I’m not fan of Kim Dotcom. He’s a poor ambassador for the important debates we need to have around new media and copyright.
But I do take my hat off to him for his live-streaming jape.
The live-stream from his extradition appeal in the High Court will earn publicity, which of course he loves. But I think there’s some alley-cat cunning in play here, too.
To quickly re-cap: Dotcom’s lawyer made a last-minute request to video proceedings with a feed to YouTube.
This morning, Justice Murray Gilbert allowed it, as long as live comments on the stream were disabled, there was a 20-minute delay and the footage would be removed after the trial was finished.
Notably, a crew hired by Dotcom will take the footage, not a crew hired by the court.
The live-stream will begin tomorrow morning.
It will inevitably lead to content sharing chaos.
YouTube has no copy function, but there are lots of apps that let you save a snippet of video – and then of course there’s the blunt approach of just pointing a camera at the screen.
Media organisations, bloggers and others will run portions of trial video on their sites, and others will copy those copies (and Dotcom is already encouraging members of the “internet generation” to analyse snippets; come on, be cool now for Uncle Kim).
When the eight-week extradition appeal hearing wraps up, there is zero chance that all of this video will be removed.
At that point, Dotcom will be able to say: “If a High Court Justice can’t control video uploaded to a legal file sharing service, then why am I being vilified for a handful of infringing files on Megaupload?”
The only saving grace is that Asher J is pretty clued up on the Internet. But the problem is by appealing again and again, team Dotcom will run into legal experts that are Internet Luddites.
All of these stunts are Hail Marys, but as you saw today, sometimes they work.
– Chris Keal, NBR