Posts Tagged ‘megaupload’

Worth Watching: Kim Dotcom’s Side of the Story

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

He’s no criminal. He’s done nothing wrong. So says the man accused by the US government of being the world’s biggest content pirate.

In his first interview since being extradited and jailed, MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom shares his side of the story, and makes a compelling argument towards his own innocence.

Like Mr. Dotcom says, his trial (and the destruction of his billion dollar business) is really about the American establishment catering to special interests in a vain attempt to protect an obsolete business model.

File-Sharing Countermeasures are Counterproductive

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Last month saw the battle for Internet freedom reach new heights as millions of people and thousands of businesses came together to protest SOPA, the overreaching anti-file sharing bill creeping its way through US legislature.

One day after the Jan. 17th SOPA blackout protest, prominent file-hosting site MegaUpload was shut down. MegaUpload owner Kim Dotcom was extradited to the US and millions of his assets have now been seized.

So what impact did the US Government’s global exercise have on unauthorized file-sharing around the world? Close to zero, according to networking gurus Deepfield, who write “File sharing has not gone away. It did not even decrease much in North America.”

In fact, the brutish take down of Megaupload caused “file sharing to become staggeringly less efficient.” Now, instead of terabytes of North American MegaUpload traffic going to US servers, “most file sharing traffic now comes from Europe over far more expensive transatlantic links.”

By all accounts, this would seem like a failure. Yet, sadly, this kind of Internet censorship has all the makings of a lasting American policy.

Take the war on drugs, as an example. Despite dumping tens of billions of dollars annually chasing illegal substances, America has yet to create even the slightest dent in the flow of drugs.

But that hasn’t stopped them from manufacturing an entire industry around drug prohibition, with task forces and mega-jails to reap in huge profits. This, along with a propaganda machine to keep enough of the public misinformed, is all it takes to keep the whole racket ongoing.

Now, with file-sharing, the US has a new enemy to wage war on. Another target to demonize in the media, more culprits to fill of the jails, and more power handed over to any government agency promising to protect the public from this scourge.

Of course these agencies will not have any lasting impact, but that’s not the goal. Instead, the file-sharing ‘pigs’ will be allowed to grow. Then, when plump and juicy, some well-funded government goons will swoop in and slaughter the swine, leaving the door open for the next one, and the next, and the next.

It’s Prohibition 101, and without enough public uproar, they’ll have no problem running the same tired play ad nauseum. Either speak out now or get your sick bags ready, people.

Fighting for a Free Internet

Monday, December 12th, 2011

(Here, let me get that for you, Youtube.)

Popular file-hosting site Megaupload is suing media giant Universal for wrongfully removing a Megaupload-produced pop video from Youtube. The infomercial song, which is easily found online despite the ban, features many prominent musicians like Snoop Dogg and Kanye West, some of whom work under Universal’s UMG label.

“Let us be clear: Nothing in our song or the video belongs to Universal Music Group. We have signed agreements with all artists endorsing Megaupload,” says Megaupload CEO David Robb. Yet despite this, “Efforts to reach out to UMG and open a dialog about this abuse of the DMCA process were answered with unfounded and baseless legal threats and demands for an apology.”

Alongside the litigation which was filed today, Universal’s misstep also prompted Megaupload to enter the heated SOPA debate, sounding a call to arms for anyone interested in saving the sanctity of the Internet.

SOPA, if you didn’t already know, is the latest attempt by US Lawmakers to completely redefine the way the internet works just to protect a few obsolete business models.  This bill is by no means the first attempt to stifle the Internet, and even if the censorship legislation does get shut down (fingers crossed), we’ll most certainly see far worse bills coming down the pipe.

Modern day revolutions, like Occupy and the Arab Spring, depend upon an open Internet to exchange radical ideas, rally the troops and mobilize the masses into action. Without this vital unfettered flow of information, uprisings could unravel before they even begin.

This is why we must fight tooth and nail to prevent our free Internet from falling under the rule of bureaucratic tyrants. If draconian bills like SOPA are ever allowed to pass, those of us trying to build a free world will find one more giant mountain in our way – and we already have enough to do as is!


UPDATE:  Esteemed Harvard constitutional law Professor Lawrence Tribe just released a damning memo declaring SOPA to be unconstitutional. Hazaa!

UPDATE x2: Thinktank CATO weighs in on the issue.