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Kim Dotcom’s master class in public relations

Kim Dotcom’s master class in public relations


Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has given his side of the story on TV3’s Campbell Live and it is proving a master class in public relations.


The man accused of being a piracy king made some excellent points during his interview on Campbell Live last night. Kim Dotcom denies being a flight risk because he says everything he owns has been seized by the authorities and he wants to fight the charges.

As he pointed out, there are hundreds of other file sharing websites that do what Megaupload did. They include Mediafire, Filesurf, Rapidshare and others. “We are not responsible for the problem. Where does piracy come from? Piracy comes from people – let’s say in Europe – who do not have access to movies at the same time as they are released in the US. This has been born within the licensing model and the old business model that Hollywood has where they release something in one country but they release trailers around the world pitching that new movie …. If the business model is one where everybody has access at the same time, you wouldn’t have a piracy problem. It really is the Government of the United States protecting an outdated business model that doesn’t work anymore in the age of the Internet.”

He claims that content owners had ways of removing links to any content that they said was infringing copyright. Megaupload enabled them to have “direct delete access” to all its servers and they could remove links to content that infringed their copyright. “So they could access our system and remove any link that they could find on the Internet without us being involved – and we are talking about 180 partners including every major movie studio, including Microsoft and all big content producers – and they have used that system heavily… They had full access.”

One of the biggest contributors of evidence against Megaupload, the Motion Picture Association of America, had never taken legal action against Megaupload during its seven year existence. “If you are a company that is hurt so much by what we are doing – billions of dollars of damage – you don’t wait and sit and do nothing. You call your lawyers and you try and sue us and try to stop us from what we are doing.”

Dotcom says it is because Megaupload was not responsible for the actions of its users. The same United States law that came to YouTube’s defence in a law suit taken by Viacom, the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, shields online service providers from the actions of their users. “We are a lamb compared to what was going on at YouTube at the time.”

He says the amount of traffic going through Megaupload made it impossible to police for copyright infringement. He cited the figure of 800 file transfers every second.

You can watch the John Campbell interview below or here (nearly half a million views in less than 24 hours!).

Kim Dotcom Interview by Turumarth

Whether Kim Dotcom is guilty or innocent remains to be seen but his performance was a masterful exercise in public relations. The instant reaction on Twitter and Facebook showed how effectively he has turned some public opinion his way.

Hayden Raw of The Common Room posted this comparison taken from Campbell Live’s Facebook page.



Here are some Twitter reactions – both for and against Dotcom. There is also praise for Campbell Live for attempting to balance excitable and one-sided news coverage of an issue that has become emblematic of the Internet era and the current war between the legacy content providers and the digital insurgency.











[Screenshot taken from source]



Charles Mabbett works at Radio New Zealand and also edits and writes for SMNZ. He is a former Asia New Zealand Foundation media adviser. He was born in Malaysia and grew up in New Zealand. Charles has been a journalist for over ten years and is a passionate adherent of social media and its potential to change the way we communicate with each other. You can connect with him on Twitter or you can reach him by email at [email protected]

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  1. Bobby232 - March 2, 2012

    Some of the worst pro-piracy folly is being repeated here. “If the business model is one where everybody has access at the same time, you wouldn’t have a piracy problem”.. This is not the case at all. Media creators want to make money from their hard work. Universal availability of media wont change the piracy aspect – it’ll just make it more convenient for people to do so.

    Regardless of whether Megaupload is merely one of many file hosting services that doesn’t alter the fact that it is used for piracy to a huge extent. Their ‘takedown notice’ system, a service for copyright holders to request their material to be removed, is deliberately time consuming and complex – aiding Megaupload’s defense that they respect copyright holder’s right’s but at the same time helping their own business avoid the issue. Emails between Dotcom and his staff show they will do their best to be seen to be doing the right thing while actually paying lip service in their actions.

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