The head of Kim Dotcom’s US legal defence team, Ira Rothken, has been speaking with Radio New Zealand about the Megaupload trial stating that he believes it has grown beyond its original meaning into something that’s important for all New Zealanders, because it shows how well protected they are from US “foreign aggression.”
The latest development in the Kim Dotcom case has been focused around the US attempting to block Dotcom’s legal team from having access to the evidence against him and his co-defendants. While Mr Dotcom’s team was granted access by a lower court, US authorities appealed the decision with the outcome yet to be determined, since the court announced today it reserved its decision.
Mr Rothken claims that he is quietly confident of the outcome, though if Dotcom were to come out on the losing end of the appeal, they would take the case to the Supreme Court.
In the interview, Mr Rothken said that ultimately this was about offering a fair trial to New Zealand residents, who were protected under the Bill of Rights. US authorities argue that NZ has an obligation to the United States, not to block extradition requests.
When asked when he believes the eventual extradition case will take place, Mr Rothken said it was currently scheduled for some time in March 2013, but that due to the tactics being used to “delay by appeal,” it was likely this would be extended further into the year.
Speaking after the appeal hearing, Mr Dotcom said that: “This is a very political case, because it’s actually the US government trying to defend an outdated business model by a handful of billionaires that are shareholders in these large content producing companies. They are trying to use this case to basically change the way the internet works.”
The Kim Dotcom case and Mr Rothken’s comments highlight the fact that media lobbyist groups from America have a surprising amount of influence across the world. Whether it’s in the UK with funded organisations like FACT working on their behalf to imprison the owner of SurfTheChannel, or clandestine pressure to introduce France’s internet disconnection law.
There were also hints of US involvement in the recent deportation of Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm from Cambodia, where he was arrested on the day that a US trade envoy visited the country.
KitGuru Says: How do you guys feel about the US’ involvement in file sharing and copyright infringement around the world? Do you think these groups should have such far reaching influence, or should local governments be doing more to combat it? And ultimately, is this sort of thing “foreign aggression?”