Kim Dotcom, the embattled owner of the cloud-based storage site Megaupload, said in a recent interview with TorrentFreak that Vice President Joe Biden met with a group of influential people within the movie industry to discuss the takedown of his website. This cabal included the heads of several major Hollywood studios, as well as MPAA executive Mike Ellis, who, Dotcom claims, is an expert in extradition.
The MPAA, meanwhile, has stated that, while industry leaders did meet with Biden back in July of 2011, it was to discuss the vice president’s trip to China in August. Nothing about Kim Dotcom, Megaupload, or the illegal content the site hosted was ever discussed. Furthermore, they insisted that Ellis is not an extradition expert, regardless of what the Megaupload mastermind has claimed.
“The purpose of this meeting with the vice president was to discuss his [then] upcoming trip to China last August and the importance of reaching a settlement, with the Chinese government, of the United States World Trade Organization complaint against China, which would increase the number of foreign films permitted into that country and provide a better share of box office revenues,” the MPAA said in a statement to CNET. “The eventual agreement announced in February was a major step forward in spurring the growth of U.S. exports to China, and was tremendous news for the millions of American workers and businesses whose jobs depend on the entertainment industry.”
However, someone using the screen name “mrkimdotcom” posted a rebuttal to the MPAA’s claim that Ellis isn’t an expert in extradition. Citing a website called ScreenSingapore, the individual posted the following revelation:
Ellis joined the MPA from the litigation department of the international law firm Herbert Smith, and is a lawyer qualified in Hong Kong, England and Wales. Prior to this, he had a distinguished career in law enforcement that spanned two decades over which he served first in the British Police and then the Royal Hong Kong Police. There, he spent six years with the Commercial Crime Bureau focusing on trans-national fraud and extradition requests. He ultimately rose to the rank of Superintendent.
So who’s telling the truth? Is it the MPAA, who will say or do anything to protect itself and the studios it represents? Or is it Dotcom, who will say or do anything to avoid being extradited to the United States to face charges of copyright violation? I’m sure more interesting arguments from both sides of the fence will be tossed around before this situation is resolved.