Rulers of Information
Kim Dotcom, born Kim Schmitz in Kiel, Germany, is perhaps the world’s most famous data pirate. The head of Megaupload, a data “service” that shared out copyrighted songs, films, books and much else to 50 million visitors a day, Kim is now incarcerated in a New Zealand jail following an FBI supervised raid.
As he awaits extradition to the US, requested today, the often flamboyant Kim represents a nagging problem to judicial authorities everywhere. Can they convict him of wholesale copyright theft? Will he escape jail time as he has so often before?
Fortunately, there is a way out.
Kim Dotcom and Kim Jong Il shared far more than surnames. Both were masters of manipulating information. And with Kim Jong Il gone from the scene, North Korea is in many ways more unstable than before. Can young son Kim Jong Un hold onto power and prevent a disastrous collapse of a nuclear power?
Recently, the US got North Korea to give up ongoing nuclear enrichment in return for food supplies. This new opening may provide a further opportunity – to send Kim Dotcom to North Korea to advise and aid the regime. Kim’s penchant for open information might do much to create a new situation on the Korean peninsula.
What appears at first an outlandish idea becomes far more feasible if we recognize the many parallels between Kim Dotcom and Kim Jong Il. In more ways than one, they were truly brothers under the skin (please see Gruley, Ficling, and Rahn’s February 20th engrossing article in Bloomberg Businessweek.)
A Talent For Titles
Few could compete with Kim Jong Il 1200 official titles. My personal favorite was “Guardian Deity of the Planet,” though “greatest musical genius of all time” also had a particular ring. Kim Dotcom’s titles were also many. Beyond innumerable corporate chieftanships they included others posted on his extraordinarily expensive sport and leisure vehicles. Some representative monikers on Kim’s license plates: HACKER, MAFIA, GUILTY, and GOD.
The North Korean respect for living deities should help spread Kim Dotcom’s influence among the leadership.
A Fascination with Unusual Appearance
Neither Kim Dotcom nor Kim Jong Il liked wearing ties. Both took pleasure in wearing multiple unicolor suits, including zoot suits and quasi-military regalia. At 6’7’’ and 300 plus pounds, Kim Dotcom does not require shoe lifts, as Kim Jong Il did, in order to be instantly noticed. He would no doubt prove a colorful additon to standard May Day celebration photographs of the North Korean elite.
A Yen For Film Innovation
Though Megaupload pulled innumerable movies off the web, no Hollywood studio ever collected copyright fees from either Kim Dotcom or Kim Jong Il. As known to his compatriots, “Dear Leader’s” desire to create movies was insatiable. He even kidnapped one of South Korea’s leading directors, along with his actress wife, in order to improve his own film-making skills.
Kim Dotcom also loves making movies – especially regarding issues of theft. In one cartoon he produced and wrote, “Kimble Special Agent,” named after the vascular surgeon played by Harrison Ford in “The Fugitive,” drives his “megaboat” into the headquarters of Bill Gates. Gates micturates in his pants while “Kimble Special Agent” shoots bullets into the wall which spell the word “LINUX.”
We can only imagine Kim Jong Il’s posthumous approval of this audacious art work.
Songs of Praise
Music makes us happy and inspires us. Many songs were dedicated to the power, glory, and achievements of Kim Jong Il. Cavernous stadium filled with tens of thousands of deliriously joyous North Koreans singing his uplifting, patriotic melodies.
Kim Dotcom was perhaps best known in musical circles for his uploading of copyrighted material. But he did produce one brief video hit, the “Mega Song.” This was performed by Alicia Keys, will.i.am, Diddy Combs, Jamie Foxx, and the eponymous Dotcom himself, blasting out the chorus “M-E-G-A, upload to me today, send me a file…Megaupload.”
Kim’s relationship with famous singing stars could certainly help North Korea’s image problem with the West.
Kim Dotcom and North Korea
Kim’s allure for the North Korean leadership should be obvious. He is a Westerner who truly understands technology. His interest in and ability to engage in extrajudicial acts mirrors that of the North Korean government, which has long acted as if there are no rules – for them. Kim’s natural flamboyance would also bring a touch of “Dear Leader’s” extravagant showmanship that might decrease North Korea’s international isolation. His sense of humor would also prove welcome.
But there are many advantages to the West in sending Kim Dotcom to North Korea:
1. Decreased legal costs. Extraditing Kim will be very expensive in both money and man-hours. And right now strapped Western judicial authorities have their hands full with crime in every corner – including officialdom itself.
2. Building harmonious relations. Sending Kim to North Korea would send a message that the West fervently hopes North Korea will fix it’s dead economy and hopeless agriculture – and that we only plan to advise, not invade.
3. Opening up North Korea. Kim Dotcom believes that information should be free – literally. He only charged small amounts to those who partook of copyrighted material worth, well, megabucks.
North Korea has been one of the most closed countries in the world. North Koreans can only listen to one radio program – on radios that can only receive one frequency. Kim Dotcom could do wonders providing greater information openness and freedom to all North Koreans. And as westerners, information rules the world.
4. Introducing capitalism. Kim Dotcom may be a criminal to some, but he is without question an unreconstructed capitalist. He would certainly bring capitalist ideas of liberty and free markets to North Korea, ideas he would sell fervently.
North Korea could benefit greatly from Kim Dotcom’s services. And the US and other countries would rid themselves of a legal nuisance while bringing our message of economic openness, open information, and free markets to a country which desperately needs that message.
New Zealand authorities should think twice before extraditing Kim Dotcom to America.
North Korea needs him more.
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