Kim Dotcom and the movie industry don't exactly get along. Dotcom is wanted by the FBI for allegedly pirating millions of dollars' worth of copyrighted materials. You might remember when he had his house raided by authorities in 2012, when officials froze his bank accounts and confiscated much of his belongings because of the way his cloud storage service, Megaupload, was being used to make movies available online.
Now, Dotcom says all that could've been avoided if only Hollywood had been smarter about distributing movies over the Internet. In an interview with Bloomberg, Dotcom says the film industry could have stopped digital piracy in its tracks if it had beaten Netflix at being Netflix:
KIM DOTCOM: If Hollywood had some smart people — working for them, they would probably have the biggest Internet company on the planet.
EMILY CHANG: So, explain to me how this — this great internet company out of Hollywood would work.
KIM DOTCOM: Well, it's quite simple. If you have a content platform, let's say, that's owned by all these different studios combined, and they will make their product available, the entire catalogue, everything, at a fixed monthly fee, you know, for everyone to access around the world, working on every device — they would have the biggest — Internet success in history.
What Dotcom's proposing is essentially a Hollywood-run repository of exclusive content that would host everything the industry produces. Instead of letting Netflix play the middleman, the studios would distribute their films digitally themselves.
Could this idea curb online piracy? Dotcom thinks so, particularly if the online service allowed international viewers to watch new U.S. releases right away.
"Extremism is if you are a Hollywood studio and you release your content in one country first, in the United States, and then roll it out over a couple of months in other countries around the world and expect the Internet community in all of these different countries to wait for the release," Dotcom told Bloomberg.
Of course, even if this idea came to fruition, it wouldn't necessarily stop people from pirating content from other producers, such as HBO.