No sweat says Dotcom on Key rematch

ADAM DUDDING
Last updated 05:00 18/08/2013
Kim Dotcom
Fairfax NZ
MEGAPHONE: Kim Dotcom at an anti-GCSB bill protest in Auckland.

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Last month Kim Dotcom mocked the prime minister for turning red as the pair bickered during a select committee hearing, and was labelled sweaty in return.

With any luck Dotcom will engage in a higher class of repartee next month, when he takes part in a celebrity debate about the future of copyright.

Dotcom will take to the stage at Auckland's Q Theatre on September 4, on a team debating the moot "Internet Killed the Copyright Star". His fellow debaters include comedian Jeremy Ellwood and authors Vanda Symon and Charlotte Grimshaw.

Since his arrest in an FBI-backed raid in January last year for alleged internet piracy, Dotcom has become a prolific commentator on what he sees as the failure of copyright laws.

"I'm probably one of the best persons to talk about it," Dotcom told the Sunday Star-Times.

He said copyright in its current form is extreme - "you can't just download a movie from any country on any device - you have to jump through all kinds of hoops to consume content."

The celebrity debate is a fundraiser for the Michael King Writers' Centre. Centre manager Karren Beanland said while it would be entertaining, the topic was serious.

"Copyright and intellectual property may be the biggest economic issue in the 21st century, being played out at all levels of society from social media to the highest levels of government."

Since being bailed Dotcom has strenuously proclaimed his innocence and kept a high profile. Previous outings include appearing as Santa in a Christmas pantomime and releasing singles mocking ACT leader John Banks and US President Barack Obama. Tomorrow he is due to speak at a public meeting in Auckland opposing National's GCSB Bill.

Last month Dotcom went head to head with the prime minister at the Intelligence and Security select committee, and claimed he had proof John Key knew about Dotcom before his arrest.

When Key denied this, Dotcom said: "Why are you turning red, prime minister?" Key replied: "I'm not. Why are you sweating?" To which Dotcom said: "I'm hot."

Dotcom said he would gladly face Key again. "I would love to have a one-on-one debate with the prime minister. You know, one hour, live, at a neutral venue."

The other debaters in next month's event are blogger and columnist Toby Manhire and internet commentator David Slack.

- Tickets from qtheatre.co.nz from tomorrow

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