DOJ Gives Its Opinion On SOPA By Unilaterally Shutting Down 'Foreign Rogue Site' Megaupload... Without SOPA/PIPA

from the screw-you-all----we're-the-doj dept

If you've been paying attention to the MPAA/US Chamber of Commerce/RIAA claims about why they need PIPA/SOPA, a key argument is that they need it to go after these "foreign rogue sites" that cannot be reached under existing US law. Among the most prominent sites often talked about is Megaupload -- which accounts for a huge percentage of the "rogue site traffic" that the US Chamber of Commerce and other bill supporters love to cite. However, it certainly appears that the US Justice Department and ICE don't think they need any new law to go after people in foreign countries over claims of criminal copyright infringement. As lots of folks are currently digesting, the Justice Department, along with ICE, have shut down the site and arrested many of the principles (with the help of New Zealand law enforcement) and charged them with massive amounts of criminal copyright infringement.

Of course, just last week, we had noted that Megaupload was immune from SOPA/PIPA because it doesn't apply to dot coms -- but this is still interesting and crazy for a whole variety of reasons:
  • ICE and DOJ have a pretty freaking dreadful record so far in bringing these kinds of cases for online copyright infringement. It's kind of amazing that they did this so soon after they totally screwed up and had to give back Dajaz1 (without an apology, by the way). Megaupload may be a different type of site... but, still...
  • Similar cyberlockers, like RapidShare, have already been declared legal in both Europe and the US. I don't know the details of Megaupload's situation -- and certainly its founder has a... um... colorful history... but it seems pretty extreme to totally shut down the site prior to any adversarial hearing.
  • In the last few days and months, Megaupload had announced plans to help artists make more money... and had announced that very successful and famous music producer Swizz Beatz had become CEO of Megaupload. Beatz is also married to recording superstar Alicia Keys and was responsible for getting all those RIAA artists to endorse Megaupload. All indications were that the company was clearly building a legitimate system for artists to make money and fans to get content. And it seemed that many artists clearly supported the site.
  • So why do we need SOPA/PIPA again? It seems like the DOJ/ICE just undermined the key argument of the MPAA/RIAA/US CoC for why they need these laws. After all, Megaupload was one of the key examples used for why the law was needed.
  • At the same time there are huge questions about why the government is involved here. Megaupload is currently engaged in a lawsuit in the US -- and contrary to claims of SOPA/PIPA supporters, the company seemed more than willing to appear in court to deal with civil copyright claims. Why leap to criminal claims?
  • Is this really the message the US DOJ and White House want to be giving the day after mass, widespread protests happened concerning a fear that this new law would be used to take down websites? Honestly, this is a big "fuck you" to the protestors, showing that the government already has this power thanks to the last law they passed: ProIP (which they promised they'd never abuse).
  • The indictment itself -- embedded below -- is so full of hyperbole ("Mega Conspiracy") it sounds like it was written by the entertainment industry itself...
Anyway, I'm sure we'll have much more to say about all of this... but wow is the timing dumb on the government's part. Not only does it undermine the argument for PIPA/SOPA, but it raises significant questions about whether or not the feds already have too much censorship power.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Can someone crunch the numbers?

    So...if the RIAA and the MPAA would have put into place a LOOONNGG time ago, something that would replace these sites, how much money would have they already made?

     

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      lwclark (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

      Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

      They've already done this for you! Mega reported profits of $175,000,000 and supposedly caused damages of $500,000,000. It seems hard to believe that an "official" website couldn't have managed to at least match the earnings of 175 million.

      We need to convince the government to think clearly for just a couple of minutes. A website which spreads the benefits of the product to EVERYONE clearly has immense social utility. Not only that, it earns profits on the same order of magnitude as the entertainment industry's ridiculous claims. Sounds like a GREAT scenario to me, no government intervention necessary. Literally everyone wins.

       

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        PRMan, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

        Re: Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

        Except for people whose currency is control instead of money.

        About 75% of the Top 100 movies were designed for families/children, and yet it can be difficult for a family to literally find ANYTHING to watch at the theater on many weekends. Instead, the theaters are full of all kinds of awful trash that pushes Hollywood's ideologies and tries to ram them down everyone's throats.

        Why? They could make a great family movie and make a killing. Because they would rather try to control society instead and make everyone like them so they can feel like their screwed-up lives are normal.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

          Re: Re: Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

          That's what I just don't get about this. When I read how Megaupload was handling links and whatnot, why on earth didn't the MAFIAA's put this in years ago? Hell, why don't they do this NOW?

          It's plain to see that people ARE willing to pay, if they think they are getting a good deal out of it.

          How can it be THAT HARD for MAFIAA's to stick their stuff out there? Shesh.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

          Thank you. After the past couple of days, I was worrying that I was starting to develop a tin foil hat. Now, after seeing a statement like this, I can rest assured that no, I'm still thinking logically, since I have a loooooong way to go to get to the point where you are.

           

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        Duke (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

        Re: Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

        Except $175m over a few years is nothing to most of the companies involved. Remember, WB alone made $822m in profits in one quarter alone last year. While these groups like making a big fuss over the "huge" amount of money these sites make, it's only huge relative to what we individuals make...

         

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          lwclark (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

          But the important thing seems to me to be that megaupload's profits are comparable to the damage it's supposed to have caused. This supports the claim that the problem (even the problem they claim!) can be sufficiently covered by a business model change instead of a legal change.

           

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          wvhillbilly (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

          Why all this hullabaloo over piracy? P!O!W!E!R! man! These guys are on a !P!O!W!E!R! trip. They're addicted to it. It's their life blood. They'd shrivel up and die without it.

          That's why!

           

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        Cowardly internet user, Jan 23rd, 2012 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re: Can someone crunch the numbers?

        US Government never thinks nor reasons like a person. This is why they do stupid things against progress of the common man. Do not worry. This is a multiheaded hydra. They kill one head, 100 more take its place.

        The best revolt against them will be for us all to STOP wanting to watch their movies, listen to their music or use Microsoft/Apple software. If all can agree to do this and we do this, they (Gov, RIAA, etc) will go away. Its because we need to watch their movies, listen to their music; we give them power to control us.

        Peace

         

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    Dustin (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    The Indictment

    @Mike:

    Have you read the Indictment? I'm reading it right now and paragraphs 20-24 lead me to believe that they were in fact running afoul of the DMCA provisions. Please let me know what you think. This one MAY BE legitimate.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

      Re: The Indictment

      Have you read the Indictment? I'm reading it right now and paragraphs 20-24 lead me to believe that they were in fact running afoul of the DMCA provisions. Please let me know what you think. This one MAY BE legitimate.

      Will have more detailed comments on the indictment later. But just note: ignoring DMCA alone isn't enough for criminal charges...

      Separately, it's always seemed clear that Mega had some sketchiness behind it. It very well may have violated the law. But I'm questioning the way this was done (and the timing).

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

        Re: Re: The Indictment

        Yea, well according to DMCA agents Megaupload was the best and fastest when it came to takwdown notices. This whole thing is bullshit, they had no right to shut them down. I had my backups there, the fuckers. I swear If i ever see a MAFIAA employee on the street, I'm shooting them in the face and burning their body!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

          Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

          Yeah, maybe not. Now trolls have more ammo ("this comment means all Techdirtbags are mass murderers!").

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

            I have never murdered mass, I did beat the crap out of energy a couple of years back tho.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

              Well, the trolls will ignore anything that doesn't make you look bad, so, in Trolovision:

              "I have always murdered mass, I beat the crap out of energy a couple years ago, too."

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

            I never said murder, I said shoot them in the face and burn them. I'm sure they won't be hurt.

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

          Hahahahaha... you little pussy, this isn't your LARP league. You couldn't knock the skin off a rice pudding.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:57pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

            Oh, you want to test that? Give me your address, and I'll give you a taste of my Second Amendment coward.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:07pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

              hahahaha, you're calling me out..... anonymously?? You seem a bit irritated, why don't you try some Vagisil.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 5:52am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: The Indictment

                so why not post your name and address, coward shill. Come on I'm waiting TAM, bring it on you little internet bitch.

                 

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:46pm

        Re: Re: The Indictment

        (and the timing).

        +1 insightful. more than you realize.

         

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        Pseudonym, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:54pm

        Re: Re: The Indictment

        Being gracious for a moment, perhaps the timing is deliberate in a good way. Maybe the FBI and DoJ are against SOPA/PIPA, and did it now just to prove that they're not needed.

        Hey, a guy can dream.

         

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        Dustin (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:30pm

        Re: Re: The Indictment

        Well the indictment started in 2005 so it's obviously been an on-going investigation. It was signed towards the beginning of the month so they've obviously waited to act. Getting everyone in place I would imagine.

        The timing is retaliatory I imagine. It was going to happen either way.

         

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      akp (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:16pm

      Re: The Indictment

      The legitimacy of the complaint (and arrests) is not the scary part. The scary part is the obliteration of the site before the case is decided.

      There have been arrests, and an indictment... But that's still not "proven guilty."

      Shouldn't MU be "out on bail" and able to continue business UNTIL proven guilty, and THEN punished (taken offline)?

       

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        TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 7:14pm

        Re: Re: The Indictment

        Sorry, but the rules were changed. Guilty till proven innocent now.

        After all, it's to protect the artists/children/guys with pockets full of untraceable cash for my SuperPAC!

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Thank you DOJ for raping us Megaupload premium users. Thank God most of my files are locally backed up but I just lost a whole bunch of LEGAL files that I'm sure I'll never see again. Oh well, I guess it's back to the stone age of burning CD/DVD archival backups since we obviously can't trust the cloud.

     

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      Violated (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

      Re:

      MegaUpload was hosted in HK. If anything that is the one country the US could not invade.

      We will soon see if that one lives on.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

      Re:

      "we obviously can't trust the cloud."

      I'm pleased to see more and more people realizing this truth. The "cloud" is useful for a lot of things, but using it as a backup solution isn't one of them.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re:

        I have been telling management this for YEARS. This just provides another reason why not to use 'the cloud'.

         

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    Duke (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    Reading the indictment...

    If the indictment is anything to go by, it seems they have a fairly strong case... if they can show jurisdiction and get extradition of all the individuals.

    I particularly liked the way they managed to bring up the fact that MegaUpload hosted "child pornography and terrorist propaganda", and then use the fact that they removed the stuff against them around para 24.

    As a non-USian, I'm beginning to wonder if I should move away from US hosting providers, domain names, advertisers and users, just in case, so that they can't claim jurisdiction over me...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

      Re: Reading the indictment...

      >>As a non-USian, I'm beginning to wonder if I should move away from US hosting providers, domain names, advertisers and users

      As a USian, I would recommend that you do. I'm beginning to think that the only way to fix the system is to let it completely collapse, then pick up the shattered pieces afterwards.

       

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        Mike42 (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

        Re: Re: Reading the indictment...

        Hey! That's just what Hollywood/Congress wants you to do! Just realize that the pieces you pick up will be loaded with DRM, since they will have had time to re-engineer everything with authentication and identification technologies.

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Reading the indictment...

          Hey! That's just what Hollywood/Congress wants you to do! Just realize that the pieces you pick up will be loaded with DRM, since they will have had time to re-engineer everything with authentication and identification technologies.

          Actually, I am kinda hoping technology like CCC's satellite will make the whole system moot. Since there are already numerous treaties that outlaw governments from owning space, if the internet exists entirely within space, the only thing governments can do is outlaw connection to the internet. At that point, government control will fundamentally disappear. The internet will finally be free of the burdens of government. Putting the DNS root on a satellite, controlled by a company on the Isle of Man or Antarctica would be the ticket. We'd have to figure out how to protect the satellites during solar storms, but that is a technical problem that has technical answers, not bat-shit crazy ones that come when you deal with politicians.

           

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        AzureSky (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

        Re: Re: Reading the indictment...

        +1 on this, hell, when our contact comes up for our site in the us(for local business) i may look for hosting outside the country....despite it being a 100% legit/legal site...

        hell, Im really wishing I could move the fuck out of this country and sit back and watch it collapse in on itself from afar...

         

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      demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

      Re: Reading the indictment...

      Definitely do so. I also think USians should also do this.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

      Re: Reading the indictment...

      can't remember... but wasn't tvshack.com was hosted in England or something ...as was the college-aged owner. He operated a search service (like google). anyway...the owner was extradited to the US for trafficking the (potentially infringing) bits on US territory...

       

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        Duke (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re: Reading the indictment...

        Yes; the O'Dwyer case (the first ruling was on Friday); the US claimed jurisdiction due to having US users and advertisers. They claimed he lost his "safe harbour" (or, due to being EU, "mere conduit") protections due to "vetting" the users, which is something those supporting him deny.

         

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        Someone else, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:21pm

        Re: Re: Reading the indictment...

        Wtf? How can you get extradited to a country you don't even live in?

        In other words, the U.$. of A$$H@ts has the authority to "extradite" Julian Assange to a country he DOESN'T EVEN COME FROM?!?

        Meanwhile the Catholic priests are still hiding out in their gold-lined bunkers in Rome. I mean, seriously, why don't we extradite THOSE dip$h!ts to face charges for REAL crimes committed ON U.S. SOIL?!? Occupy Vatican City already and leave TPB and Mega Upload the EFF alone!

         

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      Zos (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:09pm

      Re: Reading the indictment...

      yes, you should.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:15pm

      Re: Reading the indictment...

      Terrorist propaganda? REally? Are we returning to McCarthyism?

       

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      nasch (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:39am

      Re: Reading the indictment...

      As a non-USian, I'm beginning to wonder if I should move away from US hosting providers, domain names, advertisers and users, just in case, so that they can't claim jurisdiction over me...

      You're just now beginning to wonder? ;-)

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:40pm

    I'm sure that it was a political choice, even if Megaupload is found innocent, it won't be until after the election. With this, the administration no longer have to choose one or the other, they can keep both the tech industry and hollywood. "We oppose censoring the internet, but we will still take dramatic action against piracy".

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

      Re:

      That's actually a great point. I'm not sure how true it is, but it's interesting...

       

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      Violated (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

      Re:

      If Kim Dotcom and Mega are found to be innocent then the DHS/ICE should be burned to the ground and the people responsible shot.

      I have had no forgiveness for them ever since they allowed the Mexican Drug Lords to launder over $250 billion through the US Banking system and into the World economy.

      That failure was too great. Would those responsible please fall on their swords.

       

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        demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

        Re: Re:

        And would they do it on webcam so the footage can be endlessly replayed on youtube? Some of us need a little joy in our lives.

         

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      Designerfx (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

      Re:

      well then, let's hope this gets more media coverage and becomes an election issue.

      This is disgusting to occur, frankly.

       

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    AzureSky (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:42pm

    yet another big "FUUUUUU" to the American Public

    Yet another giant FUUUU to the American public...no the world public, but thats what they are paid to do by the mafiaa....

    welcome to the Incorporated States of America...land of the un-free home of the greed....

    I wish I could leave this country before they decide to close the borders to prevent piracy...

     

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      demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

      Re: yet another big "FUUUUUU" to the American Public

      Maybe we should build little rafts and float down to Brazil. What Central/South American country has the most forgiving immigration laws?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

      Re: yet another big "FUUUUUU" to the American Public

      Please do. If someone supports criminals we don't need them here anyway.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

        Re: Re: yet another big "FUUUUUU" to the American Public

        You mean other than on April 15 right?

         

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        demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

        Re: Re: yet another big "FUUUUUU" to the American Public

        Exactly! So when are you gonna leave, troll? After all, you support the government and MAFIAA, all criminals!

         

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      Billy Jackson, Jan 26th, 2012 @ 6:30am

      Re: yet another big "FUUUUUU" to the American Public

      So move on out then

       

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    Dustin (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Guys I am reading this indictment right now and honestly I am not a lawyer but if what is in the indictment is to be believed at face value then I honestly think they were running afoul of the DMCA provisions.

    It's even more interesting in Paragraphs 25+.

     

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      Designerfx (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

      Re:

      Umm....hello suspicious poster.

      That's two posts, almost in a row. First paragraph 24, now 25?

      Since when did DMCA become a criminal statute, and since when did DMCA become a criminal statue outside the US? This would have to be tried *in* the US to determine that.

       

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        Dustin (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:27pm

        Re: Re:

        I think you're probably talking to me. What I am saying is that they are not protected by the DMCA safe harbors if they didn't comply with the statue. The indictment seems to suggest they didn't. Which would make them liable for the other actual charges.

        I'm not a lawyer. I'm just stating my personal observation.

         

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      Designerfx (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

      Re:

      ooo now I had time to read it.

      Let's start simple: paragraphs 24-25 were already proven to be a lie in court.

       

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      btr1701, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

      Re: DMCA

      > I honestly think they were running afoul of the DMCA provisions.

      Okay, even if true, the site was owned and operated in Hong Kong. Since when are Chinese citizens obligated to obey a US law?

      I certainly am not obligated to obey Chinese laws when I put things up on the Internet.

       

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      bordy (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

      Re:

      Keep in mind that pleadings need only allege the prima facie case for the underlying cause of action, i.e, everything the DOJ has alleged in its complaint still must be proven to the trier of fact (judge or jury).

      So it shouldn't be surprising that, just from reading the allegations, it seems Megaupload is guilty. If it read otherwise, that's a good indication the pleading may be defective. But just because the case was properly plead is not a good indicator of a defendant's guilt.

       

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    Beech, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:44pm

    Hang on Mike, I think you're slipping:

    Anyway, I'm sure we'll have much more to say about all of this... but wow is the timing dumb on the government's part. Not only does it undermine the argument for PIPA/SOPA, but it answers significant questions about whether or not the feds already have too much censorship power.

     

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      demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

      Re:

      And it shows quite clearly that they want to get revenge on We The People for daring to flex our muscles. The timing is too obvious for it to be denied.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re:

        Yes, I am sure that is what they are doing. They probably drafted the indictments and faked the Grand Jury overnight. Seriously, you really need to remove the tin-foil hat.

         

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          Rikuo (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          As much as I would love to say this move is in response to yesterday's blackouts: it can't be. Something of this magnitude would have to be MONTHS in the planning. It's not like those in the FBI who are in bed with Hollywood woke up this morning and said "The internet protested against us! Fuck this shit man, let's target Megaupload!"

           

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            JMT (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Something of this magnitude would have to be MONTHS in the planning."

            True, so it would've been no big deal to delay action for a couple of weeks or even a month so as to avoid looking this bad. But that would've required actually understanding the massive level of anger SOP/PIPA have caused.

             

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          demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          So you mean you're dense enough to think the timing is coincidental? Wow.

           

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    Beech, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    oops, meant to add a "ftfy" in there

     

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    Alan, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Move is perfectly timed

    Remember, DoJ is part of the executive branch of the government, and Obama (the lead executive) has already stated he doesn't support SOPA or PIPA. That DoJ would be able to take down such an "evil" site without SOPA/PIPA would seem to undermine the idea that they're necessary.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:46pm

    What about those of us that use MU to get content that while it infringes, we can't possibly get legally, like TV from other countries? Fix that first, legacy companies. sdalrqpoewu32pouqrewpoui

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:21pm

      Re:

      If you are obtaining content that is not made legally available to you, you are still breaking the law. The US enforces foreign copyrights just as other countries enforce our copyrights or they are blacklisted and we will no longer honor their copyright claims. It's a "you scratch my back, I will scratch yours"-type of thing.

       

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        Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Then why not offer it LEGALLY, clearly there's a market for it. So why not?!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          That's what I just....don't...understand.....Right there, is money....money that people are willing to pay.....and they scoff at it...

          Ya know, if the **AA's were freaking smart, if they didn't WANT to put in the time and effort to convert all their films to a streaming format, they could have totally done THE SAME THING THEMSELVES......make it to where users could upload the DVD's they already purchased, then sort out the bads (aka not their stuff), and *BAM* there is money in the Internet.

          Allow x amount to be streamed for free, pay x (reasonable) amount to watch the whole thing. Someone else is doing all the work.....

          ...........

          Back on topic.....reading thru that pdf...how did they get money laundering out of all of that?


          Oh Yea, and one more thing, this is something I have been saying all along....


          "On or about May 13, 2011, members of the Conspiracy infringed the copyright of the motion picture “Thor” by making it available on publicly accessible Internet-connected servers

          The film, which had been released in U.S. theaters on or about May 6, 2011, was not commercially distributed in the United States until on or about September 13, 2011. "

          The movie came out May 6, and on May 13th, it was available on their site.

          So tell me how....how was this done if it wasn't someone already in the movie business? It's not like the average user at home had access to a DVD to rip and upload.

          I have been saying it all along.....MPAA needs to look at their own industry...period.....as they are the ones with access to the content first.

          Which leads me to ask....was it an inside job uploading all of these files all along?

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: (OP)

          This is exactly my point, thank you. Instead of threatening to put me in jail or taking down all my fav websites, just sell me the overseas HDTV I want at a reasonable price without all those junk American reality TV channels. I have no choice but to infringe to watch the TV I want under the current state of affairs.

           

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        btr1701, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re:

        > If you are obtaining content that is not made legally available
        > to you, you are still breaking the law.

        Only if it's actually a pirated copy. If you, for example, just use a proxy that masks your place of origin and that enables you to access a legitimately provided stream of a TV show or movie, that's not a crime.

         

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    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    A warning to the MPAA/RIAA

    Beware the dragon that lies before you, for it has awoken and does not like being poked.

     

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    demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    In other words, our wonderful government is throwing a temper tantrum because the people dared to speak out and voice their opposition. So they're declaring war on any website they can, in hopes of scaring us into quiet.

    Won't work.

    And taking down megaupload has a double benefit! Since they were suing UMG, and UMG is cozy in bed with our Dear Leaders, they must be treated like a gang of baby-rapers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:50pm

    about time these rebel scum are brought to justice, how dare the defy the empire.

    Sorry what is happening with mega upload?

     

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    anonymous, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    'child pornography and terrorist propaganda' was probably what was used to get the warrant but then removed afterwards so the case wouldn't fall completely flat.
    goes to show the lengths the entertainment industries will go to to ensure artists dont go 'independent' but carry on lining the pockets of the execs. after the 'mega video' that was posted a few weeks ago and the statement Kim made about being 'totally legit', i hope he has his arse well and truly covered.
    another point is, it shows who is running the NZ government, doesn't it?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    Similar cyberlockers, like RapidShare, have already been declared legal in both Europe and the US. I don't know the details of Megaupload's situation -- and certainly its founder has a... um... colorful history... but it seems pretty extreme to totally shut down the site prior to any adversarial hearing.

    Why is it extreme? That what the law permits. What did you expect, "pretty please"?

    So why do we need SOPA/PIPA again? It seems like the DOJ/ICE just undermined the key argument of the MPAA/RIAA/US CoC for why they need these laws. After all, Megaupload was one of the key examples used for why the law was needed.

    Megaupload had a US connection (VA servers) if they hadn't, they'd have been out of the jurisdiction of US law enforcement. That's why. But you know that all ready, don't you Masnick?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

      Re:

      It's like you don't even understand what 'jurisdiction' means...

       

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      mischab1, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

      Re:

      So Megaupload was one of the key examples used as why we need SOPA/PIPA because if Megaupload didn't have a US connection...

      That makes no sense.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:44pm

      Re:

      "Why is it extreme? That what the law permits."

      Wait, wait.. so you're saying that if the law permits it then it can't be extreme? Do you also think that lawful equates to moral?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

        Re: Re:

        Well, yeah. Did you think that slavery wasn't moral or something? I'll never understand moral guardians... "Slavery? Won't someone please THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"

        What's that? My quotation is illegal under SOPA? Well, [ad hominem]!

         

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

      Re:

      Why are you lying?

       

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      btr1701, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

      Re: Extreme

      > Why is it extreme? That what the law permits.

      I think the point here is that the law itself is extreme.

      > What did you expect, "pretty please"?

      No, but a little due process, or at least its pretense, would be nice.

       

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      JEDIDIAH, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:44am

      Re:

      > Why is it extreme? That what the law permits. What did you expect, "pretty please"?

      Perhaps the same standard of care that's used for a TRO.

      These shenanigans don't exist in a vacuum and the accused still have rights. As someone else pointed out "the company should be out on bail" just like any other accused can expect.

      People love to muddle legal concepts until it all leads to something inconvenient.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:55pm

    To be honest, one can complain about the timing, but if these charges are true this is a legit case. Based on these arguments, Megaupload is far from an innocent victim or a scapegoat.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

      Re:

      A trial should therefore be a quick and painless one, what with all the overwhelming evidence against their favor.

       

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        demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm sure it will be quick. The MAFIAA will declare their guilt, then have them shot in front of the Capitol building.

         

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          AzureSky (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          quite possible, after all, its permissible under current US law, and would be even if they where citizens if this country....

          but its more likely they would want to imprison them for a while to give the prison lobby their support/money first.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

      Re:

      Yes a site endorsed by musicians/content creators and used by content creators to aid in well... creating content cannot be a scapegoat or an innocent victim.
      http://vimeo.com/33424808

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:26pm

        Re: Re:

        MegaUpload "aids in creating content"? How so?

         

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          Yartrebo, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

          Re: Re: Re: Mega Upload aids in creating content

          Mega Upload and similar services are useful to those who want to publish something but don't have a server to do so with, in much the same way as You Tube helps individuals publish video and various image sharing sites help for sharing images (most commonly used with forums that don't let you host images, but let you link them).

          They're merely a specialized way to distribute data, much like a web site but aimed at downloads rather then browsing.

           

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      TtfnJohn (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 7:39pm

      Re:

      But the complaint in the filing is one side of the story Far from hearing from both sides.

      No one on the target edge of a filing like this is gonna look like an innocent victim, bystander or scapegoat. The purpose of the argument is to get the authority to do do what they've done.

      As Mike says, the timing is suspect at best even if those investigating MegaUpload had been at it for months. Waiting a day or two wouldn't have hurt anything that I can see. What with the New Zealand government acting like an eager to please lap dog in all of this.

       

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        indieThing, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 3:34am

        Re: Re:

        For a good idea of what goes on behind the scenes between the USA and foreign countries when they really,really want to extradite someone without due process, I recommend reading Mr.Nice by Howard Marks. See the section on when he's in prison in Spain. Also a great read in it's own right !

         

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    Violated (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Insanity Wolf

    It is clear to me that this is an attempt to destroy the company. It is totally insane to cause this much damage to a multi-million dollar business, and the World's 68th most popular website, when they have not even yet heard both sides of this story.

    Yes the likes of RapidShare and HotFile have been found to be lawful and protected under DMCA law. Since MegaUpload followed these rulings, and is a DMCA "safe harbour" company, then what is different? Maybe that is simply because Mega were aiming to rival the RIAA by building a legitimate business.

    The DoJ indictment is insane claiming things like "they do not provide a search function". Are the DoJ retarded now when in past US Court cases Cyberlockers were banned offering this feature! Then they say their top 100 is not fair and only includes lawful downloads! So is the DoJ saying they want Mega to promote copyright infringement?

    I could bare to read no more. We know the RIAA and ICE is working together and when you annoy UMG then guess what happens?

     

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      illuminaut (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

      Re: Insanity Wolf

      The difference is apparently that they're suspected of not following DMCA procedures and encouraging (through incentives) illegal content uploads. I don't know if that's true, but I can see why they go after them first.

      I also feel that the timing had to do with them making moves towards becoming a legitimate business in direct competition to RIAA. Better squash them before they become too big/successful. That's the real fear of the industry gatekeepers: legitimate competition. As long as they're just dirty pirates they actually serve a purpose as a scapegoat.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

        Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

        Honestly, I don't think they RIAA is concerned about competition. What they are concerned with is illegal copying of works to which they own the rights.

         

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          Vincent Clement (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:39pm

          Re: Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

          Too funny. The RIAA is definitely concerned about competition. Competition tends to lower prices which means a smaller margin which means less profit which means smaller bonuses and stock options.

           

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          demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:42pm

          Re: Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

          Of course they're concerned about competition. The MAFIAA views every youtube video, every original song as a dollar taken out of THEIR pockets.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 7:03pm

          Re: Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

          Of course they're not concerned about competition, they have no idea how to compete.

           

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        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

        Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

        The difference is apparently that they're suspected of not following DMCA procedures

        Read the press release more carefully. Its the same general knowledge issue that courts have shot down repeatedly. Content companies are expecting that if they tell a hosting company that movie ABC is on their servers and provide one link to it, that the hosting company has to magically make all the links they weren't told about disappear as well.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

          Re: Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

          Except megaupload does in fact prevent duplicates on the server by giving multiple links to a single file on the server. Upon receiving the DMCA notice, they kill the link, but they do not remove the file from the server if the indictment is to be believed.

           

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            Dustin (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:37pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

            Exactly what I've said previously. That alone goes a long way to proving conspiracy.

             

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            Bill Price, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

            From reading the indictment —
            Except megaupload does in fact prevent duplicates on the server by giving multiple links to a single file on the server.

            Each image on the disk represents all of the uploads. Each upload represents a separate, possibly infringing, possibly non-infringing, copy of the work. Each upload has distinct ownership and licensing characteristics: if Fred uploads a licensed copy, and George uploads an infringing copy, they both get linked to the same space on disk. This notion of linking should come as no surprise to anyone who understands the concept of linking used in Unix (including OSX), Linux, and Microsoft Windows NTFS.


            The critical idea is that the uploads are independent, each from the others — and it's not the physical file that's infringing, it's the upload (copying) and its associated virtual file.
            Upon receiving the DMCA notice, they kill the link, but they do not remove the file from the server if the indictment is to be believed.

            Each upload is given a distinct URL, and represents a different file, a different copy of the work, and a different set of ownership and licensing facts. The idea that the same disk image represents multiple copies is just an implementation detail, using linking to conserve space.
            When the copyright holder says "this URL links to an infringing copy of the work", no statement is made about the other virtual copies generated from the same disk image. MU kills the virtual copy that's accused of infringement, and leaves alone the virtual copies that are innocent (so far as either the copyright holder or MU knows) of infringement.
            The job for MU is to get this simple truth across to the trier of fact. The job for UMG and their DoJ minions is to obscure the simplicity, and confuse the trier of fact. The job of the UMG/MAFIAA shills here will be the same, with TD readers taking the place of the fact-trier.

             

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          illuminaut (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

          Re: Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

          I didn't read it verbatim, but I got that from the Wired article:
          The indictment claims it induced users to upload copyrighted works for others to download, that it often failed to comply with removal notices from rights holders.
          The money laundering charges are connected to allegations Megaupload paid users for uploading infringing content.

          I'm not sure what they base these claims on specifically as I don't really have any idea how that site operated.

           

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        Someone else, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:38pm

        Re: Re: Insanity Wolf

        Mega Upload has a streaming service too, Mega Video, and Mega Box which is a streaming audio locker. The fact that you can not only download the movies/music to your hard drive to listen to offline, but watch it for free over the web, presents a direct threat to services like Netflix, Hulu, and cable companies' VOD services (like Comcast and Verizon), not to mention their big-a$$ advertisers who would also be losing money to "piracy."

        This has as much to do with the mad men of Madison Avenue halting a pre-release of Mad Men as it does with Wall Street and Hollywood & Vine. Because usually what people (scene groups) will do is just upload an XViD or x264 rip directly from the DVD or Blu-Ray, free of commercial interruptions and free ($$$) for anyone to watch.

        It really has nothing to do with kiddie diddlers or "terrorist materials." Because those things do occur they're being used as an excuse to go in and shut down torrent and one-click-hosting sites. The MAFIAA figures this is "economic terrorism" because their overpriced commercial crap rife with ads and product placement is losing big bucks to free distribution. TiVo is a service that costs money. So is Internet access, but if, say, you're watching at an Internet cafe or something then you personally don't have to pay. Con-gress and the MAFIAA are just trying to squeeze every last dime out of The People to ensure a stranglehold on profits.

        Those who own the means of production and distribution own the whole of society. Karl Marx said that. Piracy is considered "un-American" and socialist because in $$$ we trust. 40 years ago we transgressed our borders to "curb communism" in Vietnam the same way we invaded Hong Kong to "curb piracy." And gee, Vietnam was an epic win, wasn't it? /sarcasm

         

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      techflaws.org (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:21pm

      Re: Insanity Wolf

      "they do not provide a search function"

      Wasn't this one of the points that got Rapidshare off the hook? Now the DOJ wants it the other way round?

       

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    timlash (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Death Nell?

    Could this be the beginning of the end to the dot com/net/org prevalence on internet? How many dot coms are registering dot co.uk right now?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

      Re: Death Nell?

      Given the scope of most international treaties, I doubt that being registered in the UK will help much. Maybe in a belligerent state, but any with significant trade, military or foreign aid ties will be dancing to the tune played by the State Department. My guess is that you will end up wishing for SOPA. The policy objectives of SOPA will simply be translated into treaties and the administration can wash its hands in the Holy Water.

       

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        RubyRue, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

        Re: Re: Death Nell?

        Living in the UK and seeing what has gone on with TV Shack I guarantee the UK will just bend over and do whatever the State Department wants

         

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      mike allen (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:12pm

      Re: Death Nell?

      While us in the UK are registering .nl or other suffix to avoid our gov doing smiler.

       

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    drew (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    an alternative approach?

    it's not fully finished yet, but this seems like a good time to repost: http://yamdac.blogspot.com/2011/07/manifesto-for-content-industry.html #sopa #pipa #megaupload

     

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    Kodo, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:00pm

    As an Aussie tell me again why USA is land of the free?? Since 9/11 it has become anything but the land of the free where it seems liberties are being lost every other day.

    I wonder where the MPAA/RIAA would be if instead of wasting billions in lobbying Congress they used it to "innovate" and create a bette business model.

    Who am I kidding they would never do that.

     

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      demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

      Re:

      We're not the land of the free anymore. Time to take back those liberties - however we can.

       

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      btr1701, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

      Re: Aussies

      > As an Aussie tell me again why USA is land of the free??

      I don't defend any of the authoritarian crap currently coming out of my government, but when you guys get rid of your Censorship Boards and mandatory Internet filtering and official lists of banned web sites, then you can talk to us about how unfree we are.

       

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        Anthony Harris (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:25pm

        Re: Re: Aussies

        AS far as I know the internet blacklists haven't made it far at all and it has been pretty quiet on that front for a while from Senator Conroy's office.

        There are reports stuff is going on behind closed doors but I don't believe anything has been prepared for a vote yet in regards to passing those laws.

        I will agree with censorship Boards but that likes like changing soon as well and we may well be getting an R18 classification for games in the year future.

        Even with all that i still believe we are a lot better off in Australia han USA in regards to freedoms and losing civil liberties. Although with the closeness our two countries have politically it seems anything US Govt decides our politiians seem to follow blindly no matter what the consequences are.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 9:35pm

        Re: Re: Aussies

        Yes because how unfree they are has a direct impact on the freeness of the states.
        I would have thought that would only be by comparison rather than being an objective truth, but hey what would I know.

         

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        btrussell (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:45am

        Re: Re: Aussies

        Then your Government should clean up its' act before telling any other Country what to do as well.

        When they have proven that there is 0 infringement in the states, they can talk to other countries about infringement, until then, get my country off your fucking list!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:12am

          Re: Re: Re: Aussies

          Then your Government should clean up its' act before telling any other Country what to do as well.

          When they have proven that there is 0 infringement in the states, they can talk to other countries about infringement, until then, get my country off your fucking list!


          Unfortunately your country doesn't produce much worth stealing so you insist on freeloading American content. Believe me no one would care if Canadians only infringed Canadian movies and music. Christ, your entire film industry is American studios using you a their back lot. Face it, you're really just the 51st state and can't compete with us, even in hockey.

           

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      AzureSky (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

      Re:

      I do agree with you but when will aus/oz remove the law against small breasts....many ausi chicks I have known over the years where small chested "sporty" types...

      law against small breasts in porn.....sick!!!!

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    time to put a stop to this

    It's high time the world shut down the US. No more trade,no more travel - just excommunicate them.

     

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      Leander (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

      Re: time to put a stop to this

      I live near Amsterdam and have half a mind to take an axe to the atlantic sea cable. Let the US have their own little censored internet. We'll do just fine without you

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:11pm

        Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

        You'd be speaking German right now if it wasn't for the U.S.

         

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          cc (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

          Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

          Instead we're all speaking English. Traded one evil empire for another. Whoop dee doo.

           

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          Leander (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

          I already speak German, but that's besides the point. And the Netherlands was liberated by the Canadians. Yes the Americans played a role in fighting Nazi Germany, but that was almost 70 years ago.
          In recent years the only notable achievement was pissing of the world...

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

            And...well INVENTING the internet.

             

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              Leander (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

              And... subsequently trying to break it.

              But in all fairness, my remark is a bit crude. What annoys me most is that the people and entrepeneurs in America were a driving force behind this great thing called the internet, but now it's litigated into oblivion. This, combined with the attitude against foreign nations doesn't make them very popular.

               

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

          Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

          Little known fact:

          In 1794, Congress narrowly voted against publishing laws in German as well as English. While it likely wouldn't have made German the official language (as English is not either, we have no official language in this country), it is easy enough to see that something like Canada's French speaking population emerging here if history was just a tiny bit different.

           

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            dcee (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:59am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

            Errr.... not sure I undestand, French speaking canadiens were the founding people of Canada... The english speaking arrived after the conquest of England of the colony...

             

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          Marcel de Jong (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

          And if it weren't for the Canadian, the Russians, the British, and many people in the underground, etc etc etc etc.

          Fuck you playing the "'we' saved the world during world war 2" card...
          Yes, thank you for the Marshallplan. That has been what 65 years ago?! Get over yourself, yankie doodle!

           

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            nasch (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:51am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

            Yes, thank you for the Marshallplan. That has been what 65 years ago?! Get over yourself, yankie doodle!

            But... but... MERIKUH!!

             

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

          Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

          Wow, people still say this? Please stop. Uttering this just makes us look even worse.

           

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          btrussell (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:47am

          Re: Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

          Don't you mean Canadians?

          I come from the biggest part of North America but I am Canadian, not American.

           

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        demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

        Re: Re: time to put a stop to this

        Can the American people please move elsewhere before you do that? That way the MAFIAA and the government can have aaallllll the power they want... over an empty room.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:16am

      Re: time to put a stop to this

      It's high time the world shut down the US. No more trade,no more travel - just excommunicate them.

      No more foreign aid, no more disaster relief, no more IMF, no more movies, no more music, no more tv, no more internet, no more iPads, etc.

      Where do we sign up?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    Is anyone else done following any laws of man?

     

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      demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:15pm

      Re:

      *raises hand*

      I've never been in favor of anarchy, but the events of the last year have left me wanting to simply raze everything to the ground and start building it back from the Founding Fathers' framework.

       

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        Crosbie Fitch (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re:

        It will soon be classed as an act of sedition/extremism/terrorism to post the following, so read it while you can:

        When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

        We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. --That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. —Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

         

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          ltlw0lf (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:13pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          It will soon be classed as an act of sedition/extremism/terrorism to post the following, so read it while you can:

          We forget it now, but at the time this was written, it was an act of sedition/extremism/terrorism. Every person involved with its creation and signing knew that they could have been arrested and put to death for treason. What is sad is that it has gone full circle that the very document instrumental in forming this nation and in setting its path forward is seen now as an act of treason.

          I wish I had a patent on a device that turned spinning bodies in the grave into infinite energy, because the founding fathers would make me rich right now.

           

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:05pm

    Did you hear that?

    It is the sound of a thousand programmers getting started on distributed content delivery alternatives to torrents/magnets/http/DNS

    It is the sound of ten thousand people that will never, ever support Hollywood or any conglomerated recording industry, out of spite.

    It is the sound of hundreds of thousands of dollars being exchanged in Countries for new technology services that won't we impacted by these takeover laws.

    Keep listening...

     

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    identicon
    Kenneth Michaels, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Anonymous takes down justice.gov and universalmusic.com

    In an interesting twist, Anonymous takes down justice.gov and UniversalMusic.com. This gets stranger by the minute.

     

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    cc (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    I wonder if this ties in with Hollywood's threat to cut Obama's "donations"...

     

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    Scote, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Seizure webpage seems predudicial

    Seems to me the big FBI seizure web pages are prejudicial. A website is like a printing press, and the seizure webpages are like forcing a newspaper to print FBI propaganda, putting words in the mouths of the website owners and operators. It isn't the same as putting a small sign on the door of a physical building.

    Nowhere on the page does it note that people are innocent until proven guilty.

     

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      identicon
      Rekrul, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:15pm

      Re: Seizure webpage seems predudicial

      Nowhere on the page does it note that people are innocent until proven guilty.

      That's because it no longer applies. It may still technically be the law, but today, it's guilty until proven innocent.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:10pm

    Wait, does this mean piracy isn't going to be legalized?

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    FUCK YOU MAFIAA

    Thank you for taking down my back-up data assholes.
    I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL LEECHES ON LIFE.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:17pm

    Coordinated Effort

    Is the White House's opposition to SOPA and PIPA nothing more than an attempt to save face with the voting public?

    The US government has adopted a multi-pronged approach to shutting down websites its MPAA and RIAA contributors see as a threat to their business models: Treaties, foreign pressure, domain name shutdowns, laws such as SOPA and PIPA -- all part of a concerted effort to protect the interests of the content industry at the public's expense.

     

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      demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

      Re: Coordinated Effort

      "Is the White House's opposition to SOPA and PIPA nothing more than an attempt to save face with the voting public?"

      Of course it is. It's an election year, and no one likes those bills.

       

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    The eejit (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    There are claims that the DoJ site and UMG have both been DDOs'ed in response. These look to be legitimate, as the sites are down at the time of writing this.

    The Feds just declared war on the Internet. *grabs popcorn*

     

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    mike allen (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    web lockers

    It is no secret that the entertainment industry want to close all web lockers as they think they all infringe even as we all know most only send the files to the people you send them to thats how i get my radio shows to the stations to broadcast.
    UP YOURS RIAA.
    I am now one mad puppy and I bite.

     

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    MAJikMARCer (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:22pm

    Databanks

    Even if the indictment is true, does it warrant shutting down the site indefinitely, hurting many innocent non-infringing users?

    When someone at you bank is indited on fraud or other financial abuses, does the government come in and close the bank and leave all its customers without their money? Nope!

    Sounds like the issue could be fixed fairly easily and bring the site within the scope of the DMCA. Perhaps the four that are being charged are out and new management needs to be brought in, but we all know that's not going to happen. By the time anything of Megaupload is returned to the Internet, it'll be a shell of itself and probably all of it's data scrubbed.

    This most certainly will put a chill on cloud services.

     

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      Jeremy2020 (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

      Re: Databanks

      It will just kill jobs related to cloud services in the US and people will just route around the US and the technology industry will go elsewhere.

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 9:54pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        What jobs related to cloud services?

        The only thing cloud services employ is an army of servers.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

      Re: Databanks

      When someone at you bank is indited on fraud or other financial abuses, does the government come in and close the bank and leave all its customers without their money? Nope!

      Yes but how about a bank that turns a blind eye to money laundering or some other financial crime? Guess what happens to them then?

       

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        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        Yes but how about a bank that turns a blind eye to money laundering or some other financial crime?

        Did MegaUpload "turn a blind eye" or did they follow the law when they were told their service was being used for specific acts of copyright infringement?

        Can you point out a single time that MegaUpload was presented via a DMCA notice with a link to an unauthorized copyrighted file on their server and did not disable the access to that link? Or more pertinent, can the DOJ?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Databanks

          Read the indictment Perry Mason, then go ask Eric Holder.

           

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            Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 11:58pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Databanks

            Now that there's more than the press release available, there's some details (which was what I was asking for). While it seems that 95% of the 72 page indictment is perfectly normal business operations (seriously, pages and pages of how they did deals with server and bandwidth providers or advertising payments), there's some questionable activities. If the DOJ is right (and that's a big if, since they've been wrong so much before), then there are some criminal actions.

            Instead of throwing insults, you could have actually pointed out the specifics. Is it so hard to actually back up your position with real facts when you actually have them, or is that a habit you don't want to get in to?

             

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        Kaden (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        They get government bailouts?

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        They get a cushy government job?

         

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        demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:14pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        They become lobbyists?

         

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        btr1701, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        > Yes but how about a bank that turns a blind eye to
        > money laundering or some other financial crime? Guess
        > what happens to them then?

        I can tell you what *doesn't* happen. They don't shut the entire bank down and tell all the innocent depositors that their money has been confiscated and they'll likely never see it again.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: Databanks

          depends on whether their deposits were ill-gotten or not. Who said you're not getting the videos of your vacation to Disneyland back?

           

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            btr1701 (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Databanks

            > > I can tell you what *doesn't* happen. They don't shut
            > > the entire bank down and tell all the innocent depositors
            > > that their money has been confiscated and they'll likely
            > > never see it again.

            > depends on whether their deposits were ill-gotten or not.

            What part of 'innocent depositor' is hanging you up?

             

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:59pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        They get a bailout apparently in the US and cushy severance golden parachutes for all management positions.

        I have to see one banker who got punished for laundering drug money for decades heck the government even knew it was happening but because if was a massive amount of money nobody look into it, so there is that.

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:03pm

        Re: Re: Databanks

        like the subprime crisis?

         

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    bedwa, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:25pm

    My 2¢

    I think it's a political ploy to show RIAA and MPAA that the "Executive Branch" still supports them so that they do not lose funding. I think it was a well thought out process. Denounce SOPA yesterday, wait for Hollywood to threaten removal of endorsement, takedown Megaupload. If it wouldn't have been Megaupload, it would have been the next site with a target on their chest. Period.

     

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      wallow-T, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:33pm

      Re: My 2¢

      I basically agree with bedwa, that the Megaupload takedown was timed to follow the SOPA protest, as a bone tossed to the content industries. However, because of the international coordination involved, I'm guessing that this was set in motion some time after the day of protest was announced, but before Wednesday's protest occurred.

       

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    War

    Well, it really is a war now. Let's see how this turns out.

    On a more productive note...

    From the press release:

    "Instead, the indictment alleges that the conspirators manipulated the perception of content available on their servers by not providing a public search function on the Megaupload site and by not including popular infringing content on the publicly available lists of top content downloaded by its users."

    So offering a search feature that allows anyone to find copyrighted content is providing tools that facilitate infringement, yet not offering a search feature is "manipulating the perception of content available." Are you fucking kidding?

    "For example, when notified by a rights holder that a file contained infringing content, the indictment alleges that the conspirators would disable only a single link to the file, deliberately and deceptively leaving the infringing content in place to make it seamlessly available to millions of users to access through any one of the many duplicate links available for that file."

    So we're back to the general knowledge of infringement happening on the site argument again? How many courts have to say that it's the copyright holder's responsibility to provide specifics? It sounds like when DMCA notices contained a link to the file, it was disabled, as per the law.

    "The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to launder money by paying users through the sites’ uploader reward program and paying companies to host the infringing content."

    I suppose there's a few ways to interpret that, but how is a well known rewards program that does what it says money laundering? And paying companies to host the infringing content... we'll need some specifics there, but if Mega was just purchasing additional space for what their users uploaded then this makes no sense at all.

    Unless the DOJ has some really specific credible evidence, this is going to seriously blow up in their faces.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:40pm

      Re: War

      What law school did you flunk out of Josh?

       

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        Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

        Re: Re: War

        As I have repeatedly stated on Techdirt, I am not a lawyer, nor have ever had any desire to be one. I work in computer security, where facts and data are important, not as a lawyer or lobbyist where they are seen as the enemy. (Apologies to the good lawyers we have around that really do care about facts, but you know as well as I that your profession has a horrible reputation brought about by the scum sucking members of it.)

        Are you actually going to address any of the points I made, or just make some pitiful two-bit attempt to insult me?

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: War

          Yea I still don't buy the 'laundering money' part.

          It's pretty clear cut where the money was going.

          Seems like someone needs to be looking into the MAFIAA accounting....I'm pretty damn sure there's some laundering of money going on there!

           

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          Someone else, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:46pm

          Re: Re: Re: War

          ! --- Begin sarcastic Onion-like post here ---

          In related news, a representative from the Department of Justice has announced via Twitter:

          "IANAL."

          Normally used as an acronym for "I am not a lawyer," in this case the representative's comment is to be read phonetically.

          "I anal."

          ! --- LOL EOF ---

           

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        techflaws.org (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:26pm

        Re: Re: War

        The same where they taught you to be an effective shilltard.

         

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    identicon
    Jay Anon, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

    Someone depending on your own personal files they have on MegaUpload should sue the MPAA and RIAA for losses due to this. The industry took a direct action that denied you your rightful and legal data. There might be a case for this...I'd estimate losses at the same rates as the MPAA for lack of access and denied distribution of your own content. Make an immediate injunction on a current movie about to open in a theater as terms of the countersuit and see what happens...

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

      Re: Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

      Someone depending on your own personal files they have on MegaUpload should sue the MPAA and RIAA for losses due to this. The industry took a direct action that denied you your rightful and legal data. There might be a case for this...I'd estimate losses at the same rates as the MPAA for lack of access and denied distribution of your own content. Make an immediate injunction on a current movie about to open in a theater as terms of the countersuit and see what happens...

      I think you misunderstand or are a complete idiot, perhaps both. The industry took no action, the Justice Dept. did.

       

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        Jay Anon, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

        Re: Re: Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

        Alone? I do not think so....

        Also this brings about the primary question-
        Why aren't we asking why is a civil matter in a criminal court? Why does my tax money pay for this shit?

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:28am

          Re: Re: Re: Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

          Are you unable to read and understand English? Counts 1-5 are criminal counts. It's not a civil matter. And it's beyond infringement, there's money laundering and racketeering.

           

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:58pm

        Re: Re: Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

        The Justice Dept. is the industry's bitch. This was action by the industry, whether or not it is considered so by the legal system they're helping to break.

         

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        techflaws.org (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:27pm

        Re: Re: Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

        Actually, you are the idiot y still trying to have us believe your corporate masters weren't involved in this from the beginning.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:35am

          Re: Re: Re: Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

          Wouldn't surprise me at all if evidence from the civil suit against Megaupload was not examined by the US Attorney who then launched a criminal investigation. Why is that wrong? Even your puppet master Masnick suggests Megaupload may not be the innocent bystander you think it is:

          "Separately, it's always seemed clear that Mega had some sketchiness behind it. It very well may have violated the law."

           

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            John Fenderson (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 2:34pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Counter this if you hjave something of value lost

            It may or may not be wrong -- we don't know. But it's obviously being driven by the industry which automatically means that we can't afford to take it at face value.

             

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    In related news

    The United States Department of Justice announced today that it had simultaneously cleared its entire backload of pending cases, including (a) unsolved murders (b) unsolved rapes (c) abuse of power by police officers (d) arson (e) embezzlement by public officials (f) aggravated assaults and 83 other categories. This stunning development was accompanied by this statement: "Now that we've dealt with all of these, we can deal with bytes of data that aren't where our corporate masters...errr, where we think they should be."

     

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      identicon
      Someone else, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

      Re: In related news

      "The United States Department of Justice announced today that it had simultaneously cleared its entire backload of pending cases, including (a) unsolved murders (b) unsolved rapes (c) abuse of power by police officers (d) arson (e) embezzlement by public officials (f) aggravated assaults and 83 other categories."

      Hailey Barber works for the Dept. of Injustice? Who knew?

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:37pm

    To paraphrase everyone's favorite cyborg...

    It'll be back.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

      Re: To paraphrase everyone's favorite cyborg...

      No, it won't be back.

      What will be back are a hundred clones, distributed around the world, each partially backing up the other so that a takedown of any one still leaves multiple copies of the data available. They'll use full-disk encryption and onion routing -- among other things.

      And if those are targeted?

      A thousand clones.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    Too mad.....

    ...to make a rational comment. DOJ, stop being a lapdog to Hollywood. World, stop being the US' bitch and quit extradicting your citizens here. We're talking about COPYRIGHT for crissakes, not drugs, not murder...one question that bugs me - why wasn't the CEO of MU indicted also? Hollywood conections?

     

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      demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:05pm

      Re: Too mad.....

      If you mean Swizz Beatzz, then yes, he's married to Alicia Keys. So he has plenty of connections and will be given an off-camera slap on the wrist.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    >All indications were that the company was clearly building a legitimate system for artists to make money and fans to get content. And it seemed that many artists clearly supported the site.

    You really don't have to look farther than this to see why the *AA's consider MU to be so dangerous. Sure they go on and on about how much of a pirate haven it is, but that's just smokescreen to cover up the fact that they're going after the site to crush a potential competitor now, before it reaches the point where they have to either move out of the digital stone age and start actually serving* their customers, or don't, and go out of business.

    *Since they don't see to have caught on to the difference yet, I suppose I should clarify that I mean serving their customers their product, not legal notices. Big difference there.

     

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      btrussell (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 8:57am

      Re:

      All indications were that the company was clearly building a legitimate system for artists to make money and fans to get content. And it seemed that many artists clearly supported the site.



      That is what makes them "rogue."

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:08pm

    This is why I've been saying that protesting these bad laws is pointless. The laws are just an excuse for what the corporation-government intends to do anyway. Their behavior won't change based on whether they pass or not.

    Why focus on stopping the bill du jour, when they'll just make an even worse one right away? Instead, we should take a stand against the companies that bribe their way into running things, and the flaws in the government that let them.

     

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    Dan (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:40pm

    "Is this really the message the US DOJ and White House want to be giving the day after mass, widespread protests happened concerning a fear that this new law would be used to take down websites?"

    I'm sure this was planned and in the works way before blackout day was planned, however this is exactly the message they wanted to send. The DOJ doesn't care what anybody thinks. They just follow orders. If you want to blame someone, it's Biden.

     

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    Ed C., Jan 19th, 2012 @ 3:48pm

    The truth about SOPA & PIPA

    Well, at least now big media's intentions behind SOPA and PIPA are becoming clear, and why they were in such rush to push it through. They wanted PIPA & SOPA in play just so that they could say that this takedown couldn't have been possible without them. The truth is that they really don't need these bills, because they were already planning this along, and already have the right people in their pockets to do it anyway. It's just that this level of lobbying and bribery requires a constant influx of capital. PIPA & SOPA would just have given them MORE influence, while making the rest of us tax payers foot the cost instead.

     

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    KingFisher, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    I don't want to live in the US anymore. I feel like our government just hates its own people. Wait now that I think about it, isn't there some line in the Constitution that says that if the government fails in successfully doing its job, we, the American people, have a right to over throw the current government and redo it?

     

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    Another Anonymous, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    MegaVideo

    In addition to running a generic file locker like Rapidshare and others, Megaupload also has its MegaVideo site, which has (had) ways to search for already-uploaded content. This may be where the "direct infringement" part is coming from.

    Of course, their search wasn't all that great, do it was often better to use Google to search for good MegaVideos, as the entire site is searchable (even not existing, it's in Google's cache). Wonder if Google should be cited for "direct infringement" next?

    Looks like the FBI went after the low-hanging fruit. There are only 5 counts of infringement according to news reports. This makes it sound like they're trumping up the Perfect10 case to make a big New Zealand arrest of a German citizen over standing related to the 12 servers in Virginia, and internal pointers to the files used by MegaVideo.

    This case is going to be lost in the courts, but not before the US gov makes hay about how they are big bad enforcers.

     

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    deane (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:32pm

    thanks DOJ/MPAA/RIAA and all the others. you have by your actions CENSORED ME! the government has now BY LAW decided my political speech is to be silenced. >.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 4:40pm

    Seems the DOJ had access to all the emails UMG received as a result of their lawsuit. I guess UMG was afraid their case wasn't very good, so called their buddies in Washington to go extra-judicial on their ass?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    Well, I'm kind of impressed. After yesterday I thought all the trolls had disappeared and that we might be lucky and never hear from them again.

    Looks like I was wrong. There's two in the comments on this article today. Guess we weren't THAT lucky.

    Figures that while the internet put them and their ilk in their places, they'd disappear.

    First chance they get though the gloating, moral judgements, ad homs, apparently omnipotent knowledge of EVERYTHING (including facts related to a seizure that just took place today), etc. are unleashed upon us.

    Kudos to you, trolls. Kudos to you. Humility is not your specialty and damn any who would ask you to behave like RATIONAL adults. You go on with your bad selves.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

      Re:

      Stick a sock in it, idiot.

      Ask the fuckwads from anonymous, pissed off because someone took away their (megaupload) binky, lashing out like, well, rational adults, right?

      Admit it. It sucks when the law takes away your free pr0n.

       

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        Someone else, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:54pm

        Re: Re:

        STFU, troll, you're messing with an Anonymous Warlock. Go suck on UMG and Sony's joystick before you call the real Anon "fuckwads."

        I bet you fsck your mother with that kind of language. (I bet you fsck her anyway, dirty talk notwithstanding.)

         

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        demented, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 9:04pm

        Re: Re:

        It burns because it's true, doesn't it, dear?

         

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        techflaws.org (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:31pm

        Re: Re:

        Dude, what planet do you live on? In times of Youp*rn and Co., do you really think anyone is trading pr0n over cyberlockers? Sheesh, you guys are so out of touch, it's almost funny.

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    The legitimacy of the complaint (and arrests) is not the scary part. The scary part is the obliteration of the site before the case is decided.

    There have been arrests, and an indictment... But that's still not "proven guilty."

    Shouldn't MU be "out on bail" and able to continue business UNTIL proven guilty, and THEN punished (taken offline)?


    Existing US law allows for seizure, which is effectively the arrest of property. You don't need a trial first in order to arrest a person. Same concept.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    It is not clear if the MU site has been seized by the USG, or if it is down for some other reason.

    As for timing relative to yesterday's protests, the face of the Grand Jury Indictment shows that it was filed with the Federal District Court in Alexandria on January 5th, which I belive is before talk of protest began its viral spread.

    The indictment makes a very interesting read. Large, multinational presence, bank accounts everywhere, large incomes received by principals, miniscule rewards to uploaders (looks like its "rewards" program was a bit parsimonious), a stable of autos rivaling what one sees at the Academy Awards, etc. If any of the property is actually forfeited and placed up for auction, I want dibs on one of the 108" LCD TVs.

    Another interesting read is the very few recitations in the indictment about the number of persons in the employ of the MU "family". I was quite surprised to read just how few employees the "family" of companies appear to have. Perhaps the indictment provides but a small sampling.

    This will certainly be something to follow over the next year.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

      Re:

      I was quite surprised to read just how few employees the "family" of companies appear to have.

      Seems to be a real trend. None of these sites or services employ anyone.

      Reddit only employs 11 people.

      Masnick? Zippo.

      That's some real innovation and job creation goin on, eh?

       

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        techflaws.org (profile), Jan 19th, 2012 @ 10:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Masnick? Zippo.

        [citation needed]

         

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:53am

        Re: Re:

        Zippo? Because he doesn't hire you? Someone's a little too self-centered, eh?

         

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        Idobek (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:27am

        Re: Re:

        How many contractors do they use?

        Just because there are few employees does not mean they are not creating jobs.

         

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        Karl (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:48am

        Re: Re:

        None of these sites or services employ anyone.

        What do you mean by "these sites?"

        At first I thought you just meant file lockers, such as Rapidshare or Megaupload. But then you also included Masnick, who does not run a file locker, but a consulting firm and opinion blog (and has more than "zippo" employees).

        So, I guess by "these sites," you mean pretty much the entire Internet?

        If so, then you're absolutely wrong. According to a study by the University of Maryland (PDF), Facebook alone accounts for the creation of 182,000 jobs.

        That is 27,000 more jobs than the number of actors, producers, and directors employed in the entire entertainment industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

        Make no mistake about it. "These sites" employ vastly more people than the entertainment industry does. It's not even close.

         

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          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 6:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Funny, according to Wikipedia Facebook employs about 3000.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facebook

          If you want to use the job creation stats, use it for both industries. Not simply to artificially distort one for your own purposes.

           

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            Karl (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 10:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Funny, according to Wikipedia Facebook employs about 3000.

            They employ 3000 people directly. The other hundreds of thousands are people who make their living writing apps that are deployed on Facebook. You know, Farmville, Mafia Wars, that sort of thing.

            But if you don't want to believe that study, let's look at some numbers from the same source. (Which would be the Bureau of Labor Statistics, natch.)

            Graphic designers: 286,100
            Computer network, systems, and database administrators: 961,200
            Computer software engineers and computer programmers: 1,336,300
            Computer support specialists: 565,700
            Computer systems analysts: 532,200
            Total: 3,681,500 jobs

            Actors, producers, and directors: 155,100
            Dancers and choreographers: 29,200
            Musicians, singers, and related workers: 240,000
            Broadcast and sound engineering technicians and radio operators: 114,600
            Television, video, and motion picture camera operators and editors: 51,900
            Total: 590,800 jobs

            In other words: the tech industry employs about six times as many people as the entire entertainment industry. Each individual sector of the tech industry employs about as many workers as the entire entertainment industry combined.

            Furthermore, tech jobs pay far higher wages, are more stable, and employment in this sector is increasing at a much faster rate. In contrast, jobs in the industry are growing about as fast as the average for all occupations (no more, no less), and a significant number of those jobs are part-time (in fact, it's 43% - roughly 103,200 - of musicians, singers, and related workers are part-time; the BLS didn't give the number for actors, producers, and directors, but it's probably similar).

            Make no mistake about it: in the current economy, the entertainment industry is a rounding error, and the tech industry (especially the Internet industry) is the major player.

             

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    identicon
    mj, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:41pm

    Symantic (Norton) Hacked; RIP Megaupload

    Whats going on in the world today ? Symantic getting sued for spyware tactics (never liked them) and RIP Megaupload. PIPA/SOPA have nothing to do with it? Passed or no pass we still get the finger

     

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      identicon
      mj, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:45pm

      Re: Symantic (Norton) Hacked; RIP Megaupload

      2012 may be the end of world after all,

      Anonymous responds by taking down websites belonging to government and recording industry organizations in response to Thursday's shutdown of the file-sharing site Megaupload.com. !

       

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      identicon
      mj, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 6:49pm

      Re: Symantic (Norton) Hacked; RIP Megaupload

      2012 may be the end of world after all,

      Anonymous responds by taking down websites belonging to government and recording industry organizations in response to Thursday's shutdown of the file-sharing site Megaupload.com. !

       

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        identicon
        Someone else, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:56pm

        Re: Re: Symantic (Norton) Hacked; RIP Megaupload

        "2012 may be the end of world after all"

        In memoriam of civilization I vote we pirate "2012."

         

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 7:56pm

    For a journalistic report on the story, this is worth a read:

    http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/01/why-the-feds-smashed-megaupload.ars

     

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    Rekrul, Jan 19th, 2012 @ 8:30pm

    I hope I'm wrong, but here's what I see happening;

    The feds will seize as much of the company's money as possible and start forfeiture proceedings against it as soon as possible. They will drag out the court proceedings as long as possible to ensure that everyone charged runs out of money to fight back with. They will be painted in the worst possible light at trial. The judge will basically order the jury to return a guilty verdict, which they will. It will be on the order of several billion dollars, which the bankrupt company can never hope to pay. They will then use this win to start going after every other cyberlocker site on the net.

    Frankly, I can't find the words to properly express how utterly fucking disgusted I am with the DoJ and the US government right now.

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 12:49am

    So Disney decided to loan their private security force, ICE, to UMG to settle the dispute?
    UMG who took down content not owned by them and lied in legal filings about the content they took down repeatedly.

    Megaupload did not run a search system to appease the copyright holders who made that demand.
    There are many legitimate uses for the services offered by Megaupload, it is not this amazing hive of nothing by copyrighted material they would have you believe, but then the shills have just been looking at publicly posted links.
    Content holders want Megaupload and other cyberlockers to develop systems that their own cost to protect their content, its your content you develop the system - with great power comes great responsibility.

    This ends poorly.

     

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    The Luke Witnesser, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    Here lies the truth about SOPA/PIPA that even TechDirt has yet to report: what MPAA, RIAA, and Hollywood execs do not want you to see.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJIuYgIvKsc
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NzS5rSvZXe8

    The truth behind why these big companies responsible for SOPA and PIPA are also responsible for piracy itself is far more insidious than even their outmoded business model.

    Can you say, do as I say so I can crush you under heel?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:21am

    Question: Would the actions of SOPA/PIPA supporters violate the terms of service of sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc? If so, a possible solution could be to simply suspend/delete all of their accounts. Given the financial (and, therefore legal) muscle that these sites have, and any given political figure's dependence upon the internet for the dissemination of information, it could be an effective demonstration of possible effects on the average user. Such a demonstration would be difficult to ignore. Legally, I am certain that the battalions of lawyers employed by tech companies could find a legal loophole to justify such an action, and a well worded public statement would round out a fairly airtight defense, consolidate support, and, draw attention to the issue at large.

    If the shoe were on the other foot, I doubt that the supporters of SOPA/PIPA would hesitate to do the same to "win".

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 7:59am

      Re:

      Question: Would the actions of SOPA/PIPA supporters violate the terms of service of sites such as Facebook, Google, Twitter, etc? If so, a possible solution could be to simply suspend/delete all of their accounts. Given the financial (and, therefore legal) muscle that these sites have, and any given political figure's dependence upon the internet for the dissemination of information, it could be an effective demonstration of possible effects on the average user. Such a demonstration would be difficult to ignore. Legally, I am certain that the battalions of lawyers employed by tech companies could find a legal loophole to justify such an action, and a well worded public statement would round out a fairly airtight defense, consolidate support, and, draw attention to the issue at large.


      So the anti-censorship forces would seek to win the day by using censorship? Fascinating hypocrisy.

       

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        btrussell (profile), Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:07am

        Re: Re:

        Why do cops carry guns?

        Can't they just sweet talk violent, out of their minds, people?

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 9:51am

        Re: Re:

        "So the anti-censorship forces would seek to win the day by using censorship? Fascinating hypocrisy."

        You don't ever think before you type do you?

        Where in any of the comment you replied to was anything about "censorship" mentioned?

        I assume you took "delete/suspend their accounts" to be "censorship". However, it is not. Also, sites have a right to do exactly that if you violate their TOS agreements. The same way companies have the same right to do that if you violate warranty agreements, TOS agreements, etc.

        Also, note, the comment you replied to said nothing about "win the day". What was merely stated was that those who are advocates of such bills should not be above the same actions being taken against them and their sites. Everyone gets treated the same with the same law applied to everyone equally. And see how they like it or if it doesn't affect them.

        You're really grasping at imaginary straws, troll.

        Also, I find it amusing you label the comment you replied to "hypocrisy", but never do the same when the MPAA/RIAA or yourself for that matter are caught acting like or sounding like hypocrites. Fascinating hypocrisy on your part there.

         

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        Karl (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 10:20am

        Re: Re:

        So the anti-censorship forces would seek to win the day by using censorship?

        Legally speaking, it's censorship if it's done by the government. Private actors can censor whatever they like, and it's perfectly legal. It may be a contractual issue, but it's not unlawful censorship.

        Having said that, I agree with you. It would not be a wise move. I can't imagine anyone like Facebook even considering this.

         

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    Olivia, Jan 20th, 2012 @ 11:17am

    I do not understand the need to punish everyone for someone else fault. If the american industry made available their product to non-us citizen they would not be claiming so much loss in piracy. I would love to watch TV series that are not distributed in Canada on Hulu or Infinity or even Itunes, but since I am not in the USA, they refused me the access. They are blocking a world wide market.

     

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    elliotlessing (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 5:33am

    Shame on New Zealand

    Shame on NZ for permitting the forfeiture of assets before anyone has had any kind of hearing or adversary proceeding on the matter. These are just accusations by the DOJ and nothing has been proven yet. There is enough of a chance that MEGAUPLOAD will be acquitted that it is entirely shameful what the NZ authorities have permitted. These are takings without proper due process. What's next!??

     

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    Marcie, Jan 21st, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Black March

    BLACK MARCH
    Thursday, March 1st to Saturday, March 31st, 2012

    With the continuing campaigns for Internet-censoring legislation such as SOPA and PIPA, the closure of sites such as Megaupload under allegations of ‘piracy’ and ‘conspiracy’, the time has come to take a stand against music, film, and media companies’ lobbyists.

    The only way is to hit them where it hurts.
    Their profit margins.

    March 2012 is the end of the 1st quarter in economic reports worldwide.

    Do not buy a single record. Do not download a single song, legally or illegally. Do not go see a single film in cinemas, or download a copy. Do not buy a DVD in the stores. Do not buy a videogame. Do not buy a single book or magazine.

    Wait the four weeks to buy them in April; see the film later, etc. Holding out for just four weeks, maximum, will leave a gaping hole in media and entertainment companies’ profits for the 1st quarter, an economic hit which will in turn be observed by governments worldwide as stocks and shares will blip from a large enough loss of incomes.

    This action will give a statement of intent:

    “We will not tolerate the Media Industries’ lobbying for legislation which will censor the internet.”

     

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    Damien Bizeau (profile), Jan 21st, 2012 @ 11:38pm

    Eric F. Vermote & his piracy acts

    I am sure that University of Maryland and NASA scientist Eric F. Vermote didn't at all appreciate Megaupload's seizure. Very nice and cool anti piracy "Hadopi" law progress in France - in French: "c'est très "surprenant" tous les web posts laissés comme cela partout sur Internet par des Pseudos Totallement Anonymes comme le votre sur le sujet de piratage... Megaupload = domaine purement et simplement bloqué par le U. S District Court sur décision de grand jury fédéral américain (par opérations du F.B.I). Je m'y attendais depuis très longtemps en ce qui me concerne (lire tous mes web posts en anglais et français); tout cela est fort intéressant pour les créateurs à mon avis : internautes mal avertis contre la HADOPI qu'en pensez-vous maintenant ? Toujours aussi fiers ?

    Voici les graves raisons officielles de la fermeture de Megaupload :

    - violation criminelle de droits d'auteurs
    - complot de racket
    - conspiration de violation de droits d'auteurs
    - association de malfaiteurs en blanchiment d'argent.

    PAS VRAIMENT "JOLI JOLI" TOUT CELA N' EST-CE PAS ?"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Monty, Jan 22nd, 2012 @ 12:59am

    Re:Black March

    ".. hit them where it hurts. Do not buy a single record. Do not download a single song..."
    Hmm, Pirates not paying for things....They don't anyhow. Who will even notice?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Pahan tharaka, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    I`m Sri lankan and I hate Popa Pipa. I think This is the words end is going on.Our free word is going to buy with some money some day. This is the worlds end.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    Pahan tharaka, Feb 4th, 2012 @ 9:23am

    I`m Sri lankan and I hate Sopa Pipa. I think This is the words end is going on.Our free word is going to buy with some money some day. This is the worlds end.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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