Bitchin' Channels
A blog about television and radio with Paul Casserly

Paul Casserly: Is Kim Dotcom a weapon of mass destruction?

Kim Dotcom has fronted to the media for the first time. Photo / Brett Phibbs
Kim Dotcom has fronted to the media for the first time. Photo / Brett Phibbs

He has nice eyes. That's the first thing that was apparent when Kim Dotcom fronted on Campbell Live for a "world exclusive" interview.

Smiling, twinkling eyes that belie the situation he is now in, although what that situation actually is, is still a little cloudy.

It felt a little clearer after the interview, which served to deflate some of the claims that Dotcom is the Dr Evil of world piracy. He is not a criminal, he told us as he deftly downplayed the piracy aspect of his online enterprise.

When it comes to the cause of piracy, Kim seems to believe that it's caused by corporations who are too slow to release movies so naturally people will find a way to watch them.

He invoked the image of a 14-year-old boy in Germany, who upon seeing a trailer for an American blockbuster had to then wait six months before he got to see it.

If the corporations are too slow then the people are forced to steal, he claimed.

These arguments seem to fall on demographic lines. The older you are the more likely you are to feel the FBI and the Hollywood moguls have a case, but if you grew up listening the Rage Against The Machine you probably won't like the smell of it at all.

Dotcom invoked the idea that his case is much like the whole "weapons of mass destruction" thing, implying that he, like said weapons, doesn't really exist (his mega-pirate self that is) and that the exaggerations regarding the billions he is said to have cost the copyright owners is also bogus.

It's an argument that you'll hear in various forms. Many believe that record companies are indeed evil and copyright is an outdated concept. The other argument, apart from the legal ones, is that Dotcom is a scapegoat.

This one seems more compelling and was one that Campbell pursued, helpfully suggesting that Dotcom was picked on because he paraded around like a cross between Augustus Gloop and Caligula.

Campbell was more polite than that, merely suggesting that Kim was a bit of "a lunatic".

Dotcom reckons that is pretty much true (although the videos of him acting the goat are 10 years old) and added that he was also picked on because he's German and not American and because he doesn't wear a suit, unlike the guys at Microsoft who he claimed are pretty much up to the same shenanigans.

So here he was at last, in our living rooms, this "weapon of mass destruction," this Kim Dotcom, the man being hunted by the FBI, the man with the pregnant wife, the man in the mansion, the man with the smiling eyes.

It was an entertaining half-hour to be sure and a very rare thing - an "exclusive" that actually lived up to its promise.

Regardless of how you view piracy or those who facilitate it, he certainly won the battle of hearts, if not minds.

And if there's one thing you can totally believe, it's when he says: "I enjoy my life, I have a big kid inside me."

* Did you change your opinion of Kim Dotcom after last night's interview? Post your comments below.

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