Stop SOPA

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General Michi
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby General Michi » 19 Jan 2012, 17:10

So Anon are getting their grubby hands on the MegaUpload thing.
We put the brick on the accelerator.

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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby epocalypse » 19 Jan 2012, 18:15

Graham wrote:
EnglishMQ wrote:While I'm sad Megaupload is gone, lets not pretend it's an innocent victim here, the owners knew what was happening and were happy to make business that way. Questionably-Legal Man probably used it.
Holy shit, really?


Okay, Craig from ScrewAttack and I legitimately used MegaUpload just the other day to transfer files we were using FOR THIS PSA.

That's whack.


While true that some use megaupload for legit (uploading and sharing original assets) and questionably legit (uploading and sharing things like remixes) (both of which I've done), I do feel that there were certain huge branches of the site that were staggeringly used for piracy (maybe more in content then in traffic). In particular, sites like megaporn (let's face it, if there's one industry that is probably legitimately losing most of i's business to piracy on the internet, it's porn... and if there's two, the other one is manga) and megavideo (over which I don't think I've seen more than a half dozen legit or even concievably legit video streams). These two sites in particular seemed to encourage piracy through their base brand identity, and since they are sub-brands it did effect the image of megaupload for me personally. Still, I doubt piracy was the majority of the company's staggeringly huge traffic. Most was probably legit use

I also think that legit use of sites like megaupload and rapidshare is somewhat on the decline, due to many of their legit functions being better served by services like dropbox and wetransfer (highly recommend wetransfer, up to two gigs per use, relatively secure for net based file sharing, and free, not to mention auto wiping after 2 months). This doesn't even mention the fact of direct share folders on personal machines, which are far more secure.

If I had to guess a file sharing company that was legitimately complicit in and perhaps even encouraging of piracy, I'd probably list megavideo up at the top of the list, but that is admittedly hearsay.

All that said, I don't agree with how it being shut down. This is essentially a damages lawsuit, and this seems like nothing more than doing what SOPA and PIPA's worst aspects are, AND THEY'RE NOT LAWS YET. Admittedly, it does seem that they didn't just DNS it off, but rather shutdown their servers (?) and I don't think this action is even conceivably legal. Especially considering that it doesn't actually seem like the company as a whole is part of the case (or not, I'm confused about the details, but it sounds like 7 people have been particularly targeted). I can only imagine that the person who pulled this is actually trying to pull a machiavellian ploy against SOPA/PIPA, because, jes-us the timing. It's not even a good one if it is.

Also, what up, everyone, haven't been too active in a while, and I'm probably not going to be while still in thesis mode for the next 1.5 years, but, how goes it?

By the way, Graham, saw the PSA. Kudos, been pimping it out to peoples.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 19 Jan 2012, 18:19

The vast majority of megaupload is legal content, often user-generated. The pirating arm of it as actually pretty small, because it's a file-sharing website and remarkably a lot more people than just pirates need to share files over the Internet.

Even if it were however, that's not the big issue in this situation. Even if the entirety of megaupload was pirated content, unless the hosts were actually actively encouraging piracy they've done nothing wrong, this is punishing the manufacturer of a car for a drive-by shooting that used one of their cars.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby empath » 19 Jan 2012, 18:21

Lemegeton wrote:
Graham wrote:And for the record, I'm not against stopping piracy, as a content creator protecting your work is important. SOPA just isn't the way to do it.


exactly. the corporations would just rather have a magic button to shut a site down as opposed to actually doing some work and research and PROVE a site is in breach of copyright law.


B-b-but...*sputter* m'god - that'd COST MONEY to do all that work! You forget - we're obscenely powerful corporations; how do you think we GOT that way? By cutting costs and maximizing revenue! We can't let a silly little notion like due process cut into our profit margins! *bluster* [/piggy-piggy-fuck-piggy-piggy]


Oh, and to get another thousand words of message across in much less effort:

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I think we can call 'Blackout Wednesday' a success; in addition to swaying the sentiment against the bill(s), it HAS seemed to get a fair number of the 'fence-sitters' to speak up on the issue.

So that's just one skirmish won...now let's see about the rest of the war!
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby epocalypse » 19 Jan 2012, 18:31

Lyinginbedmon wrote:The vast majority of megaupload is legal content, often user-generated. The pirating arm of it as actually pretty small, because it's a file-sharing website and remarkably a lot more people than just pirates need to share files over the Internet.


I agree, Lying, and tried to say as much in my post, but I am saying that certain subsets of the company seemed to be plagued by a greater ammount of questionable content than other file sharing and video streaming sites I know, and even seemed to encourage it via the brand (as I said, megavideo and megaporn seemed to do this, to me). Those actions had put Megavideo at the top of my list in terms of filesharing companies I didn't trust, not because their content was more illegal, but their corporate persona (or facets of it) seemed to encourage illegal use more than similar sites. Also, I do stand by my point that old school peer to peer like Megaupload and Rapidshare are not as good at doing secure large file transfer as newer peer to peer services like wetransfer and dropbox. However, their basic functionality is better for undirected dissemenation, making them easier to abuse for piracy, but that's in no way illegal.

In essence, all I'm saying is that if pretty much any other site, like, say, Rapidshare, had got knocked down for this, I'd likely suspect a little less that they had done something to deserve it, but regardless of that, the action taken to shut them down was unabashedly wrong.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby empath » 19 Jan 2012, 19:06

Look, the reason TPTB thought PIPA/SOPA would pass easily is because those bills were merely the second step in their plan for control; they already got step one through with the DCMA, and let's not forget all the FUN that that bullshit 'insult to justice masquerading as a law' begot.

Anyway, back to the funnies:

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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby theDreamer » 19 Jan 2012, 19:14

The DMCA protected Youtube.

It will not protect Megaupload.

Let's list:

charged with engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement.


the conspirators conducted their illegal operation using a business model expressly designed to promote uploading of the most popular copyrighted works for many millions of users to download. The indictment alleges that the site was structured to discourage the vast majority of its users from using Megaupload for long-term or personal storage by automatically deleting content that was not regularly downloaded. The conspirators further allegedly offered a rewards program that would provide users with financial incentives to upload popular content and drive web traffic to the site, often through user-generated websites known as linking sites. The conspirators allegedly paid users whom they specifically knew uploaded infringing content and publicized their links to users throughout the world.


As alleged in the indictment, the conspirators failed to terminate accounts of users with known copyright infringement, selectively complied with their obligations to remove copyrighted materials from their servers and deliberately misrepresented to copyright holders that they had removed infringing content. For example, when notified by a rights holder that a file contained infringing content, the indictment alleges that the conspirators would disable only a single link to the file, deliberately and deceptively leaving the infringing content in place to make it seamlessly available to millions of users to access through any one of the many duplicate links available for that file.


That one means the DMCA is useless here. The safe harbour provisions of DMCA specifically protect a company from it's users using their site to share illegal content if they remove said illegal content.

Source

Oh, and this article refers to internal emails that show complacency and even planning AROUND piracy. No direct source for the emails though.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby empath » 19 Jan 2012, 19:30

No, no - don't get me wrong; I've seen enough evidence already that plenty of Megaupload's STAFF were active participants in both blatant piracy and other more serious criminal acts.

My post was both unrelated to the MU-mess, and to remind everyone that They took their first steps and tested the waters already and while some of us spoke up then, we ultimately let Them get away with the equivalent of a kid swiping some pocket change from dad's pants. NOW the kid is trying to go for the paper money in dad's wallet...I shudder to think what stage three of Their plan would be if SOPA/PIPA passed...it'd be like the kid making off with daddy's credit cards...
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby JackSlack » 19 Jan 2012, 19:32

empath wrote:Image


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Yes, I'm a little sick of that image. Let's not kid ourselves as to how much this could still swing.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Lord Hosk » 19 Jan 2012, 21:55

Senator Murkowski issued a press release today that she is now opposed to pipa. WOOT!
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Fugiman » 19 Jan 2012, 23:23

I see a lot of people (on the internet in general, not here specifically) getting upset about MegaUpload and trying to use it to show SOPA is bad. However, the taking down of MegaUpload was the result of a two year investigation by the FBI. That has nothing to do with SOPA. At most you could claim that it proves DMCA to be working and therefore SOPA is unneeded, but you can't say "Oh look the government is shutting down sites willy-nilly already".

This wasn't spontaneous, this was two years in the making. And I for one, support it.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Geoff_B » 20 Jan 2012, 00:29

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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Lemegeton » 20 Jan 2012, 15:27

PIPA and SOPA have been indefinitely shelved. The war goes on but i think we can declare this battle a victory. Much respect to LRR and all the other sites involved in the blackout and PSA
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby epocalypse » 20 Jan 2012, 16:12

the war for freedom of expression nevar ends. NEVAR!
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby empath » 20 Jan 2012, 16:30

Because Big Money isn't giving up; they're just gonna regroup - the won their first fight without many people even noticing there was even a fight, and now their second battle doesn't go as smoothly. That's no reason for them to give up hope...

...and subsequently no reason for us to get complacent - get the ESA to stop backing this shit; I'm gonna write a little letter to Mr. Gabe Newell about 'having a word with the lobbyists that supposedly represent him.' After all, he said:

One thing that we have learned is that piracy is not a pricing issue. It’s a service issue. The easiest way to stop piracy is not by putting antipiracy technology to work. It’s by giving those people a service that’s better than what they’re receiving from the pirates.


(which is NOT ironic at ALL regarding my 'suspended download' issues; no, seriously - that's a freak glitch in an otherwise convenient system)
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Lord Hosk » 20 Jan 2012, 16:39

Let us not forget what happened with the 2008 Bank bail out. Overwhelming popular opposition got the house to vote it down.

Two days later the senate renamed, introduced, voted on, and passed the exact same bill, then gave it to the house who also passed it the next day.

They might try to squeak pipa/sopa through by calling them the "emergency copywrite protection bill"
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 20 Jan 2012, 17:28

Fugiman wrote:I see a lot of people (on the internet in general, not here specifically) getting upset about MegaUpload and trying to use it to show SOPA is bad. However, the taking down of MegaUpload was the result of a two year investigation by the FBI. That has nothing to do with SOPA. At most you could claim that it proves DMCA to be working and therefore SOPA is unneeded, but you can't say "Oh look the government is shutting down sites willy-nilly already".

This wasn't spontaneous, this was two years in the making. And I for one, support it.

Notch brought up a good point whilst debating the issue with Garry Newman on Twitter earlier which I think is worth repeating here.

Megaupload is based in Sweden, but the FBI led the investigation, rather than the Swedish authorities.

The FBI's jurisdiction stops at the US border (Federal Bureau), so what the hell authority did they have to run the investigation? People say it's not related to SOPA, but this isn't how the world should run, this isn't how the Internet works. This is exactly the sort of behaviour that SOPA and PIPA support.

The US should have spoken to their Swedish embassy or an ambassador for Sweden who should have then passed it to the Swedish authorities to handle, they should not have led any investigation outside their own territories.

Johnathan Coulton then went on to make a blog post stating in detail his opinion on the piracy issue in general, stating it has more than likely, even with whatever percentage of Megaupload is illegal, done little harm if any to copyright profits and that he and many others like him depend on sites like Megaupload to turn any profit at all.

Notch has similarly gone on record supporting piracy, saying if someone pirates Minecraft and likes it, they should buy the full game, but not to worry otherwise.

The piracy issue isn't really the problem, but the refusal of the aging mega-corporations to adapt to the new Internet-impacted market environment.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby theDreamer » 20 Jan 2012, 17:51

1) Megaupload is based in Hong Kong

2) Laws were being broken in the US. US ad agencies were paying money to them, US citizens were paying money to them, most of their servers were based in the US, and most of the copyrights that INTERNALLY WERE BEING TRADED BY EMPLOYEES were owned by Americans.

It only makes sense that the US be the one to pursue litigation. With, in case you missed it, the FULL SUPPORT of the Hong Kong government, as well as numerous other countries.

Edit: It should be noted that The Pirate Bay is the Swedish piracy house, and they are almost only attacked by Swedish authorities. Except for DNS blocking in other countries, which is stupid, but entirely local.

Edit part 2: Just because ignorance is so painful to me. The founder was born in Germany, and lived in New Zealand, where he was arrested (along with other higher ups of Megaupload). WHERE IS SWEDEN?!

...One more thing: he's also a fucking douche. Though I guess changing his name to "Kim Dotcom" really should have been a clue.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 20 Jan 2012, 18:41

Hmm, where did I hear Megaupload was Sweden then...odd...

Also: Prior convictions and douchiness have no relevance to current crimes (potential or confirmed), excepting perhaps skills necessary, legally speaking.
theDreamer wrote:2) Laws were being broken in the US. US ad agencies were paying money to them, US citizens were paying money to them, most of their servers were based in the US, and most of the copyrights that INTERNALLY WERE BEING TRADED BY EMPLOYEES were owned by Americans.

It only makes sense that the US be the one to pursue litigation. With, in case you missed it, the FULL SUPPORT of the Hong Kong government, as well as numerous other countries.

So ad agencies were paying someone outside the US and US citizens were buying stuff from outside the US, that seems like a very US thing, not a Hong Kong thing, to me. I'm also not sure where that constitutes a crime outside of aiding and abetting, possibly accessory, but neither of those goes to Megaupload itself.

I don't know enough about the legal matters to judge on the internal trading of copyrights, nor can I make judgements on their servers.

They had the right to pursue litigation, yes, which could have been done by talking to the national authorities in Hong Kong. Along the lines of "Hey, these guys in your jurisdiction are screwing over our copyright holders, could you go investigate them?" for example.

What they did instead was investigate and arbitrate themselves. With or without permission, that's not how it should have been handled.

Character, yes, but that's not solid evidence that he's actually done anything this time. Therefore we can't hold his prior convictions against him. I could use prior convictions to paint Hitler as a very evil person, but that doesn't mean he was embezzling money from an Italian pizza parlour this morning (death notwithstanding, of course)
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby theDreamer » 20 Jan 2012, 18:48

Actually, former convictions are very relevant to a current crime.

They speak to character. Kim Dotcomm is not unwilling to break laws to make money, as evidenced by his criminal record. Which is what he was accused of doing.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Psyclone » 20 Jan 2012, 18:53

Is that his actual last name or did he legally change it?
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby theDreamer » 20 Jan 2012, 18:56

I'm not sure.

As the CEO, he is registered as "Kim Dotcom."

Wiki is unclear as to whether he legally changed it or just changed the name on his business card, so to speak.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby Lyinginbedmon » 20 Jan 2012, 18:56

To be clear, I'm not saying Megaupload is squeaky clean and the guys running the thing are saints, I'm saying that protocol-wise this was seriously poorly done.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby theDreamer » 20 Jan 2012, 19:03

OK Lying, here's the deal: while the company was based in Hong Kong, that is not where they did business. The CEO and friends lived and worked in New Zealand, though other employees worked in the US (namely Virginia). Their company was specifically targeting a primarily American audience.

1) Hong Kong residents could not actually access Megasites without proxies, or by paying.

2) Most of the servers were being rented from American companies, and as were such based in the US. This means most of the data was stored on American soil.

3) Ad Agencies, users, and copyrights were all American. As was most of the revenue.

Just because the company that enables all this is owned by a company "based" in Hong Kong, how does it make any less of an American problem, and crime.

Also, I'm confused by your aiding and abetting point. The ad agencies and users aren't in trouble here. The company is. And the company was functionaly American.
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Re: Stop SOPA

Postby empath » 21 Jan 2012, 07:28

And getting back on topic, looks like the 'boycott ESA's cash cow' threat worked - way to go, Graham & Co.!
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