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Megaupload - sympathy or deserved?

marko's Photo marko 07 Feb 2012
Last month, Megaupload became the most recent establishment to feel the wrath of the media giants and were taken down quite spectacularly, almost overnight and without warning.

Unfortunately, for those legitimate users, it meant loosing what data they had paid for although it has been reported they will be given access to retrieve what they have. However, like a few other key names in the file sharing business, it's really of no great surprise that these guys have finally been taken down, but it does now beg the question about other similar file sharing services and why are they still active when most of them will be holding copyright material?.

As most here will know, I'm not a fan of the media giants, never have been and never will be - as far as I'm concerned they're greedier than the one's trying to ride off the back of the success of pirating videos, music or applications and as far as I'm concerned it was the media giants who gave us the tools to start copying material in the first place, like high speed tape recorders, DVD burners, and all manner of other reproductive machinery and mediums that were "intended" for our own private use. These companies have contributed to what is the beast they cannot tame, yet at the same time they won't do anything constructive about it like offer us a yearly subscription at a reasonable price so we can download films or music legitimately - even a subscription of a few quid per month would surely go a long way towards turning a lot of people away from downloading illegally?.

As for Megaupload, I'm sorry but I really don't have a great deal of sympathy for them, at the end of the day they were profiting quite happily from the distributing of copyrighted materials which as we all know is illegal, they knew it, we knew it and quite obviously the media giants knew it.

A few months ago, I read an article which explained how rapidshare.com was experiencing a massive decline in it's income because they were removing copyrighted material from their servers and so all the warez and indexing sites began directing their business elsewhere, possibly to megaupload!.

BTJunkie, a popular Bit Torrent indexing site, also announced on Monday that it was closing it's doors voluntarily after hearing about the Megaupload move which just goes to show that these moves are having an effect on the whole file sharing communities - people are beginning to feel a little nervous and are closing doors!.

At the end of the day, I can't really say anything good about either side to be honest, the media giants are so greedy and will do anything they can to keep up the cost of films and music, the warez or torrent sites will continue to try and profit from illegally distributing the materials and the end user will continue to try and have this material for nothing - it all revolved around money (as per usual).

James (Jim) Hillier's Photo James (Jim) Hillier 07 Feb 2012
Hey Marko - I've been following this story with much interest, even published a couple of articles re the MegaUpload closure myself. Seems to me there is more behind the MegaUpload raid than just copyright infringements, I guess we won't be aware of the full story/charges until actual court proceedings commence.

I believe you've hit the nail on the head, and most fair minded people would have to agree. However, there is another element here which is pretty scary. MegaUpload was based in Hong Kong with affiliations in Europe, to the best of my knowledge they had no business affiliations in the USA at all. I think it's frightening indeed when U.S. Federal authorities can traverse international boundaries to enforce laws which are essentially relevant only to their own country.

Not to mention the the hard-nosed way they went about it, with little thought for consequences and zero regard for legitimate users. The last I heard, those innocent people who utilized MegaUpload to store their own personal data will lose it all, all their precious photos, documents, etc.

I so agree with your comments on the U.S. media industry, I am continually amazed by the depth of their greed. Entertainers, actors, directors, film studios, record companies, recording artists, anyone and everyone connected with the industry earn mega bucks and yet still desire more and more - it seems they are insatiable.

Take the movie industry for example; they make mega millions from the initial cinema release, then more millions from DVD/Bu-ray rights, then even more millions from sales to pay TV companies, and then even more from sales to free-to-air. And, as you rightly point out mate, none of this comes cheaply to the end consumer. The greed and subsequent overcharging it creates is what fuels the pirate industry in the first place.

I agree with all your points of view but I also believe it is time that both the U.S. media industry and Feds pulled their combined heads in and concentrated on what is occurring in their own country, they are not Global authorities - not to the best of my knowledge anyway.

marko's Photo marko 07 Feb 2012
If the guys responsible for Megaupload were from Europe I'm sure they would have uncovered some European human rights act that would protect them, after all, most criminals have more rights under the human rights act than the average law abiding citizen. This is what really grinds me sometimes when known terrorists in this country can't be deported because of reprisals in their own country, in the name of "human rights" so we'll just allow them to remain here in the country they so desperately want to inflict damage upon and we'll afford them the right and the financial support to do so!!!??? Meanwhile, heaven and earth is moved to catch those costing the media companies money?

I know I digress slightly, but it makes me laugh when so much time and effort is put into this farce that is copyright infringement, yet crime that causes real people real damage is dismissed and swept aside because the resources or funds aren't available!!

In regards to Megaupload being based in Hong Kong, then I wouldn't have envisaged the US having any jurisdiction at all, other than the Hong Kong authorities willingness to assist the US, which is laughable also considering the level of illicit activity coming from that part of the world!.

Personally, I see a major backhander having made its way from A to B here with someone considerably richer for the whole experience - money does get results and it most certainly talks, moreso than any of us could image probably!!

FreeWareFan's Photo FreeWareFan 07 Feb 2012
I've also keep my own(legal) files on MU, so who now compensate me my losses?

marko's Photo marko 07 Feb 2012

View PostFreeWareFan, on 07 February 2012 - 01:48 PM, said:

I've also keep my own(legal) files on MU, so who now compensate me my losses?
Initially, I'd say your beef would be with the owners of MegaUpload, but the company will most probably now have it's assets frozen which means the people (or authority) responsible for that would be the one's you would need to contact in regards to any compensation although I wouldn't hold your breath - the terms of MegaUpload would have stated you store files "at your own risk" which most other file stores would do. The rightful owners of the servers did (I think) give users a grace period to retrieve files but this wasn't very well publicised I don't think, which raises another question of if MegaUpload provided the means to store illegal content, surely the server owners who were receiving payment from MU should be up on charges also?.

Gremlinn's Photo Gremlinn 07 Feb 2012
Man, you guys hit it square on the head! Exactly how i feel about the whole situation. It all boils down to greed, so i have no sympathy for either side. I do feel for legit users who have to suffer but there's really nothing you can do.

Claw's Photo Claw 07 Feb 2012

View Postmarko, on 07 February 2012 - 07:45 AM, said:

as far as I'm concerned it was the media giants who gave us the tools to start copying material in the first place,,

Not that I don't fully agree on everything you guys have said,, but "just because you are given a gun,,doesn't mean you can shoot anyone with it" !!!! I do see what you're saying,really. But doesn't anyone out there realize ,lik Marko said , it's always about money.
Somewhere one "overly rich" man who never got a legal paycheck since he was 15 yrs.old,, helping out in the "family business",,and who now has assets in every major port in all countries, is now a little rich over this.
As for "rights" ha ha ha ha ha,,and also ,don't you know buy now the US can cross any boundery they need to as long as someone is paying for. Governments are always "volunteering help,,,,for the right price".!!!!

jjj's Photo jjj 07 Feb 2012
Just a sideline to this conversation -
The property where Kim DotCom was arrested at in NZ is owned by the founders of Chriscos .
Chriscos is a company that sells Xmas Hampers on a weekly repayment system to mainly low income families.
The value of the property was stated to be between $15 and $30 million dollars.


marko's Photo marko 07 Feb 2012
@claw - yes, its true mate that even through we're given the tools to reproduce materials, we shouldn't do it for copyrighted media - but the media giants didn't give much thought to the process other than pound (or dollar) signs flashing before their eyes. It's always about money with these companies, and although I can appreciate they obviously have to make money to stay in business they could still do so and NOT rip off their customers but they won't. The worrying thing (not for me personally, because I rarely watch films,etc) is if they did actually manage to close down all avenues of pirated material, would the price of a film or DVD remain the same or go up?. Bearing in mind, if they have the monopoly on the market, they can basically charge what they want but if they started charging something like £15 for a cinema ticket or £30 for a DVD how many people do you think would steer down the pirated route - to me, it works the other way round too so if the media giants managed to severe all possible routes to download copyrighted materials they could charge whatever the hell they like and true movie buffs would probably pay it and parents would be hassled into forking out more for the kids to go to the cinema with their friends at the weekend!.

@jjj - I remember doing this type of club myself some years ago, but when I eventually got round to adding up the true cost I reckoned I'd paid for the stuff twice over!!.

James (Jim) Hillier's Photo James (Jim) Hillier 07 Feb 2012
FreeWareFan - And any other lawful users affected by the MegaUpload closure.

Pirate Parties International is compiling a list of lawful users affected by the MegaUpload closure. You can join in the protest and add your name to a possible class action against the U.S. authorities here: http://megaupload.pirata.cat/