NZ Customs Refuses To Answer Questions After Revelations Of Illegal Orders To Give FBI Info On Kim Dotcom For 'Brownie Points'

from the the-scandal-expands dept

The scandal around New Zealand law enforcement's illegal activities in helping the US government raid Kim Dotcom's house and file criminal charges against him keeps expanding. The raid on the house has already been declared illegal by the NZ High Court. Then there was the issue of the local equivalent of the NSA, the GCSB, illegally spying on Dotcom for the US, despite rules that forbid GCSB from spying on New Zealand residents. It seems to be getting even worse.

A few days ago, it was revealed that a document, which was illegally withheld from an earlier freedom of information request, showed that a senior New Zealand Customs official named Greg Davis, told staffers that it would "buy you many brownie points" if they shared info about Kim Dotcom with the US FBI -- despite not being allowed to share info like this.
At least one of the people who received the email noted that people should "seek legal advice" before handing over such information, but it's unclear if anyone actually did that.

Now, as concerned members of the New Zealand Parliament are wondering why top customs officials were interested in handing over private information on New Zealand residents to a foreign country's intelligence agencies for "brownie points," New Zealand's Customs officials have announced that they will not answer questions about it, in an effort to -- get this -- "protect the privacy" of the guy who sent that email, Greg Davis.

Davis, by the way, was running New Zealand Custom's "Integrated Targeting Operations Centre," which collects a ton of information on travelers. Many in New Zealand had already complained about the possibility of this group to abuse its powers, but at nearly the same time Davis was proving their point, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was defending the center with that old liar's trope: "anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear." He should have added "unless US officials are interested in you -- then you're fucked."


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  1.  
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    Ninja (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 3:58am

    One would imagine that with all the illegality involved his assets would already have been released and the case dropped, no? Justice seems to be working in strange ways nowadays!

     

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  2.  
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    Gothenem (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 5:39am

    Re:

    The problem is, justice isn't working nowadays. Not unless it is working for the people with the money. Remember "They are too big to jail"? Yeah, that is our current justice system.

    Fuagh!

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:05am

    20,000 BP will win them a giant stuffed bear or dragon, their choice.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    this is the same sort of response from NSA sympathisers. they know who is guilty and keep quiet, thinking it will stop the answers from being expected. i wonder what the answers will be when this whole shit storm hits the courts, which it no doubt will, sooner or later. those who are guilty will not be allowed, or definitely should not be allowed, to not give answers and even more, should not be able to use the excuse of 'National Security' to keep silent.

     

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  5.  
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    David, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    Re: Re:

    It's more like "the people without a real body", namely Evil Incorporated (please note that "incarnate" and "incorporated" are two words for the same thing).

    As long as there is an actual person whose bones you can grind and eat his flesh, he's not safe.

    Once a corporation has distributed its soul to enough horcruxes, pardon, shareholders, it cannot easily be killed and will no longer exhibit human traits.

    Our politicians and courts grovel before the corporations which no longer die: Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking.

     

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  6.  
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    Jay (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:38am

    " At least one of the people who received the email noted that people should "seek legal advice" before handing over such information, but it's unclear if anyone actually did that."

    Wasn't the legal council of this spying also the person to retire recently because of it?

     

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  7. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:52am

    Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    from visibly illegal activity. I'm not being inconsistent here from my usual rants against spying -- whether illegal by NSA or "legal" by Google -- because there WAS visibly illegal activity by Dotcom / Megaupload. -- Yes, there was, kids. If you clicked on links labeled as recent movies, you were almost certain to get exactly that. -- NOW, Mike is trying to find wiggle room for his defense of grifter Dotcom, who got millions off infringed content without returning a cent to the producers of that content. Unable to defend on moral or other legal grounds, Mike is just yelling...

    And it's an evolving area of law. One's view depends on whether benefit from these crimes or are victim of it. -- I'm sure, for instance, that if Mike's computer were taken over by the Cryptolocker criminals, then he'd be screaming for them to be brought to justice any way possible, wouldn't be at all worried about the due process rights of those he knows to be criminals. -- AND SO, same for MPAA / RIAA -- and me, quite distantly -- we saw the obvious crimes and want the criminals taken out. -- And yes, I KNOW what a great excuse for gov't that provides, but fact is, now and then gov't does go after criminals. It has with Kim Dotcom, the mega-grifter.

    There's a principle of law where the US gov't will get to use the info because it acted on good faith even if NZ didn't. Also, evidence of crimes isn't always thrown out because illegally obtained. Also, I think the court cases are mooted by changes in NZ "law". So I hope that Dotcom's big fat greasy goose is cooked.

    Where Mike's "new business model" (file hosts like Megaupload) is to grift on income streams that should go to content creators -- and then call the creators greedy!

    Mega-grifter Kim Dotcom got millions by hosting infringed content. That's not even capitalism, that's THEFT.

    Mike's notions are all get-rich-quick schemes by using products someone else made. His continued defense of Megaupload shows his ideal "business model": neither pay to produce nor royalties on any of the files hosted so costs are just above bandwidth, and able to avoid legal liability so long as pretend ignorance of infringed content.

    02:51:54[c-602-0]

     

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  8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    Here's the KEY differences between Disney and your apparent hero Dotcom: Disney created and produced those cartoons, and I'm not forced to pay a cent if don't watch them; but Kim Dotcom has produced nothing creative, instead has used the products of creators to illegally grift off the value, AND Dotcom used force against the producers in just taking their products against expressed rights, and fraud against users to at all pretend was legal, not least in pretending he didn't know the content was all stolen.

    Copyright holders wanting to be paid is NOT tyranny, no matter how much you want pornz for free.

    02:59:28[c-482-1]

     

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  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:01am

    Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    "I'm not being inconsistent here from my usual rants against spying"
    Yes you are.

    Just because you have a bee in your bonnet about Kim doesn't mean he should have his rights stripped away and be afford no protection from the various spying agencies (and their Google overlords ofc).

    In fact it's MORE important that he does! Without proper due process how are you not giving him a free pass through technicalities?


    I'm not going to bother arguing with you about Kim himself because a) it's all been explained to you before and b) you won't listen anyway. Io instead assume he's guilty and imagine the free reign your view gives to the spooks and laywers.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    1) Disney stole Micky Mouse, your argument is invalid.
    2) Kim wrote his site, is that not a creative work?
    3) Kim did nothing, the USERS of his site may have done however. Pick any product and make the comparison, Ford responsible for hit and runs, Shell responsible for all deaths from global warming ect ect ect.
    4) The biggest lie you've put out. Not all the content on megaupload was stolen, far from it.

     

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  11.  
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    beech, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:10am

    : "anyone who is innocent has nothing to fear."

    Then why are they so worried about protecting the privacy of this customs guy? Surely if he did nothing wrong then he has nothing to fear.

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:53am

    anyone who says we have nothing to fear if we haven't done anything wrong needs to be tailed 24/7 and have every movement and word recorded.  only they seem to know it's ok and won't mind.

     

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  13.  
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    David, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    "Disney stole Micky Mouse, your argument is invalid." Who are you talking about? Walt Disney? He's quite dead. Or Walt Disney Corpse? When Mickey Mouse was created, it was created with the laws and the understanding that its early works would, after a specified and limited time, eventually pass into the Public Domain. That was the deal between creators and the public for granting copyright protection. That was the business model that Walt Disney operated from.

    Walt Disney Corpse paid politicians to retroactively steal this deal from the public and keep old works from passing into the Public Domain. It would be bad enough if Disney used that by stealing money from the public that they were not supposed to keep getting. But that's not even their prime motivation. No, they do it so that they can lock them away and keep people from looking at them when they could equally well look at new works for new pay.

    A lot of culture is rotting away in the archives of the film copyists because celluloid was not created for eternity (and neither was copyright supposed to be!) and the copyright hostage holders have nothing to gain by letting old masterpieces and not so masterpieces that still form part of our cultural heritage survive: copies would not sell for the same amount of money new works do.

    It's the same reason why some record labels put artists under exclusive contracts and then, after a while, put them out to dry without letting them off the contract: there are diminuishing returns for "more of the same" even if it's good, and it's more lucrative if instead you hype a fresh face while it lasts.

    So it's not just money and the right to share that the Corpses steal from the public. It's also part of our culture. Partly culture that originated within the ancestors of their current corporate kraken, but also culture that was created by people who would not have wanted their works to die sealed away in order to make place for other stuff.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    It doesn't matter what laws THEY break in order to GET your anti-hero, Dotcom - as long as some Hollywood asshole gets paid.

    Karma has a way of sorting stuff like this out.

    Cat's out of the bag about how these assholes abused the law. That's about the BEST thing that Dotcom could've hoped for.

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:08am

    Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    I'm not being inconsistent here from my usual rants against spying -- whether illegal by NSA or "legal" by Google -- because there WAS visibly illegal activity by Dotcom / Megaupload.

    Surely you have an applicable court case against Dotcom that proves those allegations...oh, wait

    Not inconsistent...you're so full of shit!

     

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  16.  
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    Pragmatic, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    Why, you corporatist old hag, Cathy! There you were saying that copyright should be limited to poor creators and corporations banned from having it.

    Keep your story straight, damn it!

     

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  17.  
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    Pragmatic, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:18am

    Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    Holy cognitive dissonance, Cathy!

    Make your mind up, are you pro-corporate or not?

    Are you pro due process or not?

    Are you pro consumer or not?

    You're so double-minded you should change your cognomen to "Janus."

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    I actually meant that Mickey Mouse wasn't n original he was a knock off himself.

    That would make Walt Disney in the words of Blue a "grifter".

     

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  19.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:30am

    Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    I'm sure, for instance, that if Mike's computer were taken over by the Cryptolocker criminals, then he'd be screaming for them to be brought to justice any way possible, wouldn't be at all worried about the due process rights of those he knows to be criminals.


    I call bullshit on this one, Blue.

    Based on the last fifteen years of Mike's writings you are dead wrong. I believe that, yes, Mike would want the criminals apprehended and brought to justice, but "justice" without due process for all sides isn't justice by any sane person's definition. It's a sham.

    Your cognitive dissonance is amazing. You rail about "The Rich" and want to limit their power, yet in this instance where those in power are exceeding existing limits, you are all okie-dokie with it. Amazing.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    "Out of the Janus" may sound better then what they are calling themselves now.

     

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  21.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    "Disney stole Micky Mouse, your argument is invalid." Who are you talking about? Walt Disney? He's quite dead. Or Walt Disney Corpse? When Mickey Mouse was created, it was created with the laws and the understanding that its early works would, after a specified and limited time, eventually pass into the Public Domain. That was the deal between creators and the public for granting copyright protection. That was the business model that Walt Disney operated from.

    Disney didn't actually steal Mickey Mouse, but instead created Mickey Mouse as a drop-in replacement of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, which was an earlier cartoon created by Disney studio for Universal Studios. Disney asked Universal for more money, but they countered by cutting the budget and stole most of Disney's staff out from under him to continue making the Oswald series. Angry about the terms of his contract, he refused the deal and completed the terms of his original contract, but then searched for a replacement character which became Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse was Disney's creation, but the character is very similar to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, created by Disney but owned by Universal Studios.

     

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  22. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    "the character is very similar to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit"

    Yeah, cuz he's a... y'know, an animated animal. Yeah that's it. That's the ticket.

    And of course here at the Techdirt Zoo, that means "Disney stole Micky Mouse" (sic).

    LOL at you idiot freetards.

     

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  23.  
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    derek, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 12:03pm

    JKey

    John Key is the worst prime minister NZ has ever had. He is a smug, bootlicking dbag and a liar.

     

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  24.  
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    ltlw0lf (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    Yeah, cuz he's a... y'know, an animated animal. Yeah that's it. That's the ticket.

    Both animated animals came from the same person. Disney made Oswald the Lucky Rabbit which was owned by Universal because they paid him to make Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. When the deal fell through, he made Mickey Mouse, which looked very similar to Oswald the Lucky Rabbit.

    And of course here at the Techdirt Zoo, that means "Disney stole Micky Mouse" (sic).

    A statement that I never made. Talk about idiot. If you are going to respond, at least respond to the right person.

     

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  25.  
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    RD, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 2:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    "Here's the KEY differences between Disney and your apparent hero Dotcom: Disney created and produced those cartoons, and I'm not forced to pay a cent if don't watch them;"

    Allow me to be blunt: FUCK YOU AND DISNEY.

    Please show me on the copyright doll where I can buy ANY copy of Song of the South from Disney. Go head, use google even, I'll wait.

    So, since Disney DOES NOT PROVIDE any way to purchase a copy of this movie, please tell me HOW is it illegal to obtain it from other means, like downloading? Please explain in detail, and show your work.

    Asshat.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 3:01pm

    Keep on digging

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownie_points:

    Brownie points in modern usage are a hypothetical social currency, which can be acquired by doing good deeds or earning favor in the eyes of another, often one's superior.

    In New Zealand slang, the expression also carries the derisory connotation of having accomplished something petty or otherwise unimportant.

    So is this connotation common in NZ (and likely to have been used by Davis)?

     

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  27.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "Walt Disney Corpse still has its fangs into Mickey Mouse and keeps sucking."

    I've missed your "grifter" trope. Thanks for dusting it off.

     

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  28.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    Many "grifter" references. Thank you daddy.

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 20th, 2013 @ 5:58pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    moar liek out_of_the_anus, amirite

     

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  30.  
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    JMT (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 7:29pm

    Re: Keep on digging

    No, it's not. Someone's pulled that out of their ass.

     

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

  31.  
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    Matthew Cline (profile), Dec 20th, 2013 @ 10:28pm

    Re: Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    S/he is consistant: Mike Is Always Wrong.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 3:26am

    Re: JKey

    Oh, we've had a couple of others who could give him a run for his money, i think. Not saying he's not that bad, he is, but he's not in a league of his own.

     

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  33.  
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    Dave, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 11:48am

    Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    My goodness - what bigotry! Come along now, folks. Vote, vote, vote for OOTB to become chief of a police state that executes folk on suspicion of just about ANYTHING - with no due process of course. Why bother with the courts? Roll up, roll up. Come see warrant-less searches, torture, new laws being made up as they go along. Endless entertainment is to be had by all. Anarchy is "in" these days it would seem.

     

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  34.  
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    Brett, Dec 21st, 2013 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Mike grasping at legalisms again. Dotcom got milliions...

    You seem to have some mis-information...
    Megaupload had no searchable database: I don't know where you got your information "If you clicked on links labeled as recent movies, you were almost certain to get exactly that."

    The model put in place was that you had to share links to files in your cyber locker, you had to send a link to them.

    The problem with going after megaupload is that: They never uploaded content themselves - it was the users, and the users that distributed the links around other websites forums that got infirnging files downloaded so many times.

    Megaupload only had to take down the files when a take-down notice was send in by copyright holders was sent in - which they did. They also gave major studio's direct access to remove infringing links from megaupload instantly - going above and beyond the law.

    The FBI aleges that Megaupload had removal tools to take down extreme pornography and terrorism messages and these tools should / could of been used to take down infringing copyright files.
    There is a huge difference between these types of files though: Terrorism / paedophilia etc are illegal everywhere, all the time. Where people can leggaly back up digital copies of their movies and music. So deleting all music and movies on their websites would be violating their users rights.

    I am still yet to see any evidence against megaupload that proves them guilty in any form - The only thing that looks sorta bad is one cherry picked reply from an email. That may or may not be taken out of context?

     

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