theft.
There is simply no way he can prevent it entirely. The very nature of the site allows users to share content with other people, but that doesn’t mean the site promotes illegal activity. That’s like saying the sporting goods store is responsible for the hunting accident.
“I scratch my head wondering why the studios went after the guy doing more than can be imagined to remove the links the studios wanted removed,” Wozniak wrote. “Heck, I use my iDisk (MobileMe) and dropbox to share files by sending links to friends. They might even be copyrighted materials. I might even send a song in an e-mail to my son, although if I think he’ll keep it I will use the ‘Buy gift’ feature in iTunes. But there are so many legitimate uses to peer-to-peer file sharing and cloud storage.”
Cloud storage and file sharing sites are some of the best creations the web has ever seen. New policies and political pressure from lobbyists representing entertainment corporations has pt an exaggerated need on intellectual property controls. With the constant threat of legislation pulling our freedoms out from under us, it’ll only be a matter of time before the only content on the internet will be their content.
The worse part about Kim Dotcom’s situation, is that he isn’t allowed access to his own money to defend himself. The government has frozen all of his assets, and even though he can have money to eat, he cannot have money to defend himself against the millions of dollars being paid for lawyers going against him.
“How unfair that the United States will allow him living expenses out of his frozen assets but not give him any legal fees. The side with access to the funds spends millions on lawyers hoping the other side goes bankrupt and gives in. Shame on the system that permits this one-sided advantage. Kim is well enough liked and respected that his legal team is working without up-front payment.”
Steve Wozniak understands the importance of free expression and that innovation is being heavily affected by such ridiculous politics. I, for one, wish Kim Dotcom good fortune in his fight for justice. It’s clear the other side isn’t fighting fair. Hopefully his case can turn out favorable for him in the end.
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