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Megaupload Boss Pleads Innocence (23rd January, 2012)


 

The founder of the file-sharing website megaupload.com has plead not guilty to charges of Internet piracy and money laundering. Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, told a New Zealand court that authorities were doing their best to portray him as a dangerous criminal. His lawyer Paul Davison said: “Mr Dotcom emphatically denies any criminal misconduct or wrongdoing.” Authorities in the USA want to extradite Dotcom on charges of abusing intellectual copyright by allowing millions of his site’s users to illegally download movies and songs. They say he made $175 million by distributing copyrighted content. Megaupload's lawyer said his client simply offered an online storage service.

Kim Dotcom is a German national who now lives in a huge mansion amid sprawling grounds in New Zealand. He and three others were arrested on Friday at the request of the FBI. His arrest coincides with a heated debate in the U.S. Congress about new laws to protect intellectual copyright. The Wikipedia website had earlier gone offline for 24 hours in protest at the proposed legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Police had to cut Dotcom out of a hidden room he had locked himself in. They also found a loaded gun in his house. Police confiscated 18 luxury cars from Mr Dotcom, with license plates including "HACKER", "MAFIA", "STONED" and "KIMCOM".

WARM-UPS

1. FILE SHARING: Walk around the class and talk to other students about file sharing. Change partners often. Sit with your first partner(s) and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, decide which of these topics or words from the article are most interesting and which are most boring.

 

founder / not guilty / authorities / criminal / extradite / download movies / copyright / huge mansion / arrested / heated debate / offline / protest / loaded gun / luxury cars

Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. ILLEGAL: From 0 (legal) – 10 - What is and isn’t illegal? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners and share what you wrote. Change and share again.

Legal? / Illegal?

0 - 10

Why?

Downloading movies

 

 

Not returning library books

 

 

Speeding

 

 

Keeping taxable income secret

 

 

Photocopying part of a book

 

 

Punching someone

 

 

4. FILE-SHARING: Students A strongly believe there’s nothing illegal about it; Students B strongly believe there’s everything illegal about it.  Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
5. COMPUTERS: What’s best about them? Rank them and share your rankings with your partner. Put the best at the top. Change partners and share your rankings again.

  • Word processing
  • E-mail
  • Video chat
  • File sharing
  • Online gaming
  • Storing photos, songs, movies…
  • Searching the Internet
  • Creating things

6. PIRACY: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word ‘piracy’. Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.


 
 

BEFORE READING / LISTENING


1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if  a-h  below are true (T) or false (F).

a.

The boss of megaupload.com says he has done nothing wrong..

T / F

b.

The guy says the government is trying to frame him as a wrongdoer.

T / F

c.

Authorities in the USA want to extradite Kim Dotcom to New Zealand.

T / F

d.

Mr Dotcom’s lawyer said his client only provides online storage.

T / F

e.

Kim Dotcom is not a citizen of New Zealand.

T / F

f.

The FBI in the USA do not want to talk to Kim Dotcom.

T / F

g.

The website Wikipedia said it fully supported Mr Dotcom’s actions.

T / F

h.

Police found a gun in Mr Dotcom’s house with no bullets in it.

T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

1.

founder

a.

depict

2

aka

b.

just

3.

portray

c.

suggested

4.

content

d.

citizen

5.

simply

e.

argument

6.

national

f.

creator

7.

amid

g.

removed

8.

debate

h.

material

9.

proposed

i.

in the middle of

10.

confiscated

j.

also known as

3. PHRASE MATCH:  (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

1.

The founder of the file-

a.

storage service

2

plead

b.

gun

3.

portray him as

c.

copyright

4.

charges of abusing intellectual

d.

of the FBI

5.

offered an online

e.

debate

6.

a German

f.

sharing website

7.

at the request

g.

plates

8.

a heated

h.

national

9.

a loaded

i.

not guilty

10.

license

j.

a dangerous criminal



 
 

WHILE READING / LISTENING


GAP FILL: Put the words into the gaps in the text.


The founder of the file-(1) ____________ website megaupload.com has plead not guilty to (2) ____________ of Internet piracy and money laundering. Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, told a New Zealand court that authorities were doing their best to (3) ____________ him as a dangerous criminal. His lawyer Paul Davison said: “Mr Dotcom emphatically                   (4) ____________ any criminal misconduct or wrongdoing.” Authorities in the USA want to (5) ____________ Dotcom on charges of (6) ____________ intellectual copyright by allowing millions of his site’s users to (7) ____________ download movies and songs. They say he made $175 million by distributing copyrighted content. Megaupload's lawyer said his client simply offered an online (8) ____________ service.

 

 

portray
illegally
extradite
sharing
storage
charges
denies
abusing

Kim Dotcom is a German (9) ____________ who now lives in a huge mansion amid sprawling (10) ____________ in New Zealand. He and three others were arrested on Friday at the    (11) ____________ of the FBI. His arrest coincides with a heated debate in the U.S. Congress about new laws to                       (12) ____________ intellectual copyright. The Wikipedia website had earlier gone offline for 24 hours in protest at the               (13) ____________ legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Police had to cut Dotcom out of a (14) ____________ room he had locked himself in. They also found a (15) ____________ gun in his house. Police          (16) ____________ 18 luxury cars from Mr Dotcom, with license plates including "HACKER", "MAFIA", "STONED" and "KIMCOM".

 

 

request
loaded
protect
grounds
confiscated
national
proposed
hidden

LISTENING – Listen and fill in the gaps


The _______________________-sharing website megaupload.com has plead not guilty to charges of Internet piracy _______________________. Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, told a New Zealand court that authorities were doing _______________________ him as a dangerous criminal. His lawyer Paul Davison said: “Mr Dotcom emphatically denies any criminal _______________________.” Authorities in the USA want to extradite Dotcom on charges of abusing intellectual _______________________ millions of his site’s users to illegally download movies and songs. They say he made $175 million by distributing copyrighted content. Megaupload's lawyer said his client simply offered _______________________ service.
Kim Dotcom is a German national who now lives in a huge mansion _______________________ in New Zealand. He and three others were arrested on Friday at the request of the FBI. _______________________ a heated debate in the U.S. Congress about new laws to protect intellectual copyright. The Wikipedia website had _______________________ for 24 hours in protest at _______________________, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Police had to cut Dotcom out of a hidden room he had locked himself in. They also found a _______________________ his house. Police _______________________ cars from Mr Dotcom, with license plates including "HACKER", "MAFIA", "STONED" and "KIMCOM".

AFTER READING / LISTENING


1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words ‘file’ and ‘share’.

file

share
 
 
 

  • Share your findings with your partners.
  • Make questions using the words you found.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

  • Share your questions with other classmates / groups.
  • Ask your partner / group your questions.

3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?
4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.
5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

  • founder
  • money
  • USA
  • abusing
  • movies
  • online
  • huge
  • request
  • heated
  • offline
  • loaded
  • plates

FILE SHARING SURVEY


Write five GOOD questions about file sharing in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper.
When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

 

STUDENT 1
_____________

STUDENT 2
_____________

STUDENT 3
_____________

Q.1.
 

 

 

 

Q.2.
 

 

 

 

Q.3.
 

 

 

 

Q.4.
 

 

 

 

Q.5.
 

 

 

 

  • Now return to your original partner and share and talk about what you found out. Change partners often.
  • Make mini-presentations to other groups on your findings.

FILE SHARING DISCUSSION

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

a)

What did you think when you read the headline?

b)

What springs to mind when you hear the word ‘upload’?

c)

What do you think of downloading movies and music?

d)

Do you think Mr Dotcom is guilty or not guilty?

e)

How bad do you think Internet piracy is?

f)

What should the punishment be for people who download a movie that is copyright protected?

g)

Can people say they are innocent because they did not know the movie, song, application… was protected by intellectual copyright laws?

h)

Should Mr Dotcom sue the authorities for portraying him in a bad light?

i)

Are file-sharing sites simply online storage services?

j)

Could file sharing eventually kill the music and movie industries?


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------



STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

a)

Did you like reading this article?

b)

Is Mr Dotcom a hero or villain?

c)

Would you be bothered if someone found a way to make us pay for everything we download?

d)

What would you say to an artist losing money because of file sharing?

e)

What is intellectual property?

f)

What do you think will happen to Mr Dotcom?

g)

What do you hope will happen to Mr Dotcom?

h)

Have you ever downloaded something you shouldn’t have?

i)

What questions would you like to ask Mr Dotcom?

j)

What do you think his answers might be to those questions?

LANGUAGE – MULTIPLE CHOICE


The founder of the file-sharing website megaupload.com has plead (1) ____ guilty to charges of Internet piracy and money (2) ____. Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, told a New Zealand court that authorities were doing their best to (3) ____ him as a dangerous criminal. His lawyer Paul Davison said: “Mr Dotcom emphatically      (4) ____ any criminal misconduct or wrongdoing.” Authorities in the USA want to extradite Dotcom on charges of abusing intellectual copyright (5) ____ allowing millions of his site’s users to illegally download movies and songs. They say he made $175 million by distributing copyrighted (6) ____. Megaupload's lawyer said his client simply offered an online storage service.
Kim Dotcom is a German (7) ____ who now lives in a huge mansion amid sprawling grounds in New Zealand. He and three others were arrested on Friday (8) ____ the request of the FBI. His arrest coincides (9) ____ a heated debate in the U.S. Congress about new laws to protect intellectual copyright. The Wikipedia website had (10) ____ gone offline for 24 hours in protest at the proposed legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Police had to cut Dotcom out of a hidden room he had locked himself in. They also found a (11) ____ gun in his house. Police (12) ____ 18 luxury cars from Mr Dotcom, with license plates including "HACKER", "MAFIA", "STONED" and "KIMCOM".
Put the correct words from the table below in the above article.

1.

(a)

non

(b)

no

(c)

not

(d)

never

2.

(a)

washing

(b)

laundering

(c)

airing

(d)

drying

3.

(a)

portray

(b)

portal

(c)

porter

(d)

port

4.

(a)

attempts

(b)

pushes

(c)

evaluates

(d)

denies

5.

(a)

at

(b)

of

(c)

by

(d)

from

6.

(a)

glad

(b)

insides

(c)

content

(d)

materialism

7.

(a)

border

(b)

national

(c)

human

(d)

German

8.

(a)

at

(b)

of

(c)

is

(d)

so

9.

(a)

from

(b)

with

(c)

at

(d)

as

10.

(a)

earlier

(b)

earliest

(c)

early

(d)

earlyish

11.

(a)

load

(b)

loads

(c)

loading

(d)

loaded

12.

(a)

confiscating

(b)

confiscation

(c)

confiscate

(d)

confiscated

WRITING


Write about file sharing for 10 minutes. Correct your partner’s paper.
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________

HOMEWORK

1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google’s search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about file sharing. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
3. FILE SHARING: Make a poster about file sharing. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
4. MEGAUPLOAD: Write a magazine article about Megaupload.com. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against it.
Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
5. LETTER: Write a letter to an Internet expert. Ask him/her three questions about file sharing. Give him/her three of your opinions. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

ANSWERS

TRUE / FALSE:

a.

T

b.

T

c.

F

d.

T

e.

T

f.

F

g.

F

h.

F

SYNONYM MATCH:

1.

founder

a.

creator

2

aka

b.

also known as

3.

portray

c.

depict

4.

content

d.

material

5.

simply

e.

just

6.

national

f.

citizen

7.

amid

g.

in the middle of

8.

debate

h.

argument

9.

proposed

i.

suggested

10.

confiscated

j.

removed

PHRASE MATCH:

1.

The founder of the file-

a.

sharing website

2

plead

b.

not guilty

3.

portray him as

c.

a dangerous criminal

4.

charges of abusing intellectual

d.

copyright

5.

offered an online

e.

storage service

6.

a German

f.

national

7.

at the request

g.

of the FBI

8.

a heated

h.

debate

9.

a loaded

i.

gun

10.

license

j.

plates

GAP FILL:

Megaupload boss pleads innocence

The founder of the file-(1) sharing website megaupload.com has plead not guilty to (2) charges of Internet piracy and money laundering. Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz, told a New Zealand court that authorities were doing their best to (3) portray him as a dangerous criminal. His lawyer Paul Davison said: “Mr Dotcom emphatically (4) denies any criminal misconduct or wrongdoing.” Authorities in the USA want to (5) extradite Dotcom on charges of (6) abusing intellectual copyright by allowing millions of his site’s users to (7) illegally download movies and songs. They say he made $175 million by distributing copyrighted content. Megaupload's lawyer said his client simply offered an online (8) storage service.
Kim Dotcom is a German (9) national who now lives in a huge mansion amid sprawling (10) grounds in New Zealand. He and three others were arrested on Friday at the (11) request of the FBI. His arrest coincides with a heated debate in the U.S. Congress about new laws to (12) protect intellectual copyright. The Wikipedia website had earlier gone offline for 24 hours in protest at the (13) proposed legislation, called the Stop Online Piracy Act, and the Protect Intellectual Property Act. Police had to cut Dotcom out of a (14) hidden room he had locked himself in. They also found a (15) loaded gun in his house. Police (16) confiscated 18 luxury cars from Mr Dotcom, with license plates including "HACKER", "MAFIA", "STONED" and "KIMCOM".
LANGUAGE WORK

1 - c

2 - b

3 - a

4 - d

5 - c

6 - c

7 - b

8 - a

9 - b

10 - a

11 - d

12 - d

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