Dotcom setting himself up for an “unable to have a fair trial” appeal


Dotcom reaching out to his many fans

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

  • Quinton Hogg

    I love that picture. Young lurrrve!

    • Seriously?

      So true, simpler times weren’t they.

      I like the way he is looking at her out of the corner of his eye like he is repeating to himself “smile, just smile”. And the body guard in the background looking ready to intervene to save his boss from molestation.

      • Kiwi Sapper

        Do you rally believe that only one “body guard ” is required to protect that amount of body mass from anything?

    • Keeping Stock

      Any inside word on why Asher J is no longer hearing the appeal QH?

      • peterwn

        Possibly Asher J recused himself from the ‘live feed’ matter so another judge had to make the decision – very smart move on the part of the judiciary.

    • Kiwi Sapper

      AH, but have you considered that the chap off to her left may be her husband………..and he ain’t impressed.

  • Second time around

    Dotcom will be able to argue that he had no control over Megaupload at his trial in the USA. It has nothing to do with his immediate problem, resisting deportation from NZ. If it was a water tight defence, he could have surrendered to the US authorities and established his innocence instead of becoming a fugitive on bail at the far end of the world.

  • Wheninrome

    This is a mockery of our Court system. The judge will be lost in the mire that is the internet, he will have no precedent to go on and it is laughable. How on earth could he allow this. The content will never be removed from the internet. He cannot force overseas people to conform to his order. It is just a joke and a circus and unfortunately Dotcom is the ringmaster at the moment.

  • GoingRight

    Apart from the ideas already noted, I wondered if another plus for KDC is that many overseas legal minds can follow the case and offer advice to his legal team here to try and prevent him being extradited- for which they receive notoriety and kudos.

  • Isherman

    And he’s “inviting” authorities in Hong Kong to follow the livestream to “understand how the US DOJ misled them into destroying a HK company”.

    He’s trying to relitigate the case proper during what is an appeal on the order of extradition only – hopefully the judge can see that and bring this circus to an end.

    • biscuit barrel

      Why do you think they cant re litigate ? This is the High Court not Court of Appeal.
      Judicature Act 1908 Schedule 2 High Court Rules
      Subpart 5 Conduct of appeal
      Section 20.18 Appeal is re-hearing

  • Warren

    Lets face it, we will never be rid of this dick. He has our court system by the balls and will play a big part again next year trying to change the govt and get rid of John Key. Money will change hands again among judges and politicians and so called journalists as he continues to laugh in the faces of our Govt and Nzers.

  • zotaccore

    Another dumb decision from a dumb judge – just where do these people come from. They live in a world of their own. I trust none of them, I trust not our judiciary, I trust not of their ability to apply common sense. We will be stuck with this fat German for many years to come and we will just have to put up with it. It’s completely astounding he has lasted all these years hiding away in NZ but our country, politicians included, just haven’t the ability to rid him. It’s pathetic… it’s NZ justice. It’s NZ politics. Game over – get used to KDC.

  • andrewo

    If the Dotcom team are doing the recording what control does the court have over the recording method and the vast potential therein to add bias?

  • Bob Dazzler

    Please, please those who supposedly manage our country, revoke his residency and put his back side on a plane out of NZ.