The MPAA can score another victory in their ongoing (and lopsided) battle against file sharing on the internet as the popular Torrent search site ISOHunt has announced it is closing down. For the last few years site owner Gary Fung has fought the MPAA over allegations of copyright infringement. The case resembles the one that was thrown at The Pirate Bay several years ago in that ISOHunt did not actually store files on the site. The lawsuit brings many questions to mind about search engines in general and if systems designed to index the internet can be policed.
Over the past year or two we have watched as companies like Microsoft, Crytek, Ubisoft and others push their business model into the cloud. At the same time we have watched as the number of cyber-attacks and data breaches increase. These attacks have also increased in sophistication and in some cases have not been detected until after the breach has been made and data lost. Still companies try to make the claim that their services, out of all of the others, are secure. Simply put (as we have always said) there is no such thing as a secure service, operating system, network or anything else. If it is connected or even powered on it is in danger.
Saturday marked the day that Megaupload was reborn in the form of Mega. It was an event that has had much talk since Kim Dotcom first announced that he would be doing this last year. It is also an event that many internet users have been looking forward to for a very long time. On the other side of the coin the content industry (including the MPAA, RIAA, BSA and others) have not been looking forward to this and have tried to make the tired old argument that ALL file sharing services are nothing more than a haven for piracy.
Although the war for a free and open internet has fallen out of the front page news there are still rumblings about it going on in the background as the MPAA, RIAA BSA and other organizations gear up for another round of attacks on the internet as we know it. We expect to see Chris Dodd come back to “the hill” and catch up with his old buddies that are still in active service with the US government. His goal this time will be to get bills like SOPA and PIPA reborn and pushed through in back room deals instead of trying to get things done openly and honestly. What we find interesting is that the MPAA, RIAA and BSA have been using the same old arguments and logic for almost 10 years to no avail, what arguments are they going to us this time, or will they simply make promises to get what they want…
In a world where corporate interests are slavishly followed to the detriment of society by elected officials one man stands above it all. Lamar Smith is that man, out for justice for the people that pay his campaign bills and he will stop at nothing… Ok so enough of the very cheesy intro here. Out point is that Lamar Smith is back and trying to find a way to implement SOPA any way he can. If you are surprised then you must have been living under a rock for a while.
We have been following the MegaUpload case very closely since it was revealed that the FBI probably overstepped their bounds in both the requesting of search warrants for the Dotcom mansion and in taking evidence back to the US without judicial review to make sure the evidence was relevant to the case. Now there is the possibility that the MPAA and others met with Vice President Joe Biden to request he push for the MegaUpload take down. This is something that many already believe, but now it seems there might be some evidence to make this claim more credible.
Remember SOPA and how much of a stir it caused? Well it seems that we may face another round in the ring with a new law championed by the MPAA. At least that is what the indicators are at this point. We mentioned when SOPA was shelved that this was a distinct possibility and one that we should watch out for. This was right after MPAA CEO Chris Dodd made his now infamous threats to members of congress about not being there when they needed him.
In mid-January the battle over SOPA and PIPA hit a peak with an unprecedented show of opposition. We saw Wikipedia go dark for the day while other large site put black censored bars over their logos. At the end of this the SOPA and PIPA backers in the Senate and the House of Representatives decided they needed to change their direction. Lamar Smith, the sponsor for SOPA made the official announcement that SOPA was being shelved. Many hailed this announcement as a victory, but it seems they did not see the finger crossed behind Smith’s back.