Steve Wozniak: I support Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload

Last week, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was photographed next to MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom during Wozniak's visit to New Zealand. Today, Wozniak has officially put his support for Dotcom and their fight against the US government, who shut down the site and arrested Dotcom for charges of online content piracy in January.

In an email interview with News.com, Wozniak said:

When governments dream up charges of 'racketeering' for a typical IT guy who is just operating a file-sharing service, or accuse him of mail fraud because he said he had removed files [to alleged infringing content] when he'd just removed the links to them, this is evidence of how poorly thought out the attempt to extradite him is. Prosecutors are attempting to take advantage of loopholes.

Wozniak also said that MegaUpload was deleting links to pirated content on their site before the US forced it to shut down. While he says that violating copyright laws is "wrong" he adds that should not halt digital innovation. He stated, "When you can't stop something like a steamroller, get out of the way."

Dotcom and several other MegaUpload team members are currently awaiting an important hearing in August that should decide whether or not they will be extradited to the US to face the online piracy charges.

Source: News.com | Image via Instagram

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23 Comments

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I would have to agree that Dotcom has a colourful past, and he was condoning the rampant piracy on his site, while only doing the bare minimum to try to exclude himself from liability (Making the TOS put blame onto the users & removing links when requested).

The problem here is not Dotcom, it's the Governments. They completely botched the case and conspired with the intellectual property industry to break all due process and unfairly penalise Mr Dotcom for actions they have not proven. What they have done is worlds worse than what Mr Dotcom has ever done in his life because it sets a bad precedent for what could to anyone else in the world.

It is wrong and I hope that Mr Dotcom fights the conspirators on this to set a major precedent against them for all the wrong actions they took.

Because of the actions of the US Government trying to take him and his company down illegally (and burn many innocent legitimate users in the way) rather than using legal channels to compel him to change what they believe is illegal, they have turned Mr Dotcom from the Villain (who doesn't do enough to stop his site's piracy) to the Hero (who is defending the rights of everyone who has content online).

I wish Mr Dotcom all the best in his defence and would gladly contribute towards a legal fund if he needed it, because he is right in this case, not because I support piracy (I have never used a file sharing site for piracy let alone buying a subscription to a file sharing site)

[quote=Simon- said,]I would have to agree that Dotcom has a colourful past, and he was condoning the rampant piracy on his site, while only doing the bare minimum to try to exclude himself from liability (Making the TOS put blame onto the users & removing links when requested).
quote]

i agree with everything you said except for this part. Kim Dotcom and the Megaupload site actually did more than the minimumwhich is all that Microsoft and Google do with their offerings. Megaupload actually gave MPAA and RIAA members a skeleton key, if yu will, to the site to allow them to remove links to files and I think the offending files themselves if they found any. The DCMA of DMCA law states that if a cloud provider is notified that infringing copies are found to be hosted on their site they are obliged to remove the file or link to the file, however it also states that they cannot be held responsible for the way in which the site is used. This is how Google got out of their law suit a while ago. Kim Dotcom and Megaupload is no different to this. The site has been branded a piracy site but there were many legit uses for the site, like there is for dropbox and Skydrive. The money people paid was for faster speeds or more space, not access to pirated content.
By saying that Kim Dotcom was condoning rampant piracy on his site, is saying the same about google as they still return search results for torrent files

[quote=Simon- said,]I would have to agree that Dotcom has a colourful past, and he was condoning the rampant piracy on his site, while only doing the bare minimum to try to exclude himself from liability (Making the TOS put blame onto the users & removing links when requested).
quote]

i agree with pretty much everything you said except for this part. Kim Dotcom and the Megaupload site actually did more than the minimumwhich is all that Microsoft and Google do with their offerings. Megaupload actually gave MPAA and RIAA members a skeleton key, if yu will, to the site to allow them to remove links to files and I think the offending files themselves if they found any. The DCMA of DMCA law states that if a cloud provider is notified that infringing copies are found to be hosted on their site they are obliged to remove the file or link to the file, however it also states that they cannot be held responsible for the way in which the site is used. This is how Google got out of their law suit a while ago. Kim Dotcom and Megaupload is no different to this. The site has been branded a piracy site but there were many legit uses for the site, like there is for dropbox and Skydrive. The money people paid was for faster speeds or more space, not access to pirated content.
By saying that Kim Dotcom was condoning rampant piracy on his site, is saying the same about google as they still return search results for torrent files

All of a sudden I respect Woz so much less. Sad sad when a respectable individual blatantly condones breaking the law. The way the US government is handling this case is dumb, but that's no reason to say criminal activity should be condoned.

ILikeTobacco said,
All of a sudden I respect Woz so much less. Sad sad when a respectable individual blatantly condones breaking the law. The way the US government is handling this case is dumb, but that's no reason to say criminal activity should be condoned.

Please see http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...iew__findpost__p__594955003
We can only hope you're got files online that get irreversibly erased and you never recover them then can't we.

n_K said,

Please see http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...iew__findpost__p__594955003
We can only hope you're got files online that get irreversibly erased and you never recover them then can't we.
Sorry but I have an IQ higher than 80 and know better than to store my files only in a location that I have absolutely 0 control over.

Notice though how I specifically said the US government was handling this case wrong. That doesn't change the fact the Kim Dotcom is a criminal and scam artist. What did you expect would happen when doing business with someone like that? Everything would be fine and filled with rainbows and unicorns?

ILikeTobacco said,
Sorry but I have an IQ higher than 80 and know better than to store my files only in a location that I have absolutely 0 control over.

Notice though how I specifically said the US government was handling this case wrong. That doesn't change the fact the Kim Dotcom is a criminal and scam artist. What did you expect would happen when doing business with someone like that? Everything would be fine and filled with rainbows and unicorns?


What makes you think hes a criminal or scam artist? Just because he provides a service that people may have used for piracy (while ignoring the use agreement) makes him a criminal/scam artist?
Check out his interview http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvrRaeHD5TE. He broke no laws, if he did than youtube, skydrive, dropbox, etc should get the same unlawful treatment.

ILikeTobacco said,
All of a sudden I respect Woz so much less. Sad sad when a respectable individual blatantly condones breaking the law. The way the US government is handling this case is dumb, but that's no reason to say criminal activity should be condoned.

Disgusting.

Apologists like you are why men like Alan Turing were able to be persecuted. Have some damned perspective.

ekw said,

What makes you think hes a criminal or scam artist? Just because he provides a service that people may have used for piracy (while ignoring the use agreement) makes him a criminal/scam artist?.

No, the fact that he was caught doing insider trading and embezzlement makes me KNOW he is a criminal and scam artist.

ILikeTobacco said,

No, the fact that he was caught doing insider trading and embezzlement makes me KNOW he is a criminal and scam artist.

By your analogy of "don't do business with criminals" I guess the workforce will dense pretty soon, eh?
Many lives that'll be destroyed financially if nobody wants to do business with someone who might have done sh** in the past, but now wants to move on and earn some honest money.

Sheesh...

GS:mac

ILikeTobacco said,
Sorry but I have an IQ higher than 80 and know better than to store my files only in a location that I have absolutely 0 control over.

Notice though how I specifically said the US government was handling this case wrong. That doesn't change the fact the Kim Dotcom is a criminal and scam artist. What did you expect would happen when doing business with someone like that? Everything would be fine and filled with rainbows and unicorns?

I hope you lose all of those

evoxix said,

I hope you lose all of those


Such a well thought out argument. I retract all my prior statements. The logic of your post is undeniable. In the future, I will be sure to specifically seek out the services provided by convicted criminals because they obviously are the better choice. I thank you for joining Neowin because today, our interaction has shown me the light.

ILikeTobacco said,

Such a well thought out argument. I retract all my prior statements. The logic of your post is undeniable. In the future, I will be sure to specifically seek out the services provided by convicted criminals because they obviously are the better choice. I thank you for joining Neowin because today, our interaction has shown me the light.

Lets try this a different way. You are happy to continue to do business with Sony even though they have made billions on piracy by selling blank cassette tapes,Video tapes, CD's, DVD's and now BD disks. These items, Like Megaupload, was not initially designed to allow piracy to happen, it just ended up with people using the products for illegal purposes. The US Government going after Kim Dotcom would be like me trying to sue the head of toyota for someone using a car his comapny makes in an illegal fashion. Kim Dotcom made money from advertising and from people signing up to be a member of the Megaupload site and service, hell the US government and military paid to use his service so it must have been very good. he made NO MONEY from the sale of pirated items.
But then this probably will be brushed aside and dismissed as you seem to be the moral majority and have never done anything slightly illegal in your life, ever. Piracy is not right but Kim has essentially in this case done nothing wrong

Vice said,
haha at that picture of them together

The pic is epic indeed.

I applaud Woz, great guy.
Not afraid to raise his voice and give that man some support where it's due.

His steamroller argument = excellent.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

The pic is epic indeed.

I applaud Woz, great guy.
Not afraid to raise his voice and give that man some support where it's due.

His steamroller argument = excellent.

GS:mac

So then all the lawsuits should stop right? Time to get out of the way of the steamroller of everyone "stealing" Apple's stuff?

schubb2003 said,

So then all the lawsuits should stop right? Time to get out of the way of the steamroller of everyone "stealing" Apple's stuff?

And there was me thinking this was an article about MegaUpload's Dot Com and Steve Wozniak. Not Apple, silly me.

schubb2003 said,

So then all the lawsuits should stop right? Time to get out of the way of the steamroller of everyone "stealing" Apple's stuff?


De fu** are you saying?
Millions of people downloading cultural IP aka media is something entirely different from patent lawsuits, but I take it you're a lawyer right?
So you obviously know all the ins and outs.

Anyhow, this is NOT the place to talk about this.

GS:mac