MPAA To USTR: More Shutdowns Like Megaupload, Please

from the protectionism-at-its-finest dept

The USTR has released the various comments sent in for its annual "notorious markets" report. This is related to its annual Special 301 report, and it's where the USTR basically takes the list of sites and countries that the entertainment industry (and the pharmaceutical industry) don't like... and declares them "notorious" for not doing enough to please the execs in those industries in cracking down on infringement. TorrentFreak points us to the latest filing from the MPAA, which is chock full of... not a single surprise. Basically it just names all the websites that it doesn't like because they challenge its business model. Same old story. But where it gets a little interesting is where the MPAA gleefully talks up how totally awesome it was when the feds shut down Megaupload, and implies that life would be that much grander if the feds did that kind of thing more often:
This year's seizures of Megaupload.com and Megavideo.com by the Department of Justice illustrate the extent and impact that hosting hubs have on the online landscape. Prior to the seizures, Megavideo.com (Alexa 177) and Megaupload.com (Alexa 72) were estimated to receive 3,447,7741 and 2,640,8452 unique visitors each month, respectively. Megaupload.com alone was estimated to have consumed 11.4% of the Internet bandwidth in Brazil. When these two websites were taken down, many linking websites, custom search engines, and custom streaming scripts that relied on the sites for content became inoperable. Some websites were abandoned by their operators, others lost traffic, while still others shifted their business model. For example, Wupload.com (Alexa 918), which was featured in MPAA's filing last year, disabled file sharing. Affiliate programs that paid uploaders for content were also discontinued or removed by many hubs. Further, infringing content was purged by operators in bulk, which was followed by uploaders who deleted their own files to prevent the hubs from profiting on the uploads without paying incentives. In sum, the impact of these seizures was massive and the hub landscape is still recovering.
I have to admit that I'm not sure I understand the comma notation in those unique visitor numbers (don't you normally put a comma every 3 digits rather than 4? Is that a phone number? Are they talking about 3.4 million or 34 million?).

But, either way, the whole bit of glee over Megaupload is fairly unseemly given a few key points. First off, the absolute disaster of the case against Megaupload so far. Eventually, they may get their act together, but to date, it's involved missing or destroyed evidence, questions about the warrant, illegal spying, more requests to destroy evidence and general attempts to demonize the people involved. While Megaupload may eventually be found guilty, that's far from certain at this point. All of these errors are certainly raising significant doubts about the DOJ's ability to understand what's actually happening.

And it's that last fact which highlights why the takedown process here is totally broken. Even if Megaupload is eventually cleared, the company will have lost more than a year (and likely more) to fight the lawsuit, and the company, as it is, is basically dead. It's still never been adequately explained why the MPAA can't do what the law requires, and take the targets to court, seeking an injunction. These aren't drug lords they're dealing with. They can be tracked down and found (without resorting to illegal spying). That's not to say the sites should be legal, necessarily. That's fact-specific. But, the idea that the US government, at the urging of Hollywood, should just take down a business, without letting the site owner even express their side, is so extreme as to be laughable. You would think that, given how badly this whole thing may backfire in its face, that MPAA would have started backing away from the whole "Megaupload is a perfect example" stump speech by now. But it seems to want to play out that lie for a while. To then play that up as a good example really suggests that the MPAA is in denial and still thinks that the scary caricature of Kim Dotcom that it has built up in the minds of Hollywood execs, is still a legitimate thing.


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    silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:46am

    They're just jealous...

    That they can't make a website people want to go to every day like Megaupload.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:49am

      Re: They're just jealous...

      Mike Masnick simply can't stand it when copyright law is enforced.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:55am

        Re: Re: They're just jealous...

        AC doesn't understand that the DOJ and MPAA fucked up with the Megaupload takedown.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: They're just jealous...

          No, silly! They enforced the law, the site was shut down and piracy was stopped dead in its tracks. Problem solved.

          All they have to do is shut down, what tens of thousands of more sites and that should be that.

           

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            Dirkmaster (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:49am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: They're just jealous...

            Which law was that, exactly? Torturous Interference With a Business Model?

             

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            ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: They're just jealous...

            All they have to do is shut down, what tens of thousands of more sites and that should be that.

            I agree. They should start with any site that ends with .gov as well as any site run by the MAFIAA or their member corporations. /sarc

            They enforced the law, the site was shut down and piracy was stopped dead in its tracks.

            Wrong, and wrong again. They have not yet been able to even charge anyone with a crime, nor have they said what the law was they enforced, and piracy is very, very much alive.

             

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              Niall (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:27am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: They're just jealous...

              I think you need to recalibrate your sarcasm detector...

              Note the use of 'silly', which is far too mild a pejorative to be used by some of the pro-MAFIAA flaming 'poopyheads'.

               

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        Cory of PC (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:28am

        Re: Re: They're just jealous...

        Ha, cute! Hey, wanna a cookie?

         

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        Bergman (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

        Re: Re: They're just jealous...

        How exactly is it an act of law enforcement when the law enforcement in question breaks dozens of laws in order to go after someone for a civil infraction?

        You fail.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:52am

          Re: Re: Re: They're just jealous...

          You have to remember who you're replying to. He's basically a supporter of the idea that you should be shut down and locked up without a trial based on an accusation of copyright infringement without trial, because due process is hard. The idea that the corporations he worships might not only be wrong, but actively harming themselves in the process, is alien to him, as are most facts.

           

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    Sneeje (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:50am

    I bet those extra numbers were either superscript or subscript notations that had their formatting removed--it's just too coincidental that they are 1 and 2 respectively.

     

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    slopoke, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:53am

    Why would the MPAA back away

    As stated Megaupload is dead. No expensive trial or adversarial hearing necessary. This is EXACTLY what the MPAA wants. To be judge, jury and executioner of any company it doesn't like. They could care less about the final legal outcome as they've already gotten the result they desired. No way will they back off due to the shabby performance of the DOJ.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:01am

      Re: Why would the MPAA back away

      Well, it's dead in that version, but this takedown/trial mess has Streisand'd the shit out of Kim and the "mega" brand, that his next endeavor could be an even larger problem for the **AA's of the world. It also did a nice job of turning more people on to file lockers than before, so I imagine the lost traffic from megaupload just got redistributed to a bunch of other file lockers. So the end result is iffy at best, horrible at worst for the MPAA

       

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      Baldaur Regis (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:21am

      Re: Why would the MPAA back away

      The MPAA can't back away.

      The blowback from this operation traces its way through the Kiwi government to the FBI to the DOJ to the MPAA. The Kiwis are being discredited now; as this debacle further unravels, the US will be discredited also. I don't know how NZ politicians feel about forgiveness, but I DO know how US pols go about forgiving: they'll smile, bide their time, and when the time is right, stick a knife right through the hearts of those responsible for their embarrassment.

      Money can buy you a lot in Washington, but it won't buy you immunity from payback.

       

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      gorehound (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:42am

      Re: Why would the MPAA back away

      I want to see the MPAA DEAD ! That is what I want to see.
      No Sympathy
      No Mercy
      No Forgiveness
      Just Death to the Assholes of the MPAA !

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

      Re: Why would the MPAA back away

      It does not even have to be an American company. They seem to think that US laws apply worldwide, as does the US government.

       

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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:55am

    Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

    Here's his legalistic weaseling:
    "That's not to say the sites should be legal, necessarily. That's fact-specific."

    What was the main source of Megaupload's content, Mike? That's a specific easily determinable FACT, and once established, it's clear that even Big Media can be morally right. Of course, Mike never argues on the moral aspects, only on narrow legalisms that would result in Megaupload being able to grift forever. That is in effect supporting piracy.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:00am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      "What was the main source of Megaupload's content, Mike? That's a specific easily determinable FACT..."

      Actually, boy, it isn't an "established fact".
      Only be examining every single file on MegaUpload could that "fact" be ascertained.
      So why does the Department of Justice want the files deleted?
      Because your so-called "fact" would be disproven, boy.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:08am

        Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

        Hey, it's the "boy" guy!! Where've you been son? We've missed your stupid assertions and idiotic conclusions. Nice of you to derp on by and provide us all a good laugh at your expense. Don't be a stranger!!

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

          For someone who can't actually make an intelligent point, boy, you're quick to jump in with namecalling and unproven generalizations.
          Feel free to return when your brain starts functioning.

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

        Not only would it have to shown that the files were of copyrighted material, but also that they were being distributed, rather than just on the site as a private backup.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:52am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

          "Not only would it have to shown that the files were of copyrighted material, but also that they were being distributed, rather than just on the site as a private backup."

          "Would it have to shown", besides being grammatically incorrect is NOT "Does show".
          The fact the DoJ wanted the files destroyed before trial indicates they felt the evidence wouldn't support their conclusions.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

            Thanks for the correction, I actually meant to type have to be shown. :-)

             

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          Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:37am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

          Yes, I agree with you. In fact, I agree with you so much that I must point out that the vast majority of the specifically named files that Megaupload was accused of distributing, it was in fact ordered not to delete, so as to aid in another investigation.

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:20am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

          I think it was Hotfile that was used for a survey of contents and it was determined that over 70% were not copyrighted or shared.

          Please remember that part of Mega's business plan was rewarding independnt content creators (unlike the MPAA and RIAA since they create nothing) with a reward for downloads. Some persons would pay for that link. Mega was planning to expand that to independant content scheduled to begin a month before their takedown.

          I think the evidence might indicate that only a fraction of content stored on Mega was infringing.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

            Bullshit. Studies show that over 70% of filelockers content are infringing.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

              Studies only take a sample of a sample. They aren't useful in this situation. Only an audit of every file, and possibly a court showing each and every 'infringing' file were truly infringing, would be important in this case.

               

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              Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

              'Bullshit. Studies show that over 70% of filelockers content are infringing."

              Citation, please?

               

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      Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:03am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      You mean the "fact" of certain files relating to NinjaVideo that Megaupload was ordered not to delete, yet were used as the main example of copyright infringement?

       

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        Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:09am

        Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

        Damn, still can't get my head around the allowed HTML tags. Can anyone help me? I just wanted to italicise "was ordered not". What do I do to ensure only the words I want get italicised?

         

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          That One Guy (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:15am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

          (Going off of personal experience)
          If you just post directly without using the 'Preview' option, occasionally there's a hiccup of some sort that causes the HTML tags to muck up, either being removed entirely, or being shifted around a bit.

          As such, if you're going to be using tags, best to always use the preview option to make sure it comes out right.

           

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          John Fenderson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:19am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

          I just use <i>italicized text</i> notation.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:22am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

            Do you preview “&lt;” or just hit submit?

             

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              John Fenderson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:28am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

              I just hit submit. I have problems with preview stripping away html tags.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 12:57pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

                This is why I keep gedit open so I can just copy and paste it.

                 

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            Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:26am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

            Thanks. What I did was, I didn't put in a slash in the second bracket. Cheers! Okay, let's test it out...

            My name is Rikuo, not Riikuo.

             

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            JEDIDIAH, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:47am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

            Your you could just do it the simple way and NOT mess with HTML at all. Perhaps you could even _underline_ or emphasize the text in >some

             

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:05am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      Android ROMs? That's what I used it for.

       

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      SolkeshNaranek (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:09am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      So how long have you worked for the copyright industry? You seem to be a life long drinker of their KoolAid.

      What was the main source of Megaupload's content, Mike?

      From news reports (the same reports you can read) it seems the main source of Megas content were private files, legal private files which the owners can no longer access. The MPAA also wishes to either destroy this evidence, or make to return process to onerous that it can never be fulfilled.

      result in Megaupload being able to grift forever

      Again, from news reports and from the limited info released by the DOJ and others involved in the case, it seems as if Mega was actually working with both the MPAA and the DOJ.

      It also seems pretty clear that a new service about the be launched by Mega scared the water out of the MPAA and they therefore enlisted their water carriers (DOJ) to carry out multiple illegal acts for stop this new service from coming online.

      You should seriously grow up, learn to read and form opinions of your own instead of acting like a copyright industry parrot.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:16am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      So what you are saying is that it is fine to just execute someone before trial as long as you have the moral high ground? In that case, who's morals are right?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:23am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      "What was the main source of Megaupload's content,"

      If there were any criminally infringing files on Megaupload then the prosecution will most certainly produce both the infringing files and also the evidence that the files were infringing in a court case trial to prove their case. If they do not produce those infringing files and the evidence to show that the files were infringing then they will not have a case. Yet, the DOJ have always insisted that the files on the servers must be deleted as soon as possible and this is before Dotcom is extradited and before a trial. Why would the prosectuion insist on deleting these files as soon as possible before a trial because if they did that then they will not have any evidence to show in the trial that the files were infringing and therefore will have no case. Surely if the files were infringing then the prosecution will insist that the files not be deleted but no they have always insisted that the files be deleted.

       

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      Cory of PC (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:19am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      OK, so you did read the articles... but yet that ONE line is the one you say "he supports piracy!"

      Hang on, let me go find something to hit my head with... oh wait, I got a convenient desk here... *smacks head*

      Hang on... are you Blue or are you bob? But then, who's morally right and how? Of course Mike never argues about the moral aspect because that would go against what this site is about! The idea is that this is supposed to be a unbiased view on the world of technology and copyright, while bringing in things that are related to it. This is also an opinion blog, which clearly you're against! However, his opinion is that he's not in favor of piracy but admits that it's still going to be around no matter how hard anyone tries to get rid of it.

      You people, on the other hand, would take this, twist it up, and present it to say that he's in favor and wants to do everything he can to keep it prolonging. That's utter bullcrap! Mike has gone on record hundreds of times already about this and we repeatedly keep telling you that, but all of you downright refuse to believe this and keep pushing forth this silly belief that you want to have a "honest and frank discussion" and have Mike answer all your loaded questions, when in reality you're going to bash him straight down into the ground and laugh at him for being so immorally inferior.

      Opinions can be biased. Opinions can be unbiased. TechDirt is an unbiased site. You want an biased answer for a personal attack to take you look morally superior while we look like trash.

      Your thought that one line is proof that Mike is pro-piracy. Blue, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles on this site alone that says Mike is not in favor of piracy but doesn't deny it existing. You and your "friends" will continue this masked delusion that you'll eventually find that holy grail that'll solidify Mike's position on loving piracy.

      But until then...

      GET!

      A!

      LIFE!!

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:38am

        Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

        You people, on the other hand, would take this, twist it up, and present it to say that he's in favor...

        You missed a subtlety: The strategy, as I see it, is as much an attempt to get a statement against piracy. Then, that joint “anti-piracy” position can be used to de-leverage any argument against extreme measures.
        “Since you're against piracy (you said so! don't take it back!), then you have to agree that deleting pirate websites is fair.”

         

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          Cory of PC (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

          I guess that's me trying to figure out troll logic. It sure messes with you... and it hurts a lot.

           

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      Richard (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:19am

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      Mike sides with Dotcom in exactly the same way as Thomas More sides with the devil here:


      William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
      Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
      William Roper: Yes, I'd cut down every law in England to do that!
      Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned 'round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

       

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      silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 1:32pm

      Re: Mike always sides with pirates. That's a fact.

      Your morality is not my morality.

       

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    wallow-T, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:55am

    Mike wrote:

    " Even if Megaupload is eventually cleared, the company will have lost more than a year (and likely more) to fight the lawsuit, and the company, as it is, is basically dead. "

    From the content industry perspective, this is a feature, not a bug. Destroying Megaupload immediately, without having to wait for courts and lawyers, is a huge win.

    "It's still never been adequately explained why the MPAA can't do what the law requires, and take the targets to court, seeking an injunction. "

    For the content industries, following the law is too expensive, too time-consuming, and (in the case of actions against individual end-sharers) it doesn't scale.

    Batman doesn't worry about getting warrants, he just delivers justice. :-)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:56am

    Digit Grouping

    don't you normally put a comma every 3 digits rather than 4?

    Wikipedia: Digit Grouping
    The most general name for this delimiter is "digit group separator", because thousands are not always the relevant group. For example, in various countries (e.g., China, India, and Japan), there have been traditional conventions of grouping by 2 or 4 digits.

    Note in particular that in Indian numbering, counting lakh and crore, customary digit group separation assigns the different sizes to groups within a large number. That is, it uses groups of both 2 digits and three digits, e.g. 5,05,000.

     

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      Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:05am

      Re: Digit Grouping

      The MPAA stands for Motion Picture Association of America, so by default, they wouldn't be using 2 or 4 digit grouping.

      Thanks for the info though, very interesting what you told us.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:13am

        Re: Re: Digit Grouping

        ...of America

        Just because they have “America” in there name doesn't mean they didn't off-shore their numerology.

        For that matter, they might of kept it on-shore and used American Indians for accounting purposes.

        You can't be so dogmatic.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Digit Grouping

          If you look at Sneeje's comment above, I suspect there is a much more simple reason for the odd grouping.

           

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  •  
    icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:57am

    If the courts side with Megaupload, it's the DOJ that pays, not the MPAA.

     

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    icon
    average_joe (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:59am

    But, the idea that the US government, at the urging of Hollywood, should just take down a business, without letting the site owner even express their side, is so extreme as to be laughable.

    Are you unaware of how criminal prosecutions work? Sometimes the victim complains to the government, and then the government prosecutes the alleged criminal. You're acting like this is something new. I really cannot fathom what you're getting at. The government prosecutes criminals on behalf of their victims every single day.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:02am

      Re:

      "The government prosecutes criminals on behalf of their victims every single day."

      And breaks its' own laws in the process...

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Michael, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:04am

      Re:

      The government rarely moves forward with an investigation without anything but the promise of some evidence from the alleged victim. In addition, rarely (at least in the US) is the alleged criminal stripped of: "Life, Liberty, or Property" before being at least charged with a crime.

       

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    •  
      icon
      Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:07am

      Re:

      You're not aware of how criminal prosecutions work. It's been what, just short of a year, and so far, no trial? Still arguing over the extradition, while the business lies shuttered?
      Also, criminal prosecutions rely on due process of the law. Not with the prosecutors hiding evidence, refusing to show it, illegally spying on the defendant, etc.

       

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        icon
        average_joe (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:27am

        Re: Re:

        You're not aware of how criminal prosecutions work. It's been what, just short of a year, and so far, no trial? Still arguing over the extradition, while the business lies shuttered?

        He's delaying the trial by fighting extradition. If he wants a trial, he should stop doing everything in his power to avoid the trial. You aren't making much sense.

         

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          icon
          John Fenderson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:31am

          Re: Re: Re:

          If he wants a trial, he should stop doing everything in his power to avoid the trial.


          But if he wants a fair trial, he would do exactly what he's doing.

           

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            average_joe (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:56am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Fair trials can only happen if the defendant fights extradition? I don't see the logic.

             

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              Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:02am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No, not a statement that absolute, but what the US Government has done and has been shown to have done is proof enough that if he were extradited, it would be extremely likely he wouldn't get a fair trial. The DOJ refused (haven't heard if they're still refusing) to release much needed evidence for his extradition hearing.
              When pretty much the only evidence (as far as I've heard) presented against Dotcom is that he didn't delete certain infringing files (but the fact that those same files he was ordered NOT to delete in order to help another case somehow goes unnoticed by the prosecution), it pretty much shows that the US prosecution doesn't have much, if at all, of a case against him, and thus, it is right for Dotcom to fight extradition.

               

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              John Fenderson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:36am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Fair trials can only happen if the defendant fights extradition?


              In this case, yes. As Rikuo points out, every indication is that he cannot get a fair trial in US courts.

              Even besides that, it appears likely that he didn't violate NZ law and that what he appears to be accused of by the US doesn't qualify for extradition. If that's true, then extraditing him at all is a miscarriage of justice regardless of whether the US trial would be fair.

              The only way to determine if extradition is even justified in the first place is to take it through NZ courts. Which is what he's doing.

               

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 12:59pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              As opposed to a fair trial that can only happen in another country that is sympathetic to your own goals?

              If he was a criminal why not prosecute him in his country of residence?

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:36pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "If he was a criminal why not prosecute him in his country of residence?"

                Because he hasn't broken any laws in New Zealand?

                 

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Fair trials can only happen if the defendant fights extradition? I don't see the logic."

              The government has...
              ...frozen his assets!
              ...tried to get his lawyers removed from the case!
              ...refuses to show what evidence it claims it has against him (a requirement in criminal prosecution)!
              Explain the "logic" of any of those actions.

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Well duh, copyright infringement is illegal because it's bad and it's bad because it's illegal.

                Duh.

                 

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:09pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The Extradition fight is a step on the criminality check. And seeing as Dotcom's just been given standing to sue the Crown and its NZ-based intelligence agency for illegal wiretapping and criminal failure to adhere to a warrant, yeah, this is a fun case to watch.

               

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        •  
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          Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          So he should just accept extradition...hang on,

          https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120710/17055819652/kim-dotcom-offers-to-come-to-us-if-doj-re leases-funds-legal-defense.shtml

          Dotcom has offered to come to the US.

          So how is he "fighting extradition" again? Oh wait, he should just accept being flown to a foreign country automatically when the evidence is clear he would not receive a fair trial.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Michael, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:29am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "He's delaying the trial by fighting extradition"

          Ok, I'll completely agree with that. The fact still remains that he has not been tried, or even charged and a seizure of his business has happened that deprived him of income and property - not to mention the deprivation of property of many, many parties that are never going to be charged.

          In the United States, pre-trial seizures are only for the specific purpose of preservation of evidence. Seizure cannot be used as a punitive measure - as per the US Constitution - without due process.

          Perhaps he is trying to avoid prosecution by using a loophole to keep him from being brought to the country to stand trial. Even if that is the case, and he is completely guilty and deserves to have his company destroyed and all of his money taken away - out government is to be held to a higher standard. Our government cannot be allowed to violate someone's rights to due process because "in this case, he deserves it".

           

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          •  
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:44am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            In the United States, pre-trial seizures are only for the specific purpose of preservation of evidence. Seizure cannot be used as a punitive measure - as per the US Constitution - without due process.


            That's just not true.

            The Cash Machine: How the Philly D.A. seizes millions in alleged crime money — whether there's been a crime or not.” by Isaiah Thompson, City Paper, Nov. 29, 2012
            In Philadelphia, the law has laid the framework for a civil asset forfeiture program that brings in upwards of $6 million a year from cases against thousands of Philadelphians, with little oversight of how cases are pursued or how profits are distributed. And, as Marks learned all too well, that process has little regard for a property owner’s guilt or innocence.

            Philiadelphia is taking in better than $6 million a year —cash— for the purpose of creating an unaccountable slush fund (sidebar story: “How the Philly D.A. spends millions of dollars is a mystery”).

             

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              icon
              Niall (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 9:17am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              But is this actually constitutional, if not downright criminal - theft, fraud and extortion BY the government?

               

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              •  
                identicon
                Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 10:03am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                But is this actually constitutional ...?


                Well, it is Philadelphia. You have to understand that “Things Are Different” in Philadelphia.

                For instance, in other recent news from Philadelphia, a few eyebrows have been raised over the Chadwick Report (Nov 19, 2012)
                The report finds that the judges routinely made, accepted and granted third-party requests for preferential treatment for politically connected individuals with cases in Traffic Court. In some cases, judges granted preferential treatment to violators whose identities or connections they knew even if no express request was made.

                These practices violated established standards of conduct for the minor judiciary and resulted in a court with a two-track system of justice, one for the politically connected and another for the unwitting general public. These practices were facilitated by extensive ex parte communications among judges, their personal aides and court criers, administrative employees of the court and politically active individuals outside the court.


                But as this Philadelphia Inquirer story about the Chadwick Report points out, “Things Are Different in Philly”. (“Report details Traffic Court awash in favoritism” by Troy Graham, Nov. 26, 2012.)
                The 35-page document reads like a manual on Why Things Are Different in Philly, describing a culture of political favoritism so cynical that one court employee believed the system was fair, since anyone could ask a ward leader to intercede.


                So you see, the question should not really be whether it's actually constitutional or shmonstitutional—but whether it's Philadelphia, and whether Philadelphians believe it's fundamentally fair.

                 

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    •  
      icon
      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:45am

      Re:

      AJ, haven't you been arguing for a few days that property cannot be taken away by the government without due process of law?

      Yet this is what happened here. The US government seized and destroyed this entire company. As far as we know, they have no respectable evidence (they have neither released any publicly, nor shared any with the accused). The warrants have been declared invalid. They have tried to have evidence destroyed. They have convinced a friendly government to break their own laws to spy on a resident of that country.

      Shouldn't someone who respects property be pointing out how horrendous the actions of the US government are?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

        Re: Re:

        Incorrect - they only murdered an imaginary person....unless a Chinese company tries the same thing with a US company, then it's illegal and unfair practise, even if they followed US law and only competed in the marketplace.

         

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:11am

      Re:

      "Are you unaware of how criminal prosecutions work?"

      Why was this a criminal prosecution? Google and YouTube weren't treated that way and when they began, they drew their share of complaints as well.

      I think civil v. criminal is a pretty important question to ask. The kitchen sink of charges against Mega that proped up claims raising the case to DOJ were (basically) BS. Isn't that a crime?

       

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      •  
        icon
        average_joe (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:18am

        Re: Re:

        Why was this a criminal prosecution?

        Because they allegedly violated criminal laws. You guys don't make a lot of sense. They are accused of being criminals, i.e., violating criminal laws. Those crazy Hollywood folks are called the victims. You guys act like you've never seen anyone get prosecuted before. There was an investigation and a grand jury and an arrest warrant and everything. Just like every other criminal prosecution that happen everyday to thousands of people. Crazy, I know.

         

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        •  
          icon
          Rikuo (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Investigation: That produced a laundry list of files that Megaupload had been ordered NOT, I repeat, NOT to delete, because that would've hindered in another investigation.
          The arrest warrant was found to have been illegal, and the actual arrest has been shown to have been over the top, what with SWAT style tactics to arrest a man accused of copyright infringement.

           

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          • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
             
            identicon
            Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No, you fucking buffoon. The files they were told not to delete due to another case, were but a drop in the ocean compared to the amount of infringing content they stored.

            Seriously, get a life.

             

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Where is the proof? You know, that mystical missing element that the NZ courts have ordered the US to release in order to process the extradition? That all seems to be missing, and the DOJ wants to erase the servers, which would destroy even more vital evidence. One would think that evidence should be preserved unless it could be used against the DOJ's and MPAA's case.

               

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            •  
              identicon
              Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 3:11pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              ...The handwavium is strong in this one.

               

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            •  
              icon
              Cory of PC (profile), Dec 7th, 2012 @ 5:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "Seriously, get a life."

              Hey, that's my line...!

               

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          There was certainly an investigation; it's currently looking like both the US and NZ governments violated the law in the course of the investigation. In the latest update, a NZ high court judge just ordered NZ's equivalent of the NSA to unseal a bunch of files and said that Dotcom could sue them.

          There was a grand jury in the US; they indicted Dotcom in NZ. Unfortunately, NZ disagreed with the US jury, said the claims were bogus, and refused to extradite Dotcom.

          There was an arrest warrant. It was found to be illegal. There were also warrants for seizing Dotcom's property and data. Those were also found to be illegal. There were also warrants to copy the seized data into the US. These warrants were also found to be illegal.

          This is not, in fact, "just like every other criminal prosecution". There are serious questions about the DOJ's motives, procedures, and evidence -- not least because the DOJ prefers to only bring cases it thinks it can win, and winning looks ever more unlikely.

           

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 12:55pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The "allegedly" part is what worries every single reasonable person that is not a copytard.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      You mean the US prosecutes criminals without due process and fairness?

      I am shocked!

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:00am

    "When these two websites were taken down, many linking websites, custom search engines, and custom streaming scripts that relied on the sites for content became inoperable. Some websites were abandoned by their operators, others lost traffic, while still others shifted their business model"

    Let's re-write that from another perspective.

    When these two websites were taken down, many other totally legal websites, custom search engines, and custom streaming scripts that relied on the sites for storage became inoperable. Some websites, built by humble entrepreneurs trying to make a living completely legally, were forced to be closed by their operators who could no longer make a living, others lost traffic (and hard-earned revenue), while others were forced to do what we continue to do because they cannot afford to lobby as hard as we have and gain control of law enforcement around the globe. Some of these may have become innovative services that could have helped our economy.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Vincent Giannell, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:00am

    I have a feeling that MPAA will get sued for this.

     

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    icon
    Cory of PC (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:01am

    Ther e Should Be a Law

    Or maybe a constitutional amendment... either way, what I'm suggesting is that no business should go to the government and demand that they force another business to go out for any particular reason.

    But that's highly unlikely, am I right? Can a boy dream that we don't have industries like the MPAA going after smaller businesses with the government in tow and breaking laws at the same time, all while trying to keep this shiny white exterior that people know it's cold, black and murky on the inside?

     

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  •  
    icon
    jameshogg (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Why not go after Dropbox next? Or better yet, any Instant Messaging service that allows file sharing?

    I mean, it's not like anyone uses these sites for any legitimate purpose, right? I'm sure all those users who had their private data lost on MegaUpload were just part of the conspiracy!

    You heard it here first. If you participate in ANY data storage website, even if it's for your own selfish legitimate storage purposes, you are just another supporter of stealing. Same goes for you people who buy second hand DVDs from ebay and sell them again - that's ALSO no different from stealing! Because we deserve money every time you lay your fingers on OUR property!

     

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    •  
      icon
      John Fenderson (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:24am

      Re:

      Why not go after Dropbox next? Or better yet, any Instant Messaging service that allows file sharing?/blockquote>

      Yes, not to mention email, plain old ftp, and hundreds of others. This is the madness of prosecuting tools instead of offenders. In the end, the internet itself would have to be rendered illegal, not to mention large storage devices.

       

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        identicon
        wallow-T, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:54am

        Re: Re:

        " In the end, the internet itself would have to be rendered illegal, not to mention large storage devices."

        I've been making this comment for years: to the content industry, the Internet - all of it - is acceptable collateral damage.

         

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        •  
          icon
          silverscarcat (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:15am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The instant the internet goes down thanks to the MPAA, I'm pretty sure there won't be a MPAA left by the end of the day.

          The plutocrats have forgotten just what happens when you trample the serfs (commoners) too much.

           

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:33am

        Re: Re:

        and the scary part is that this isn't satire or irony. This is exactly what has been discussed, written up and proposed before. A person would not be allowed to sell used goods.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    twilightfog, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 9:39am

    The choice for comma placement is perhaps a small footnote in the manuals of MPAA accounting which has the potential to completely rewrite the foundations of finance. Do not underestimate the geniuses which work there !

     

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    icon
    PlagueSD (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:10am

    It's MPAA Math!!!

    I have to admit that I'm not sure I understand the comma notation in those unique visitor numbers (don't you normally put a comma every 3 digits rather than 4? Is that a phone number? Are they talking about 3.4 million or 34 million?).


    I think I just figured out MPAA Math!!! Now to go back and do some recalculations to check!!!

     

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    Chris Brand (profile), Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:31am

    Fascinating quote

    I read that block quote all the way through twice. It's fascinating that you don't need to change a single word to read it as a condemnation of the action against megaupload. It's all in your underlying assumptions. If you believe that all the various things mentioned as impacted were bad, then the quote says what a great thing the shutdown was. If you think of the things affected as legitimate, then the quote works just as well to say how terrible the shutdown of megaupload was.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 10:48am

    surely the numbers indicate exactly how wrong the entertainment industries have got things and how right everywhere else has got things?

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:37am

      Re:

      The USTR and congress only have the number that RIAA and MPAA give them. Everyone else's don't exist or can't be valid. It's kinda like the Murdoch bubble - anything outside of it can't be real.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 11:57am

    When these two websites were taken down, many linking websites, custom search engines, and custom streaming scripts that relied on the sites for content became inoperable.


    They forgot to mention all of us legit users who now wander from unreliable file host to unreliable file host hoping to find one that worked half as well as Mega did. I'm tired of mailing people links to legit files, only to have them not work.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 12:37pm

    What's funny/dodgy about the whole thing (and this is something that the shills have consistently ignored) is that according to the RIAA's own data Megaupload isn't even the top threat. #7, at best. If the MPAA is so insistent about going after piracy why go after low-hanging fruit?

    Because that's the model of every single copyright enforcement effort. Go after grandmothers and dead people. Threaten to blackmail people with the association of pornography. With Dotcom's past they must have thought it much easier to get sympathy on their side.

    And then they managed to royally fuck it up, making Dotcom look like the hero.

     

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:09pm

      Re:

      Anyone that considers that sloth a "hero" pretty much needs to get 'loser' tattooed on their forehead.

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 1:05pm

    Department of Jokers. They're doing it right!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    temoi, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    temoi to MPAA......your female members must suck my member if mediafire dies

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 6th, 2012 @ 8:57pm

    i like the fact that some of the sites the MPAA name as piracy hubs i have never heard of before or seen in a google search result.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 7th, 2012 @ 1:37am

    Why are the taxpayers paying for something the MPAA members should be paying for out of their own profits, i.e. the legal work all other companies pay for themselves (protecting one's IP)? Oh wait...I forgot...no MPAA movie ever turns a profit!

     

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


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