Kim Dotcom, the outspoken founder of the defunct cloud-storage locker MegaUpload, says he views Hillary Clinton as an enemy of online freedom.
Dotcom, currently under house arrest at his New Zealand mansion, expressed that opinion during a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg reporter Emily Chang. Dotcom is fighting extradition to the US, where he faces arrest on a variety of copyright charges.
“She is just an adversary, I think, of Internet freedom,” he told Chang in an interview to be broadcast Thursday evening on Bloomberg’s Studio 1.0. Still, he expressed some fondness for Clinton, who signed his extradition request when she was the US secretary of state.
“You know, the crazy thing is, I actually like Hillary,” he said. ” I like Obama, you know? It’s just so messy. It’s just so crazy that all of this happened.”
Dotcom, a 41-year-old German national born Kim Schmidt, was arrested in a January 2012 raid on his mansion in New Zealand after the US handed down an indictment on criminal copyright violations and racketeering. Millions of dollars worth of cash, cars, and other possessions belonging to Dotcom were seized during a sensational raid on his estate.
DotCom claims MegaUpload was completely legitimate and protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. But US authorities say he encouraged users to store pirated videos, music, software and other media and then share it with others. He faces up to 88 years in prison if convicted.
The subject of Clinton’s candidacy came up when Dotcom was asked about a tweet he sent last year in which he said he called himself “Hillary’s worse nightmare in 2016.” He revisited that statement in the interview, saying that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange would probably be a bigger headache for Clinton.
“I’m aware of some of the things that are going to be roadblocks for her,” he said, declining to be more specific. He said he hoped to provide some transparency and hoped to expand the influence of the Internet Party, the political party he is hoping to bring to the US.
Dotcom, who’s alleged to have cost Hollywood studios and other copyright owners $500 million, says the movie studios’ “copyright extremism” is to blame for creating the digital piracy he’s accused of facilitating.
“Extremism is if you are a Hollywood studio and you release your content in one country first, in the United States, and then roll it out over a couple of months in other countries around the world and expect the Internet community in all of these different countries to wait for the release,” he told Chang. “Because people don’t get that access, they are looking for the stuff elsewhere.
“So it’s a problem created by the content creators. I’m not responsible for that,” he went on to say. “If they would have an offering that has all content globally available for a fair price on any device, piracy would shrink into insignificance, but they’re not doing it.”
“If Hollywood had some smart people working for them, they would probably have the biggest Internet company on the planet,” he said.
The interview, which goes on to discuss his extradition fight and NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, airs at 4:30 p.m. PT on Bloomberg’s Studio 1.0.