MegaUpload is no more, at least in its former capacity. We can now look forward to a long and expensive legal battle, and no difference whatsoever being made to how content is shared over the Internet.
MegaUpload Goes Down
One of the biggest websites in the world, and the most-trafficked cyberlocker services on the Web, MegaUpload, has been taken offline. Furthermore, several of the company’s key employees, including founder Kim Dotcom, have been arrested and charged.
The takedown and arrests were the culmination of a two-year investigation into the site and its alleged breaching of copyright infringement laws. 20 search warrants were executed in at least seven countries.
The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that those involved with the company made millions of dollars by turning a blind eye to the file-sharing of copyrighted content that was happening on MegaUpload’s servers. This despite MegaUpload complying with DMCA notices from media companies.
MegaUpload The New YouTube?
Although the specifics are very different, there are parallels to be drawn between what MegaUpload is alleged to have been doing and what YouTube is alleged to have done before it was bought by Google and went legit.
Some of the claims are very similar, with allegations that both maintained a legitimate veneer while all sorts of nefarious activity was occurring just beneath the surface. However, at no point was YouTube shut down, and none of its founders were ever arrested in this way.
SOPA & PIPA
It’s ironic that this operation to shut down the site and arrest its admins occurred the day after blackouts and protests were staged online over the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) currently working their way through the U.S. legal system.
It’s clear that there is already a system in place for dealing with these issues of international (alleged) piracy conspiracies, otherwise MegaUpload would still be fully operational. The difference is the ease with which SOPA and PIPA would make it for the authorities to do similar to other sites it suspects of doing wrong.
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
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