Universal and Disney are just a couple of the studios suing Megaupload founder, Kim Dotcom. But who is the mysterious 'internet entrepreneur' with a passion for Call of Duty and luxury cars?
The notorious 'internet entrepreneur' Kim Dotcom is being sued by six of the biggest Hollywood movie studios, including 20th Century Fox, Universal and Disney. The plaintiffs claim that Dotcom and his colleagues “[operated] the…website Megaupload without authorisation or licence…and…intentionally infringed copyrighted motion picture and television programs on a massive scale and for a substantial profit.” Eek. Sounds like Kim Dotcom has been a pretty bad boy. But before we get to that, who the heck even is he?
The Hobbit became the most downloaded movie of 2013
German born Kim Dotcom was, funnily enough, not born with the surname ‘Dotcom’. We know, we know, it’s so authentically German sounding. But no, Dotcom was born Kim Schmitz in 1974, rising to fame in the 90s as an internet entrepreneur and hacker. During this time he was convicted of crimes including computer fraud and data espionage, as well as inside trading and embezzlement.
By 2001 he had valued his company Kimvestor at 200 million euros, and lived a lifestyle that reflected such a vast amount. Well-known for splashing out money on boats and luxury cars, he became internationally renowned for his lavish parties which have hosted guests including Prince Rainier of Monaco.
In 2005 he established the Hong Kong based company, Megaupload, which was an online service for storing and viewing files. Megaupload became the unofficial hub for online movie pirates and in 2012 was shut down by the United States Department of Justice, who claimed it was dedicated to copyright infringement. HK$330 million of Megaupload assets were frozen and Kim Dotcom was placed in custody on charges of copyright infringement. He has since been accused of costing the movie industry more than HK$500 million, although he has adamantly denied any wrongdoing and continues to fight attempts by the US to extradite him.
The Hobbit Was The Most Illegally Downloaded Movie of 2013
In 2013 he opened a new project, “Mega”, a cloud storage system which aims at protecting user privacy from the government or “spies”. Of the charges against him, Dotcom has claimed, “I know that I am not a bad person. I have grown and I have learned. Making this into an issue about my past is unfair to everyone else working at Mega. Our business is legitimate.”
Although he vigorously and unwaveringly maintains his innocence, Kim Dotcom is unable to escape the aroma of criminality that lingers around him in his ventures. But it obviously isn’t something that dogs his conscience so much that he can’t unwind, he’s currently ranked number one for the second time on Call of Duty: Ghosts.