How The Megaupload Shutdown Has Put 'Cloud Computing' Business Plans At Risk

from the that's-not-a-good-thing dept

As you recall, last month's SOPA/PIPA protests were followed the very next day by the US government shutting down Megaupload. While there have been plenty of discussions about the wider implications of the January 18th anti-SOPA/PIPA protests, there's been less analysis about the wider impact of the Megaupload case. Lawyer Philip Corwin has a long (really, really long) article suggesting that the longer term impact will come more from the Megaupload shutdown... and not in a good way.
It is however the viewpoint of this article that the Megaupload indictment will likely be seen in the long run as having a more significant impact on Internet business models and innovation than the withdrawal of PIPA and SOPA — and this would be the case even if those bills had been enacted in some combined form.
The article covers a lot of ground (much of which you'll already be familiar with, if you read Techdirt regularly). But the gist of it is that the details of the indictment significantly blur the lines between what is civil and and what is criminal copyright infringement, and also rely on multiple, very common practices for various cloud service providers. While the US government cheers on the fact that other cyberlockers are changing how they operate, there's significant fear that this will massively alter the "cloud computing" landscape, in that it creates a tremendous amount of uncertainty, where services with perfectly legitimate intent can be accused of criminal activities based on very questionable claims. Perhaps the most ridiculous is the catch-22 situation in which Megaupload got blamed for trying to hide the infringing activity on its site. If it had left it up, it would have been accused of facilitating or inducing infringement, but by making it hard to find, it's accused of conspiracy to hide the activity.
Megaupload removed the search feature on its website, which had previously been of assistance to those looking for infringing content. The indictment alleges that this was done to disguise the company's willful infringement, much of which was purportedly facilitated by other "linking" websites operated by unrelated third parties. But if the search feature had not been removed, wouldn't that have been cited as evidence of facilitating infringement? Similarly, the indictment notes that "browsing the front page of Megavideo.com does not show any obviously infringing copies of any copyrighted works; instead, the page contains videos of news stories, user generated videos, and general Internet videos in a manner substantially similar to Youtube.com", but then cites "the most-viewed videos in the Entertainment category on Megavideo.com… has at times revealed a number of infringing copies of copyrighted works that are available from Mega Conspiracy-controlled servers" as evidence of knowing facilitation of commercial infringement.
Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

But the bigger fear is about the kinds of businesses that are put at risk under the vague standards used in the indictment. The article talks about popular services like Dropbox, which could be accused of many of the things in the Megaupload indictment. It also talks about YouTube, and how -- if these kinds of enforcement actions were popular five years ago -- we might not have had a YouTube any more:
A recent New Yorker profile of YouTube's evolution makes one wonder if the "YouTube Conspiracy" might not have been criminally targeted if this enforcement tactic was being employed when it launched in 2005, especially since e-mails between its principals indicated a deliberate toleration of infringing content to build traffic — e-mails that bear a distinct resemblance to some of those reproduced in the Megaupload indictment.
Instead, as Corwin points out, YouTube "has become a treasured piece of contemporary Americana."

For all the talk of how SOPA and PIPA were bad for changing the way the internet would have to work, it's worth noting the very very real impact of the Megaupload takedown on the potential development of various new services and business models. The risks and uncertainty increased massively on January 19th, and not in a good way for anyone.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    weneedhelp (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    No cloud for us

    Our IP lawyers have strictly stated that in no way, shape, or form, are we to use cloud services.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:14pm

    DMCA, ACTA, SOPA/PIPA, and so on...

    It all sounds to me like the government saw Web 2.0 and ignored it because it didn't seem like a threat. Now user-created content is a "threat" to the establishment, and now every single action they take in response is basically crushing free speech.

    You can't have it both ways. Either we have free speech or we have tyranny, and it's pretty obvious which one the government of the United States is leaning towards.

     

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  3.  
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    John Thacker, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:18pm

    This is similar to how the MP3.com lawsuit a decade ago also set back Cloud Computing for years.

     

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  4.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:25pm

    Re: Double Plus Ungood

    Well, yeah. The governments could give a shit about advancing anything--they exist to maintain the status quo and money flow.

     

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  5.  
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    Danny (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:27pm

    Drop box?

    First thing I thought of in reading this article is how much of my professional life is up on Dropbox. Since their model is to mirror onto my own devices, I don't think I'd lose much if they went down without warning, but it would be mighty inconvenient.

    My sense is that whomever is making these decisions at ICE or DoJ isn't very clued in to work2.0 at all.

     

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  6.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

    Train wreck

    The sad part is that I feel just like I am watching a train crash. I can see it happening and I'm almost completely powerless to change it.

    I hope maybe with coming elections we can get some new people in that understand the damage they are doing. I just feel that is highly unlikely. The media companies are the modern day version of the gladiators. They turn the eyes of the majority of people away from what it really important.

     

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  7.  
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    Atkray (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    Re: Drop box?

    Yeah I just got signed up with BitCasa and had the exact same thought.

    Sucks that you need to backup your backup because the current regime is unstable.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:38pm

    Of course it hurts cloud computing business plans, because it adds a basic requirement of assuring that the services aren't being used as a file trading haven.

    This is perhaps one of the best examples of where something is technically possible, but not legal or even in the best interests of most of us. The good (computing anywhere!) is overwhelmed by all the potential bad uses for the technology.

    You have to remember that the best way to commit a crime is to blend in with normal life. Online criminals do the same thing, attempting to look like part of the background, cheering on the legit users of the system they have corrupted to their own ends.

    Example is bit torrent. It is pretty much a given that a large percentage of the traffic in bit torrent is pirated material. Not all of it, and that is the key. Those who want to keep P2P "free and open" point to the WoW updates and Unix distributions as such significant legit uses that any illegal use is not of consequence. It's laughable, but it's the way the game is played.

    Same thing happened with Megaupload. The site was packed with DVD rips, pirated software, and the like. Yet those who try to excuse all of it point to the few legit users out there that lost data, claiming that their existence somehow sanctifies the whole deal. Laughable again, but it's pretty common.

    Even Jotform is not exempt. Plenty of the regular posters here (and even the site owner) was going on and on about the 2 million forms... while completely discounting that somewhere like 10% of all forms created are used for phishing. Can you imagine how you would feel if your internet connection didn't work 10% of the time, or your car failed to start one day a week? That's what the failure rate is like.

    Cloud computing has it's uses, yes indeedy. But as a file storage and retrieval system, it's a crap shoot between legit and non-legit uses. I can clearly see cloud computing being a great way for people to share illegal materials rapidly and outside of the public eye, with no need for any real contact. I don't want to do it, but remember, everyone from pedophiles to software hackers would see this as an open book to trade their wares. They would love nothing more than to blend in with legit users, so they are harder to spot.

    You can imagine the "too big to check" argument coming out as well.

    Megaupload case serves as a reminder that, no matter how hard you try, liability almost always is attached, especially if you are trying so very hard to avoid it.

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:39pm

    Re: Train wreck

    I think they understand the damage they are doing, but they are looking at all the other damage that would be caused by not taking action, and decided this was the lesser issue.

     

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  10.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Train wreck

    I think they understand the damage they are doing, but they are looking at all the other damage that would be caused by not taking action, and decided this was the lesser issue.

    If they come to that conclusion then by defintion they don't understand the damage they are doing.

     

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  11.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Train wreck

    ....but they are looking at all the other damage that would be caused by not taking action,...

    And what other damage are you referring too? Lost campaign donations? Lost promises for high paying jobs in the entertainment industry?

    As far as I know, there has been next to nothing to prove any economic damages from filesharing.

     

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  12.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:51pm

    Re:

    This is perhaps one of the best examples of where something is technically possible, but not legal or even in the best interests of most of us. The good (computing anywhere!) is overwhelmed by all the potential bad uses for the technology.

    Please go back to the stone age where you belong.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    A recent New Yorker profile of YouTube's evolution makes one wonder if the "YouTube Conspiracy" might not have been criminally targeted if this enforcement tactic was being employed when it launched in 2005, especially since e-mails between its principals indicated a deliberate toleration of infringing content to build traffic — e-mails that bear a distinct resemblance to some of those reproduced in the Megaupload indictment.


    YouTube certainly would have been subject to criminal liability. They dodged a bullet, subsequently have cleaned up their act substantially. Maybe criminal enforcement would have killed them, maybe just slowed their growth. BUt it's hard to justify criminal conduct as a necessary incubator for innovation.

     

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  14.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    Re: Lulz

    "Of course it hurts cloud computing business plans, because it adds a basic requirement of assuring that the services aren't being used as a file trading haven."
    Yes, just like in the real world--where everybody who rents out anything from a storage unit to a condo to a house is required to guarantee the rented object isn't going to be used for anything nefarious. It's a good thing we can have psychics vett EVERYBODY because otherwise such a system would be not only preposterous, but impossible.



    9/10 Great trolling!

     

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  15.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:53pm

    Re:

    Same thing happened with Megaupload. The site was packed with DVD rips, pirated software, and the like. Yet those who try to excuse all of it point to the few legit users out there that lost data, claiming that their existence somehow sanctifies the whole deal. Laughable again, but it's pretty common.

    Really? EFF claims that the legit users number in the millions.

    "Megaupload's innocent users are entitled to access their property," said EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn. "We hope that everyone involved can work together to comply with the law and ensure basic fairness to the millions of people who have done nothing wrong."
    Source

    Once again AC, we really need to see how many users respond to the EFF before we can really put a number on this.

     

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  16.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    Re: Re: Train wreck

    What they are doing is about like closing down a shop selling climbing gear and claiming it is to stop the cat burglars.

    If you did things like this in the real world no one would stand for it. Can you imagine shutting down a Wal-mart because the meth dealer bought equipment for his meth lab there?

    Or a perfect example would be. How about someone stored their drugs in a self storage unit. Would we tolerate the Government coming in and confiscating the entire property and destroying everything in it? Everything you had stored there taken and destroyed the money you paid lost, all because one guy thought it was a good place to hide drugs?

     

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  17.  
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    anonymous dutch coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 1:59pm

    opportunity

    ok, the dutch (i believe) and new zealand government cooperated in the case of megaupload, but somewhere on this planet there must be some individuals, companies and governments who see the dumbing down of the usa as a huge opportunity to fill the gap left behind by this former number one?

     

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  18.  
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    MadCow (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Re:

    Example is bit torrent. It is pretty much a given that a large percentage of the traffic in bit torrent is pirated material.

    Please CITE YOUR SOURCES. You shills continually come in here, demanding sources, laughing at every outside source given, and continually dodge/avoid every opportunity for you to actually legitimize your false claims.

     

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  19.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    The roadways in the US are used every day to transport drugs, illegal weapons, as well as people taken against their will. It is used all the time by criminals to get to and from their crimes and safehouses. They do this by blending in with the regular people.

    Are you really going to use the argument that it is too big to check everyone as they go from place to place! Think of the women and children!

    /sarc

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    Re:

    :slow clap:

    That is some of the best trolling I've ever seen on techdirt. You gleefully ignore the state of our technology and propose a plan that would bankrupt any site using user generated content and massively violate our first amendment.

    All the while, you lay it out as though it is the most reasonable thing in the world. Do you believe your own crap?

    troll grade: 9.5/10

    You only missed a half point because there wasn't enough ad hominem.

     

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  21.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    Migrating risks

    I am not at all surprised by this when the Mega raid is clearly an attack on DMCA safe-harbour law. I have been telling people for a long time that this is going to cause a "chilling effect" across the whole hosting and cloud services market.

    Mega was a company aiming to follow the law and happy to meet any lawful challenge in court. They did certainly remove countless thousands of links as part of their DMCA take-down process. So even before they are found guilty of infringement in the slightest the US Government totally destroyed their corporation worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

    Combined with all the dishonesty contained in these charges this to me is in no way justice and due process but them conducting a War on infringement.

    There seems little doubt to me that this raid was approved shortly after Mega made public their Mega Video. The timing is right to plan and pull off a raid. So now we can see what happens to file sharing services that mess with UMG's musicians.

    The big question in all this is how safe is your company should users start uploading infringing files? Then we have to ask how safe is your domain when like JotForm it can be blocked with no reason give?

     

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  22.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re: opportunity

    Germany and Sweden come to mind.

     

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  23.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    Re: opportunity

    After the recent European Court of Justice ruling then Europe is looking a much nicer place to do business these days.

    It makes a good point but if The Pirate Bay can stay afloat then so can much more harmless business sites.

     

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  24.  
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    DH's Love Child (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:08pm

    I don't have any influence on business users

    But, when anyone asks me about cloud computing now I unequivocally tell them to stay the hell away from all of it. Between companies shutting down services with no warning, DRM servers going boom, governments meddling in shit they have no business getting into and big companies railroading completely legitimate services, it's not work the risk of losing your data. I'm telling everyone to invest in a backup system that is hosted where they have complete control - home.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:13pm

    Re:

    Yes yes, why bother with all the text? Your entire view, as always, can be summed up in one sentence.

    "User-generated content is evil and we want it all shut down."

     

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  26.  
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    Josef Anvil (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    War on Infringement

    This is less of a war on infringement and more of War on Employment.

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:18pm

    as long as the entertainment industries dont have to do anything to actually prove infringement by Mega, or have to change any of their backwards business models, they dont care about any other service. shame the US government and/or Congress cant see that their mis-guided intentions of preserving those industries are going to do more economic harm in the long run

     

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  28.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    Re: No cloud for us

    I am not surprised seeing that the United States have a policy to invade your servers and to examine your data.

    Even home users should consider if they should use web mail service like Yahoo when US Law certainly does say that an email over 6 months old is considered "abandoned" and they certainly will copy out your private messages.

     

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  29.  
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    Richard (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Re: Re: opportunity

    I'd go for China - it's fairly easy to avoid their issues - which are mostly orthogonal to western ones!

     

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  30.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:27pm

    Re:

    I rememebr, in a previous job, having to de-duplicate paperwork. Can you imagine how much easier, in a storage sense, it is to have several pointers to only one file on a system?

    It makes sense from a storoge POV, as storage is a finite space in the psysical world, and all these companies were doing is making sure that they didn't use excessive space for the same thing.

    If that's "wilful" in a legal sense, then fuck the law in the ass with a rusty spork.

     

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  31.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Re: War on Infringement

    Worse, it's a War on Economic Growth: it's not even affecting, or effecting, employment, it's striking down innovative, (and moreover, natural) business plans for the sake of a few people's entitlement to money six or seven times for the same thing.

     

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  32.  
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    toyotabedzrock (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Did They Really

    Did they really put "Mega Conspiracy-controlled servers" in the indictment?

    It's obvious the person who wrote that should be fired.

     

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  33.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:34pm

    Re: Re: Re: opportunity

    China has a very slow network and all theirs links have to pass through their great firewall servers.

    The best idea there is to have your business right on the China side of the Hong Kong border but then to run a data cable across the border to tap into the very high speed uncensored Hong Kong Internet. You could even do a WIFI or microwave link setup.

    China is really a world apart when it comes to copyright, patents and trademarks. They more see that sucking everything in from everyone else benefits their country.

     

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  34.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:35pm

    Less cloud computing isn't all bad. I am more comfortable running code from my own machine anyway. Anything that increases the distribution of computing resources to more users instead of less is probably a step in the right direction.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Maybe the EFF is right, i.e., that there are "millions" using the service who have done nothing wrong. Thing is, the EFF is pulling this out of its hind quarters because it has absolutely no insight into MU's stable of customers.

     

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  36.  
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    Arthur (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:45pm

    Re: Oh, yes!

    Sure roads might have a legitimate use but no matter how hard you try, liability is attached. People were driving over the speed limit. People were using roads to drive to and from crime scenes. Sorry, it's just too bad. That's why we closed all the roads.

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 2:56pm

    Funny thing is I was called a chicken little when I said cloud is a VERY bad idea. Don't trust what you can't see as far as security goes.

     

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  38.  
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    MRK, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    Re:

    The same argument can be applied to all technology. I can use fire to cook my food or burn down your house. The Megaupload indictment is the judicial equivalent of arresting the matchstick maker.

    This will set back cloud computer many years because companies can no longer be sure that the feds won't size the entire cloud because someone else committed a crime using it.

     

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  39.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    Even Jotform is not exempt. Plenty of the regular posters here (and even the site owner) was going on and on about the 2 million forms... while completely discounting that somewhere like 10% of all forms created are used for phishing. Can you imagine how you would feel if your internet connection didn't work 10% of the time, or your car failed to start one day a week? That's what the failure rate is like.

    And you completely ignore the fact that Jotform TOOK THOSE FORMS DOWN. They removed them in the interest of public good. Despite the fact that if they served ads alongside those forms, they could have made money. They willingly removed them. That IS NOT A FAILURE.

    I want a clear answer to this question: what percentage of "rogue" content is acceptable to you for a service to let slip through without being shut down? Give a hard number. Then we can start comparing other products and services online and in the physical world that don't meet your standards.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    Re: Re: No cloud for us

    Link please.

     

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  41.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    Re:

    "BUt it's hard to justify criminal conduct as a necessary incubator for innovation."

    Nice straw man! Nobody is justifying criminal conduct as an incubator for innovation.

     

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  42.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    Re:

    Thomas Edison laughs at you from the past while stealing other people's ideas and ignoring copyright himself.

     

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  43.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Thing is, the EFF is pulling this out of its hind quarters because it has absolutely no insight into MU's stable of customers.

    Maybe and maybe not. That is my point, I don't know, you don't know and the AC that started this thread doesn’t know.

    Although, personally, I put a tad more weight behind EFF's statements since they are in contact with both of the hosting companies involved and even possibly with Megaupload insiders themselves.

    Just sayin'

     

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  44.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:34pm

    Re: Re: War on Infringement

    Worse, it's a war on freedom, society, and democracy itself.

     

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  45.  
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    A Guy (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: War on Infringement

    It comes down to individual consumers decisions in the end. I don't do business with companies that cripple their product so it becomes inconvenient.

    Fund their competitors while denying them capital. It's the only real way to win this war.

     

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  46.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re:

    Cloud computing has its place, but it shouldn't be used for long-term storage of any important data or unencrypted storage of any confidential data.

    The Megaupload issue underlines this, but it has always been true. Cloud computing is really just a fancy marketing term for computing the old-fashioned way: timesharing on huge servers. People have forgotten why it is that we were so happy to be able to stop doing that, and reliance on undependable third parties was one of those reasons.

    The legal system is doing its best to ensure that third parties are legally required to be untrustworthy.

     

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  47.  
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    Freedomwatch US, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 3:56pm

    Legislation does not work...

    There has never been a single act or statute that has ever deterred anyone who is committed to it's violation from performing the act that is illegal by act or statute.

    I am personally against the piracy of copyrighted materials but I am not willing to sacrifice my natural rights and freedoms to ensure that someone gets paid.

    If you make a good product worth paying for, people will pay regardless of how it is distributed.

    Unless we put a stop to the corporate lobbying in DC, these ridiculous laws are just the first steps in the total elimination of all of your rights in exchange for government granted privileges.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:10pm

    Blending in Re:

    commit a crime is to blend in with normal life

    Bingo. Most people are generally ok with copying files; it is part of normal, everyday, life for a lot of folks. The balance has shifted - granting "IP" monopolies and enforcing them is becoming less acceptable to the public, and things will change.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    Re:

    Pretty much every advance going back to the printing press and gramophone, if you are feeling advanced, could be used to infringe on someone's copyright or for some sort of criminal activity.

    Hell, even a quill and ink could be used to, very slowly, copy a book.

    Lol, imagine the kind of high-tech system required to prevent copyright infringement by pen. TECH-PEN-AI: "Copyrighted pen movements detected! Be advised that these sequences of words fall under copyright 1ASX23S. Local authorities alerted. This pen will now cease Ink ejection. Have a nice day"


    To hell with it I say, as I sincerely want a Star Trek replicator in my living room. Just to be clear, not the Star *Gate* kind.
    .
    .
    .
    ...unless it was one of the hot, morally conflicted ones.

     

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  50.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Including not a few patents he tromped all over while applying for his own.

    Neither Edison or anyone else from the period needed what we call high tech to do that.

     

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  51.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:34pm

    Re: Re: opportunity

    As do Brazil and India. Not to mention various countries in Eastern Europe who have better communications and ways to free themselves from dependence on Russia.

     

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  52.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 5:51pm

    Re: Train wreck

    "I hope maybe with coming elections we can get some new people in that understand the damage..."

    Like Al Fraklin?

    No one is asking anyone with experience in tech - not the news, not policy makers, and of course not hollywood. I think continuing to make massive, singular cries from the tech community to the public is the best approach.

    This copyright stuff has been going on forever and the public moved on. It's made little difference in their lives - up until now. They just need to be made aware of how sweeping these changes are and this is the BEGINNING. Public apathy is also an enemy.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:02pm

    The coziness between hollywood and politicians, lawyers and IP Czar's is unmistakable.

    A point in the article mentioned that Rapidshare was on the "rogue" list in 2010 and removed in 2011. One thing they did different than Mega "conspiracy" was hire a lobbying firm.

    If the tech community really donates more than hollywood, it obviously isn't getting to the right pockets to make a difference because no one is asking for any tech insight.

     

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  54.  
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    TtfnJohn (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:24pm

    Re:

    So you kill the technology rather than actually make it work.

    That cloud computing and file lockers are possible, and attainable, doesn't mean that such things are automatically used for illegal or immoral purposes. (However you define immoral which is problematic in and of itself.)

    And yes, while criminality is often hidden by becoming mainstream in some form or another it doesn't mean that the cloud or file lockers are automatically criminal or ought to be considered so.

    Your attack on BitTorrent would be laughable except that it reads like it's been taken from a playbook somewhere rather than from any personal knowledge on your part. And your answer, as far as you give one, appears to be to shut it down rather than anything else. But overarching and overstating damage caused is also part of how the game is played. As in how your game is played. Of course, never mind that BitTorrent would be hard to shut down because it is a protocol not a web site and you don't seem to get it that people will still send files back and forth for legitimate and other reasons using it no matter what you think.

    Further it's a false equation to compare Megaupload to BitTorrent because how they function is entirely different. Yes, it may have had DVD rips, software and "the like" (and probably did) but to downplay the damage done to "the few" legit" users out there is another way the game gets played. Downplay the damage done when a site such as Megaupload is siezed and shut down. Also pretty common when these things are defended. How do you KNOW there were only "a few" legit users? Do you have access to information that hasn't been made public yet or is that just a postulation on your part. It was used for some piracy ergo it can ONLY have had "a few legit" users. Obviously for cover.

    Jotform has it's issues. Though you focus on the forms that MAY have been used for phising as an excuse to shut that down. Even after the site owner said he's co-operate with authorities investigating the issue. Sounds more like someone wanted a score rather than to solve a problem to me.

    Nor does it equate with a 10% failure in internet connections or a vehicle starting. They're entirely different. Again, overstating the problem logmarithmically, which is, laughable but a commmon enough tactic. One used for SOPA/PIPA and bills now in the US Congress about cyber security and the Canadian House of Commons about for warrantless access to people's internet accounts for a raft of reasons. Make the problem sound far worse than it is or is likely to become and you may persuade people to support bad legislation.

    Nice try bringing pedophiles into this. I recall someone else recently doing that. Name of Vic Teows. It was met, understandingly, with outrage. So let me be outraged with you. I AM a survivor or childhood sexual abuse, shithead. And I'm really getting tired of what I and others went through (you can't imagine the horror and the damage done to the child). I and others like me are NOT here to be used as fodder by you or anyone for your narrow political or other purposes. We've been used by others quite enough, asshole. Quite frankly, I expect I speak for most of us, when I say that those with otherwise useless and failing arguments play the "it's for the children" card. Total bullshit. You played the card, as did Teows, in the hope of getting some support. You failed, kiddo. And I hope and pray that one day you're in a room with a bunch of us as we tell, honestly and openly, what we went through and why guys like you are as bad or worse than the people who abused us.

    That leads me to wonder about the other "illegal" activities people using Megaupload or other file lockers you think people might get up to. I'm guessing it's copyright infringement but I can't tell.

    And nothing is too big to check. There are processes in place to have things taken down under the DCMA and other laws in other countries. You know, sort of like YouTube does.

    Yes there is liability attached to everyone's actions. Even yours. Playing the "protect the children" card reveals you as someone who really doesn't have an argument or a position that can be defended. I wasn't someone's plaything when I was abused. I'm not yours either. You're a total and complete waste of space.

     

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  55.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:45pm

    Re: Re: Lulz

    Lobo, in most places, you cannot rent any of those things without proper ID, meeting in person, etc.

    There is a reason why those things tend to work pretty well, and online doesn't.

     

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  56.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 6:54pm

    Re: Re:

    Wow... I was thinking of using the "let me google that for you", but hey...

    http://documents.envisional.com/docs/Envisional-Internet_Usage-Jan2011.pdf

    read it and enjoy. 86% I think is the right number.

     

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  57.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 7:19pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There were 150 million users worldwide using MU with the majority in Spain

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 8:52pm

    Re: Re:

    Where do I start?

    "And yes, while criminality is often hidden by becoming mainstream in some form or another it doesn't mean that the cloud or file lockers are automatically criminal or ought to be considered so."

    Yet, this is seemingly the most common use of a file locker. The places I am most likely to find links to a file locker is in a forum post on a movie fan site with the latest 5 part rip of a DVD.

    "Further it's a false equation to compare Megaupload to BitTorrent because how they function is entirely different. Yes, it may have had DVD rips, software and "the like" (and probably did) but to downplay the damage done to "the few" legit" users out there is another way the game gets played."

    I am away that the function and functionality of a file locker is different from torrents. I am not comparing mechanics, I am comparing usage. It has even been discussed here on Techdirt that attacking torrents was just driving people to file lockers. This of course when people here thought that file lockers were above the law. The net result is the same, the vast majority of the traffic (in volume) on Mega has been reported as pirated material. I have seen nothing to discount that.

    Playing the "legit user" card is the real crime here, as a percentage I doubt that legit users made it to even double digits, at least in volume. To quote the report " Cyberlocker traffic – downloads from sites such as MegaUpload, Rapidshare, or HotFile – is estimated to be
    7% of all internet traffic. 73.2% of non-pornographic cyberlocker site traffic is copyrighted content being
    downloaded illegitimately (5.1% of all internet traffic). " If you add in the pornographic stuff, it would probably be even higher.

    So you are faced with about 25% of their traffic being legit. That's not very good, is it?

    "Nice try bringing pedophiles into this. I recall someone else recently doing that. Name of Vic Teows. It was met, understandingly, with outrage. So let me be outraged with you. I AM a survivor or childhood sexual abuse, shithead. "

    Are you looking for pity? Are you looking to let out your anger? I can't really do either of those for you. What I can tell you is that my point wasn't to "play the pedo card", but rather to point out that everyone from pedos to software hackers and everyone in between would look at this as a perfect way to share their stuff. There is no "pedo card" here, just a statement. Sorry if you take it the wrong way, that is your issue and not mine.

    "Yes there is liability attached to everyone's actions. Even yours. Playing the "protect the children" card reveals you as someone who really doesn't have an argument or a position that can be defended. I wasn't someone's plaything when I was abused. I'm not yours either. You're a total and complete waste of space."

    No, actually, your sensitivity to the issue makes you a bit of a fuck when it comes to this issue. Sorry for what happened to you in the past, but stop hitting me over the head with it. It's not my problem.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Envisional was commissioned by NBC Universal to ..."

    Enough said.

    Try using some independent report. The trade organizations representing members like NBC don't own the bulk of the media market anymore to make a judgement that the content being "infringed" is theirs.

    And that is why they don't care how much was legit or not before shutting it down.

    It was that way back in the days of suing poor college kids. They never wanted to sort out what was theirs and what wasn't. Thompson had 100,000's mp3's on her drive and 2 were "infringing"? That's not very good odds. When the case started RIAA lawyers wanted to call her entire drive "infringing" as a blanket. BTW that was also the FIRST successful case. 11 years of no luck preceded that one which is why the MPAA and RIAA turned to trade agreements rather than policy debates and congress where they knew they would loose.

    What amazes me is that politicans can be so dumb to get in bed with the organizations that are the most hated in the US.

    All anyone has to do is tell people to imagine a future with ONLY content from RIAA and MPAA and there is horror. You killed radio. You killed tv and now you want to kill the internet.

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    correction: 24 files were found infringing.

     

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  61.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: opportunity

    NO to China. That's what SOPA emulates. I have a friend who moved there and she can't get information on anything there. It's horrible.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:47pm

    Re: Re: opportunity

    Iceland sees an economic value in becoming a safe haven for journalists. Time will tell if they will extend the same to other pursuits but I think it might be likely. The US is a big market compared to these other economies.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

    Re:

    "BUt it's hard to justify criminal conduct as a necessary incubator for innovation."

    If that's what YouTube would have been under the current interpetation of IP laws, then it sounds like that is what becomes necessary ... This is what so many find deeply disturbing and flawed. Average people are turned into "criminals".

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 9:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: opportunity

    India has shutdown their internet due to agreements with the US and their pharma industry. Many of the manufacturing centers with big corporations are falling like dominoes when it comes to IP and internet use.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:07pm

    Re: Migrating risks

    I agree. The linked articled dismissed the m\Mega business plan because the papers for taking Mega down were filed 2 weeks before. However they failed to note how angry and threatening RIAA and MPAA had become over their promo videos and their lawsuit with UMG. I can't recall the phrase but they said something very similiar would happen to Mega - ESP? Hardly.

    In order for copyright content owners to survive they MUST be a monopoly. Without that, they fail. This is essential to their business plan and up until now they have had every expectation there wasn't a problem.

    Did you also read the reason for the "money-laundering" charge? It was moving $185k around (the money that paid for the Mega promos). That's it. Why - how did the DOJ fall for that?

     

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  66.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: War on Infringement

    and what phone would that be?
    or blu-ray player?
    or media center?
    or IPTV?
    or pretty much any interactive / interconnected device which can connect with the internet? They have all been disabled by design.

     

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  67.  
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    Lauriel (profile), Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    Re: Re:

    Not only do I agree with your point, you made me laugh out loud.

    +1 internets for you.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 10:58pm

    Re: Re:

    " You gleefully ignore the state of our technology and propose a plan that would bankrupt any site using user generated content and massively violate our first amendment."

    First, let's get it right. Your first amendment rights do not extend endlessly in all directions. There are limits. You don't have a right use a private third party website, it's not in the constitution. Sorry.

    Beyond that, let's just say if the "user generated content" websites are unable to operate within the scope of the law(s), then they perhaps have bad business models. You could not run a magazine or TV station within the parameters these most user generated content sites try to operate under, it just isn't clear to me why they should expect things to be different because they are using the internet instead of paper.

    As a result, I think of it as very reasonable. User generated content should be a scary thing legally, especially considering just how much of it is infringing.

     

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  69.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's your turn. I put numbers out there, can you bring some? Got an independent study on bit torrent you would like to share?

    " Thompson had 100,000's mp3's on her drive and 2 were "infringing"? That's not very good odds."

    Can you please specify the case? I am not finding this one.

    You are also away that in many cases, only a few files are selected to keep the case relatively simple and straight forward in court. 24 songs should be indication enough of a defendant was up to.

    "All anyone has to do is tell people to imagine a future with ONLY content from RIAA and MPAA and there is horror. You killed radio. You killed tv and now you want to kill the internet."

    Nobody killed radio, tv, or the internet, and certainly NOT me. All anyone has to do is imagine that if you want to write, record, and distribute your own music, movies, or what have you that you are free to do so. Go for it. Why aren't you doing it? Nobody is going to make you stop, so why aren't you doing it?

    Stop banging your head against the wall and do something about it, or shut up and enjoy the damn movie already.

     

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  70.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:11pm

    Re: Re: Migrating risks

    "In order for copyright content owners to survive they MUST be a monopoly"

    That's a negative there sky pilot.

    There is no need for a monopoly on anything. There is no monopoly now, and there will not be in the future.

    Oh, and the money laundering wasn't $185,000. Sorry.

     

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  71.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 17th, 2012 @ 11:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Go ask Disney about their OC. Oh, wait, their last OC was in 1929.

     

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  72.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Migrating risks

    "Finally, there are some allegations that seem to make no sense at all. Among them is the charge that one instance of money laundering consisted of "on or about November 10, 2011, a member of the Mega Conspiracy made a transfer of $185,000 to further an advertising campaign for Megaupload.com involved a musical recording and a video." This was in fact a video that consisted of a host of Grammy-award winning musicians and other celebrities extolling the virtues of Megaupload for collaborative work on their songs and videos — the very same video that led the company to sue Universal Music when it subsequently removed it from YouTube."
    http://www.circleid.com/posts/megabusts_megaquestions_cloud_the_nets_future/

    The Thompson info came largely from this site, although I don't recall which ones specifically; http://recordingindustryvspeople.blogspot.com/

    Thompson was the first successful case which wasn't a very good track record after 11 years of trying.

    Can't win in court? Then buy new laws.

     

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  73.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Migrating risks

    Listen to what's left of the radio; pure 100% RIAA associated label music. Listen in the grocery, anywhere (that pays for a license meaning not your mechanic or dentist anymore) and it's 100% RIAA associsated label music. That's a m-o-n-o-p-o-l-y.

    Any alternative form of distribution? Nope.

     

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  74.  
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    The eejit (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Te be fair, at least he had a cite for the numbers, even if we'd consider them flawed.

     

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  75.  
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    George, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 3:04am

    This is certainly a conspiracy from the FBI to launch their own site megafbi.com!

     

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  76.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 5:45am

    Re: Re:

    "The legal system is doing its best to ensure that third parties are legally required to be untrustworthy."

    No, the legal system in this case is trying to make sure that the "cloud" doesn't turn out to be one massive leak.

    Honestly, using a third party service, any third party service as the holding place for your important data is a pretty poor idea, except if it is an offsite backup. As an offsite backup, you wouldn't need to have 24 hour per day unlimited access at all times, just an occassional access from the original computer to download something that was lost.

    If you want to collaborate or share inside your company, consider an internal server not an external one first. If you have people on the road, consider a virtual server using FTP or similar, or other collaborate software or tools available out there. Tossing stuff onto a "cloud" should be a last choice, not the first.

    Cloud systems could work if they have strict limitations, example requiring a passcode and perhaps something like MAC address registration or similar. Perhaps a small software package that tracks availability, so that only registered and approved users have access, limiting the public nature of the service.

    An open cloud system isn't any different from a file locker or uploading to an open anonymous ftp server - it makes your stuff public. That is against security (your wouldn't put your important business files on an open FTP), so there is little that would say business people would want a wide open system. So the arguments about legit uses of open cloud is pretty small and pretty much all fail.

     

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  77.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:21am

    Re: No cloud for us

    Not in the US, at least.

     

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  78.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    Even though many media content providers have raised alarms anythime a new device/means hits the streets that could be used to make and distribute illegal copies, in the US such devices/means are generally lawful in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in Universal v. Sony. I say generally because of situations such as circumvention of effective technological measures to prevent copying.

    What is oftentimes overlooked is that most of these lawsuits are not against technology and the devices/means that result, but against people who take otherwise very useful devices/means and use them in an unlawful manner.

    For example, there is no legal constraint concerning cyberlockers per se. There is, however, a legal constraint against those who use cyberlockers to engage in direct infringement, and against those who by their actions expose themselves to longstanding legal rules associated with secondary liability.

    The challenge for cyberlockers is to craft strategies encouraging lawful uses and discouraging unlawful uses. Personally, I do not see this as an insurmountable hurdle, though I do recognize that there will always be some things that inevitably fall through the cracks.

    Frankly, to me the real issue is whether or not a cyberlocker can build a viable business at this point in time where only lawful uses prevail. My instinct tells me that at this time sites like MU, RS, etc. would have a very difficult go at it.

    As an aside, I have always wondered why anyone would ever entrust an off-site third party as a repository for their "have to have it" personal/sensitive data, or as their source for critically important executables.

     

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  79.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re:

    You know if there's one person in all of history who I admire, yet truly detest it is Edison.

    Tesla was the better man and inventor. And that's all that needs to be said. Also, I will duel anyone who says to the contrary.

     

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  80.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Lulz

    "Lobo, in most places, you cannot rent any of those things without proper ID"

    Since for the MAFIAA an IP address is more then good as an ID is in real life, I see no difference in his analogy. ID=IP address. And both can be just as easy to forge.

    No quick, to the MAFIAA apology car, they desperately need you posting here. You fucking moron.

     

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  81.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Double Plus Ungood

    Agreed. If we can hold back the corporate interests and the government for a few more years we will have the structures in place to "overhaul" the system.

     

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  82.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Shutting down bit torrent would also shut down the 14% that is non infringing. Its called prior restraint.

     

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  83.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Lulz

    You can't have it both ways. Either it is good enough, or not. If it is not, then see above. If it is, then by all means, support that people are found guilty on that alone.

    Make a choice, quit waffling!

     

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  84.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 10:59am

    Re: Re:

    "The roadways in the US are used every day to transport drugs, illegal weapons, as well as people taken against their will. "

    You are correct. If it was 86% of all cars going down the road, you might THINK that perhaps the police would put up road blocks and check every car.

    We aren't talking about some occassional bad use. The numbers are out there, and it indicated that a huge percentage of file locker and torrent traffic is in pirated material. I know of no real world situation where something is 86% criminalized, and not addressed by the law (except perhaps congress... that is it's own story).

    Sorry, but you fail on this one. The numbers are clear and very hard to argue with.

     

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  85.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:03am

    Re: Re:

    Josh, I don't ignore the fact that Jotform took those forms down. What I am getting at is that fraudsters feel that the service is valid enough that, even with their automated take down tools, they are still missing more than enough to make it worth doing.

    65,000 is only the forms taken down by the automated system. There is no indication of how many more are either manually removed, or are just not getting caught. With that volume of rejected forms, it would be safe to bet that the success ratio on getting a phishing form on the service is high enough that people will do it.

    "I want a clear answer to this question: what percentage of "rogue" content is acceptable to you for a service to let slip through without being shut down? Give a hard number."

    Why the hard number? In this case, it's 10%, and that is more than enough to justify action.

    What real world examples would you care to roll out (so we can laugh a bit)?

     

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  86.  
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    Jay (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 11:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Can you please specify the case? I am not finding this one.

    I believe he's referring to Jammie Thomas-Rasset's case.

    Nobody is going to make you stop, so why aren't you doing it?

    And that's the problem. The RIAA is taking away platforms of free expression by taking away the Megauploads and Pirate Bays of the world. You say that there are a lot of people on the sites that are just downloading copyrighted material. Well, there are also authorized downloads on TPB or in other areas. One movie that comes to mind is Pioneer One. What the RIAA argues is that they should have control of people having access to Pirate Bay since their movies are on the site. And now, with the magnet links, the Pirate Bay can be copied many times over without infringing files being on the site. This has never been about the files. It's always been about access.

     

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  87.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:22pm

    Re:

    Using this argument, you can argue that any and all technological innovation should cease and desist because people will use it for nefarious purposes. i.e.: Drug dealers use cars to transport illicit material, so we should ban cars.

    Those indulging in illicit activity will make use of whatever technology there is and making the creators and innovators of the technology responsible for others' behavior will kill innovation.

    While IP should be protected, measures are becoming a bit draconian and claims of lost revenue are over-inflated. When the value of a life is less than the value of a download, I think we have lost our sense of proportion.

     

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  88.  
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    Brendan (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:25pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    But therein lies the problem. Even if one accepts your claims of bittorrent data being 86% infringing, bittorrent represents only a small portion of total internet traffic. The overwhelming majority of total traffic is perfectly legal. But to "monitor" for that torrent part, everything has to be monitored, since trivial methods are available to disguise that traffic.

    Imagine this was happening via the mail system, and you knew that a high proportion of Red enveleopes contained infringing or disallowed materials. You could maybe hope to open only Red envelopes. But the users know you know this, so they start putting their Red envelopes inside of White envelopes. And now you have a problem, because you can't peek at the Red ones without opening ALL envelopes (assuming most are White). So is it reasonable to open and inspect all mail? I sure hope youu don't think so.

     

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  89.  
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    DinosaurHunter (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:40pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Doesn't it say 63.7% (Page 2, 1.1 Executive summary, 3rd bullet point, brackets near end of point) ?

    Also the study is commissioned by NBC Universal so unlikely to be unbiased....

     

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  90.  
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    DinosaurHunter (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ahhh, reading on a bit I see you have "mistakenly" quoted the figure from bullet point 6 "Other peer to peer networks and file sharing arenas" such as "eDonkey, Gnutella, Usenet and other similar venues"

     

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  91.  
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    j, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The answer to ensure freedom of expression on the 'net is not to shut it down but for the entertainment industry to change it's business model. Instead of buying Washington, they should buy tech and distribute legal copies ubiquitously and for a fee that people are willing to pay. It has been proven the people are willing to pay subscription or pay-per-view fees to have content delivered to them. The RIAA and MPAA should move into the 21st century along with the rest of us. Copyright infringement is going to happen. Make your content more widely available for a reasonable price.

     

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  92.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Interestingly, the indictment seems different:

    "The government, meanwhile, also said Friday that, despite claims of having 180 million registered users, the site had 66.6 million. The authorities said that 5.86 million of these registered users uploaded files, “demonstrating that more than 90 percent of their registered users only used the defendant’s system to download.”"

    from wired: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/02/megaupload-superseding-indictment/

    So it would seem that, remarkably, 90% of the users were just there to download. Sort of kills off the whole discussion of this being a common backup tool

     

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  93.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Brendan, you get to the same space: If 90% of the envelopes contained illegal materials, it would be a slam dunk to get a warrant to open all of them. Probably cause doesn't mean absolute certainty. 90% would be more than enough for a warrant to seize all of the mail for inspection.

    Plus, in your example, the white envelopes containing red envelopes would be larger and easier to detect. Sorry, but any sustained transmission of data over the net is pretty easy to spot over time. Trying to hide it as this type or that type of packet only goes to make the protocol very much less effecient, and does little to hide the actual activity.

     

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  94.  
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    DinosaurHunter (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 2:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    According to the study you quoted earlier 76.24% of internet traffic is non-infringing traffic. I don't think you'd get your warrant to open all mail if you knew more than three quarters was legitimate.

     

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  95.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 18th, 2012 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    What I am getting at is that fraudsters feel that the service is valid enough that, even with their automated take down tools, they are still missing more than enough to make it worth doing.

    Fraudsters will take advantage of every free or low cost service online if they can make a profit off it by duping a few people.

    Why the hard number?

    I want a hard number so you can't weasel your way out of a debate. So again, what percentage of rogue content is acceptable before you shut down a service's legitimate uses to stop the illegitimate uses?

    In this case, it's 10%, and that is more than enough to justify action.

    Again, you're ignoring the fact that those forms were taken down. You are acting like those phishing forms are still up and tricking people. They are gone! As far as we know, there could be zero active phishing forms up on Jotform right this very second. That would make their "failure rate" 0%. Stop trying to justify killing a service because of your own made up statistic.

    What real world examples

    In a previous comment I've already mentioned email and spam. Using 10%, every email provider I've used other than Gmail falls short of filtering it out and according to you should be shut down.

    A significant percentage of PCs are spam zombies or serving as web hosts for every type of malware. Figures vary based on antivirus vendors, but have frequently been between 40-50%, a quarter of which have types of malware used in financial crimes.

    There's domain kiting, in which someone can register a domain under a 5-day grace period for free, and then use it for ad pages or illegal purposes, and then re-register once that 5 day period is up.

    How about physical examples:

    Risky surgeries like organ transplants or bypasses have a failure rate, either directly in surgery or in later complications.

    Every county or city in this country has to decide what failure rate is acceptable for fire and police services, because there isn't enough money to guarantee every fire gets put out before a building burns down or every person who runs a light or stop sign gets a ticket.

    Every product manufacturer has to deal with failure rates. When Toyota had issues with accelerator pedals, the entire company wasn't shut down. They issued a recall and fixed the problem.

    And that's the point. Jotform takes down abusive forms both by themselves, and when alerted to them. They fix the problem. They are acting in good faith. That does not justify shutting them down, damaging their business, and harming their legitimate customers. Unless you have evidence that they were deliberately ignoring abusive use of their service then you are taking a "guilty until proven innocent" stance and siding with a clear abuse of power by the government.

     

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  96.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Re:

    "It makes sense from a storoge POV, as storage is a finite space in the psysical world, and all these companies were doing is making sure that they didn't use excessive space for the same thing. "

    The problem is that once a single link to that "de-duplicated" master file gets a DMCA, the file itself (and all other links to it) should go away by default. What MU (and possibly other file locker sites) were doing was just disabling a single pointer, without dealing with the underlying file.

    That is pretty much willful - they know that a file is offending, but rather than remove the file, they remove a single link.

    I am thinking Mr Dotcom is going to fry for this one.

     

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  97.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 18th, 2012 @ 9:46pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Migrating risks

    "That's a m-o-n-o-p-o-l-y. "

    No, that is a successful business model.

    These businesses have a choice in source material for music, and they choose one over the other. Nobody has come up with an alternative, certainly not one that works as a business.

    There is no monopoly, you are more than open to try your hand at that business any time you like.

     

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  98.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), Feb 19th, 2012 @ 11:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "No, the legal system in this case is trying to make sure that the "cloud" doesn't turn out to be one massive leak."

    This may be what they're trying to do, but the effects of what they're actually doing is to make the cloud untrustworthy for any but the most trivial uses.

    "Cloud systems could work if they have strict limitations, example requiring a passcode"

    Cloud systems do, in fact, have these types of controls right now. That doesn't impact their trustworthiness in the sense that I mean, as it doesn't do anything to protect you from the capriciousness of the law.

    On every other point you've made, I agree with you. I do not, and never will, use a third-party cloud system. I run my own instead, although that's hardly a solution available to normal people.

     

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  99.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 19th, 2012 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "And that's the point. Jotform takes down abusive forms both by themselves, and when alerted to them. They fix the problem."

    Yes, they close the barn door after the horse gets out. Congrats to them. Phishing guys are looking for a small percentage return on their time, they only need 1 or 2 fish in a million to make it work - and they are willing to go over and over again to make money.

    Having jotform come down the pike days or weeks after a phishing scam has been running and finally shut the form down because someone actually complained is not enough to solve the problem. Rather, just like DMCA, it creates a big enough operational gap for people to make money. It gives the scammers a long enough life cycle to collect the data they need and then not worry about getting shut down.

    Once you understand the type of window that scammers need to make money (less than 48 hours for phishing scams), you can understand why they don't fear "remove on report" stuff.

     

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  100.  
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    Niall (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 2:54am

    Re:

    In the early days, VHS was probably had a much higher 'piracy' to genuine use ratio - but that didn't stop the content controllers from working out how to profit from it once they had been forced to accept it. Over time, 'genuine' use probably came to dominate.

    In fact, if it hadn't been for the content controllers having launched DVDs themselves, they would have been screaming blue murder about how those 'destroyed' their 'god-given' VHS income. Ditto with CDs and audio cassettes. Here we have an example though of someone else coming up with the 'disruptive' techology and the content control companies forgot to jump on board this time - and now they are shafted.

     

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  101.  
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    PaulT (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 3:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "So it would seem that, remarkably, 90% of the users were just there to download."

    So?

    "Sort of kills off the whole discussion of this being a common backup tool"

    Was this ever the central discussion? I don't recall that it was.

     

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  102.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 6:42am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    So it would seem that, remarkably, 90% of the users were just there to download. Sort of kills off the whole discussion of this being a common backup tool.

    Since those are the government's numbers I will take them with a grain of salt also.

    And even if the 90% number is accurate, I'm not really sure why you think it's that significant. From my understanding, artists who uploaded their own works were paid based on the number of downloads their works received. So it make sense that there were a larger percentage of downloaders as opposed to uploaders since the artist would naturally drive traffic to their downloads.

     

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  103.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 8:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    The problem is that once a single link to that "de-duplicated" master file gets a DMCA, the file itself (and all other links to it) should go away by default. What MU (and possibly other file locker sites) were doing was just disabling a single pointer, without dealing with the underlying file.

    Which makes the sense to me, since the files themselves are not committing any crimes. It's the usage of a file that determines whether it is copyright infringement or not. When faced with a DMCA notice how would MU actually know that none of the other users put the file up legitimately and legally, like say someone from marketing at the label or someone using it in a fair use situation?

     

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  104.  
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    greatgarlu, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re:

    funny, your assertion smells exactly like it came out of your ass.

     

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  105.  
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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 20th, 2012 @ 11:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Having jotform come down the pike days or weeks after a phishing scam has been running and finally shut the form down because someone actually complained is not enough to solve the problem.

    So your solution is to shut down every user generated content site on the internet, regardless of all the legitimate speech on them.

    Thanks for being honest that you are completely against free speech unless it is put out by a large corporation.

     

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  106.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 20th, 2012 @ 4:41pm

    o are we talking about a legacy industry of +- 100,000 jobs that congress is willing to throw millions at to save?

    All I know as a consumer of music is that there are more bands than I can keep track of for the first time in my life - as well as the great Billboard top "hits" being totally unrelated to what is actually being listened to. I don't think they could give away their top "hits" for free even if they wanted to.

    The whole thing sounds like sour grapes when it comes to the RIAA. They should be buried by now. The only thing propping them up has been the extortion money paid by all the Does they served. Bands certainly didn't see a penny of it.

    A few 100k jobs is what congress is willing to throw population and culture under the bus for ... the price of laws has dropped to a new low.

     

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  107.  
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    spencer, Feb 21st, 2012 @ 2:18am

    i recently visited this file sharing website . www.tawkle.com and its Amazing

     

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  108.  
    identicon
    SoSo, Mar 4th, 2012 @ 4:06pm

    Re:

    >They would love nothing more than to blend in with legit users, so they are harder to spot.

    like drunk drivers. So, the cure is to ban cars? Make rental companies responsible if one of their cars is used for an illegal purpose? Car owners responsible if their car is stolen? Distillers/wineries responsible if their products are used for illegal purposes?

    yeah, that makes sense.

     

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  109.  
    identicon
    globalnest, Jul 10th, 2012 @ 9:08am

    Cloud Computing

    With Cloud Computing , one simply logs into desired computer applications - such as sales force or office automation programs, web services, data storage services, spam filtering, or even blog sites.

     

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


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