With any hearing for extradition to the US to face criminal copyright charges having been pushed back, it is hard not to see the extravagant unveiling of the new site as a two-finger gesture aimed at US authorities.
“It would probably have looked very bleak for [Obama] to go to Hollywood and ask them to help him get re-elected when he couldn’t make Sopa [Aaron Swarz, defeater of Sopa was later bullied to death by the DoJ] happen for them. So Megaupload became a plan B.”
While reluctant to talk in detail about the case of Aaron Swartz, the Reddit co-founder who killed himself last week after what some have claimed was disproportionate behaviour by prosecutors over a hacking case, there are “similarities in the way we have been prosecuted”, says Dotcom. “Over-reaching abuse of power, no due process, just completely insane.”
And he sees a similar pattern in the treatment of WikiLeaks. “I think Julian Assange’s fear, that the Swedish government is co-operating with the US government and that there might be an attempt to extradite him from Sweden, is very real. So I sympathise with him. I see also similarities and abuses that are happening in the case against WikiLeaks that were happening to us.”