COATESVILLE, New Zealand — Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom has given his first interview since he was arrested by the FBI over alleged copyright infringement, among other charges.
Dotcom currently is free on bail after a New Zealand judge dismissed an appeal that sought to return him to jail.
He sat down with “Campbell Live” host John Campbell and called his situation “a nightmare” that’s affected his pregnant wife and unborn twins. He called the arrest and criminal charges unexpected for a seven-year-old company that’s maintained an otherwise clean record.
“We have been sued only once, never by any, you know, movie company or big content company and we have spent millions of dollars on legal advice over the last few years and our legal advisers have always told us that we are secure and that we are protected by the DMCA, which is a law in the U.S. that is protecting online service providers of liability for the actions of their users, so it came completely unexpected,” Dotcom says in the interview.
While consuming 1.5 terabytes of bandwidth each month — which tallies to be 800 file transfers every second, “24 hours a day, every day of the year” — Dotcom said it was unfeasible for Megaupload, a small company, to police the activities of its users.
Nevertheless, Dotcom claims to have done his due diligence, by voluntarily making it possible for copyright holders to delete infringing content themselves, resulting in the removal of more than 15 million links, he said.
“Well supposedly, and that’s what everyone believed, is that the law is protecting us,” Dotcom said. “We can’t be liable for actions of third parties, you know? As long as we follow a regime of taking things down that are reported to us, which we have done over all these years, we are protected, according to the law and, you know, I find it very surprising that this is happening because like I said we had legal advice all these years telling us that we are an online service provider and we are not liable for the actions of third parties.”
Suggesting that he’s being persecuted to be made an example of, Dotcom calls out other cloud companies and places the blame of piracy on the government.
“Rapidshare, Filesurf, Filesonic. Microsoft has their own service called Skydrive,” he said. “Google is launching a new service called Drive. Everyone is in this cloud arena, in the same business, has the same problems that we had battling piracy. But we are not responsible for the problem and this is, I think, what everyone needs to understand. Where does piracy come from? Piracy comes from, you know, people, let’s say, in Europe who do not have access to movies at the same time that they are released in the U.S. This is a problem that has been born within this licensing model and the old business model that Hollywood has where they release something first in one country but they show trailers to everyone around the world pitching that new movie but then the 14-year-old kid in France or Germany can’t watch it for another six months, you know?
“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.”