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: 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