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Kim Dotcom to Upload Himself to SXSW Interactive

Embattled Megaupload founder will appear at March fest via Skype
Kimberley Jones, 1:22pm, Wed. Feb. 6, 2013
From Kim Dotcom's Twitter profile (@KimDotcom)

Organizers at the 2013 South by Southwest Interactive Festival announced today that embattled Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom will appear in conversation at the fest via Skype. Conducting the interview will be Wired's Charles Graeber, who wrote an engrossing profile of Dotcom back in October.

Internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom become a cause célèbre – or a bête noire, depending on your point of view – when last year his New Zealand mega-mansion was raided and the U.S. government shut down his hugely profitable Megaupload data storage locker. Authorities argued that Dotcom and his partners were guilty of copy infringement, as users frequently used the service to store and share copyrighted material – porn, Hollywood blockbusters, etc.

“Kim maintains that the real issue is a lack of understanding of the Internet," wrote Graeber back in October. "He was simply operating a hard-disc drive in virtual space. There’s no arguing that Megaupload wasn’t a legitimate cyberlocker, storing data for millions of individuals. Megaupload server logs show addresses that trace back to Fortune 100 companies and governments around the world. It’s also obvious that Megaupload was one of many Internet sites that stored, and profited from, copyright-infringing material. The only question is whether Kim and company bear criminal responsibility for that duality.”

Last month, Dotcom's file-hosting empire relaunched as Mega, wherein uploaded files are encrypted by the client and can’t be unlocked by Mega employees – thus, in theory, making them immune to the copyright violation, piracy, conspiracy, and money laundering charges Dotcom and his business partners are currently facing.

Dotcom and Graeber's convergent talk will takes place March 11; see austinchronicle.com/sxsw for the latest news on SXSW Interactive, Music, and Film programming.

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