Earlier this week, Kim Dotcom, the extravagantly controversial billionaire internet entrepreneur, made legal history by winning a legal battle to live-stream his extradition hearing in New Zealand.
Unfortunately for anyone watching however, Mr Dotcom’s hearing, has so far been as interesting as watching paint dry on a rainy day surrounded by train spotters.
Despite the self-proclaimed “Internet Freedom Fighter” tweeting defiant messages to his followers such as “The US Government wants to stop live streaming because they don’t want you to see the giant egg on their faces when they get owned in court.” And of course: “We will win this together. Then we make them pay. Then they will remember. Don’t attack the Internet.”
With levels of defiance like that, and Kim Dotcom’s argument that US prosecutors are waging war on the Internet, and that MegaUpload was essentially just a web based vessel through which illegal traffic flowed, in spite of his admin team’s best efforts… the first day in court was a fairly lacklustre affair.
From the moment the trial opened at 1020 am New Zealand time, the live stream was beset by technical issues that lasted for the entire session. Picture quality fluctuated, froze, and the sound sometimes felt like it was being routed through a warped VHS tape from the 1980s. When it did work, on my laptop anyway, it was often difficult to make out what was being said anyway.
Not that any of the poor quality feed being broadcast around the world meant that anyone who was watching missed anything. The day was filled with long legal jargon filled speeches by lawyers with voices that went on for minutes at a time in exactly the same monotonous tone and pitch.
That said, it was only the first day, and in many respects both sides are just setting out their stalls for the legal fight that is to follow.
Kim Dotcom himself didn’t seem phased by the tedious first day in court, sitting as he was in his own court room at home, in a large leather chair watching the day’s proceedings on a laptop and large flat screen TV…
Kim Dotcom’s mansion was raided in 2012 by New Zealand police in 2012 at the behest of US authorities. He has fought extradition to the US ever since where he is wanted on on-line piracy charges.