Kiwi judge steps aside from Dotcom extradition hearings

Calls the US the ‘enemy’, sparks outrage, quits case

The New Zealand judge hearing America’s Great Collapsing Extradition Case against Kim Dotcom has removed himself from the case, after telling a New Zealand forum “we have met the enemy, and he is the US”.

The remark by Judge David Harvey – made to the NetHui conference while discussing the unpopular (except among international copyright cartels) Trans Pacific Partnership treaty negotiations – was made in the context of a cartoon the judge showed during his speech, according to NZ National Business Review journalist Chris Keall.

While the one-liner – made in reference to a 1960s Walt Kelly cartoon about the Vietnam War – was enough to spark outrage, Keall notes that the judge also spoke strongly against proposals that the TPP enforce DVD region-coding. He told the forum launching New Zealand’s “A Fair Deal” coalition, an anti-TPP group, that activities currently legal in that country (and in Australia) such as watching DVDs out-of-region would be “criminalized”.

Calling the US approach “heavy-handed,” the judge told the forum that “Under TPP and the American Millennium Copyright Act provisions, you will not be allowed to do that. That will be prohibited – point one. Point two – if you do, you will be a criminal. That’s what will happen.”

He also noted that the right to play DVDs out-of-region is a matter of access rather than copying.

Judge Harvey will be replaced by Judge Nevin Dawson. ®

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