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MediaWorks pulls Kim Dotcom radio ads - insider cites music/movie advertiser pressure

UPDATE / Jan 16: MediaWorks has pulled a series of ads placed by Kim Dotcom to promote his new file sharing service Mega, launching January 20.

An insider at MediaWorks told NBR ONLINE the move was made in response to pressure from music and movie advertisers.

The ads were whipped off air shortly after they first aired on The Edge and seven other stations earlier today. Dotcom told NBR ONLINE the ads were placed exclusively with Mediaworks stations.

Spokeswoman Rachel Lorimar told NBR the spots were taken off air for "commercial reasons" and that "this is a unique situation."

She refused to comment further.

Kim Dotcom tweeted this afternoon "Apparently some music labels complained to MediaWorks about our radio ads. Booking of over 500 ad plays terminated. Wow!!!"

A rep for the Recording Industry Association of NZ (Rianz) was not immediately able to comment but was seeking more information on record companies' alleged involvement.

NZFACT, which lobbies on behalf of the major Hollywood studios, did not immediately return NBR's call.

In follow-up tweets, Dotcom said, "Not blaming MediaWorks. They are a great company with great people. It's the music labels that are abusing their power, again."

He also offered to sell the ads to other radio stations if they would email him with terms.

Mega is launching internationally this Sunday, but the radio ads were only booked for New Zealand. Dotcom told NBR international radio and internet ads would follow after the launch.

Dotcom will launch Mega - an online file shariing and storage service - this Sunday night. He says he will follow up six months later with two more services,  Megabox, a content service that will give artists a cut of the profits, and Megakey, a web browser plug-in which will offer ad-supported free music and movie content - supplanting ads served by websites in the process.

The accused pirate has previously claimed record companies are threatened by Megabox, which would potentially cut them out of the loop.

Kim Dotcom turns to ye olde radio for Mega ad campaign, pushes privacy angle

Jan 15: Irony Dept: The man who wants to reinvent media has turned to a traditional broadcasting medium to promote his new file sharing service.

Kim Dotcom has produced a series of 5, 15 and 30-second radio ads to promote Mega, launching January 20 (scroll down for the audio).

The spots will run on MediaWorks' The Edge and seven other NZ stations from Wednesday, Dotcom told NBR ONLINE this morning.

"I think nobody with a radio will be able to miss them," Dotcom says.

"We will launch a global ad campaign, radio and internet, after the launch."

The spots were created inhouse by the Mega team, and feature voiceovers by Nic Sampson and Barnaby Fredrick (cowriters of the Mega Christmas play Dotcom performed in during December), Kimberley Crossman (another star of said play) and Kim himself.

The ads push a privacy angle, using cheeky analogies rather than going into the specifics of Mega's encryption technology and distributed hosting setup (Crossman's spot runs "One of the most basic human rights is privacy. You  wouldn't leave the door open when you took a poo-poo would you? So why would you leave your files exposed on the internet?").

And all of the ads finish with the tagline "* - the privacy company." 

It's a savvy move. Mega's one-click encryption (assuming it's as user-friendly as Kim claims) will offer a key point of difference over rivals like Dropbox, making it the Swiss bank of online file lockers.

But how far the privacy promise will reassure the 50 million users of Dotcom's former service, Megaupload, is an open point. Despite lawsuits, none have been able to access any of the files stranded by the FBI seizure and shutdown (Megaupload was hosted at a US server farm. Mega will have a distributed or anywhere-but-the-US setup).

Why radio?
Some-time musician Kim Dotcom has an affinity for audio and "Audio ads on the Internet don't work," he told NBR.

"We wanted to do something fun that people can enjoy when they drive to work."

Mega is due to launch this Sunday, January 20 (the anniversary of the Megaupload raid).

Dotcom says two other services will follow six months later: Megabox, a content service that will give artists a cut of the profits, and Megakey, a web browser plug-in which will offer ad-supported free music and movie content - supplanting ads served by websites in the process.

* Mega's original URL was - with a Gabon-registered domain providing the alphabetical symmetry. When the Gabon government suspended the account - under US pressure, Dotcom alleges - the German entrepreneur registered as the new address for the global service.

The Sound Cloud files below seem slow or inaccessible at times. Hit F5 to refresh if you have no luck, or enjoy the transcripts ...

Mega radio spot 1 - Nic Sampson: "One of the most basic human rights is privacy. That's why pants were invented. is like pants for the internet. And I think we can all agree the internet needs to put some pants on. - the privacy company."

Mega radio spot 2 - Kimberley Crossman: "One of the most basic human rights is privacy. You  wouldn't leave the door open when you took a poo-poo would you? So why would you leave your files exposed on the internet? - the privacy company."

Mega radio spot 3 - Barnaby Fredrick: "In the real world you don't walk around without pants on. You wouldn't leave the bathroom door open. You wouldn't have sex with a stranger without protection. So why would you leave yourself exposed on the internet? - the privacy company."

Mega radio spot 4 - Kim Dotcom: "It's a dangerous world out there. You could get shot by a stranger. You could die in a car crash. You could get attacked by an agry bee. You could even get illegally spied on for alleged copyright infringement. It is just not safe out there. Stay inside and use - the privacy company."

Mega radio spot 5 - Kim Dotcom: "This Sunday, the Prime Minister will get an angry call from the White House -"

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Comments and questions

This guy has historically had no respect for the Intellectual Property Rights of others.
To claim that he will now be a privacy champion is ludicrous and lacks Marmite.

+1 for Marmite.

Of the course the government is an outstanding performer when it comes to protecting people's privacy.

Please explain how offering secure file storage where only people you (the file uploader) give permission to view the file does not protect your personal privacy.

Yes. Good work. Stand by and let the government spy on you so the rich and wealthy in Hollywood get richer and wealthier.
Do you really think it'll be worth it? When the government is watching everything you do online? Would you want somebody else getting their hands on that sort of information?

You are ill-informed. Need to read more.

"No respect for the intellectual property rights of others." You are either a fool or a troll, perhaps both. Mega provided a service that was "misused" by a few of its members. I find that Kim is in no way responsible for the illegal activities of others. For instance, I use your Marmite and deface the Mona Lisa, thus making you (Paul Francis) accountable because it's your Marmite.

Intellectual property rights prevents freedom of information and stops the progress. The people need an education.

Your civil liberties are being eroded and you are being enslaved by American multi-national corporations who lobby the US government to pass laws to curtail your freedom of speech by restricting your access to the internet.

Brilliant! Nice to see someone having a go in a slightly disruptive way. It's all market stimulation. I bet the worst thing that would happen is it'll work great, and then there'll be people tut tutting. Fancy someone with all that money behaving like that. Yes quite, just dreadful.

But won't the international network of spies, like information gathering systems named Echelon or SIGINT, spend considerable time to eventually break the encryption so they can see what has been transmitted?

And imagine all that effort and expense to only find it may be a legitimate commercial CAD drawing of a garden shed or someone's personal holiday video. What fun.

RSA Spec which I assume they will be using with a long enough bit length is currently unbreakable. So, no.

It won't be long before the eagle-eyed drones are patrolling our skies, ensuring peace and happiness for all good citizens for a thousand years.

We are talking about a 2048 bit RSA key:

"...It is therefore estimated, that standard desktop computing power would take 4,294,967,296 x 1.5 million years to break a DigiCert 2048-bit SSL certificate. Or, in other words, a little over 6.4 quadrillion years..."

New Zealand copyright law assumes there is a way of knowing whether copyright holders' rights are being breached.
If Mr Dotcom's public statements regarding encryption and NZ being the Switzerland of data are any indication of the manner in which he proposes to run then it should not be allowed to launch.
That's because, contrary to Mr Dotcom's statements, it does not appear to be legal.

You're saying that it would be illegal to run any hosting service in NZ that allows users to encrypt data?

I can't possibly see how you'd draw that conclusion?

And now the ads have been pulled because the some music labels complained to the Mediaworks. Still got their heads in the sand, those labels.

For those interested, read -

For the court papers -

Would appear the lawyers are having "a lovely time".
Notice no mention of "Carpathia" in the court documents.

And this Aussie ISP told them where to go.

Somewhat anti-competitive, I say. Also makes you wonder about the integrity of Mediaworks. Have they been censored? And by whom, exactly? Does this put John Campbell in an unenviable situation. If he speaks out will he be muzzled, too?
Kim Dotcom must feel as if someone is conspiring against him.

There's no ' if ' someone is conspiring against him, they are.

It's the nature of commercial broadcasting. If one advertiser (who spends a LOT) says "we don't feel comfortable having our ads airing alongside those ones" of Dotcom's small ad buy then the broadcaster has to make a commercial decision... Lose the big regular monthly client, or give up the small one-off client.

Money talks. Advertisers get influence - especially against other advertisers.

That's utter cr*p, though... The labels are not going to pull their advertising from the main radio group of NZ. It's not a viable threat.

I hope Mega is successful and forces a change in business models.

For those who still think Dotcom is a "bad" guy, just do some Googling. Trumped-up charges, and a gross over-the-top "raid" and shutdown, expecting that he would roll over and die, rather than fighting back. Thank goodness for the NZ justice system, that isn't biased, so he got enough money to fight back.
If the name Aaron Swartz doesn't mean anything to you, then Google that, too. Poor guy was in the same position. Tthought he couldn't fight back, so committed suicide rather than face the chance of 35 years in prison and a million dollar fine for something that would normally have a max of six months if he had been found guilty. And he wasn't guilty. But he is gone. RIP

Aaron Schwarz's biggest mistake was not stealing billions as a Wall Street banker. If he'd done that he wouldn't have any problems...

Unfortunately, he tried to share academic works for free. That obviously meeds a 35-year prison sentence.

I think it's great with a privacy-filehosting-site, but I'm afraid that noone but pirates will dare putting their files on it, given the takedown and seizing last year. I'm not risking my work-docs, not unless I'm sure nothing will happen. Can Mr. Dotcom make that promise?

Don't put work docs in the cloud, full-stop, unless your employer has specific policies in place to do so. If you are the employer/sole trader be very careful about the companies you trust with your company data. Mega, being unlaunched, probably isn't the sort of service your company should use in the near term in any regard.

Don't put anything personal in the cloud that you don't also have a copy of at home. Also, run a backup at home for files you don't want to lose.

Hard drives are cheap, even after the 2011 Thailand floods that gave Seagate and Western Digital an excuse to inflate drive prices. The cloud offers two key services:
1. An additional layer of off-site redundancy. That is, for in case your house/business burns down.
2. To distribute files in a manner that your residential/commercial ADSL connection cannot support - ie, large(r) files to multiple recipients. There are legitimate usages.

This is a rip-off copy... - since 2007

Tell me again that we live in a free country where commerce and free enterprise is encouraged.

Wonder if Mediaworks are still giving away prizes this week on their stations to go the Mega launch party?

He is basically setting up a haven for peddlers of kiddie porn.

Glad to see we can rely on the old standard arguments against privacy. I guess what we need then is a nanny state or big brother to oversee us all.

I'm glad this move has flushed out the obvious bias Mediaworks has had on the Dotcom case since day one.

The hatchet job Mediaworks 'news' outlets were running on Dotcom on the day of the raid was transparent, hideous soft-propaganda. Business is business, guys. But if you want to meddle in the affairs of the state by manipulating public offices to play dirty then expect everything that is heading your way.

Who are these people that made this decision for Mediaworks, or who was it who pressured you? Name names and be out and proud about your actions ... or hide like cowards and push the politicians' buttons from behind the veil?

Music industry: Pull those radio ads by him!

Mediaworks: Why? There's never been anything tangible proven against him, even in courts of law.

Music industry: I don't know. He dresses funny.

Mediaworks: [tumbleweed, and birds chirping]

Music Industry: Look, just do it, okay!!

So are we forgetting that this man is a convicted hacker? I'd think that through before trusting him with my information.

Are we also forgetting he used those skills to set up a cyber security firm in Germany? Oh, such a limited view you have.

He's also very visibly the person behind Mega. The sites you should really worry about are the ones where it's impossible to determine who is behind them.

Why did the advertising rep from Mediaworks, Radioworks for the music/DVD industry even approach Dot Com for business and then get cold feet when the bread-and-butter clients they look after complained. Sounds like a greedy rep (Mediaworks as well) with no scruples to me.
I'm a long-term client of Radioworks, spending heaps for decades, and I have asked on the odd occasion for them not to play competitors' ads that impinge on my trademarked products.
But I have always been turned down and told that even as a long-term client, that I have a better product but I just have to grin and bear it as we live in a market-driven economy. I even have letters from Radioworks' CEO, and COO and national sales manager stating this.
Something else is going on here, and it smells. I'll be shifting my radio budget to The Radio Network this financial year as I hate double standards.

Cool radio adverts especially the one about john key getting angry call from the white

My nomination for New Zealand Entertainer of the Year: Kim Dotcom.

Obviously, xenaphobia and government control are alive and very well in our fair land.
It is ridiculous that we rely on only one cable.
Dotcom's suggestion should be carefully examined by those who are relatively independent, if such a person can be found.
And the government should then pursue the construction of a second cable, perhaps in conjunction with private funders.

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