Not a “white paper”

May 8th, 2013 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

has called for an investigation into the FBI case against Megaupload in a legal review which accuses Prime Minister John Key of being misled by the United States.

The “White Paper” released by Mr Dotcom last night also alleges the illegal spying by the GCSB went on for 10 days longer than the spy bureau has previously admitted.

The 39-page document written by his legal team aims to dissect the FBI investigation against him and three Megaupload colleagues arrested on criminal copyright charges last year. It is entitled “Megaupload, the Copyright Lobby, and the Future of Digital Rights: The United States versus You (and Kim Dotcom)”.

It calls for investigations by US Senate oversight committees, linking the motives for the prosecution to Hollywood studios’ political contributions and support for President Barack Obama.

It’s not a “white paper” with or without the quote marks. White papers are government documents. It is a PR document put out by the defence team for someone who has been charged with multiple criminal offences. It isn’t even a legal document – it is purely a PR document. But for this it get heralded as some sort of official white paper, and gets Mr Dotcom a free q&a session on the Herald website. I wonder if they plan to do this for all other people charged with criminal offences in other countries?

Dotcom is trying to turn this into a political issue, rather than a legal one. On the politics of copyright law, i actually agree with much of what he says. But I also believe you try to act within the law and accept consequences if you do not.

Whether the charges laid by the US Government are valid under our extradition treaty is a legal issue to be determined by the NZ courts. If they find they are valid, then he should be extradited – just as the US extradites people from the US to NZ if they face criminal charges here.

If he is extradited to the US, then his guilt or innocence is a matter for the US courts and/or juries. Again it is a legal matter.

If Mr Dotcom wins his legal cases, then as far as I am concerned he is welcome to stay in NZ, despite his less than reputable past and previous criminal offending. But justice should not be decided in the media by PR strategies. The charges he faces are legal matters for the NZ and then the US courts to determine.

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37 Responses to “Not a “white paper””

  1. tvb (4,513 comments) says:

    The charges in the US would have to be criminal offences in this country for him to be extradited. This is an extremely complex case and Mr Dotcom and his highly competent legal team are making a meal of this.

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  2. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    It is a PR document put out by the defence team for someone who has been charged with multiple criminal offences.

    So there’s nothing in the document which is included in Dotcom’s defence?

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  3. RRM (10,022 comments) says:

    I for one like Dotcom… He is loud and outrageous, makes a welcome change from the right-lipped, venal old suit-wearing white men who make up the bulk of our white collar crime scene.

    And as said before he provides better entertainment stories for the oddstuff section than the usual boozy ex-sportsmen and their tawdry entourage of courtesans and whores that pass for a society page in Dork Land.

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  4. martinh (1,272 comments) says:

    Well did you read it for merit or did you just start your slander campaign out of spite?

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  5. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    This is not the kind of publicity Key or his government needs.
    If Neville doesn’t wake up soon, he’ll find himself out of a job come the next election. Hurry up, Labour Lite.

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  6. martinh (1,272 comments) says:

    Whos Neville?

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  7. peterwn (3,308 comments) says:

    If you are charged indictably in a NZ court (ie potential jury trial) and you issue a similar statement, your bail mioght be at risk.

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  8. Paul Matthews (18 comments) says:

    Actually as a slight clarification, White Papers aren’t just Government papers – they’re quite often used in business as a more detailed guide to an issue. By definition a White Paper is an “authoritative report”. (speaking in general, not about this particular one)

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  9. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Are we just avoiding the Aaron Gilmore subject today ?

    Sure it more than justifies a thread

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  10. campit (467 comments) says:

    Whitepapers are common in IT. Here is a whole heap on Microsoft Exchange. They are designed to provide context and background, and aren’t exclusively Government documents.

    Whether the charges laid by the US Government are valid under our extradition treaty is a legal issue to be determined by the NZ courts.

    He is also fighting in the US Courts:

    Several months ago Megaupload filed a request to dismiss the indictment against it, until the U.S. Government finds a way to properly serve the company.

    Megaupload based its request on “Rule 4″ of criminal procedure, which requires the authorities to serve a company at an address in the United States. However, since Megaupload is a Hong Kong company, this was and is impossible.

    The defense argued that the court can only protect Megaupload’s due process rights by dismissing the case. However, the Government disagreed and asked the court to deny Megaupload’s motion. Among other things the Government claimed that federal rules shouldn’t be interpreted so narrowly…

    The Government explains that the DoJ’s letter begins with “a bedrock principle of criminal law, one that applies equally to both organizations and natural persons,” citing the following passage:

    “When a person located abroad violates the laws of the United States, that person may be held criminally liable despite the fact that the person has never set foot in the United States.”

    In other words, every person and company in the world should comply with U.S. law.

    So his company isn’t even a US company and it hasn’t been legally served. US law does not apply. Case closed I would have thought.

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  11. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Exactly correct, a white paper is just a generic term just for a reference document.

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  12. Grant Michael McKenna (1,160 comments) says:

    Wikipedia says that the term dates from the 1920s, although I am sure that I remember Dasent mentioning them as a term of art amongst the clerks of the House of Commons in his history of the house’s administration- it has been years since I read it; if I remember correctly, back in the days when bills were hand-written [up to some time in Victoria’s reign, I think] the First Reading was simply a notification that the bill existed, and would be written on rag-paper by clerks hired for the purpose by MPs.
    Wood paper then came into use, and was used for day to day purposes, but rag paper was kept for use on any document that would be referred to repeatedly- hence the term ‘white paper’. I think that printing of documents and the paper change were at the same time.
    ‘Green paper’ was a neologism of the 1970s in the USA and were literally printed on green paper- they were proposed policies.
    As Paul Matthews says, the term is now being used by business for “authoritative report”- any report which will be repeatedly referred to.

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  13. rightoverlabour (114 comments) says:

    “When a person located abroad violates the laws of the United States, that person may be held criminally liable despite the fact that the person has never set foot in the United States”. – So all of us who drink at age 18 are criminals following this logic. If this is indeed US law, its stupid, arrogant and deserves to be flouted. I neither like nor dislike old Kim, but I hope he wins the case, whether extradited or not. The copyright arrogance of Hollywood deserves a decent challenge.

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  14. Redbaiter (9,615 comments) says:

    This is a political issue and the matters that Kim Dotcom raises are quite valid.

    Hollywood are great contributors to Barack Obama.

    Barack Obama may well have influenced the NZ government to arrest Kim Dotcom

    John Key may well have played a role in transferring Barack Obamas’ and Hollywood’s influence to NZ authorities.

    There has been illegal spying and possibly this spying occurred as a result of improper influence.

    There are questions as to whether the prosecution of Kim Dotcom and Megaupload and the seizure of millions of personal files is even legal.

    All the points above proclaim this is indeed a political issue. It is not a simple criminal matter like stealing a car. It is a case that reeks of political influence and the public deserve to know the truth.

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  15. dime (10,112 comments) says:

    wow the herald really is sad

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  16. georgebolwing (1,007 comments) says:

    What we are seeing here is that Kim Dotcom is clearly being advised by US lawyers who are running his trial as they would in the US, which is to add a media element that is largely foreign to New Zealand.

    OF course, we need to recall that the proceedings in New Zealand are the preliminaries of what will, if the US Government is sucessful, become a US trial, so maybe he is just being prudent and making sure that all the right preliminary steps are taken.

    The risk he faces is that his approach will seem so different from what normally happens here that (a) they will be counter-productive in the New Zealand courts and/or (b) they will create a back-lash in public opinion, if Kim Dotcom is seen to be too foreign and too unassimilated into New Zealand life.

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  17. Ryan Sproull (7,285 comments) says:

    I would question the Herald’s phrasing. Accusing John Key of being misled? Surely you’d accuse someone else of misleading him, not accuse him of being misled.

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  18. Paulus (2,665 comments) says:

    Pure PR fantasy – money works in the US in such cases, but he may well find that it will not here, particularly if he brings politics into it both US which he is now impugning Obama as well as Key and members of the Government here.
    The Greenpeace/Labour/Winston Parties, and Keith Locke will give him everything.

    In the US the only thing which matters is money, and influence it derives.

    If he has nothing to hide, as he protests, go back and face the US courts.

    If he is not extradited which is very possible, he will not be able to travel overseas anywhere, because somebody will get him to the US whatever, from wherever, for the rest of his life.

    He is not a NZ citizen and cannot even apply for five years -he only has residence. I suggest that following this debacle he will not get a New Zealand passport whatever, unless it is from the Greenpeace Party, despite his money, which must be running low with very very expensive lawyers – ours being cheap by comparison with his US ones.

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  19. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    RRM (7,129) Says:
    May 8th, 2013 at 4:14 pm
    I for one like Dotcom… He is loud and outrageous, makes a welcome change from the right-lipped, venal old suit-wearing white men who make up the bulk of our white collar crime scene.

    And as said before he provides better entertainment stories for the oddstuff section than the usual boozy ex-sportsmen and their tawdry entourage of courtesans and whores that pass for a society page in Dork Land.

    Comment of the day :)

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  20. F E Smith (3,307 comments) says:

    justice should not be decided in the media by PR strategies.

    Why not?  Whenever a Police officer gets into a situation at work that will result in a PCA investigation the police always immediately front the media to give their side of the story and justifications for acting in the way that they did.  Why shouldn’t defence teams do the same thing?  

    This is an extremely complex case and Mr Dotcom and his highly competent legal team are making a meal of this.

    Ably assisted by an apparently incompetent Crown Law Office. 

    Now the ladies at Crown Law (and it is mostly females) all have very good law degress, mostly awarded with honours, but high grades on your degree does not mean that you actually are a good trial lawyer.  Unfortunately, Crown Law does not appear to realise this.

    And for the second time today, RRM wins the thread with his 4.14pm comment. I agree entirely with him!

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  21. Elaycee (4,410 comments) says:

    I’ve had a gutsful of reading and hearing about this attention seeking, over-hyped convicted con man. And equally, I’ve had a gutsful of the pathetic, fawning media who breathlessly hang off his every word.

    Dotcom should pack his bongos and piss off back from whence he came – the sooner, the better. And if he’s not guilty (as he claims), he should go to the US and defend himself there.

    Fat chance…..

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  22. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Surely if the Fatarse could be persuaded to write a suitably large cheque to a suitable political party this minor hiccup in the space-time continuum would disappear in a matter/antimatter annihilation event! :)

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  23. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    That’s why we took him in in the first place wasn’t it? :)

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  24. OneTrack (3,229 comments) says:

    “Surely if the Fatarse could be persuaded to write a suitably large cheque to a suitable political party this minor hiccup in the space-time continuum would disappear in a matter/antimatter annihilation event”

    I am sure he already has. He now just has to hold out until late 2014 and then I am sure a directive will be issued by the new Prime Minister.

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  25. Fentex (1,038 comments) says:

    just as the US extradites people from the US to NZ if they face criminal charges here.

    I’ve been trying, and failing, to find some numbers on this. Does anyone know of a record of how many people have been extradited either/both ways between NZ and the U.S?

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  26. Dennis Horne (2,403 comments) says:

    Ryan Sproull (5,532) Says: May 8th, 2013 at 5:32 pm
    I would question the Herald’s phrasing. Accusing John Key of being misled? Surely you’d accuse someone else of misleading him, not accuse him of being misled.

    Ryan, I think this is just a nice way of saying Key has been duped, or allowed himself to appear duped; a willing victim more like.

    Personally I don’t give a damn about the spying, the illegality was only a technicality. What I care about is the way the police went to war to question a man about copyright issues, at the behest of the FBI/CIA/POTUS, seeking to allow extradition for charges the most serious of which are likely bogus.

    You don’t make the sort of money Kim has by being saintly, but he hasn’t robbed Kiwis of millions and got away with it, nor has he killed anyone, and got away with it after a prolonged propaganda campaign of bullshit and a dopey prosecution.

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  27. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Fentex…… actually sounds like a tradename for a form of white paper! :)

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  28. wrightingright (145 comments) says:

    uh oh…. this unfortunately is DPF’s worst title naming fail :-/

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  29. Viking2 (11,569 comments) says:

    RRM (7,129) Says:
    May 8th, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I for one like Dotcom… He is loud and outrageous, makes a welcome change from the right-lipped, venal old suit-wearing white men who make up the bulk of our white collar crime scene.

    And as said before he provides better entertainment stories for the oddstuff section than the usual boozy ex-sportsmen and their tawdry entourage of politicans, courtesans and whores that pass for a society page in Dork Land.

    There fixed that.

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  30. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    And when he carks from obesity and all it’s associated diseases at least the taxpayer won’t have to pay his tab V2!

    Let’s hear it for Dotcom….the Hun in the Sun that we all cheer for! :)

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  31. expat (4,050 comments) says:

    Dotcom is a fat lying fraudster who has bought his popular support.

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  32. Mark (1,491 comments) says:

    This is an alleged breach of copywrite. Surely it should be a civil suit. Just goes to show Hollywood’s political influence in the USA and it would seem in NZ. It certainly did not seem to warrant armed offenders squads in helicopters arresting an overweight German who would struggle to outrun Gerry Brownlee, a footrace I would pay to see ;).

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  33. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Dotcom is a fat lying fraudster who has bought his popular support.

    Can you show the nature of the alleged fraud or are you just a slanderous twerp?

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  34. UglyTruth (4,551 comments) says:

    Just goes to show Hollywood’s political influence in the USA and it would seem in NZ.

    The issue of fair use goes to the heart of the fraud of corporate politics. Fair use is from equity, and equity is about matters of conscience. Corporations don’t have a conscience so fair use is foreign to them.

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  35. Ed Snack (1,927 comments) says:

    The chances of Mr Dotcom getting anything that even vaguely resembles a fair trial in the USA is vanishingly small. Their system in such matters is so thoroughly politicized that once the government through its cronies get their claws into you you’ve almost no chance of a defending yourself so you really have to take the plea bargain offered, guilty or not. Or be prepared to face 10-20 years behind bars.

    I reckon that Dotcom should be able to appeal under the Human rights act not to be extradited to a place that lacks a functionally fair justice system.

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  36. Akld Commercial Lawyer (166 comments) says:

    In light of my day job – I am reluctant to comment on the merits. However, I will continue to watch this saga with interest in the hope that it does get dealt with on its merits and the clumsiness of some of the authorities does not prevent it ever getting to trial.

    I should also add that I am not pre-disposed to conspiracy theories. As a trading nation, we rely on co-operation from our trading partners through a host of bi-lateral and multi-lateral arrangements to get our goods to the world market. And they should be able to rely on us too.

    A quick read indicates that this is a very odd paper. I am a big fan of US non-fiction writing and, gasp, am looking forward to the Michael Lewis book on Obama that we are being drip fed appetisers. This paper does not belong in the same bracket. It is not, IMHO, even good PR.

    The authors, who have big reputations as fearsome advocates, should stick to their day jobs.

    Oh, and the US legal system turns out some of the most well-reasoned and readable judgments on commercial matters. And so it should, given the significance of the US economy.

    I look forward to the next chapter.

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  37. Elaycee (4,410 comments) says:

    @Ugly Truth:

    Can you show the nature of the alleged fraud or are you just a slanderous twerp?

    Nothing alleged about it:

    Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz; 21 January 1974 in Kiel, Germany), also known as Kimble, and Kim Tim Jim Vestor is a German-Finnish Internet entrepreneur, currently residing in New Zealand. He is the founder of Megaupload and its associated websites, as well as Megaupload’s successor site, Mega. He rose to fame in Germany in the 1990s as a teenage hacker and internet entrepreneur. He was convicted of several crimes, and received a suspended prison sentence in 1994 for computer fraud and data espionage, and another suspended prison sentence in 2003 for insider trading and embezzlement.

    In 1994, he was arrested by German police for trafficking in stolen phone calling card numbers. He was held in custody for a month, released and arrested again on additional hacking charges shortly afterwards. He was eventually convicted of 11 counts of computer fraud, 10 counts of data espionage, and an assortment of other charges. He received a two-year suspended sentence – because he was under age at the time the crimes were committed. The judge in the case said the court viewed his actions as “youthful foolishness.”

    In 2001, Schmitz bought €375,000 worth of shares of the nearly bankrupt company LetsBuyIt.com and subsequently announced his intention to invest €50 million in the company. The announcement caused the share value of LetsBuyIt.com to jump and Schmitz cashed out, making a profit of €1.5 million. One commentator suggested that Schmitz may have been ignorant of the legal ramifications of what he had done, since insider trading was not made a crime in Germany until 1995 and until 2002 prosecutors also had to prove the accused had criminal intent. Schmitz moved to Thailand to avoid investigation where he was subsequently arrested on behalf of German authorities. In response, he allegedly pretended to kill himself online, posting a message on his website that from now on he wished to be known as “His Royal Highness King Kimble the First, Ruler of the Kimpire”. He was deported back to Germany where he pleaded guilty to embezzlement in November 2003 and, after five months in jail awaiting trial, again received a suspended sentence (of 20 months). After avoiding a prison sentence for a second time, he left Germany and moved to Hong Kong in late 2003. Schmitz found Hong Kong to his liking and registered Kimpire Limited in December 2003, soon after moving there. He set up a network of interlinked companies, including Trendax which was claimed to be an artificial intelligence-driven hedge fund delivering an annual return of at least 25%. However, Trendax was never registered with Hong Kong’s Securities and Futures Commission and the company was legally not allowed to accept investments or to conduct trades. Dotcom was subsequently convicted for failing to disclose his shareholding to the Securities and Futures Commission, and was fined 8000 Hong Kong dollars.

    That should help clarify things for you….

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