Kim Dotcom's 'most pirated documentary in history' premieres in US
Kim Dotcom appears to be encouraging people to pirate copies of a new documentary about him instead of waiting for its New Zealand release.
Kim Dotcom: Caught in the Web debuted at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas on Tuesday (NZ Time).
Dotcom himself couldn't attend the screening as he remained a wanted man in the USA due to allegations of criminal copyright infringement and money laundering.
Dotcom was the mastermind behind file-sharing website Megaupload. The USA alleged piracy on the site cost Hollywood more than US$500 million, leading to a dawn raid of Dotcom's Auckland mansion by FBI officials and New Zealand police and a lengthy and ongoing legal battle with US authorities.
Just before the film's release, Dotcom tweeted to tell the producers they should make the film available immediately online or it would become "the most pirated documentary in history".
The producers should make it available on commercial streaming sites, globally. Coz if u can't find it there you'll just pirate it, right? 😜 https://t.co/amo96qtE0Q— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 13, 2017
It was understood the film would not be available in New Zealand for months.
"This will be the most pirated documentary in history and if all the studies are correct this will translate into great sales," Dotcom tweeted before posting a poll asking followers if they planned to illegally download the film.
Will you illegally download the docu— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 7, 2017
Kim Dotcom - Caught in the Web?https://t.co/8cqjz3mmbx
In the documentary, Dotcom maintained his claim that documents given to him showed Hollywood had interfered in his case.
In an interview with director Annie Goldson, Dotcom presented a printed email that he said proved Holywood's Motion Picture Association and a Warner Brothers employee discussed his case, BuzzFeed reported.
Goldson, a professor of media, film and television at the University of Auckland, received about $1m in funding from the New Zealand Film Commission for the documentary - which also appeared to anger Dotcom.
The New Zealand government spent $30 million on fighting me.— Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) March 13, 2017
Then they spent another $1 million on a documentary about fighting me.#Life
The film followed Dotcom's rise from teenage hacker to become "the most wanted man online". In the end, a BuzzFeed review concluded that although the film summarised the Dotcom saga, little new information was presented.
The 108-minute film took three years to make. Goldson said it was "a roller-coaster ride as we have carved stories and arguments out of volumes of material".
Although Dotcom was unable to attend the screening himself, his US-based lawyer Ira Rothken was there.
He said the film was "beautifully directed" and "captures the epic battle between Kim & Hollywood forces".
Dotcom and the New Zealand Film Commission were approached for comment.