The judges in New Zealand’s high court are not ready to kowtow to their corporate masters and government thugs, as the New Zealand judge who was to hear the extradition case of Kim Dotcom to the United States regarding his company, Megaupload, and the mainstream touted “copyright infringement conspiracy” has “stepped-down,” according to the mainstream press, from his position after he referred to the US as the “enemy.”
Kudos to Auckland district court judge David Harvey, who made the comment at a conference in Auckland last week. During a discussion about New Zealand’s copyright laws and trade talks with the US, Judge Harvey, who specializes in internet laws, told the audience: “We have met the enemy and he is [the] US.” Our thoughts must be with Judge Harvey as his courage could put his job and life in jeopardy.
Apparently, Judge Harvey offered to leave his post, although this tidbit of information was not provided to the mainstream press by Harvey himself.
“He recognizes that remarks made in the context of a paper he delivered on copyright law at a recent internet conference could reflect on his impartiality and that the appropriate response is for him to step down from the case,” Jan-Marie Doogue, the district court’s chief judge, said. That there is a such thing as “partiality” is hotly contested in philosophical circles of academia, as each individual on the planet has his own unique life experience, which then gives rise to one’s personal philosophy or worldview.
The US Department of “Justice” wants to bring Mr Dotcom, the 38-year-old founder of file sharing website Megaupload, and many colleagues from New Zealand to the US to face charges of copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering. The latter two means a minimum of 20 years of torture in a prison.
The Megaupload case is one of the largest criminal copyright cases the United States has ever pursed, as its war on free-speech on the internet is kicked up into high gear. US authorities are going with the story that downloads of pirated movies and music through Dotcoms’ platform were, at its peak, responsible for 4 percent of global internet traffic. Obviously, not all of that material was illegally copyrighted, and, furthermore, laws on the books protect a webmaster from users’ actions on his or her website.
The DoJ has Dotcom on the hook for $175m in illegal profits and claims his service has cost corporate propagandous dinosaurs more than $500m.
The case itself has been a criminal exercise by the United States, and many should be going to jail for it – but certainly not Dotcom and his colleagues. New Zealand’s high court ruled last month that the warrants used in January by police to search Dotcom’s luxury mansion on the outskirts of Auckland and seize his assets, including his fleet of luxury cars, were invalid. It then ordered New Zealand’s attorney-general to seek the return from US authorities of copies of Dotcom’s computer hard drives.
The extradition case, once scheduled to take place in August, has been delayed until March of 2013 to allow appeal against the High court ruling. Mr Dotcom, out on bail, recently tweeted about the delay: “Extradition hearing delayed til March. Dirty delay tactics by the US,” he wrote earlier this month. “They destroyed my business. Took all my assets. Time does the rest.”
The implications of this case is widespread for everyone. The MIAA and RIAA have pursued individuals for illegal downloads, asking exorbitant fines. What Dotcom’s case shows us is that, in the future, these individuals could face jail-time. In other words, downloading entertainment could land one with charges of, probably not shoplifting, but theft. We must watch and protest Dotcom’s case closely. He is an awake individual who recognizes the power structure, and wants to fight against it. Here is a recent, heartwarming interview with Dotcom: