Kim Dotcom's oft-delayed extradition hearing began on Monday 21 Sep, nearly three years and 10 months since the infamous raid of Dotcom's New Zealand mansion. Over that time span, Dotcom's legal team has managed to drag out the affair through 10 extradition hearing delays and various other legal maneuvering. And according to some number crunching from the New Zealand Herald (confirmed by the Crown Law Office, the NZ prosecutors representing the US there), Dotcom's trials and tribulations have cost NZ taxpayers nearly NZ$5.8 million in legal fees (or approximately $3.7 million).
The total cost is just one of the eye-dropping[sic] Dotcom-related numbers the Herald outlined this weekend. To start, it's been 1337 total days since the raid. And in total, 29,344 hours of legal work has been made possible through taxpayer investments; two-thirds of those hours have gone specifically towards the extradition request according to the paper. With the base rate for Crown solicitors set at NZ$198/hour, the Herald puts the current cost at the NZ$5.8 million figure above. Dotcom took to Twitter to note that such a calculation means NZ has spent almost the equivalent of half of its 2014 budget for Crown prosecutions on Dotcom alone. (In contrast, the Herald reports Dotcom has spent an estimated NZ$10 million, roughly $6.4M, on his defense.)
(Score: 4, Interesting) by urza9814 on Thursday October 01 2015, @03:55PM
Very true. But you have to balance that against the limited resources of the state. Someone commented earlier that the number of incidents of sexual assault in NZ have been on the rise for example. But instead of working on that, they're spending all these millions going after someone who built a tool to let others move numbers around.
There's one law for the rich and powerful, and a separate law for us. They'll spend millions prosecuting a civil case on behalf of major corporations, but they turn and look the other way when it comes to violent crimes committed against the common citizen.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 01 2015, @09:43PM
Wow. it all sounds so benign when you put it like that. I shouldn't feel so bad about that guy who stole my money because he was just simply moving some molecules from my wallet to his.
(Score: 2, Insightful) by TheReaperD on Friday October 02 2015, @12:56AM
It's a matter of comparing severities. Which of these crimes is more severe and should consume the most of the country's limited resources? 1) Sexual assault: A crime the directly causes physical and long term emotional harm to a person. 2) Online copyright infringement: A financial crime that makes copies of an unlimited resource (binary data) that deprives a copyright holder of potential revenue on a lost potential sales.
Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit
(Score: 2) by Anal Pumpernickel on Friday October 02 2015, @08:40AM
I don't think that's quite right. It doesn't truly deprive them of anything. They didn't "have" potential revenue or potential sales; you can't own those things. To say otherwise would be to say that copyright holders own other people's money before they give it to them, which is absurd. Since they did not own those things, they cannot lose them.
If they could own potential sales and potential revenue, then good old free market competition would be 'stealing' too. My competitors are stealing potential revenue and potential sales! If they didn't exist, I predict I'd have more money!
(Score: 2, Informative) by TheReaperD on Sunday October 04 2015, @03:11PM
I don't tend to buy the "potential" revenue argument that the MPAA/RIAA and similar organizations like to claim either. But, I was allowing that for the sake of my argument that even if we take their position as truth, enforcement is still grossly out of line with the severity of the "crime." As far as what the "potential" revenue means as far as actual lost sales, what little research has been done suggests that less than 5% of all copyright infringers will actually make a purchase that they otherwise wouldn't have made if the file was not available on a torrent. Most of the study data actually suggested less than 1% but, they didn't want to use that number allowing for margin of error. In reality, they found that the top infringers were also the top paying customers as well. They used the sites to sample media and when they found what they liked, they purchased it for full price, assuming it was available legally (a problem with a lot of MPAA backed media).
I have a hunch that the reason that the media companies go after file sharing so heavily is that with the ability to sample media before purchase that they can no longer produce absolute crap and shovel it out the door and make their money back before the world learns it's crap. There were well-known directors that had made an entire business model out of this before file sharing to have it go tits-up when file sharing became commonplace. (Looking at you, Uwe Boll.) This same director and a scummy lawyer also brought the copyright infringement astroturfing extortion method into wide-spread use that the U.S. courts are currently trying to clean out of the system.
Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 02 2015, @08:34AM
Well, unlike stealing, nothing is actually lost here. And the government made so many legal errors while trying to prosecute him that this is just a violation of his rights.
Maybe you want the US to play world police, but I don't. Especially not if it's just to violate people's free speech rights, which our government happily ignores.