Comcast are collecting a 'Netflix-Tax' already, from consumers who voluntarily pay for a faster internet to watch Netflix in the best possible quality. If it weren't for Netflix and other video services, who would need a fast internet at the rates Comcast charges? People would pay for the cheapest line available and still see their emails coming in fast enough.
And with T-Mobile now effectively removing data caps for bandwidth-guzzling video services on mobile connections, it is difficult to see a technical justification for data caps on fixed-line services at all.
Is there any particular reason Curt Beck is not in prison for obstruction of justice? As city attorney in charge of this case, it would have been his responsibility to ensure the appropriate steps are taken to prevent emails from being deleted. One would think his responsibility would have securing a backup of the files in question in his safe, and/or locking away the entire computer the minute the court ordered the emails to be secured.
Quality reduction and price hikes - not the first dying industry wheeling in the accountants to rescue the bottom line, won't be the last either. Don't think the approach has saved a company that missed the train when the business model started to become obsolete, though.
The scary part is that these regulations make IP in any form obsolete - simply suing competitors based on ALLEGED infringement will drain all the cash from anybody but the largest multinationals. Just the threat of legal action will be enough to extort protection money or lopsided agreements.
How much money did he launder, then? The only number the DOJ throws around are the $ 500 m Hollywood MIGHT have made if all the movies that have allegedly been shared on Megaupload had been purchased at Hollywood's RRP.
If the case is about Megaupload subscriber fees, more precisely the fraction of those fees that may relate to subscribers sharing content without authorisation, the case shrinks to a few million at most. Hardly worth the effort the US and NZ governments and their law enforcement agencies put into it.
More important - if the case is about money laundering, why does the DOJ discuss allegations of file sharing instead of presenting their evidence of file sharing? And what is the MAFIAs role in the money laundering case? Expert witness?
The DOJ and the US government are showing a lot of creativity here to crucify someone who, technically, hasn't really broken a law.
If they were to bring the same eagerness to prosecuting those responsible for some of the excesses in the war on terror, in police brutality and asset forfeiture, they could really make the world a better place.
1. While there are a plenty of examples of wrongful accusations, has anybody actually been sanctioned in any meaningful way for wrongful accusations? One example where someone was accused wrongfully and stood up was Dotcomm's promotion video on Youtube a few years back. MAFIAA did not like and fired DMCA notices on all channels, Dotcomm objected, and we all know what happened next. To Dotcomm, that is, not the MAFIAA.
2. The DMCA was passed back in the nineties, and the $160 K seemed an appropriate compensation when a song or a movie was placed on internet FOR THE FIRST TIME. They were meant to reflect the damage a publisher incurred from this first infringement, the damage caused by enabling thousands, even millions of copies. These days, many copies appear on the internet at roughly the same time, and those accused may have shared a handful of copies at best (torrent upload rates are a fraction of download rates, even if someone seeds for a while, it is rare for ratios to reach double, let alone triple digits.). Ever heard of someone being charged $160000 for shoplifting a piece of chewing gum, as punitive damages? What is worse is the MAFIAAs new (?) approach of double charging: They go after the pirates, the hosters, now ISPs, and want to charge each of them $160 K. That is indeed a lot of money for virtual loss of a few cents profit they may loose if someone downloads a copy without paying.
The US justices don't seem to have arrived in the electronic age yet, being trapped in a world of memos printed on ivory paper that are walked around the building by someone called a "chambers aide." Internet down for a few days? Won't even notice it.
There is a certain logic in the madness: Since it is impossible to prevent attacks like the Paris alltogether, those in charge of security don't have a choice but to keep asking for more until someone says no. Then, when an attack happens, they can kick off a discussion around the theme 'if only you had given me what I needed ...'.
In Paris, for the first time, we have a situation where the security agencies had been given everything they asked for, and more. And they still failed to protect us.
Isn't it strange how the judges bend over backwards to 'understand' technology in the way the more powerful party needs it?
When talking copyright, they don't mind arguing that a browser cache (in the computer's RAM) and the the browser cache (on the hard disk) constitute illegal two copies in addition to the real copy in iTunes that was licensed. You lose - breach of copyright.
When talking NSA, storing ALL data on an NSA-server - no problem. Machine-analysing all of these data - no problem. Plaintiff's logo on an internal presentation - no problem. Unless you can prove a human analyst actually reads the document - no standing.
Not just the intelligence agencies, all Law enforcement agencies have been given unprecedented powers over the last decade. They can track and listen like never before, they can confiscate and raid without even a warrant in many cases, and even tend to get away unscarred if they 'accidentally' kill someone. If they set their mind to take someone out of circulation, there are very few legal hurdles left to protect the suspect.