RIP Finn Batato

I met Finn many times after his arrest in NZ.

He was always a very kind and gentle soul and news he lost his fight to cancer is deeply saddening.

The true price the trumped up charges against Finn, Mega UpLoad and Kim Dotcom has been beyond counting. The Americans using John Key and NZ, stole their company, took their money, charged them falsely and sacrificed them to Corporate Hollywood’s war on internet market share…

The A-list conspiracy: Did Hollywood tell Obama to take down internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom?

One of Dotcom’s lawyers, Robert Amsterdam, told The Independent that the criminal case against his client, which alleges that Dotcom used Megaupload as a front for a criminal enterprise that willingly shared and profited from millions of dollars’ worth of copyrighted material, is based on erroneous use of civil law and is rooted in the relationship between the upper reaches of the Democratic party and the film-making industry.

In particular, Amsterdam cites the friendship between Vice President Joe Biden and Chris Dodd, CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and a former Senator.

According to Amsterdam and his co-counsel, the US Department of Justice is going to great lengths to prosecute, and thus appease the Hollywood lobby, using racketeering laws to bolster a weak case built on non-existent civil theories of ‘secondary copyright infringement’.

“Here you have, if you excuse me, computer geeks, and they’re being treated as if they’re the heads of the Gambino crime family,” he says.

Expanding on a white paper recently released via Dotcom’s website, Amsterdam points out that the raid on Dotcom’s mansion came on the same day as the controversial Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), a bill designed to tackle online piracy, was shelved in US Congress after outcry from online giants such as Google and Facebook, which claimed it would curb online freedoms.

The day before, Dodd made comments implying that the MPAA would stop supporting President Obama if something was not done to tackle copyright infringement.

Dodd, a man Biden has described as one of his best friends, had told FOX News: “Those who count on quote ‘Hollywood’ for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who’s going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don’t ask me to write a cheque for you when you think your job is at risk, and then don’t pay any attention to me when my job is at stake.”

For Hollywood, a considerable amount of money is certainly at stake. The MPAA estimates that online piracy costs the US film industry around $20.5bn per year. Though critics say the true figure is in the hundreds of millions, it is still a significant loss for an industry that is already facing other funding pressures after the 2008 financial crisis.

Amsterdam argues that shutting down Megaupload, and the raid on Dotcom, was a “Plan B” to pushing through SOPA.

“I think, when the President of the Motion Picture Association, on 19 January says that if people basically don’t help him out, he’s not writing any cheques, and then on the 20 January [authorities] attack my client… and throw him in jail, there’s at least an inference there that at least requires an explanation.”

Amsterdam also points to White House logs, which show President Obama hosted Chris Dodd for a two-and-a-half hour private lunch meeting in the Oval Office on 9 December 2011, six weeks before the raid.

Though some would call this conspiratorial, and sceptics will point to the many other issues a former Senator and Hollywood bigwig would discuss at the White House, Amsterdam argues that Megaupload and its founder are likely to have cropped up.

“Starting off from all of the legal grounds that exist and moving to the political nature of the attack [we must ask] ‘was this discussed in the White House?’ and ‘who said what to whom?’,” he says.

Hollywood’s long-standing financial support for the Democrats is no secret. Amsterdam describes the relationship thus: “The MPAA is to the Democrats what the NRA is to the Republicans.”

One glitzy, celebrity-packed dinner organised by George Clooney raised $15m for Obama’s re-election campaign last year.

…this case has been an abomination of legal process and jurisdiction.

This is not what our justice system should be used for, we are not a puppet for US interests, we should be a sovereign state with our own laws and judicial system that is beyond influence by America and their corporate overlords!

Finn paid the ultimate price for this injustice against him.

Rest In Peace Comrade. You didn’t deserve any of this.

 

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