Kim Dotcom is the alias of a modern day digital mafioso, who made more than half a billion dollars in the last few years by selling advertising on a site filled with stolen movies and music. Like any mafia lord, Kim hangs out with various low talent artists hoping that a little blow might be left on the coffee table. So today Kim and his lame ass disco music friends have released a song that is on a par with Triumph of The Will for those who study propaganda. The master of the field was Joe Goebbels who wrote “It would not be impossible to prove with sufficient repetition and a psychological understanding of the people concerned that a square is in fact a circle. They are mere words, and words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise.”
In his brilliant attempt to square the circle of his fortune built on stealing from artists, Kim equates his struggle with that of Martin Luther King. He attempts to hijack the whole Occupy movement to aid in his redemption. But in deciding that he could make $ million by selling advertising on Megaupload–with an inventory of quantities of stolen digital content–it’s easy to think that Kim Dotcom believed he was above the law. And the sad thing is that huge corporations like Google and Yahoo—some of Kim Dotcom’s early advertising partners–support this kind of conduct by enabling an underground advertising market that funds both piracy and pornography (usually on the same site) in the huge “remnant ad business” on the web.
This underground ad trade has been going on for years. Last summer Google spent $500 million to settle violations of the Controlled Substances Act with the U.S. Department of Justice for actively solicited advertising business for sites selling a variety of human grown hormone, RU-486, oxycontin, and steroids and they did it for years and they knew they were violating the law. So if Google made $500 million off of counterfeit drug advertising, how much money are they making off of advertising for legitimate brands in partnership with illegitimate pirated entertainment products? A report that Google and the British Performing Rights Society commissioned stated that “Advertising is an important source of funding for (pirate) sites, with Embedded Streaming and P2P Communities depending even more on ads than other segments.” Although Google is just one of many advertising service providers that service the big Pirate sites, it could take the lead in stopping this practice. Just like they agreed to stop selling advertising to promote illegal drug sales, they could do the same with pirate content sites. Or go a step further–stop linking to adjudicated pirate content sites in search. To paraphrase Officer Malone—everyone knows who the pirates are, Mr. Page.
This is the next battleground for artists who refuse to sit quietly while their stolen content is used by pirates and Madison avenue in some cynical game of “I didn’t know my ads were on Pirate Bay”. We now have the tools to track every ad and every ad network that places the ad on the Digital Mafia sites and so we have ample evidence that Google and Yahoo are feeding millions of ads to these pirate sites. We are not afraid to publish this information to introduce a little transparency to this underground advertising business. Kim Dotcom is not a hero of the Occupy Movement, he is an enterprise level crime lord. Just like Drug Lord Pablo Escobar used to spend millions to buy politicians and polish his image as a charitable foundation, we will not be fooled. Google can put on a PR show saying they are going to help take down the Mexican Drug Cartels, while their ad networks provide the source of funding for the Pirate entertainment cartels.
“Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”