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Kiwi judge steps aside from Dotcom extradition hearings

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

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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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