Megaupload's Kim Dotcom — the man behind one of the most well-known file sharing sites — has a message for US President Barack Obama: where is your promise to keep the Internet free?
Dotcom, the 38-year-old founder of Megaupload.com, has come forth with his latest attempt to make a splash in the same industry that has employed every tactic in the book to put him behind bars. Even after being targeted by an international witch-hunt spearheaded by the Recording Industry Association of America, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and selected members of the US Congress, Dotcom has dropped a new musical number of his own.
And, of course, Dotcom has made the song available free of charge all over the Internet.
“Mr. President,” a bouncy, 4-minute-long request meant for Washington, was released on Friday, and Dotcom doesn’t hold back in his appeal for Internet freedoms. Dotcom may have been made the poster boy of online piracy thanks to an array of enemies in the RIAA, Hollywood and Capitol Hill, but in his latest number he embraces that allegations that he has facilitated copyright infringement and asks for his fans to demand a chance with the ways the Web is governed.
“The war for the Internet has begun,” Dotcom declares over a simplistic synthesizer lead. “Hollywood is in control of politics / The Government is killing innovation / Don't let them get away with that.”
Dotcom has been a central figure in Washington’s war on online piracy for years now, but a highly publicized raid of his New Zealand mansion on January 20 has propelled him to near-iconic status. The FBI alleges that, by masterminding the operations of Megaupload, Dotcom cost Hollywood upwards of half a billion dollars in lost revenue. Since those allegations were delivered, though, Dotcom has spent six months mostly hulled up in his home, yet still jumping on just about every opportunity to attack America and its justice system.
Only days before “Mr. President” was released, Dotcom’s attorneys filed a rebuttal against the federal prosecutors involved in the copyright case that calls out America’s attorneys for inventing their own rules to try to build up charges against Megaupload, a hugely popular file-storage site that was shut down by the FBI in conjunction with January’s raid.
In his latest tune, Dotcom declares over a redundant German dance beat that, “[I]f we don’t do anything. . . they will just blame it on the copyright,” and that advocates for a free and open Internet need to “Keep this movement going,” “Keep this movement tweeting” and “Keep this movement moving” in order to erode attempts from Congress and other legislative bodies across the world that are running a campaign against online freedoms.
During the course of the song, Dotcom’s compliments the tune’s repetitive dance phrases by combining it with images of protesters from across the globe, frequently donned in the Guy Fawkes mask adopted by the Anonymous movement, to showcase how other advocates have successfully killed ACTA — the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement that aimed to establish new standards for governing intellectual property rights in countries around the globe, including the US, New Zealand, Canada and the European Union. Thanks in part to a massive social media campaign — to which Dotcom encouraged — ACTA was killed just weeks ago.
In a tweet sent earlier this month, Dotcom celebrated the end of ACTA and similar American legislation aimed at regulating the Internet by writing to his followers, “SOPA is dead. PIPA is dead. ACTA is dead. MEGA will return. Bigger. Better. Faster. Free of charge & shielded from attacks. Evolution!”
Elsewhere in the number, Dotcom reaches out directly to President Obama, insisting that the “change” that was promised during his 2008 campaign for the White House turned out to be nothing more than an attempt to bring difference to the Web by way of regulation.
“What about free speech, Mr. President?” Dotcom asks. “What happened to change, Mr. President? Are you pleading the fifth, Mr. President? Are you going to fix this, Mr. President?”
Dotcom then deters his lyrical attacks to take aim at the entertainment industry representatives who have largely pushed for SOPA and PIPA, whose clout on Capitol Hill almost cost the rest of the country their Internet freedoms.
“Hollywood marionettes [are] taking over our Internet,” he sings. “Don't let them get away with that.”
Before the song concludes, Dotcom asks his listeners to “Keep sharing this song.”
“If you can't blog – tweet. If you can't tweet – like. But by all means – keep sharing.”