[UPDATE] Feds Take Down Megaupload

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maninahat:
In some cases, I think that wide-spread, clear cutting is required.

And since you accept that then next time those doing the cutting need only alittle less evidence for support of their tree cutting than they had this time because they've already seen you accept the action. Then next time alittle less, then next just alittle, then next time none because it's happening all the time anyways. Enjoy your barren field.

Well i used to have a megavideo account for watching doctor who but oh well now...

henritje:

Robert Ewing:
Megaupload is based in Hong Kong.

Most of it's founders are from New Zealand are they not? In fact, that is irrelevant, most have no affiliation with the US. (Not sure if that is right, but I might of heard that somewhere.)

So Why? Why are the feds taking it down? WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

ONE server (not even a big one) was based in the US (I think somewhere near the east coast).

Ah, well that would make sense if that server was seized. That is incredibly justifiable. But not the whole bloody thing...

Grey Carter:
Megaupload's CEO, who is none other than multi-million selling hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz. Yes, that Swizz Beatz. The one married to Alicia Keys./

So the CEO of (allegedly) one of the biggest facilitators of online piracy is also a legitimate music producer?

...

It's like looking at a serpent trying to eat its own tail.

Team America, World Police.

When's the last time we heard of anyone being extradited from the US? Now I remember why SOPA is bad for everyone, as they'll literally try and police the world, something a regular citizen in a completely unrelated country should have no business worrying about.

Robert Ewing:

henritje:

Robert Ewing:
Megaupload is based in Hong Kong.

Most of it's founders are from New Zealand are they not? In fact, that is irrelevant, most have no affiliation with the US. (Not sure if that is right, but I might of heard that somewhere.)

So Why? Why are the feds taking it down? WHY? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

ONE server (not even a big one) was based in the US (I think somewhere near the east coast).

Ah, well that would make sense if that server was seized. That is incredibly justifiable. But not the whole bloody thing...

copyright laws have draconian punishments on them.

Does anyone know if the feds are going to go after downloaders?

Unless they can prove that MegaUpload's employees knowingly let pirated material be uploaded to their website they do not have a case for copyrights infringement.

This is a fool's errand by the US gov.
Even more so, considering that people find new sources when one is taken down.

Isn't this the point where the people should be rioting on the streets? Massive amounts of people protested against sopa making it clear that they don' want the law passed, and they just do this regardless of that. This is not fucking democracy. This is corrupt fucking plutocracy.

Awexsome:
So long as they aren't charged with the stuff Megaupload was, yes.

The thing that Mega did to itself was promoting and benefiting off the piracy. The charges aren't just for copyright infringement but money laundering, conspiracy, and racketeering.

Except that the money laundering is an utterly bogus claim that hinges entirely on the fallacious claim that if alleged infringers make use of the premium service, the premium service was intentionally created for laundering money in co-operation with the infringers.

Sort of like claiming the government is guilty of laundering because drug dealers pay taxes on their house where they sell weed.

Orekoya:

maninahat:
In some cases, I think that wide-spread, clear cutting is required.

And since you accept that then next time those doing the cutting need only alittle less evidence for support of their tree cutting than they had this time because they've already seen you accept the action. Then next time alittle less, then next just alittle, then next time none because it's happening all the time anyways. Enjoy your barren field.

Who's to say I'd allow the next time, if it had a little less evidence? My basis on whether a branch needs cutting is based entirely upon observing whether it has gone bad. If it looks mostly healthy than why would I even bother?

That's problem with slippery slope arguments; it just assumes that no one would notice the fact that things are getting worse, step by step. Using the same argument, Santorum claimed that allowing gay sex would eventually lead to the permitting of man-on-dog sex. Santorum seems to think that one change will inevitably open the flood gates.

Today, I brushed my teeth. Next I'll be brushing my tongue. Before you know it, I'll be brushing my eyeballs.

Grey Carter:
[UPDATE] Feds Take Down Megaupload

image

Popular file-sharing website, Megaupload, has been shut down by the federal authorities. Oh, and it turns out its CEO is a music producer. Quite a famous one.

Before we get to the good part, here's the skinny on the takedown. The indictment, which was just unsealed today, accuses Megaupload of breaking anti-piracy laws and claims its pirate-enabling ways have cost copyright holders more than $500 million in lost revenue. According to reports, charges have been laid against seven Megaupload employees - four of which are already in custody in New Zealand. The Department of Justice reckons this is "among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States," and listed the coming charges as "racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement."

Megaupload's side projects, Megavideo, Megapix, Megabox, and yes, even Megaporn have all been taken down as well.

Now, you might recall that Megaupload was having some legal troubles with universal over a bizzare hip-hop video praising the Megupload service. Now the video makes a bit more sense as it turns out it was produced by Megaupload's CEO, who is none other than multi-million selling hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz. Yes, that Swizz Beatz. The one married to Alicia Keys.

Beatz wasn't named in the indictment, and he's yet to comment on the situation, but Megaupload has released the following statement:

"The fact is that the vast majority of Mega's Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch."

Update: While the Megaupload domain has been seized, you can access the site, or a facsimile thereof, via this IP address.

Source: Venture Beat

Permalink

There is a VERY large risk that the IP address you have is used for phishing. I would highly recommend taking it down until the IP address is vetted.

maninahat:

Who's to say I'd allow the next time, if it had a little less evidence? My basis on whether a branch needs cutting is based entirely upon observing whether it has gone bad. If it looks mostly healthy than why would I even bother?

That's problem with slippery slope arguments; it just assumes that no one would notice the fact that things are getting worse, step by step. Using the same argument, Santorum claimed that allowing gay sex would eventually lead to the permitting of man-on-dog sex. Santorum seems to think that one change will inevitably open the flood gates.

Today, I brushed my teeth. Next I'll be brushing my tongue. Before you know it, I'll be brushing my eyeballs.

I am glad you are logical and rational, now please tell me what exactly makes you think our government functions off such. And yes, that was a slippery slope argument, and it's what the government runs off from; they call it precedence. And next time with such they just need to cite this case and point out how their current case is enough like it to warrant their actions. And typically when setting one up they go for an overabundance of evidence.

And as for Santorum, well, he's been in his office since 1995 and is currently running for presidency. Are you going to tell me that slippery slope arguments aren't working in his favor politically?

Orekoya:

maninahat:

Who's to say I'd allow the next time, if it had a little less evidence? My basis on whether a branch needs cutting is based entirely upon observing whether it has gone bad. If it looks mostly healthy than why would I even bother?

That's problem with slippery slope arguments; it just assumes that no one would notice the fact that things are getting worse, step by step. Using the same argument, Santorum claimed that allowing gay sex would eventually lead to the permitting of man-on-dog sex. Santorum seems to think that one change will inevitably open the flood gates.

Today, I brushed my teeth. Next I'll be brushing my tongue. Before you know it, I'll be brushing my eyeballs.

I am glad you are logical and rational, now please tell me what exactly makes you think our government functions off such. And yes, that was a slippery slope argument, and it's what the government runs off from; they call it precedence. And next time with such they just need to cite this case and point out how their current case is enough like it to warrant their actions. And typically when setting one up they go for an overabundance of evidence.

And as for Santorum, well, he's been in his office since 1995 and is currently running for presidency. Are you going to tell me that slippery slope arguments aren't working in his favor politically?

The slippery slope technique may help Santorum win lots of support, but I am yet to see the government legalising man on dog action like he claimed. Slippery slopes, thank goodness, tend to be cheap rhetoric rather than a properly thought out prediction.

Meanwhile, as for the "raid" on Megaupload, I think it is more a case of the FBI testing a new strategy, rather than them seeing how much they can get away with. This is one of the more dramatic acts they've taken against piracy, and a lot of work probably went into it on their part. They will be watching closely to see if it pays off: seeing if they can easily convict the employees, and observing what effect the shutting down a major website will have on piracy.

If they struggle to make their case in court, or if they find out that pirates just flock to new webzones as quickly as the FBI can take them down, then they may give up this strategy altogether. If it proves to be cheap and easy, they might make a habit of closing down these webspaces. I assume youtube is safer, just because it is youtube, but other file sharing sights would be at greater risk. I predict they'll find that shutting down major sites won't stop piracy by any means, but it could detere the casual opportunists, who wouldn't bother searching much beyond the most popular, convenient providers.

tony2077:

DTWolfwood:
dammit to hell! they are the only ones that gives me my full 6.25MB/s download speed! >.< also have like 3-5 months of my premium sub left!

man this blows gonna have to use torrents to dl anime again?! bah!

torrents are good for some things but when its illegal its illegal so can't defend that part of them

its spiraled out of control now. Every DDL file sharing site is running scared. Can't DDL anything anymore. Guess this is gonna be a new boon for Torrents

great with this dow i wont be bale to stream my cartoon or anime and before you rage I ONLY STREAM STUFF THAT IS NOT BEING SOLD BY THE MAKERS ANYMORE LIKE OLD STUFF CAUSE THEIR NOT MAMING MONEY OF IT ANYMORE ANYWAY

Kopikatsu:
NOT MEGAPORN! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, AT LEAST LEAVE US MEGAPORN!

I laughed at this for a good minute, thank you so much

On a more serious note, swizz is about to get fd in the a financially speaking

Grey Carter:

Update: While the Megaupload domain has been seized, you can access the site, or a facsimile thereof, via this IP address.

Uhh, is it just me, or does clicking that redirection link set off ALL MY VIRUS SENSORS?!

Seriously I clicked it and AVG, Avast, WoT, Firefox, EVERYTHING flipped the f*ck out
Can anyone confirm this? or did the FBI just brand it a virused link for all programs until they can sieze it too..? (I'm just curious because the last time I had this much crap flip out on me was right before my computer died and wouldn't even turn back on before)

Wait... I thought they were actually laundering money, not just conspiring. Or is the news trying to trick me?

Why was MegaUpload really shut down?

BY Shauna Myers

(UPDATE: Forbes covered this story a day after this was posted. Awesome guys! (http://goo.gl/KnsW7) )

In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of #Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core. (http://goo.gl/A7wUZ)

I present to you... MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label.

"UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations directly to consumers while allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings," MegaUpload founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz told Torrentfreak

Not only did they plan on allowing artists to keep 90% of their earnings on songs that they sold, they wanted to pay them for songs they let users download for free.

"We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free," Dotcom outlined. "Yes that's right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works."

JoaoJatoba:

Why was MegaUpload really shut down?

BY Shauna Myers

(UPDATE: Forbes covered this story a day after this was posted. Awesome guys! (http://goo.gl/KnsW7) )

In December of 2011, just weeks before the takedown, Digital Music News reported on something new that the creators of #Megaupload were about to unroll. Something that would rock the music industry to its core. (http://goo.gl/A7wUZ)

I present to you... MegaBox. MegaBox was going to be an alternative music store that was entirely cloud-based and offered artists a better money-making opportunity than they would get with any record label.

"UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations directly to consumers while allowing artists to keep 90 percent of earnings," MegaUpload founder Kim 'Dotcom' Schmitz told Torrentfreak

Not only did they plan on allowing artists to keep 90% of their earnings on songs that they sold, they wanted to pay them for songs they let users download for free.

"We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free," Dotcom outlined. "Yes that's right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works."

So the implication being made, is that the FBI might have closed down MegaUpload because MegaUpload were planning to release an unrelated free radio business that might compete with the music industry. I think it is a stretch. There is an assumption that:
a) The music industry feels threatened by a new business venture that has had very little field experience, which they could easily just emulate themselves if they felt it was a viable business strategy (despite it sounding very high risk and potentially unstable, on paper).
b) That the entire music industry is single minded about this, despite Spotify, i-tunes, radio stations and record companies all run by different folks.
c) That this "centralised" music industry has the FBI in its pocket, or enough influence to make the FBI spuriously charge MegaUpload.
d) Even if they wanted to close MegaUpload for the reason suggested, how exactly would that prevent the owners from creating this new, seperate "Box" company label?

I think it is a case of people looking too hard to find a pretext, so that they end up placing a disproportionate ammount of weight on vague theories, rather than the more concrete motive being put up by the FBI (that MegaUpload were committing serious crimes to begin with).

shiajun:

Thank you! It took several pages of posts, but I finally got to someone who also sees that the other charges are quite more severe than copyright infringement and are more likely the cause of this mess. However, I still have a very uneasy feeling of the United States seizing assests in other countries, run by people who aren't US citizens. Since the press releases don't seem to mention other police agencies involved in the raid it seems like an extreme violation of international law. Also, I'm still wondering what happens with the money lost by all those users who paid for a legitimate use of the service that was essentially obliterated due to some unsavory use by some of its employees. I'm also sure that this took court orders, and why removing such a provision with SOPA is not a good idea.

EDIT: some mixed info I'm getting. While Megaupload was based in Hong Kong, where the servers in the US or not? If in the US, maybe the jurisdiction is in place, but still iffy. If not....WTF? Also, the data on the servers is not all illegal and at the moment people don't have access to their rightful property. Is that even legal in the US?

Well, your addressing a couple of differant issues here.

When it comes to the US policing the world, and taking action against non-US citizens that is ultimatly the bottom line. In the end this comes down to a situation where the nations violating patents and copyrights do so by not acknowleging those laws within their country so no crime is beging comitted. A lot of nations that innovate very little on their own and thus have no real stake in protecting copyrights (ie they simply take from others, with nothing of their own they want defended internationally) and benefit from running their "robber economies". Really the only way to stop this is to make them stop through the direct application of force.

This ultimatly means that things like SOPA are irrelevent because nations that already ignore the existing laws and policies are going to continue to ignore the current one, unless of course the US uses force to turn it's laws into international policy. This goes beyond police action and into military action, as your not going to send the police into other countries to collect people who haven't committed crimes there.

The bottom line is that SOPA makes a show about being about international issues, but really it's a domestic power grab. To solve these issues internationally isn't a matter of laws and policy making, it's about all of the horrible things everyone prefers to avoid thinking about. A lot of politicians pushing SOPA probably do so in order to make it look like they are doing something, without having to actually push for starting a huge international war for economic reasons. In the end it comes down to needing to force people to do things that aren't in their best interests, for our best interests... or pretty much business as usual and why the world sucks.

The big question with SOPA is how many people see anything but the smoke and mirrors it is internationally, and what it actually means as far as domestic power grabs go.

In general, I do not take any bureaucratic solution to this issue seriously. In the final equasion anything the goverment does short of threaten or prepare for war is meaningless because internationally the problem exists because the nations and cultures that represent a problem could care less what the US thinks.

As far as the rest goes, your dealing with the issue of digital property in general. Right now nobody has wanted to address the situation of value of electronic items and property and the protection of consumer rights. How to protect the property of customers if the goverment goes after a company that provides such things and knocks it out of business is tricky.

Of course there IS the connected issue of how those dealing with digital property argue that the consumber doesn't own anything, and instead are purchusing a liscence to use something, which they can revoke or change at any given time. So basically your paying to play with one of their toys as long as they happen to feel like it.

If the goverment nails a company that sells virtual goods and takes them out of business, right now I think the issue is one where since everything belonged to the company, legally speaking the people on the receiving end aren't losing anything.

Speaking for myself I personally believe that every digital product or service should have to be backed up by a trust fund. A trust being a huge pile of money which generates interest and grows and only let's people withdraw money off of the interest (in simple terms). Rich people use these things for their irresponsible children and such to ensure they will be provided for without bankrupting themselves. Certain charities run on trusts and distribute the yearly interest into whatever cause they are based around.

The point here being that to run something like say STEAM, GoG, or an MMORPG that involves microtransactions, there should be a legal requirement that there is a trust behind the business to keep the virtual properties availible indefinatly. So basically if 50 years down the road STEAM is a distant memory that trust kept my games alive so if as an Octogenerian I pull out an antique computer and decide I want to play one of my old games in a nursing home I can.

Likewise I look at what happened with Star Wars Galaxies, and find the entire situation rather unacceptable. MMOs require a lot of time and energy investment, and an attached trust means that even after a company might cease charging money for a product it will continue to exist and the accounts and accomplishments tied to them become eternal for all intents and purposes.

In cases where due to criminal actions a game must be taken down or a company put out of business, the trust which would be considered seperate from the company's assets would then be distributed among those who owned virtual property, with shares proportional to their investment.

In some ways it's vaguely like the old gold standard for money, virtual property needing to be backed up with actual money to ensure it's continued existance if nothing else. A decent trust can keep servers running and people working on them long after the demise of the guys who set up a game or whatever.

I just love how so many people are jumping to MegaUpload's defense by claiming some people used it legitimately. Come on, we all know ninety percent of the content on MegaUpload was copyrighted material. Who are we trying to kid here?

MasochisticAvenger:
I just love how so many people are jumping to MegaUpload's defense by claiming some people used it legitimately. Come on, we all know ninety percent of the content on MegaUpload was copyrighted material. Who are we trying to kid here?

Try explaining that to the people who seem to claim it's the other way around.

ZeZZZZevy:
What I don't think is posted here but is really ridiculous is that if found guilty, these people will be facing a 55 year sentence.

That's right. 55 YEARS

The vast majority of which come from money laundering and RICO (the things used to nail mob bosses)act charges like conspiracy to commit money laundering.

MasochisticAvenger:
I just love how so many people are jumping to MegaUpload's defense by claiming some people used it legitimately. Come on, we all know ninety percent of the content on MegaUpload was copyrighted material. Who are we trying to kid here?

No one. But I guess the real criminals are the artists that liked the Megabox.

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