I write about Kim Dotcom quite often. He’s an interesting man with an interesting story, but he’s usually portrayed by journalists as one of two things: either the hard done by entrepreneur, used as a scapegoat by governments and police authorities for international media piracy, or he’s a criminal who’s guilty of a bunch of crimes and should go to jail in the US. However today I get to write a story that paints Dotcom in a different light: as the Goliath to the tech industry’s Davids, since he looks to be holding a significant patent that could throw a real spanner in the works of major companies.
The patent in question is one for a two tiered authentication system, used by many services like Facebook, Twitter, Valve’s Steam, Google. It involves sending a passcode to a confirmed device when someone attempts to login from a new location. This might seem like a relatively new concept to many of us, but Dotcom filed a patent for this tech back in 1998 and he’s been sitting on it ever since.
So what is he going to do with it? He could of course be a giant patent troll and sue the bejeezus out of them all, but with his ongoing legal battles, more court room drama is hardly what he needs. It’s also likely that with the billions of dollars worth of corporations arrayed against him, it’s a case that would drag on for years and years. Instead of that, he’s suggesting that those using the tech continue to do so for free, but perhaps contribute to his current legal fund and help him sue the US government and media companies.
Reaching out to these companies via Twitter, he said: “Google, Facebook, Twitter, I ask you for help. We are all in the same DMCA boat. Use my patent for free. But please help funding my defense.” He also tweeted a link to the patent, proving his ownership.
The question that now remains, is what will those companies do?
KitGuru Says: I can’t see them funding Dotcom’s legal defence, but I can’t see them ignoring this either as it could potentially cost them multiple millions if it ever went to court. What do you guys think will happen?