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22 January 2013

Mega Small-Time Crook v MPAA Big-Time Crooks

via Nettime mail list


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As some of our subscribers have questioned our assertion that Pirate Cinema's   
participation in the recycling of daily affairs was entirely unneeded, we have  
decided to make another exception, and to address the seemingly burning question
if Kim Dotcom's new dotconz is a good thing or a bad thing.                     
Our answer is short. If you're interested in as a platform to share  
copyrighted materials with millions of others, while retaining your anonymity   
and privacy, then -- as with any other offer that puts profit first and piracy  
second -- you're probably wasting your time. If you're just looking for a way to
store your personal data on a computer that's beyond your control, then we might
be wasting ours as well. However, as far as we can tell, you're probably asking 
about the man, not his mission.                                                 
Obviously, Kim Dotcom is more than just an opportunistic businessman. He is the 
truly megalomanic version of that: not only even more opportunistic, but also   
completely unaffected by the restraints that usually come with commercial       
success or corporate crime, namely to never publicly display one's wealth,      
celebrate the cheap joys it provides, or reveal the bad taste it entails. As the
utter clown he makes of himself, as an ongoing parody of entrepreneurial ethics 
that in its very dishonesty appears more honest than any other enterprise, we   
find it hard not to love him -- just as it's hard to deny that the U.S.         
authorities, by showing such an unusual amount of overambition and incompetence 
when they seized his previous venture, have dealt his new one a very good hand. 
But in the end, that's all entertainment, and while the show must go on, it     
remains a matter of personal taste. Many spectators want to see the world saved 
by a good guy on the right side of a just cause, while others are happy to      
delegate that to the small-time crook who takes on the big-time crook, just for 
fun and profit.                                                                 
Given all that, we find it perfectly understandable why, in the case at hand,   
one may prefer to side with more respectable internet entrepreneurs or venture  
capitalists, who will articulate their issues with copyright, or their growing  
frustration with the entertainment industry, in a much more nuanced and         
understated fashion. Like Paul Graham, arguably one of the most highly respected
of them all, who exactly one year ago, when the U.S. Congress debated the final 
crackdown on piracy, when Wikipedia went all lights out, and just while Mr.     
Dotcom was busy getting his ass busted in the safe room of his mansion, proved  
smart enough not to make any public statement at all, other than, as archived   
under, issuing a modest "Request for start-ups:
Kill Hollywood".                                                                
pirate cinema berlin