Woz Lends His Support to MegaUpload's Kim DotCom [Photo]
Steve Wozniak has voiced his support of MegaUpload's Kim DotCom following his arrest for alleged criminal copyright infringement charges, reports CNET.
In an email to the site, Woz wrote, "When crimes occur through the mail, you don't shut the post office down. When governments dream up charges of 'racketeering' for a typical IT guy who is just operating a file-sharing service, or accuse him of mail fraud because he said he had removed files [to alleged infringing content] when he'd just removed the links to them, this is evidence of how poorly thought out the attempt to extradite him is. Prosecutors are attempting to take advantage of loopholes. Too bad for the U.S. government that DotCom lives in New Zealand, which is better on human rights."
MegaUpload was a cloud-storage locker used by many to store files of any type. U.S. officials are claiming that DotCom encouraged users to store pirated videos, music, software and other media and then share them with others. They've seized his assets and are trying to prevent him from using his funds to pay for a legal defense.
"How unfair that the United States will allow him living expenses out of his frozen assets but not give him any legal fees. The side with access to the funds spends millions on lawyers hoping the other side goes bankrupt and gives in. Shame on the system that permits this one-sided advantage. Kim is well enough liked and respected that his legal team is working without up-front payment."
Wozniak also notes that DotCom was removing links to copyright files when requested by the studios.
"I scratch my head wondering why the studios went after the guy doing more than can be imagined to remove the links the studios wanted removed," Wozniak wrote. "Heck, I use my iDisk (MobileMe) and dropbox to share files by sending links to friends. They might even be copyrighted materials. I might even send a song in an e-mail to my son, although if I think he'll keep it I will use the 'Buy gift' feature in iTunes. But there are so many legitimate uses to peer-to-peer file sharing and cloud storage."
"Copyright violation is wrong," he said in the e-mail. "So is driving over the speed limit. But don't let that halt the progress of the digital age. I will note that Apple was the pioneer in finding the first good compromise [with the music industry over the legal distribution of MP3 files] with iTunes. Thank Heavens that this wasn't stopped at the beginning."