Printing-ink veterans don't take cyberspace journalists too seriously - Roy Greenslade, Guardian Online
FILE SHARING MAGNATE Kim Dotcom has written an open letter to Hollywood.
The US entertainment industry thinks Dotcom is bad news and it has influenced US law enforcement to attempt to drag him out of New Zealand and into American courts to face serious charges that range up to racketeering. He is fighting those allegations somewhat successfully, and while that all remains in some doubt has announced plans to launch a successor to Megaupload. Mega, as it will be called, will launch next month.
Until then Dotcom has told Hollywood not to be frightened of the internet, or of growth, or progress, and warned the entertainment cartels that leaving its customers out in the cold will only harm it.
"The Internet frightens you," he writes. "But history has taught us that the greatest innovations were built on rejections. The VCR frightened you, but it ended up making billions of dollars in video sales. You get so comfortable with your ways of doing business that any change is perceived as a threat."
Dotcom appeals to the enterainment companies, saying that he is not their enemy, but is rather an agent of change, a part of the world's progression that also includes faster data transfers and cloud storage.
"Come on, guys, I am a computer nerd. I love Hollywood and movies. My whole life is like a movie. I wouldn't be who I am if it wasn't for the mind-altering glimpse at the future in Star Wars. I am at the forefront of creating the cool stuff that will allow creative works to thrive in an Internet age. I have the solutions to your problems. I am not your enemy."
Rather than support Dotcom though, which is what he would have wanted Hollywood to do, it turned his story into a different one, one where he is the enemy. Dotcom said that it was the MPAA that wrote the script here, and Hollywood that acted on it. He suggests that it came at him hard and unfairly.
"The very powerful and the very stupid have one thing in common. Instead of changing their views to fit the facts, they try to change the facts to fit their views. The fact remains that the benefits of Megaupload to society outweigh the burdens," he says.
"But instead of adapting, you imported one of your action-conspiracy movie scripts into the real world. In my view, MPAA CEO and former Sen. Chris Dodd lobbied his friends in the White House to turn me into a villain who has to be destroyed. Due process? Rule of law? Eliminate me and my innovation and worry about the consequences later. Never mind that millions of Megaupload users lost access to cloud data like their wedding photos. Well done, Hollywood, everyone with similar innovations got the message. But wait... You did not read the end of the script."
Dotcom, however, has ordinary people behind him, and he reminded the entertainment cartels of this, saying, "The people of the Internet will unite."
"We will prevail in the war for Internet freedom and innovation that you have launched. We have logic, human nature and the invisible hand on our side," he adds.
"Regardless of the issues you have with new technologies, you can't just engage armed forces halfway around the world, rip a peaceful man from his family, throw him in jail, terminate his business without a trial, take everything he owns without a hearing, deprive him of a fair chance to defend himself and do all that while your propaganda machine is destroying him in the media."
Dotcom signs off with an offer to discuss this reasonably with him or his lawyers. µ
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