Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hosting User's Files Will Get You Treated Like Murderer

We have surely gone to a totalitarian world when multiple governments can work together to trample all over Free Speech and Free Market principles. Megaupload, a file-hosting service that allows users to upload files to their own accounts and then share links to those files with others, has been raided like they were mass murderers. Their assets and hardware were seized across the globe and arrested like master criminals. Even the news article makes it seem as if making money by selling bandwidth and storage was illegal.
New Zealand police on Saturday revealed bizarre details of the arrest of the suspected kingpin of an Internet copyright theft case against the James Bond-like backdrop of a country mansion hideaway with electronic locks, a safe room and a pink Cadillac.
See, he's a real crazy scumbag isn't he. A veritable KINGPIN living in an obviously crazy life that we all know makes him a suspect. I mean, who owns a Pink Cadillac but a Master Kingpin of the Internet?

Me wonders how the media would portray Howard Hughes today?
The group was accused of engaging in a scheme that took more than $500 million away from copyright holders and generated over $175 million in proceeds from subscriptions and advertising.
I'm sorry: "a scheme" ?!?! It was an obvious and overt business arrangement that provided a service to internet users across the globe who wanted to connect with people and share information. People freely and willingly of their own accord subscribed to their service and paid to advertise on their site. How was this an underhanded scheme to bilk copyright holders?
A police official said dozens of officers, backed by helicopters, forced their way into the mansion, nestled in lush, rolling farmland, after Dotcom refused them entry, a scene more reminiscent of a high-octane spy drama than the usual policeman's lot in rural New Zealand.

"Despite our staff clearly identifying themselves, Mr Dotcom retreated into the house and activated a number of electronic-locking mechanisms," said Detective Inspector Grant Wormald from the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand.

Officers broke the locks and Dotcom barricaded himself into a safe room which officers had to cut their way through to gain access.

"Once they gained entry into this room, they found Mr Dotcom near a firearm which had the appearance of a shortened shotgun," he said. "It was definitely not as simple as knocking at the front door."
I would say not. At least in America, one does not have to allow policemen entry in to your home. And if they break in, you are allowed to defend yourself. He felt he was being attacked and retreated to a safe room. The officers broke in to his home like criminals themselves. If this was all on the up-and-up, then how come there is no mention of an arrest warrant?

And we see here again, that the USA's FBI is directing law enforcement in other countries. This makes no sense. Anyway, again, we see here an attempt to paint this man as a crazy loon that must be arrested for the good of society. And the tar and feathering gets worse
The house where Dotcom was arrested was one of the largest and most expensive in the country, worth around NZ$30 million.

Dotcom leased the property after being blocked from buying it last year by the government after failing to meet a "good character" test for migrants, although he was granted residency in 2010.

Dotcom has previous convictions for insider trading and embezzlement from his time in Germany and Thailand, according immigration authorities, leading some opposition politicians to question why he was allowed to settle in the first place.
See, he's just a very bad character that sneaked in to the country in an underhanded fashion and stole this property because he wasn't allowed to lease it. And to prove he's fishy, we paint him as a criminal in other countries. He's very scary.
The FBI said Dotcom personally made $42 million from Megaupload in 2010 alone.

One video on YouTube shows him racing a Mercedes in the Gumball 3000 road rally and talking about bribing a Moroccan official.

Another clip shows a 2011 New Year's Eve fireworks display over Auckland organized and paid for by Dotcom to celebrate his family being granted residency. The display was reported to have cost $500,000.
See, he isn't like normal people at all. He has to be stopped. He must be punished for his outlandish lifestyle that puts other people at risk of feeling like poor losers. No matter what, he must be thrown in jail, no matter what it takes!!! I mean, who dares earn money and spends it on himself. How ridiculously selfish of this master criminal Kingpin.
U.S. Justice Department officials have said that the estimate of $500 million in economic harm to copyright holders cited in a U.S. indictment was at the low end.

The allegations included copyright infringement as well as conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering. Two of the offences carry a maximum penalty of 20 years.

The companies charged, Megaupload Ltd and Vestor Ltd, were both registered in Hong Kong and owned either in large part or solely by Dotcom.

Some 100 officers raided four premises in Hong Kong on Friday including luxury hotel rooms, seizing computer equipment and freezing HK$330 million ($42.5 million) in financial assets, according to Hong Kong Customs.
One wonders how the FBI even has standing in this case when the servers and the service is not US owned or located on US soil? Again, the scary part in all of this is how the US government, through its media mouthpieces like Reuters, can dictate its tyranny over internet usage in other countries.

Let me ask you this question. If I went to an estate sale, and as a part of the sale or a direct buy, I got my hands on a large number of books. Now, I can't possibly read them all so I decide to share them with my book-loving friends. I pass them out to my friends and when they are done with them, I share them with other friends and family. Anyone can come to me and request to read the book. Have you ever shared a movie with a coworker?

Now, most people see no problem with this. I mean, come on, it is only a book. But that is actually breaking copyright law. You may say, wait, what Megaupload did was different. They were sharing massive amounts of digital media to people who didn't buy the media. No, they were not.

First, there is no difference between a digital book and a real paper book. Second, they were not actively sharing stolen media. Third, they were providing a service to allow subscribers to store their media. And some shared those books with friends and people they trusted. Some, shared them with anyone who asked for them. Fourth, these books are only shared when asked for. They are not actively sharing that digital information in an open-door fashion like courts have said was the illegal nature of Napster and torrent programs.

Are cops now going to arrest Pawn Shops for selling equipment and books? How about second-hand books stores? What about consignment shops that sell clothes? Isn't their an artistic license and "ownership" that comes with creating a clothing line and hand tools? Do we not see people arrested for selling knock-offs? Then why is it not illegal to share or sell your clothes, books and tools?
Users could upload material to the company's sites which then would create a link that could be distributed. The sites, which included video, music and pornography, did not provide search capabilities but rather relied on others to publish the links, the U.S. indictment said.
No, they did not include video, music or pornography. Like you said in the sentence before, the sites only had links to your files on your accounts that were held in non-US countries. And, if the site does not actively push those links, then how are they responsible for a scheme to bilk copyright holders in America?

Obviously, they are the Kingpins of the Internetz.

Does this mean that now Amazon will be raided by hundreds of cops and their masterminds thrown in jail? Do they not offer a storage and sharing solution as well? How about sites that only store the files temporarily allowing users to send large files to friends across the globe? What if you are a search engine that produces results that have such links? Is Google and now violating copyright for pushing that link to the users of their service?

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