Hollywood and the United States government are denying accusations made by Megaupload founder and international super villain Kim Dotcom that Vice President Joe Biden orchestrated both his January arrest and the takedown of his online media empire.
DotCom told the tech blog TorrentFreak Tuesday that he had a source inside of the White House who informed him of the plot. Dotcom also pointed to publicly available White House visitor logs that showed Biden had met with heads of the film industry.
The accused, however, are telling a different story
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Hollywood’s lobbying arm headed by former U.S. Senator Chris Dodd, told The Daily Caller in a statement Thursday that the purpose of the meeting was to discuss with Biden his then-upcoming trip to China last August.
“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 WTO 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 Howard Gantman, the MPAA’s vice president of Corporate Communications.
“The eventual agreement announced in February was a major step forward in spurring the growth of U.S. exports to China and was tremendous news for the millions of American workers and businesses whose jobs depend on the entertainment industry,” said Gantman.
Gantman said that the agreement would improve box office revenues for U.S. studios and allow over 50 percent more U.S. films into the Chinese market.
The U.S. Attorney’s office backed the MPAA’s statement Friday in a response to CNET, denying that the Vice President had any hand in the operation.
“There was no White House involvement in the decision to charge this case,” the office of Neil MacBride, the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said.