Explaining the Kim Dotcom/Megaupload case

Confused about all the fuss around Kim Dotcom and Megaupload? Wondering what it’s all about? Let us explain it so even mom will understand

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The Internet has been good to Kim Dotcom - aside from the possibly-going-to-prison thing

REUTERS/Mark Coote

2012 was a big year (pardon the pun) for Kim Dotcom - and not in a good way. Starting with his arrest in January and the shutdown of his file sharing company, Megaupload, through the year-long (still continuing) battle to get him extradited to the United States to face trial for copyright infringement, it seems he was constantly in the news. Now 2013 is looking to be another year full of Kim Dotcom news, starting with the launch this week of his new file sharing site, Mega.

[The security week ahead: Mega's mind, and when stuff attacks! and Megaupload claims it was asked by US to keep infringing files]

Have you found yourself asking what all the hubbub is about? Have you been too busy watching Downton Abbey to follow all of the legal shenanigans? Well, let us try and summarize the whole shebang with a little (hypothetical) Q&A session about it between me and my mother. If I can explain it so it makes sense to her, maybe you’ll find it useful too. 

Or maybe not. But let’s give it a try anyways.


Does this man look trustworthy?

REUTERS/Nigel Marple

Who is Kim Dotcom and why is she in trouble?

Well, first of all, she’s a he - a 6’ 7”, 300 poundish German man.

Oh. Well, schnitzel can be very filling. So, Mr. Dotwhatever - wait, is that his real name?

Dotcom, mom. It’s his legal name now, but he was originally born Kim Schmitz. He changed it a few years ago in honor of all the money he made on the Internet.

Good thing he didn’t make a lot of money as a gynecologist.

Maybe. So, he’s the founder of Megaupload, a cloud-based file-sharing website, and he’s been charged by the U.S. government with racketeering, money laundering and copyright infringement, all based on illegal file sharing.

Arrested for sharing? I used to spank you for not sharing. Remember?

Yes, unfortunately, but Megaupload was shut down in January of 2012 by the FBI because it was allegedly enabling, encouraging and profiting from people using it to illegally share copyrighted material, like digital copies of movies, books and songs. 

Oh yes. I think I saw a case like this on CSI. Or was it NCIS? Whichever one has LL Cool J. He’s hunky.

He is entertaining.

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