Wednesday, 18 July 2012 09:10

Judge In the Dotcom Extradition Voluntarily Case Steps Down Due To Personal Bias

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As predicted Judge David Harvey (who called the US “The Enemy” in Copyright Law) has stepped down from presiding over the Dotcom extradition case. Yesterday we reported on Harvey’s views of the US Government’s (and entertainment industry’s) efforts to force US copyright laws on foreign countries as a requirement of trade agreements. This move, by the US, has sparked quite a bit of debate including whether the US Trade Rep has the authority to enact these deals without congressional oversight. With ACTA and TPP the USTR has had more meetings with the entertainment industry than with the congressional bodies that are supposed to handle oversight on these treaties.

It is this effort that is starting to awaken many politicians and judges to the growing threat that these treaties represent to the global economy and to the consumer population. When combined with the obvious “let’s send a message” strategy being used in the MegaUpload case (and in the earlier case against The Pirate Bay) it is frightening to think of what the entertainment cartels are capable of. Still what we find fascinating about the situation is that while opponents of the draconian laws

like TPP, ACTA, SOPA, and PIPA have shown an interest in fairly dealing with the facts, (for the most part there are nuts in every group) the entertainment industry has dealt with these cases in an unethical and often borderline illegal way.

Here we see someone doing the right thing; Judge Harvey is aware that he has bias in the case and is stepping down so the law is best served. In cases where investigators and judges are on the side of the entertainment cartels they have not excused themselves once. This clearly shows that this is not about the law or justice, but making sure that they (the entertainment industry) wins no matter what they have to do (including offering a high paying job to investigators).

The MegaUpload and Dotcom cases will have a significant impact on the world of copyright law. If the US wins it will signal the death of a significant competitor to the MPAA and RIAA (which is really what this is about). However, what the film and music industry does not get is that when they do this they cannot kill the technology. Independent artists are starting to forego the chains of the music and film studios by pushing out their works using services which allow them control over the product. It is almost nothing to setup a website with a market (it takes about an hour using Wordpress, Drupal or Joomla!). This is what the entertainment industry fears; that they will lose their contracts that grant them the continuous revenue stream from someone else’s work. They are willing to bankrupt a hosting service as well as Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload just to get their point across and to prop up their cash cow for a few more years.

On the other hand if Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload prevail there will be a backlash against the US that will hurt them economically and damage our already tarnished reputation with the rest of the world. It really is a no win situation for the US DoJ at this point, but they cannot go back on their promise to the entertainment cartels at this point (even though they might look better if they did drop the suit). We told when all of this started on the day of the raid on the Dotcom mansion; there is no good outcome in this case, it is a knee jerk reaction intended to send a message to people looking to compete with the entertainment industry and also to try and push harsher laws through in the US and around the globe. In the process it will hinder emerging technology, artists and the consumer in ways that will probably never be fully understood.

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Read 1352 times Last modified on Wednesday, 18 July 2012 10:16