Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom, out on bail after a month in jail, has given his first televised interview to a station in New Zealand, defending himself against what he says are overblown piracy charges. "It's kind of like weapons of mass destruction in Iraq," Dotcom explains. "If you want to go after someone, and you have a political goal, you will say whatever it takes. These are fabrications and lies." Dotcom, who is awaiting potential extradition to the U.S. on charges that his site facilitated millions of dollars in copyright infringement, claims, "We can't be liable for actions of third parties." Birds chirp in the distance and palm fronds flutter. "I'm no criminal. We've done nothing wrong."
He appears calm and articulate throughout the twenty-minute interview, giving background on the company. He speaks of privacy laws that he says prevented Megaupload from stamping out all laws being broken by its users. "We cannot just go in there and police what these users are uploading," Dotcom says. "What you need to understand here is that we provided the content owners the opportunity to remove links that were infringing on their rights."
Dotcom was plucked from a safe room in his lavish mansion by the FBI in January. "It's a little bit like a nightmare," he says, calling the experience "unexpected" and "horrifying" for his family. "My wife, who's pregnant with twins, has nightmares and is feeling miserable, and, of course, I'm facing a very interesting situation."
The U.S. government appealed Dotcom's bail this week, but their claims were rejected, and, for now, he remains free. "I'm an easy target," he says in the interview. "My flamboyance, my history as a hacker. I'm not American, I have funny number plates on my cars. I'm an easy target."