Kim Dotcom, the founder of MegaUpload charged Thursday in a massive criminal copyright violation case, had locked himself in a saferoom with a sawed-off shotgun when New Zealand authorities came to arrest him.
Having “retreated into the house and activated a number of electronic locking mechanisms,” Detective Inspector Grant Wormald said Dotcom “barricaded himself into a safe room within the house which officers had to cut their way into.” When they got inside, they “found Mr Dotcom near a firearm which had the appearance of a shortened shotgun.”
So just who is this guy?
According to the feds, he’s a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand, a dual citizen of Finland and Germany, employs over 30 people in nine countries, has a fondness for 50 Cent’s “Outta Control” featuring Mobb Deep and made $42 million off of MegaUpload in calendar year 2010 alone.
According to reports, he’s also a big fan of luxury cars, has participated in street races and “bathes in grand marble tubs, suns himself on yachts, and cavorts with bikini-clad women.”
So what kind of evidence do the feds have? Most of it came in the form of emails between Dotcom and his deputies, which the feds say show he’s been intimately aware of the important role that copyright infringement played in MegaUpload’s business model. Some examples:
- When a user complained that the sound wasn’t in sync with the video when they watched episodes of Showtime’s Dexter, Dotcom forwarded the email and said they should “solve this asap!”
- He criticized employees in April 2009 for deleting links that were “reported in batches of thousands from insignificant sources.” He continued: “I would say that those infringement reports from MEXICO of ‘14,000’ links would fall into that category. And the fact that we lost significant revenue because of it justifies my reaction.”
- In July 2010, Dotcom sent a link to a news article titled “Pirate Bay and Megaupload Escape Domain Seizure by US,” calling the U.S. government’s effort to crackdown “a serious threat to our business” and asking associates to “see how we can protect ourselfs (sic).”
Dotcom apparently also made efforts to convince companies in the U.S. that they were making a good faith effort to scrub copyright material, sending an email to a PayPal representative in October telling the individual that MegaUpload was “preparing to sue some of our competitors and expose their criminal activity,” and that such sites were “damaging the image and the existence of the file hosting industry.”