Steve Wozniak Defends MegaUpload's Kim DotCom
Apple's co-founder Steve Wozniak has spoken out about his recent visit to the founder of MegaUpload, who is currently under house arrest. Woz accused the US government of a "poorly thought out attempt to extradite" MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom, with prosecutors "attempting to take advantage of loopholes".
Woz also bemoans the US government for not allowing DotCom access to legal fees, suggesting that: "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."
DotCom is accused by the United States of allegedly running a criminal enterprise responsible for online piracy of numerous types of copyrighted works. Officials claim that DotCom encouraged users of the site to share movies, music, software and other pirated material. Wozniak disagrees; he suggests that DotCom was attempting to prevent piracy on his site by removing links to pirated content.
In an email to Cnet, Woz wrote: "When crimes occur through the mail, you don't shut the post office down."
He continued: "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 when he'd just removed the links to them, this is evidence of how poorly thought out the attempt to extradite him is."
Woz notes that it's lucky that DotCom lives in New Zealand, "which is better on human rights."
"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 added.
"There are so many legitimate uses to peer-to-peer file sharing and cloud storage," he said, noting that while "copyright violation is wrong" he feels that being too heavy handed could "halt the progress of the digital age."
Woz pointed to Apple as "the pioneer in finding the first good compromise with iTunes."
"When you can't stop something like a steamroller get out of the way." Wozniak wrote.