Friday, January 20th 2012

MegaUpload.com Shuttered: One Month 'Black March' Media Boycott Slated For March 1st

Yesterday, the website of MegaUpload was shuttered for good by the US Department of Justice over copyright infringement aka 'piracy' and various criminal charges (see the domain seizure graphic). This was done regardless of the many non-infringing files that people were also using it for, so for anyone that had their only copy of a file on the site, this is very bad news. It's also arguably even worse news for the site's operators, as they have been arrested and face extradition from New Zealand to the USA for criminal trial, all their assets seized, including all the domain names and computing infrastructure to run them, plus many personal belongings of very high value, such as fancy cars like Maseratis and Rolls-Royces and huge 100 inch TVs to name just a few.

However, this story, isn't really about this and we have linked to reports below which cover this in great detail (hot beverage recommended). MegaUpload was one of the biggest file sharing sites out there and in fact, one of the biggest sites out there, period. This means, that an awful lot of people all around the world have very much noticed its sudden demise (especially those with their only copy of a file, because they didn't bother to back it up, tsk) and are met with that highly unwelcome Department of Justice graphic, instead. Hence, the chances of an almighty backlash against this shutdown not happening are slim to none. In fact, Anonymous have already hit the websites of the DOJ, RIAA, MPAA & HADOPI (French three strikes) and others in retaliation, with likely much more to come, which is good or bad, depending on one's point of view and how effective one believes it will be.

What's of much greater interest here however, is the call for a truly massive boycott of all media products, but crucially without pirating them. Started yesterday by an anonymous user with a graphic at imgur.com and comments on reddit, it calls for a 'Black March' protest for the whole of March over efforts to censor the internet with bad laws such as SOPA & PIPA and the heavy-handed closure of sites like MegaUpload, which will be made child's play with these laws in place. Ordinary citizens are encouraged not to buy any media products whatsoever during this month: "Do not buy a single record. Do not download a single song, legally or illegally. Do not go to see a single film in cinemas, or download a copy. Do not buy a DVD in the stores. Do not buy a videogame. Do not buy a single book or magazine." The idea is to "leave a gaping hole in media entertainment companies' profits for the 1st quarter, an economic hit which will in turn be observed by governments worldwide as stocks and shares will blip from a large enough loss of incomes."

And finally, the statement of intent: "We will not tolerate the Media Industries' lobbying for legislation which will censor the internet."

That's right, the bottom line – profit, lots of fat profit - is the only thing that these companies understand, so this kind of totally legal voting with one's wallet, but crucially without pirating, is the one thing that this reporter has been saying for some time to do and it's heartening to see that it's going to be used as a protest strategy. Extending this protest far beyond March would be way better and more effective, too. Watch out for the statements of denial by Big Media in the press as the protest starts, while it's in progress and afterwards when the financial accounts have been presented, complete with big holes showing in their profit margins.


REFERENCES

The Black March banner can be downloaded at http://imgur.com/pPDak

MegaUpload shutdown story, at TorrentFreak.

The full text of the DOJ indictment, at the Los Angeles Times. (Long attention span required)

Much more readable summary of the DOJ indictment, at TorrentFreak.

Details of the fancy goods seized can be seen at c|net.

Websites attacked by Anonymous reported by c|net here and here.

The MegaUpload DOJ takedown banner can be viewed in all its original 'glory', at the defunct website: megaupload.com

And finally, try viewing this happy-sounding music video/advert for MegaUpload without at least a hint of sadness or a tear in your eye (users who lost their only copy of a file will no doubt be crying their eyes out by the end of this).



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122 Comments on MegaUpload.com Shuttered: One Month 'Black March' Media Boycott Slated For March 1st

#1
NdMk2o1o
by: HammerON
Never heard of them before (mega whatever) and feel that when the cops (or whoever) come to arrest you and you try and disabled your computers and then run into a safe room to hide (with a sawed-off shotgun) tells me that you were not really on the up-and-up in your business practices. Sorry for all those individuals that lost their legitimate files (or whatever). I have never pirated anything (no need when I can buy it) and it appears from what I read that sharing pirated movies and whatever else was their mainstay. They got caught...
Never heard of them before so your using your vast knowledge of the site to talk absolute bollocks well done :slap:

There are tons of sites out there like mega upload and despite what a few people think who obviously get all there facts from the media and therefore can't fathom to step out of their own little bubble and think for themselves, these sites are used by a lot of people for purely legal reasons, heck we use them in work to upload files to so we don't have to constantly upload them when they are being downloaded by different people multiple times and save money by saving bandwidth, so are they going to do this to all the other sites that offer this service? fuck you may as well take google, youtube and facebook down cause they are also used to share pirated material. Censorship at it's worse, corrupt governments and corporations using piracy as an excuse to censor.
Posted on Reply
#2
HammerON
The Watchful Moderator
So you and your company used MegaUpload's services?

Edit: Sorry for the above comment, however I understand the importance of being able to use a file sharing service. One would expect that an individual or company would do their research and make sure the file sharing company they were dealing with wasn't one that was dealing in bad practices.
Posted on Reply
#3
semantics
Megaupload is being taken down for many reasons, just getting to reasons dealing with copyright, there are links to megaupload itself as a company uploading pirated material in order to get traffic. There are also quite a bit dealing with their inability to swiftly comply with take down notices. The point is they are if they are to deny that they ran a business not based of piracy, that their actions/inactions do not support that narrative, which youtube can claim ionno about facebook, google as a whole can easily claim.
Posted on Reply
#4
Mr McC
I find US global interference to be alarming. I find corporate influence on legislative processes and the actions of the security forces within the US to be more alarming still.

I have a number of friends who used Megaupload to store legitimate, unpirated material. I have never witnessed the shutting down of a road network because a number of vehicles were speeding.

Strange that I am asked to accept just that, in digital terms, on an international level, on the simple say-so of the US of A.
Posted on Reply
#5
v12dock
When I got to send files across the globe I use FTP server
Posted on Reply
#6
Jetster
by: poopface
anyone who was paying attention in grade school knows this has nothing to do with free speech or censorship of the internet. the fbi mounted evidence against megaupload and a judge gave them the permission to arrest and raid/seize the domain. seriously, you kiddies are defending slugs who profited off of other people's work. you can be for free speech and intellectual property. pretty sad you kids.
Alleged Slugs:)
Posted on Reply
#7
LAN_deRf_HA
It doesn't have to be perfectly targeted. All it has to do is make a big enough dent in the quarterly profits to convince those at the top that we have power. Being all "this won't work hurgblarr" is exactly why these things never work. Nobody tries because they assume failure. Don't assume failure. Come up with an impassioned plea or steal someone else's and post about March wherever you can think of. Urge others to do the same. For all the bitching we do about the various problems in government nothing ever happens because we have no collective focus, no cohesion. Just try focusing this one damn time and lets see what happens.
Posted on Reply
#8
NdMk2o1o
by: HammerON
So you and your company used MegaUpload's services?

Edit: Sorry for the above comment, however I understand the importance of being able to use a file sharing service. One would expect that an individual or company would do their research and make sure the file sharing company they were dealing with wasn't one that was dealing in bad practices.
And how do you do that? they remove content when it's reported same as YouTube
Posted on Reply
#9
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: erocker
Yes, that is what you are getting. TPU, as far as I know has no official position on it, though they do allow qubit to make these posts, so I guess I really don't know. Aside from that, I completely agree with your points. It seems like some people really like to react before thinking it through.
I haven't heard anything officially either. However, it's likely not too different to mine, as TPU and every other forum would be firmly in the crosshairs of any SOPA style legislation. Anyway, I'm not the only one reporting ths stuff, there's bta's report on SOPA just before mine, for example.

Anyway, I don't see why you're unhappy about how I reported this. I reported it in a neutral manner (with a fair dollop of ironic humour about people who don't make backups ;)) and just added my take at the end. It looks like some people want the lobotomized BBC style bland reporting, while others prefer mine. Sorry peeps, can't please everyone with such diametrically opposed viewpoints.

Also, you didn't get just a couple of paragraphs, but instead you got a well-written, detailed article with lots of further reading at the end. That's good value for the reader my friend. :toast:
Posted on Reply
#10
dirtyferret
stick all these anonymous & pirate a-hole kids in jail. at least they won't be virgins anymore
Posted on Reply
#11
_JP_
by: dirtyferret
stick all these anonymous & pirate a-hole kids in jail. at least they won't be virgins anymore
There we go, a completely reasonable argument. :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#12
Crx15
The more i think about it , the more i realize im just against it .

Now to state. I was fully against sopa/pipa . I was proudly part of many advocate groups and protesters marching outside Montpelier Vermont against Senators Leahy's bill .

The point of my protesting was not so that i could "protest against the government taking away from my illegal downloads", it was because I felt they where over reaching on our freedom of speech .
Most people are like me in the fact that where not opposed to some kind of intervention which helps tackle piracy in general . It would be silly to argue there's no problem and needs some kind of way to police it .This week proved we do already have the proper laws in place and we need no more laws to tackle this issue .

OK, so why am i against "black March"
You're doing EXACTLY what the u.s government just did ! You're tacking on the entire industry regardless on there stance of megaupload ,sopa/pipa , YOU'RE PUNISHING THE LEGAL DOWNLOADER'S AS WELL AS THE ILLEGAL ONES ... You're shitting in the face of all the people who where just a week ago supporter's for "freedom of speech and expression on the internet" and saying YOUR NOW THE PROBLEM !! this makes no sense to me to punish the entire industry when its not the collective whole who's the problem .

It doesn't take much time to figure out who the problem is and who's not . By making such a broad statement it will have a negative impact on the true cause at hand . People will start waivering to the other side because it will seem as those its more about "illegal download's" then censorship .
I would be all for a boycott of certain industry's and companies , etc... And i truly think the impact would be felt harder if it was more targeted boycotting then such a broad blanket of the entertainment industry . Think bank of america as a good example of targeted protest that grew awareness to the cause.

A bit of a rant , and im sure will be torn apart , however like i said , im not opposed to a boycott but this in its current state i can't see the mass appeal much less myself getting around it . Feel free to inlighten me im certainly looking for a reason to see why this would do more good then bad .
Posted on Reply
#13
erocker
by: qubit
I haven't heard anything officially either. However, it's likely not too different to mine, as TPU and every other forum would be firmly in the crosshairs of any SOPA style legislation. Anyway, I'm not the only one reporting ths stuff, there's bta's report on SOPA just before mine, for example.

Anyway, I don't see why you're unhappy about how I reported this. I reported it in a neutral manner (with a fair dollop of ironic humour about people who don't make backups ;)) and just added my take at the end. It looks like some people want the lobotomized BBC style bland reporting, while others prefer mine. Sorry peeps, can't please everyone with such diametrically opposed viewpoints.

Also, you didn't get just a couple of paragraphs, but instead you got a well-written, detailed article with lots of further reading at the end. That's good value for the reader my friend. :toast:
Never said I was unhappy about it. I'd rather have good reporting than lousy opinion filled reporting, yes. But this has nothing to do with the topic at hand so I have no idea what you're going on about. Don't really care either way.
Posted on Reply
#14
tigger
I'm the only one
Read the comments on Reddit, they were retards running it, it was inevitable they would be caught. If you are going to run a site like that, at least try and make it seem legit instead of sending emails that are interceptible stating the fact that you are doing illegal things. Idiots derserved it.
Posted on Reply
#15
dirtyferret
by: _JP_
There we go, a completely reasonable argument. :rolleyes:
thank you, see how much better life would be with reason. ;)

I don't see how anyone would defend people who steal copyright material unless they themselves do it. All the excuses I hear are complete BS.

All I am hurting is a big company
- no you are hurting the employees who end up getting layed-off or get no bonus checks. The big company still makes their money and cuts cost (labor being their highest cost) to reach their objectives. If you really want to hurt a big-company, go rob their executives. At least that takes balls (rather then hiding behind a computer monitor) and it will give you some prison cred when you go the big house.

it costs too much to buy games
- it's called supply and demand. yes $60 games are outrageous but gamers are getting older and most have jobs so they can afford it. wait for STEAM sales or join gamefly. start a petition to stop purchasing $60 games....or leave mom's basement and flip some burgers.

there is no demo - actually music is demoed everyday on the radio and all DD providers have 10 second clips so there is no excuse there. Movies and software all get reviewed by professionals and fan boys. games get pirated based on popularity not lack of a demo. Every study has proven that, demos do not increase or decrease pirating of game. No one pirates a game that sucks even though it has no demo. Popular games with demos get pirated all the time. That excuses is flat out laughable not to mention every game gets reviewed at launch.
Posted on Reply
#16
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: erocker
Never said I was unhappy about it. I'd rather have good reporting than lousy opinion filled reporting, yes. But this has nothing to do with the topic at hand so I have no idea what you're going on about. Don't really care either way.
So you think my reporting is lousy and opinion filled? Really? Ok, whatever.

I was responding to what you said, which responded to HossHuge's post about reporting style, so I don't see how it's irrelevent? If anyone took things off topic it's him and yourself about how I report the news and TPU's official position on this kind of topic (Black March, SOPA etc).
Posted on Reply
#17
entropy13
by: tigger
Read the comments on Reddit, they were retards running it, it was inevitable they would be caught. If you are going to run a site like that, at least try and make it seem legit instead of sending emails that are interceptible stating the fact that you are doing illegal things. Idiots derserved it.
They weren't "interceptible" emails, they were copies of the emails a Megaupload employee have and were shown to "authorities" in exchange for immunity. Or possible was threatened/blackmailed to give them those copies. We still don't know.
Posted on Reply
#18
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: entropy13
They weren't "interceptible" emails, they were copies of the emails a Megaupload employee have and were shown to "authorities" in exchange for immunity. Or possible was threatened/blackmailed to give them those copies. We still don't know.
Well, if you read TorrentFreak's summary of the indictment, they say that it refers to "an unindicted co-conspirator", which means just what you're thinking of. However, note that the indictment doesn't identify this person or the context, leaving us all guessing. Nice.

In fact, if you read that TorrentFreak summary, you'll see how that indictment states a lot of things without stating the all-important context. Bit iffy if you ask me, but then that's hardly surprising with all this copyright BS is it?
Posted on Reply
#19
erocker
by: qubit
So you think my reporting is lousy and opinion filled? Really? Ok, whatever.
I never said that. Please stop being so defensive, you have no reason to be.
Posted on Reply
#20
dirtyferret
a really good article on why megaload was taken down
http://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-what-made-it-a-rogue-site-worthy-of-destruction-120120/

and my favorite part

In June 2010, it appears that MegaUpload was subjected to a something of a test by the authorities. The company was informed, pursuant to a criminal search warrant from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, that thirty-nine infringing movies were being stored on their servers at Carpathia Hosting in the Eastern District of Virginia.

“A member of the Mega Conspiracy informed several of his co-conspirators at that time that he located the named files using internal searches of their systems. As of November 18, 2011, more than a year later, thirty-six of the thirty-nine infringing motion pictures were still being stored on the servers controlled by the Mega Conspiracy,” the indictment reads.
Posted on Reply
#21
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: erocker
I never said that. Please stop being so defensive, you have no reason to be.
Ok, thankyou very much. :toast: I think we just have epic misunderstandings one way or another :o and I'm happy to be put right. :)
Posted on Reply
#22
tigger
I'm the only one
Whatever, i think they deserved it, I hope they like their new friend Bubba in whatever shithole jail the Americans chuck them into.

Also, it seems to me this is just going to create more traffic for the other file hosting sites that are left, they will not be unhappy at MU's demise you can be sure of that.
Posted on Reply
#23
1freedude
I haven't looked at the rest of the Internet about this situation, but isn't the feds shutting down the site just like shutting down a bank because a drug dealer has money there? I used megaupload... for roms for my phone. I use the bank....to get my paycheck to pay my phone bill.

This Red March will be easy for me. Getting others along will take some work.
Posted on Reply
#24
Steven B
I honestly would only boycott everything but those games.

The indictment, if many of you actually know what one is, is passed down after a secret grand jury is presented evidence. There are rules and regulations that holds the grand jury meeting, and they are almost always used for high profile cases. Evidence is given to the grand jury and this grand jury has the power to ask for testimony as well as see documents. So the purpose of the grand jury is to conduct its own investigations into matters. So if torrent freak is wondering how they got the emails, the grand jury has the power do that type of stuff, on top of that their proceeding are secret, and member who even talks about anything that went on in the grand jury at minimum faces something like 5 years in jail. On top of that the grand jury are all citizens, and well you can't really call them the feds, they are supposedly average citizens and they usually are selected by random. If they think a crime has been committed they pass down an indictment, which really means we think you are guilty and you are going to stand trail for it.

I read that torrent Freak article, it seems like they really did go through the indictment, we will see what happens, but i can say i went to download something from megaupload many times it it said it was gone b/c of copywrite.
Posted on Reply
#25
Hayder_Master
Megaupload & mediaFire & Zshare they are my best, fu*k law if those sites close it will be good news for me, i will think made a site for me and wanna put me in jail, thanks i am already in.
Posted on Reply
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