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Megaupload Founder Dodges Jail Again; Wife Under Investigation 175

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the you'll-never-catch-me dept.
New submitter xenn writes "The linked article, titled by TVNZ as 'Kim Dotcom bail appeal dismissed, funds released,' somehow doesn't quite capture the drama the lies within... 'Meanwhile, it emerged today that U.S. authorities are investigating Dotcom's pregnant wife, Mona Dotcom, as part of a world-wide sting on Internet piracy. Toohey said she had received a preliminary application from the U.S. indicating that Mona could have been involved in Megaupload.'" Torrentfreak adds that U.S. attempts to put Kim Dotcom back in jail failed, and he's been granted access to his bank accounts to cover essential expenses (to the tune of $30+k per month).
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Megaupload Founder Dodges Jail Again; Wife Under Investigation

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  • It's a witch hunt (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:17PM (#39199063)

    The feds should be going after the users that upload the content, not the hosts.

    • Because that's less of a witch hunt...

    • by El Torico (732160) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:28PM (#39199209)
      The feds are using the classic witch hunt methodology as explained by Monty Python-

      BEDEMIR: Tell me, what do you do with witches?
      VILLAGER #2: Burn!
      CROWD: Burn, burn them up!
      BEDEMIR: And what do you burn apart from witches?
      VILLAGER #1: More witches!

      Don't worry, they'll be going after the other witches/uploaders/pirates once they go through Megaupload's servers.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Regardless, I still think he should be locked away for a long time, honestly.

      Not for the piracy, no, but because he was enough of a fucking douchenozzle to change his name to "Dotcom".

      Seriously. That shit should've died back in the 90s with the tech bubble.

    • by Znork (31774) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:46PM (#39200337)

      The Feds should be going after the MAFIAA execs for fraudulent accounting, withholding taxes, racketeering and corruption.

      But it seems they've got a lot of dirty cops and bought judges on their payroll these days.

    • by ArhcAngel (247594)
      Gotta nuke em from orbit...It's the only way to be sure.
    • No, the fed should not be wasting its time on something which should no longer be against the law and should go back to investigating actual crimes which have a negative effect on society.

      • crimes which have a negative effect on society.

        I think you're underestimating the consequences of the next Kardashian show getting canceled! lives are at stake people, this is serious business!

    • by westlake (615356) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @06:01PM (#39202773)

      The feds should be going after the users that upload the content, not the hosts.

      Megaupload was paying bounties for hot files.

      That takes you light years distant from being an innocent host ----and it means that the uploaders whose rewards can be traced are toast --- the only question is how long it will take before they feel the burn.

    • by xenobyte (446878)

      The feds should be going after the users that upload the content, not the hosts.

      The uploaders did very little wrong either. They just re-uploaded data found elsewhere on the net, and that's basically just copying a lot of ones and zeros. They have no way of knowing it's actually copyrighted material - they have never seen the source and its attached copyright notices.

      No, it's the scene groups that do the actually ripping - those are the ones with copyrighted material in hand that actually infringe on copyrights.

  • by CajunArson (465943)

    If this were a CEO, doctor, or lawyer who made less than half of what this guy makes and were arrested for something that wasn't related to infringing IP rights then the usual lynch mob would be out screaming about how all "rich" people are evil and we need to destroy Wallstreet and kill all the Republicans, ban Faux News, etc. etc. [insert administration approved Media Matters talking points here].

    When the perpetrator is a guy who got rich by getting kickbacks to facilitate piracy, however, he's suddenly s

    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:30PM (#39199241)

      Are we reading the same Slashdot? People around here love rich technologists whenever they do anything that the Slashdot crowd considers good/interesting/cool. Kim Dotcom is hardly the only rich person to get plaudits; people can't fall over themselves fast enough with praise whenever John Carmack is mentioned, and Elon Musk (Tesla, SpaceX) has a large fanbase as well.

      • by Talderas (1212466)

        Unless the rich technologist is Bill Gates.

        • by Beardo the Bearded (321478) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:01PM (#39199691)

          Yeah, the rich technologist Bill Gates who has blown his billions on malaria research, HIV/AIDS research, composting toilet technology, etc.

          What an asshole.

          Come to think of it, Windows machines might be used for piracy. Maybe they should be investigating some folks in Richmond...

          • by C0R1D4N (970153) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:07PM (#39199791)
            Whats Virginia got to do with it?
          • Yeah, the rich technologist Bill Gates who has blown his billions on malaria research, HIV/AIDS research, composting toilet technology, etc.

            His billions or Warren Buffett's and other people's? The Bill Gates Foundation has spent billions. Besides the initial seed money of a couple of hundred million, I can't really find any record of the amount of his own money Bill has put into the Gates Foundation as well as the money that others have. If you have a link, I'd like it because I've been wondering how much exactly he has put in. Warren Buffett's donation of 1.5 billion is pretty well documented however.

          • Bill gates is an asshole; all the charity work in the world doesn't change that. That doesn't mean I'm not glad he's doing it, but since there are plenty of charities that are not run by assholes, his foundation is never going to be in the running for my money.

        • by dgatwood (11270)

          People around here love rich technologists whenever they do anything that the Slashdot crowd considers good/interesting/cool.

          Unless the rich technologist is Bill Gates.

          When, exactly, was Microsoft good, interesting, or cool?

          • by Urban Garlic (447282) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:32PM (#39200147)

            > When, exactly, was Microsoft good, interesting, or cool?

            In the mid- to late 1980s.

            In those days, IBM a monopolistic corporate behemoth that suppressed innovation to protect their market, and we all suspected that their long term strategy in the PC marketplace was "embrace and extinguish", in favor of the more lucrative mainframe trade that restricted computation to people who could pay a lot.

            Microsoft, on the other hand, had a reasonably well-documented OS with lots of hooks to hang extensions on, and decent development tools that weren't too expensive. MS-DOS opened up the machine and gave you convenient access to it at many levels, you really felt like you could do anything with it.

            You may vacate my lawn at your convenience.

            • by cdrguru (88047)

              Do notr forget that IBM was one of the first companies distributing source code for all their software products. You licensed the product, you got the source code.

              Originally, nearly all of it was in straight Assembler language. Except the Fortran IV complier which had substantial parts written in POP, a custom language for writing a Fortran compiler. Later on, they introduced PL/S which was far less usable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by leonardluen (211265)

      We like him because he is sort of our "Robin Hood". he takes from the big media companies and gives to the media-poor...

      the audience of this site typically hates MPAA/RIAA they are like the sheriff. and we don't entirely like most IP laws and think they are too restrictive.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      30+k does seem excessive, unless this amount also includes money to be spent on legal council, at which case you could easily blow through that in a single month. Fucking lawers are expensive.

      • by MozeeToby (1163751) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:42PM (#39199387)

        If he has a mortgage on his $5 million house that alone will eat into most of that amount. And there are good reasons the fabulously wealthy would have a loan rather than pay cash, namely the fact that once you get to a certain amount of money, using it to generate more money is pretty easy. You'll probably come out better off with a loan with a crazy low interest rate (since you have the cash and income to cover it times 10) and invest the same money in something else (if you make even a 7% profit you come out well ahead).

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      by MozeeToby (1163751)

      Yeah, how dare they complain about wealth disparity that's barely higher than it was during the Great Depression, the nerve of those people.

    • by DeadDecoy (877617) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:42PM (#39199401)
      I think the problem here is not that he's rich and probably of questionable morals, but that there is an imbalance of justice that is being applied. Here, there is a concerted effort to pursue an individual who is key in distributing probably millions of dollars worth in copyrights. Meanwhile, the justice system couldn't give two shits about prosecuting bankers for predatory loan practiced or curtailing insider trading among congress critters. As such, this event doesn't demonstrate one guy getting nailed for doing something wrong but rather one rich group going after a slightly less-rich individual to protect their profits. This activities of the former even extend to the non-rich individuals. Given this, it's hard to be cheerful when justice is not being applied for justice's-sake but rather for moneyed interests.
      • by dthx1138 (833363) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:17PM (#39200739)

        Meanwhile, the justice system couldn't give two shits about prosecuting bankers for predatory loan practiced or curtailing insider trading among congress critters.

        Two things: One, the predatory lending practices and other shady shit that wall street did prior to the financial collapse was for the most part perfectly legal. That was the problem, and we don't do ex-post-facto laws around here. AFAIK, in the cases where there were illegal actions, investigations are ongoing (also, congress managed to change the laws for next time. See Dodd-Frank).

        Secondly, the justice department has no control over insider trading in congress. Again, that's a legal activity which some congressional members are trying to make illegal by passing a bill. Separation of powers, my friend.

        • by DeadDecoy (877617)
          You're right. Those are bad examples. I guess the point I was trying to make is that there is a lot of imbalance that exists, which those in power do not pursue with the fervor. Megauploads, does not explicitly distribute copyrighted materials but enables it, putting it on some darkish-gray line with respect to the law. Meanwhile there are other practices which fall in some similar gray area, but little effort is made to correct for them.
        • in the cases where there were illegal actions, investigations are ongoing

          Well, yeah, but they didn't seize all their assets and shutdown their business before beginning the investigation did they?

          congress managed to change the laws for next time

          Yes, that's part of a problem. The difference between law and morality is becoming more and more obvious to more and more people.

    • by forkfail (228161) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:43PM (#39199413)

      The problem with your argument is this: you assume that those who see a problem with the distribution of wealth think that we should not reward merit at all.

      This is not the case.

      What is the case is that the disparity of wealth, when it grows too extreme, does not drive industry; it does not build a middle class, and it rewards existent wealth as opposed to rewarding hard work, diligence and innovation. Especially when so much of it is hoarded in offshore accounts.

      An extreme disparity of wealth leads to a third world economy (see also Mexico) and destroys the middle class. And historically, when it gets bad enough, it causes a nation to rip itself apart.

      Furthermore, it leads to corruption of democracy, as we've seen in this country. From Citizens United to the "private fundraisers", too much of our system is bought and paid for by the concentration of wealth that we've allowed to develop in the hands of the very few. It warps both the social fabric, and

      Are all successful people in the 1% evil? No. Are all of their gains always ill gotten? No. However, the concentration of wealth in this nation, the disparity of income for effort, has grown so extreme that it no longer furthers those things that capitalism is supposed to be good at promoting: hard work, merit, innovation and the rest of the values that it is supposed to drive.

    • by Dunbal (464142) *
      The beauty of politics is that there is always a mob willing to scream about anything. Success is determined by how you are prepared to use that mob.
    • by spidercoz (947220)
      He got rich by having no ethics, just like wall streeters. Fuck him AND the horse he rode in on. And it pisses me off that I have to defend this piece of shit against the questionable-at-best tactics that have been used against him by law enforcement. Two wrongs don't make a right.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Yeah actually kim schmitz is a complete prick and he probably deserves everything he gets. I suspect this is why he was targeted *first* because after he gets convicted then it will set prescient to destroy other more ethical characters in the same business,

      • by tqk (413719)

        ... because after he gets convicted then it will set prescient to ...

        How the !@#$ did you end up with prescient there?!? Are you idiots using auto-completion now? Well, STOP IT!

        • I think the "prescient" was in reference to his knowing how the trial will end, the rest was just bad grammar. ;)

    • by g0bshiTe (596213)
      The 1%'rs usually make their money off the backs of the other 99%.
    • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @02:38PM (#39200225) Homepage

      Kim Dotcom isn't a hero, he's a fraud artist. That said, if he has the resources and visibility to pry the lid off the copyright system and its hordes of legal goons, I'll at least give him partial credit. It's less about the actual money, and more about what you do with that money. Right now, copyright is largely used as a "rich get richer" weapon, in part because it is an expensive system to maintain and enforce. If someone halfway around the world decides to upload my app to RapidShare, I have to pay some suit-wearing prick a few thousand in legal consultations, just to get the ball rolling. So for the sake of a $20 piece of software, enforcing copyright makes my lawyer $2000 richer, and me $1980 poorer - assuming I even get my $20 back which is very unlikely.

      Your Robin Hood comment is spot-on. Yes, I think Dotcom is a scumbag, but he's less of a scumbag than the thousands of executives behind Disney, Viacom, Sony, Time Warner. He'll also be much easier to take down, even after he takes a bite out of those media cartels. Or, as we radicalist nutbars say: "the end justifies the means".

    • by scot4875 (542869)

      Doctors and most lawyers aren't rich. Many are well off, but few are rich.

      --Jeremy

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If this were a CEO, doctor, or lawyer who made less than half of what this guy makes and were arrested for something that wasn't related to infringing IP rights then the usual lynch mob would be out screaming about how all "rich" people are evil and we need to destroy Wallstreet and kill all the Republicans, ban Faux News, etc. etc. [insert administration approved Media Matters talking points here].

      When the perpetrator is a guy who got rich by getting kickbacks to facilitate piracy, however, he's suddenly some Robin Hood hero who takes from the evil rich music & movie companies to give to uh... himself. Suddenly he's no longer an evil 1%er and is our new personal hero just like Michael Moore & Bill Maher.

      It's more a case of why isn't he being prosectuted for breaking New Zealand laws. As a New Zealander I couldn't give a toss if our courts sentence him to 50 years, being Americas lacky is what grinds my gears. I bet David Lange would turn in his grave, the only leader we have ever had to tell America to go fuck itself.

    • I don't know that a lot of people are holding Kim Dotcom up as an example of a hero or "Robin Hood" figure, really? But having followed this story for a while now (wrote a few articles about it on a blog I contribute to, in fact), I'd say it's complicated.

      For starters, just before Megaupload was raided, there was a whole case underway regarding his right to upload a song ("Megasong") he paid a bunch of big-name artists to put together for him, advertising the service. In that instance at least, it sure see

    • If this were a banker who stole $1.2 billion of customer's money, there would be no prosecution. Jon Corzine, the CEO of the now bankrupt MF Global, "lost" (ie - stole) $1.2 billion of customer money, and is not is jail. But the Feds are throwing everything they have at Kim Dotcom.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Have to wonder if the US over-played its hand in this case. Seems very little is going the way they've hoped.

    Anyone know the score, btw? Is piracy, err.. unauthorized online archiving stamped out yet?

    • Re:Premature (Score:5, Insightful)

      by whoever57 (658626) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @03:03PM (#39200535) Journal

      Have to wonder if the US over-played its hand in this case. Seems very little is going the way they've hoped.

      No, I don't think so. The desired result has already been achieved -- they have wrecked his business.

      All that is happening now is after-the-fact justification for wrecking the business and to avoid accusations that the sole purpose was not to go after a criminal, but to wreck a business that some powerful people did not like.

  • by acedotcom (998378) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:28PM (#39199217)
    well he is a big guy so thats gonna be one heck of a food bill.
    • His head must weigh fifty pounds on its own.
    • by Kalriath (849904)

      You know, it's because he has Diabetes or something like that right, not because he eats a lot? (He has lost 16kg in jail though, for what it's worth).

      • by Tim C (15259)
        While I make no comment on how much he may or may not eat, I do feel the need to point out that your argument would be rather more convincing if you sounded like you actually knew the cause of his weight.
  • What if the entertainment industry had never contributed money to the Obama campaign?

    Would Megaupload have been shut down? Would Kim Dotcom have been arrested? Would ACTA have become an international agreement? Would ISPs have volunteered to adopt a "six strikes" policy against customers accused of copyright infringement? Would the culture of IP maximalism so evident in the Obama administration exist at all?

  • by Talderas (1212466) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:41PM (#39199371)

    Guys. Guys.

    The real story here is the name of his wife. Kim Dotcom. Really? She was willing to take that last name?

  • Wasn't the big argument against going after hosts like these that when they brought one down, some 20 or so others would pop up all around the world to take its place (what happened right after napster at the turn of the century being a prominent example of this), and trying to stop them all would be like playing an eternal game of whack-a-mole, where the total number of moles keeps getting larger every time you hit one down.

    Not that I've gone looking particularly hard - I never had any reason to use meg

    • The replacements already existed before MU was shutdown, they just get used more.

    • by boast (1227952)
      mediafire, putfile, etc... all jumped in usage. Check google news. It only slowed down piracy for like a week.
  • by mseeger (40923)

    While he got 30K US$ released for the next 3 weeks, he has asked for 180K US$ for "expenses" ;-). Not a shy guy...

  • criminals (Score:5, Insightful)

    by amoeba1911 (978485) on Wednesday February 29, 2012 @01:58PM (#39199653) Homepage

    It's sad that we root for a scumbag like Kim Dotcom. It's sad, because he's an underdog criminals in a system of super criminals. Chris Dodd is no less scumbag criminal mastermind than Kim Dotcom, but Chris Dodd bribed the right people to make it seem like he's legit. Don't get me wrong, I also root for Kim Dotcom, but let's not forget he's a scumbag... he's just not as big scumbag as the "legal" scumbags that currently rule the world.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

      • by deimtee (762122)
        "The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more and no less" - Howard Tayler (Schlock Mercenary).
    • "Scumbag"? You probably just envy his success.
    • Progress is not worth having to read about or even mildly support if there are flawed people with shared interests fighting on my side.

      My business should fail and we should be laid off because 1 of my coworkers is a jerk; that is only fair! Why should I work to prop up a business which employs a jerk even if it costs me my job? I have to set the threshold somewhere... so it might as well be at ZERO. ;-)

  • The money that Kim Dotcom requested is used to pay for the mansion that he is renting (due to being denied purchasing land in NZ) which is somewhere in the vicinity of $20k per month and he also has to pay for the huge phone bill from calling the United States to his defence team - the cost of which is about $0.33/minute which makes 60 minute call cost $19.80. If he's on the phone for 3 hours a day, 7 days a week then in 30 days his phone cost is over $1600.00. The security guards, butler and nannies also
  • Sounds like a case of "Gee Citizen, you're fighting us legally and winning. It's too bad that now we'll just have to go after your pregnant wife, and possibly force her to give birth in jail. It's not very safe in those places. We certainly hope she doesn't get shanked! We also hope the prison doctor doesn't "accidentally" drop your son/daughter on their head.

    Why don't you fire those bothersome and expensive lawyers, stop fighting our charges, and we can sit down and have a cozy little chat about it? If you

    • by Kalriath (849904)

      New Zealand isn't America. For anything beyond a painkiller or two, our prisons just stick you in a van to the nearest city hospital - she'd give birth the same place as everyone else just under guard, and the baby would likely be taken into protective services custody immediately after.

  • Am I the only one who secretly hoped his wife was named Kim Dotnet?

  • You have to hand it to Kimble: He sure has balls.

    I've rarely seen such an obviously über-egocentric perpetualy mischief touting fraud get away with so much in such a succession. Ever since he appeared as the poster boy of the 2000s dotCom Bubble he's been continuosly rubbing his IT business non-sense and fraudulent practices into peoples faces and always has gotten away with it. To this very day. In a strange way, I'm actually impressed.

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