In something of an unprecedented move NBC Universal and Warner Bothers Music have asked that Google delist the entire Mega website over copyright concerns. Now requesting that a link that points to copyrighted material be removed from Google, Bing, or any other search engine is nothing new and not, in itself, a big deal. However this is not a simple request to remove a single copy of a movie or song, it is asking for the WHOLE site to be delisted. This type of wholesale delisting ignores the fact that while there might indeed be copyrighted files on Mega’s servers there are others that are completely legal including movies and music from independent artists that use Mega as a sharing platform. It highlights the claims by some that the argument against Mega and Megaupload before that is not about actual copyright, but about the service and the threat is could pose to the copyright industry.
Kim Dotcom is back in the news as he is now claiming ownership of Two Factor Authentication. Although the claim might seem ludicrous to many it seems there is a kernel of truth in them as well. What is interesting is the timing of the claim and how he wants to settle things. Unlike many others that hold patents, Dotcom is not looking to make a bunch of lawyers rich trying to assert his claim. Instead he would like Google, Twitter and others that are using his patented idea to help fund his legal defense in the US.
The FBI and a few other groups would like to put a law in place which would allow them to fine companies that refuse to hand over information regardless of the reasons for not choosing to do so. This plan is part of an increasing effort to force companies to share user information with the government. On the surface the idea looks pretty straight forward. Law Enforcement and other Government Agencies want to be able to track down people that might be using the internet and internet communication services to commit crimes. Sounds legit right?
You know you have to love the way the US Government acts in some of their dealings. There are times when they simply do not understand the implications of what they are doing… well either that or they have no respect for the intelligence of the common person. We are talking about a “new” development in the US DOJ’s case against Megaupload and Kim Dotcom. This trial has already become famous simply due to its timing and also for the inappropriate raid on the Dotcom mansion. Although the case has slipped out of the mainstream media many are still watching with great interest due to the siege tactics and the way the US has violated the laws in New Zealand (and possibly in the US).
The new site from Kim Dotcom made for file sharing will be called Mega and I will be located at the web address me.ga. The service should start around January 19th of the following year and Dotcom has tried to completely separate it from anything that has to do with the U.S. This means that the hosting company, domain, and partners will not be from the U.S. making it impossible, or at least the extremely hard, to shut down the service if someone tried...
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.
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).
Late last night there was an interesting tweet from the flamboyant owner of Megaupload, Kim Dotcom. The tweet announced in excited tones: “BREAKING NEWS: The High Court just ruled the release of restrained assets to cover our legal fees in New Zealand.” This is a major victor for the besieged Dotcom and Megaupload. It means that the High Courts in New Zealand are seeing the same thing that many legal experts are seeing; the US with the backing of Hollywood has been trying to prevent Dotcom and Megaupload from offering a proper defense.
There was a lot of activity today on Kim Dotcom’s, the famous Megaupload owner, Twitter feed. Dotcom revealed in series of announcements that “We are building a massive global network, All non-US hosters will be able to connect servers & bandwidth. Get ready. ” and he didn’t forget to put in a word about legal services “They abused the wrong guy. I am going to turn this world upside down. Power to the people. Bye bye Echelon. Hello Freedom.“. After he told us in July that Megaupload will be back bigger, better, faster, free of charge and shielded from attacks, today he asked for “Developers of up/download & file managers, email & fax tools, VOIP & video apps“ to email him in case they are interested in getting early API access.
Although we have covered many aspects of the ridiculous charges and case against Megaupload and its founder we have only talked about how it could happen in minor detail. However, bolstered on the back of the success at using these tactics the entertainment industry has shifted its focus and is pushing these out across the globe to bring down as many sites as they can. It does not appear to matter if the sites in question are actually guilty of copyright infringement or even if they host any content. All that matters is that they want to prove conspiracy and when possible fraud and/or money laundering.