Kim Dotcom made a virtual appearance in the U.S. yesterday, at the SXSW festival in Austin. The Megaupload founder talked about the ongoing legal battle with the Government and is confident that he won’t end up in jail. The flamboyant Internet entrepreneur further criticized a recent study which suggested that Megaupload’s shutdown positively impacted digital movie sales.
Having Kim Dotcom speak anywhere in the world is a guarantee for a jam-packed room.
It was no different at SXSW in Austin yesterday where his head appeared on stage via Skype, facing an audience of hundreds of tech enthusiasts.
A calm and relaxed Dotcom explained that technical platforms such as Megaupload and YouTube do not cause piracy, but that Hollywood is in part responsible for it by failing to give people access to their content.
“Hollywood has an outdated business model. When the studios release movies in the U.S. and don’t make them available anywhere else in the world for three to six months, that is encouraging piracy,” Dotcom said.
In addition, he pointed out that for many of its users Megaupload was just a storage locker where people could back up their files. It was not a piracy hub, as the U.S. Government wants the court to believe.
“Of all the files that have ever been uploaded, half have never been downloaded. People just use it store their stuff,” Dotcom said.
Commenting on the possible outcome of the case Megaupload’s founder said that he was confident that the law would be on his side. Serving jail-time in the United States is not a realistic option according to Dotcom.
“I will never be in a prison in the U.S., I can guarantee you that,” he said, later adding that he doesn’t expect Obama to send a predator drone to his mansion either.
Dotcom also criticized a paper that was released last week, which indicated that the Megaupload shutdown boosted digital movie sales.
The research in question was conducted as part of Carnegie Mellon University’s Initiative for Digital Entertainment Analytics, which was funded by the MPAA. According to Dotcom, the findings are just as reliable as a study from the tobacco lobby on the health effects of smoking.
Finally, Dotcom said that Megabox – the revolutionary music service which will take on the major record labels – is expected to launch within six months. Dotcom believes that Megabox will decrease music piracy while giving artists proper compensation for their work.