Late Tuesday, TorrentFreak reported what could possibly lead to a major corruption scandal that reaches the highest levels of the U.S. government: Kim Dotcom, founder of Megaupload, says the takedown of his company by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and international law enforcement was personally ordered by none other than Vice President Joe Biden. According to Dotcom, the Megaupload bust was a “gift” from Biden to his former colleague in the Senate, Chris Dodd, who currently hails as chief executive of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA).
“I do know from a credible source that it was Joe Biden, the best friend of former Senator and MPAA boss Chris Dodd, who ordered his former lawyer and now state attorney Neil MacBride to take Mega down,” Dotcom told TorrentFreak.
Dotcom points to a July 27, 2011 meeting between Biden and a number of Hollywood executives whose companies are members of the MPAA. During this meeting, says Dotcom, the MPAA coordinated with Biden the shutdown of Megaupload, which took place on January 19, 2012.
Those who attended this meeting — which really did take place — include Barry Meyer, CEO of Warner Bros Entertainment; Brady Grey, CEO of Paramount Pictures; Ron Meyer, President of Universal Studios; and Rich Ross, former chairman of Walt Disney Studios. Dodd was also in attendance, as was MPAA Senior Executive Vice President for Global Policy and External Affairs Michael O’Leary.
But it was the appearance of one guest, Michael Ellis, Managing Director of the Motion Picture Association’s Asia Pacific wing, who Dotcom says proves his conspiracy theory is correct: Ellis, he says, is a well-known “extradition expert.”
Dotcom, a resident of New Zealand and a German citizen, currently faces possible extradition to the United States on charges of criminal copyright infringement and other crimes related to Megaupload.
While the office of Vice President Biden has not yet responded to Dotcom’s allegations, the MPAA has. In a statement to Cnet, the MPAA admitted that the meeting took place, but said that the group never discussed Megaupload with the vice president, and denied that Ellis is an extradition expert.
“The purpose of this meeting with the Vice President was to discuss his 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,” said an MPAA spokesman.
Of course, without any hard evidence either way, this leaves us with the option of either trusting Dotcom, who obviously could have motives for discrediting the law enforcement operation that destroyed his business and possibly his life, or the MPAA, which clearly has no reason to want people thinking that it’s colluding with the White House.
We do know, however, that Hollywood has seen a boom in China over the past year, with movie ticket sales jumping 35 percent during that time. And Hollywood’s increased business in China is, in fact, at least partially due to a February agreement between the government-run China Film Group and — you guessed it — Vice President Joe Biden to allow for more American-made movies to play in Chinese theaters each year.
Funny thing is, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently launched an investigation into whether a number of major Hollywood studios, including 20th Century Fox, Disney, and DreamWorks Animation, bribed Chinese officials to allow for increased business in the country.
So, who to trust in this whole thing? At this point, I’d say nobody.
Image via Flickr/Barack Obama