Dotcom case is bad for the Internet

Apple co-founder, Dancing Queen and all round nice bloke Steve Wozniak lashed out again at the US piracy case against Kim Dotcom is “hokey” and dubbed it a threat to internet “innovation”.

As we reported before, Wozniak met Dotcom when he was visiting New Zealand last month to give a speech. He learned Dotcom couldn’t come to see him because he was under house arrest so he arranged a meeting. They have been chatting by email since.

Woz said it was ridiculous what the authorities did to Dotcom’s life. An awful lot of Kiwis support him. The US government is on thin ground, he told AP.

He added that plenty of people used Megaupload for legitimate purposes before federal authorities shut it down in January and filed criminal charges against seven of its officers, including Dotcom.

New Zealand coppers swooped down in helicopters onto the grounds of Dotcom’s mansion and cut their way into a safe room where they found him hiding. He was jailed for a month before a judge decided he could be monitored from his home.

Woz said that the Megaupload site was like a highway and those who shared pirated movies and songs were speeding motorists.

“You don’t just shut down the whole street because somebody is speeding,” he said.

In another interview Dotcom said that the more people learn about this case the more they realise that this type of copyright disagreement between Hollywood and new cloud storage technology is a political debate, not something that belongs in the criminal court.

Woz believes that people should pay for content. But he also believes in keeping the internet open to encourage innovation. He added that trying to shut down sites like Megaupload is futile.

“If you’ve got a huge steamroller coming, instead of trying to stop it, you should get out of the way,” he said.

Woz admitted that he might be being fooled by a clever conman, but he was not finding any evidence of that so far.