Over the last couple of days we have talked about the expected push from the copyright lobby for harsher laws and longer copyright periods (not to mention more control over the internet). This is a campaign that has been going on since the days of affordable internet (56kbps) and is one that will never really stop. However during this long battle there have been some highlights that make us all wonder at the motives and sanity of the key players involved. We are talking about the many domain seizures (for sites that are operating legally) and also some of the highly publicized threats that the MPAA (the leading group in this war) have made over the course of the last year.
There is one thing about the hacking world that is a constant, everything changes. We have seen anti-anonymous and Anti-Wikileaks groups come and go from individuals like The Jester to others that claim they were once with Anonymous, but now have seen the error of their ways and are working for the good of the world. These groups all have one thing in common; they are rarely effective for long. This is not to say they do not have skill or talent. In some cases they are very talented. However their effects are rarely long term.
The Megaupload case has become an embarrassment for the US Government, but because of their close ties to the MPAA, RIAA and the entertainment industry as a whole they are not able to bow out gracefully at this point. It also seems that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is not going to let them bow out. Instead he has launched a website that is dedicated to “the war for the Internet”. This term is one that has been used in the past to refer to laws like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, TPP, CISPA and many, many more. It is a very interesting battle that is only in its infancy right now and unless things change quickly will only get worse.
There is an old (very old saying); “don’t poke the bear”. It is one of those saying that people toss out to remind us that there are some things that you should just not do. It is a saying that the gang over at the MPAA, RIAA, BSA and even members of the US Government should listen to (maybe we should tell them). Unfortunately for them they have not only poked the bear, but have kicked it too. This group of people is so out of touch with the way the world works that they actually think they can control technological progress. We are talking about the constant attempts to control the internet, communications and anything that travels over it; all in the name of maintaining a broken and outdated business model.
With all of the hype going on around recent news conferences from big companies (like Intel, Microsoft and Apple), not so many people noticed that Demonoid’s domain name servers were updated. Even though that doesn’t mean they are coming back it is still a small sign that they are not completely dead. Demonoid's tech admin said that they are “not looking into putting the site back up at the moment.” The Site was taken down last month after they were DDoS-ed. Demonoid was hosted in the Ukraine and local authorities stated that Interpol asked them to take action against the site owners that were in Mexico.
The MPAA, RIAA and in fact the entire copyright industry is a very interesting organization. On the one hand they fit an almost textbook definition of a Cartel (According to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act) but have been allowed to exist and act with impunity for many years. They have a revolving door with Government agencies in the US where many of their executives have come from our law making bodies or former executives now have positions inside those bodies. Their history of unethical and borderline illegal (many times actually illegal) actions has become the stuff of legend across many internet sites. Yet still they persist in trying to portray themselves as the victim in the cases that they are perusing around the globe.
The art of warfare has evolved over the centuries as each side (attacking and defending) has learned lessons from each battle. When towns were encircled by walls attackers developed methods for bringing them down or simply starving them out. From these tools and techniques the defenders learned to ensure that they could be self-sustaining by maintaining a water and food supply; you get the picture. The same thing has happened with just about any situation where there are two sides to the fight and it certainly is happening in the fight between Megaupload and the US Copyright Lobby. After losing their fight to put exceptionally draconian laws in place such as SOPA and PIPA the copyright industry used their influence to take out possibly the largest file sharing service on the Internet; Megaupload. There was no real evidence to support their attack on a site they (the MPAA and RIAA) once praised, instead it was a clear cut campaign to bankrupt the company and to seriously injure anyone involved with them (including the host and users of Megaupload servers).
Not that long ago we told you that the MegaUpload case would be one that would have massive ramifications across the internet and also with regards to the image of the US Government and how they handle this. This image includes the current global view that the US is not run by elected officials, but by corporations especially the entertainment industry who continues to push for laws that allow them to impose their will around the globe. It is a very messy situation no matter how you look at it and as we have warned before, the US runs the risk of looking like they are not looking to uphold the law, but are acting as an extension of the Hollywood Cartels. Two days ago we learned of an excellent example of this and one that is sure to send a message to other countries and corporations that the US simply does not care about the law or fostering innovation. They are only concerned with keeping the campaign funds flowing.
Well, well, well, it seems the plot thickens as things unravel in the case against Megaupload. This morning we noticed a post on Megaupload founder, Kim Dotcom’s Twitter feed asking if there was any truth to the claim that US District Attorney Neil MacBride was still employed by a lobbying agency within one year of his appointment. We took a look and found something rather interesting which could indicate a little bit of bias in the way MacBride is dealing with the case and also may lend a little validation to Dotcom’s claims that the whole case was cooked up by the copyright Lobby.
There is a subtle art to influencing people’s opinions and the way that a particular topic is viewed. We have seen multiple attempts at this, some good, some bad. For the marketing savvy it seems that nothing they (or their charges) say can ever be negative. For those that are… less competent the message come out all wrong and often changes the intended push into something very negative. The MPAA and others in the anti-piracy community seem to be in the latter group.