Kim Dotcom, the owner of the troubled MegaUpload has recently been released on bail and, while he has been enjoying some quiet time with his family, he has taken the opportunity to talk to a local New Zealand TV station for an interview.
It's really worth a watch
since it provides a firsthand account of what Kim Dotcom, and by extension MegaUpload, thinks about the entire lawsuit and why the site has been targeted.
For anyone that has been following the case or file sharing and online piracy in general, there shouldn't be any shocking revelations in there, but Kim lays out the issues in a concise but rather comprehensive manner.
MegaUpload is no different than YouTube
In Kim's view, his site was offering a legitimate service but was facing a piracy problem, just like any other site that enables users to host files or simply post content.
He doesn't believe his site is any different from YouTube and his lawyers assured him that he and the site were covered by the DMCA in the US, which protects service providers from being punished for their users’ actions, provided they enable content owner to remove infringing material.
"Well, of course everybody knows that the internet is being used for legitimate and illegitimate uses. I think every online service provider has the same challenges that we have. YouTube, Google, everybody is in the same boat," he said
Not only that, but Kim argues that the site was not only not required, but actually prohibited by law from actively policing the type of files people uploaded and shared.
He said privacy laws, like the ones in the US, prevented the site from peeking inside people's accounts and files.
180 big companies had direct access to MegaUpload to delete infringing files
But he also makes another very interesting point, he says that not only did MegaUpload comply with DMCA takedown notices, it also offered big content owners the opportunity to directly remove links from the site, with no oversight from MegaUpload.
"What you need to understand here is that we provided the content owners with an opportunity to remove links that were infringing on their rights. So, not only did they have an online form where they could take down infringing links, they had direct delete access to our servers so they could access our system and remove any link that they would find anywhere on the internet without us being involved," he revealed.
180 companies had access to this system, every major movie studio, music labels, software makers like Microsoft, all the big names. 15 million files were removed from MegaUpload via this means, Kim Dotcom revealed.
The US is just protecting an outdated monopolistic business model
When asked why his site was being targeted and about the numbers the prosecution has been putting out, he believed them to be ridiculous and argued that they just needed a scapegoat and a target.
Finally, he makes an argument that many have made before, piracy isn't a problem, the problem is old media companies not giving people what they want and leaving them to find the content that they want via any means.
"If the business model would be one where everyone has access to this content at the same time, you know, you wouldn’t have a piracy problem. So it’s really, in my opinion, the government of the United States protecting an outdated monopolistic business model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the internet and that’s what it all boils down to. I’m no piracy king, I offered online storage and bandwidth to users and that’s it," Dotcom concluded.