Minto’s letter to Dotcom – everyone else’s fault

John Minto has posted an Open letter to Kim Dotcom at The Daily Blog – wishing Dotcom luck in his extradition case and blaming everyone else for everything that’s gone wrong.

He prominently promotes the revolution that failed:

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Kia ora Kim,

Good luck with defending the government’s extradition case against you this week. Whatever the outcome in the District Court I’m sure it will end up in the Supreme Court eventually so there’ll be a lot of water to go under the bridge yet.

You are facing the wealth, power and wrath of corporate America because you provided an efficient means for people to share files on line which allegedly included some copyrighted songs and movies as is done on many internet platforms.

A class struggle. The poor people should be able to take what they like.

But instead of taking a civil claim against you Hollywood’s corporate moguls want to make an example of you. They want you in jail forever as the modern-day equivalent of the body left hanging on the scaffold for the vultures or the severed head on a pike… Don’t mess with us is their Mafiosi-type message.

A fairly extreme comparison. It’s possible (but is currently unproven) that Dotcom and his company profited from the encouraging of illegal downloads.

The political environment in which your case is heard is more critical than what the law says. A case of alleged copyright infringement has no basis for extradition hence the desperate claims of “conspiracy” and “racketeering”. If our courts have honesty, courage and backbone they will toss this out as a corporate-inspired abuse of legal process.

I’m not sure that’s how extradition law works. Conspiracy theories don’t count unless backed by evidence.

The truly embarrassing aspect is just how our GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau) and police fell over themselves to help out corporate America with their keystone-cops raid on your home. That’s an issue which will be addressed only when New Zealand withdraws from the five eyes network and develops an independent foreign policy. It won’t happen tomorrow but it will happen.

Off on a hobby horse tangent.

Your millions and uber-capitalist lifestyle are a turnoff to me but during the election campaign I was impressed with what I took as your genuine commitment to the progressive policies of Internet MANA.

A commitment by providing his millions – noted by many as an embarrassing contradiction for Mana.

Had you wanted us to change MANA policies – even with a single comma – we wouldn’t have had a bar of any relationship with the Internet Party. From our point of view your campaign donations that came with no strings attached were welcome. In contrast Labour and National’s very existence depends on corporate money which in turn depends on them adopting corporate-friendly policies.

Money from multiple donors to National and Labour bad. Millions from one donor with obvious self interest good. Good grief.

I have always disagreed with your analysis of the election outcome. It was not your so-called “poisonous politics” which defeated Internet MANA or lost Hone Harawira his seat as MANA MP. In fact the strategy MANA adopted in our decision to go into a strategic alliance with the Internet Party was a successful strategy. Hone gained more votes in last year’s election than he gained in the previous 2011 election and Internet MANA gained significantly more party votes than MANA received by itself in 2011.

(Hone’s vote in Te Tai Tokerau increased from 8,121 in 2011 to 8,969 in 2014 while the MANA vote in the Maori electorates increased from 25,889 to 29,207. The Internet MANA party vote increased by roughly 50% from the MANA 2011 party vote – up from 24,168 to 34,094)

The strategy failed. Harawira lost his seat and Internet-Mana failed to reach the 5% threshold by a long way. That’s not successful.

What lost Hone his seat was the political establishment of right-wing Labour MPs, the Prime Minister, National Party, Maori Party and Winston Peters all urging their supporters to back Labour MP Kelvin Davis. For most of the Labour Party leadership the highest priority at the election was to drive MANA out of parliament. Had Labour been able to get close to government it would have needed the extra seats Internet MANA could have brought to a Labour-Green-Internet MANA government. However Kelvin Davis preferred to be a backbench MP in a losing party than be part of a winning team to change the government.

Blaming Davis for campaigning hard and winning Te Tai Tokerau on merit for himself and his own party instead of rolling over for Mana and Dotcom is politically very naive.

Despite the election outcome I remain proud of the risk MANA took in the relationship with the Internet Party. We did so with our eyes open and as I said that aspect of our campaign was successful.

Failure is not success for most people. Perhaps for Minto it is.

I think where the Internet Party made a serious error of judgement was in the handling of the “moment of truth” meeting at the Town Hall a week out from the election. It was a “moment of truth” in its revelations of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the US National Security Agency but this was buried in the media’s expectation of a more detailed revelation of John Key’s knowledge of your case much earlier than he claimed.

I agree on that, Dotcom’s grand campaign killer blow strategy was a disaster.

In any case that issue was never going to go far. Key has lied and dissembled so often about his memory on a whole range of issues that he would simply have shrugged his shoulders and most media would have accepted it and moved on quickly.

Fixated as they are on trivial political sideshows the mainstream media ignored the issue of mass surveillance and launched a tsunami of negative publicity – led by the Herald and TV3 – which swamped the Internet MANA campaign and dropped the party vote to less than two percent when it had been up to four percent a month earlier.

Blaming failure that was supposedly a success on everyone’s scapegoat, the media. An essential part of politics and election campaigns is managing media. Internet-Mana failed at that too.

Fixated as they are on trivial political sideshows the mainstream media ignored the issue of mass surveillance and launched a tsunami of negative publicity – led by the Herald and TV3 – which swamped the Internet MANA campaign and dropped the party vote to less than two percent when it had been up to four percent a month earlier.

The media did cover mass surveillance to an extent but it was sideshow amongst many election issues. Hoping to succeed in an election on a single issue that most people don’t care about is failure.

Your case has already been of importance to this country in helping reveal the extent of lying and illegal mass surveillance of New Zealanders conducted by the GCSB.

To an extent, yes.

This week it will be important for another reason. It will be a litmus test not of yourself and your internet activities but of just how independent our courts are.

Every court case is a test of the independence of our courts. Cases with well funded PR campaigns involved in particular.

Going by the way Minto has blamed everything and everyone else for Internet-Mana’s election failure there’s a high chance that if Dotcom fails to avoid extradition our courts will be blamed along with the evil USA and big business.

Minto is like others on the far left fringe thinking their cause is so just that if everyone was informed properly they would have their revolution – failure is success that is everyone else’s fault.

Leave a comment

13 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  21st September 2015

    The one point I agree with Minto is that it is an abuse of the law to extradite for conspiracy to commit copyright violation when the underlying offence is not extraditable. Dotcom should win on that basis.

    Reply
    • That’s the key question to be answered. There’s a lot of fog around this though.

      Reply
    • Minto should be labelled Eta 1001, the lone nut who escaped.

      It will be interesting to see how the court case goes… full court media blitz in support of KDC on this charge.

      If the Yanks fail to extradite him, what odds the Government throws him out for lying on his application forms re the speeding charge?

      Reply
    • Kevin

       /  22nd September 2015

      The key issue is whether megauploaded uploaded copyrighted content to their servers. If so they are liable for breach of criminal copyright.

      There is plenty of evidence that they did. For example see this link describing how megaupload got started:
      http://platformed.info/vimeo-megaupload-youtube-online-video-platforms/

      “MegaUpload, a YouTube competitor, was faced with the late-mover problem. Most content producers were already active on YouTube and there was no incentive for them to participate in a new platform with a smaller market of viewers. MegaUpload couldn’t succeed with the same ‘get-producers-on-board’ strategy. Consequently, it focused exclusively on consumers (viewers) by seeding the platform with content internally and specifically seeding content which was increasingly being policed on YouTube (Copyrighted, pirated videos and porn). MegaUpload got significant traction trying to solve an ‘under-served’ need but in the process, ended up exposing itself to lawsuits and the like.”

      There’s also the indictment itself which is pretty much essential reading:

      Click to access 2012-01-05-Indictment.pdf

      (Search for “Taken 2008” for an example of a member of megaupload staff uploading copyrighted content):

      “On or about October 25, 2008, VAN DER KOLK uploaded an infringing copy of a copyrighted motion picture entitled “Taken 2008 DVDRip Repack [A Release Lounge H264 By Micky22].mp4” to Megaupload.com and e-mailed the URL link for the file to another individual. An infringing copy of this copyrighted work was still present as of October 27, 2011,on a server in the Eastern District of Virginia controlled by the Mega Conspiracy.”

      Reply
  2. Mike C

     /  21st September 2015

    If our New Zealand Legal System fails to extradite Dot.Com, then does that mean he can stay in New Zealand forever ???

    Reply
    • jaspa

       /  21st September 2015

      Fisher reports “Dotcom also has a lawyer appearing in the Hong Kong courts seeking $30 million to be released so he can buy his mansion in Coatesville.” So I guess he thinks he can.

      Reply
      • traveller

         /  21st September 2015

        He possibly has a firm buy after lease contract and if he can’t stump up the funds the owners will sell it under him.

        Reply
    • Missy

       /  21st September 2015

      Alluded to by Dave1924 above, but it is my understanding that after the extradition hearing he will be in court over lying on his NZ Residency application, and could have his residency revoked and be deported.

      Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  21st September 2015

      Mike C-don’t even THINK such a horrible thing.

      Why does he WANT to stay here ?

      Reply
      • jaspa

         /  21st September 2015

        A country full of “dumb-ass farmers”, 99% of whom want him gone – what’s not to like? 🙂

        His options are probably pretty limited though.

        Reply
        • kittycatkin

           /  22nd September 2015

          Oh, now I see why. Silly me 🙂

          I can’t believe that there aren’t who knows how many countries lining up to beg him to pick them for his new home.

          Reply
  3. kittycatkin

     /  21st September 2015

    Is John Minto totally naive or does he think everyone else is ? What was the revolution going to do ? Or was it a Revolution Without a Cause ? Mr Minto is certainly revolting. I knew him-slightly-years ago, and am very disappointed with the way he has gone. Maybe I was too young and naive to see what he was really like.

    He can’t spell Keystone Kops, either. I am unimpressed by his moral objection to materialism and capitalism which doesn’t extend to refusing to be financed by these.Consistency, thou art a jewel. Keystone Kommunism. Or maybe Claytons’ Communism.

    I noticed that old Dotcom was sweating so much that he needed a towel to mop himself. (manages not to complete ‘sweating like a _______’)

    Reply

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