In Washington and Wellington the Fading vendetta for scalp of Megaupload Founder now looks more like Trouble than a Trophy
The tightly knit and warm pattern of alliances which inaugurated the seven year campaign to send Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom from his domicile in New Zealand to the United States to face piracy charges have now chilled and evaporated.
These close sets of relationships converged on the Obama era White House and the keystone alliance was then the one between Hollywood and the White House.
Since president Trump took office this relationship has turned sour.
It is characterised by the open feud demonstrated by the coruscating tweets about the Hollywood galaxy transmitted by president Trump and which dumps the celestial souls so influential in the Obama era into a collective black hole of ignominy.
Wellington and Washington were governmental soul mates at this congenial time between Hawaiian vacationing golfing mates president Obama and New Zealand prime minister John Key.
This friendly relationship curdled the moment that incoming president Trump described man made climate change as a “hoax.”
Then he withdrew the United States from the Paris Accords, much to the anguish of the incoming New Zealand Labour-Green coalition government
An epoch in power and influence has flowed under the political bridge of both Washington and Wellington since the original airborne raid on Kim Dotcom’s Auckland mansion.
Then the Hollywood lobby the Motion Picture Association of America was led by insider former Democrat senator and onetime White House hopeful l Chris Dodd.
He was determined to make his mark in smoking out Hollywood’s main foe of this era which was copyright infringers, pirates, and working in close harness with the FBI to hunt them down wherever they were.
Then the FBI was among the most revered institutions in the United States.
Now the FBI is severely contaminated and is condemned by both winners and losers in the 2016 presidential election.
Chris Dodd is gone and now the Motion Picture Association is focussed on mending fences with an alienated White House, instead of the showboat corralling of copyright suspects.
The Kim Dotcom saga now well into its seventh year has lasted much longer than World War 2.
Like an Appalachian blood feud its origins are becoming shrouded in the mists of time.
It began when Kim Dotcom was identified as someone who in setting up shop in New Zealand would massively boost New Zealand’s digital technology comprehension base, an immersion style of industrial promotion in vogue at that time.
Which is what happened.
Though not in the anticipated direction.
The gung-ho aerial assault on Kim Dotcom’s Auckland mansion office did convince the Motion Picture Association that New Zealand meant business on cinematography.
Local digital effects flicks such as the Tolkien and Avatar series surged onward.
So too did the cost to the New Zealand taxpayer in funding the litigation in the long running extradition proceedings bouncing between the courts and which have racked up the equivalent of the cost of a Hollywood-grade international feature film.
In some ways a mystery film because so much in this real life Jarndyce versus Jarndyce process remains unexplained.
Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload servers were based in the United States, thus putting him in the United States jurisdiction.
If he was knowingly doing anything illegal why did he settle in a nation, New Zealand, which has an active extradition treaty with the United States?
Why didn’t he simply stay in Hong Kong which is where he started Megaupload?
Did it have something to do with these very server farms which more than anything else require cooling?
An idea at the time that Kim Dotcom was encouraged to settle in New Zealand was that server farms could be embedded into the chilly if not frozen Southern Alps
Any alliance that Kim Dotcom had with the National government of the time went the way of all the other alliances in this saga which is into anti active hostility.
In a scattershot charge he is also charged with infringing United States RICO statutes designed to combat organised crime.
The notion of a company by definition employing geeks being in a position to deploy the muscle needed to run protection and extortion rackets remains unclear and is thought to be based on a plea bargain deal struck by the US Department of Justice.
Such freedom-for- information deals are standard in the United States in order to secure convictions.
The case reminds us that seven years ago under the Hollywood- White House alliance of that era piracy was the bugaboo of the era in the same way that social media is the political pressure point of today.
In its heyday Megaupload featured a piracy reporting option giving copyright holders the ability to hunt for illegal content. It registered with the U.S. government under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, a law aimed at fighting piracy.