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
Platibus
by: tigger
Whatever, i think they deserved it, I hope they like their new friend Bubba in whatever shithole jail the Americans chuck them into.
LOL yeah, let them rot in hell for depriving a few million dollars from multimillionaire compaines whose truly talented employees recieve a minimum part of their work's profits, while the executives bathe in money. The guys in charge of Megaupload are just as bad as murderers and rapists, they're clearly damaging in a grave manner the lives of these "hard-working" people! .
Posted on Reply
#2
Aleksander
Do as they the 1st march says and than all things will get worse
They wont use only internet censor, they will hit other things :D
Posted on Reply
#3
danigold
Excellent article.
For my part, I will not consume anything that has to do with audiovisual content, on March and as long as I can. I will only consume articles, news, opinions, from webs like this.
Proposal is a non-violent, and certainly effective. I'm sure this is the way.
Is a good way to f**k these bas**rds, and educate ourself to don't be consumerists, and enjoy other things that don't cost money.
Regards.
Posted on Reply
#4
RuskiSnajper
Only one question

Why not buy games ?


There should be a list which games to avoid, specifically targeting those from the origin as we speak.
Posted on Reply
#5
LAN_deRf_HA
While specifically targeting only the most blatant offenders is how it would be ideally done the nature of the human mind makes that hopelessly ineffective. We have the phrase "KISS" for a reason.
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#6
johnspack
Refuse any media. Join the boycott. I've already started... why wait?
Posted on Reply
#7
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
The evidence they provided in their indictment looks pretty damning but I do see many avenues the defense could effectively take. It'll be interesting how the trial ends, especially if it ends in Dotcom's favor.
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#8
dirtyferret
by: Platibus
LOL yeah, let them rot in hell for depriving a few million dollars from multimillionaire compaines whose truly talented employees recieve a minimum part of their work's profits, while the executives bathe in money. The guys in charge of Megaupload are just as bad as murderers and rapists, they're clearly damaging in a grave manner the lives of these "hard-working" people!
they are not depriving the company from that money, they are depriving all the people who work for those companies of money. they are just as guilty as people who break into your house and steal all your stuff. Those people belong in prison as do these megaupload sum bags and anyone else who pirates copyrighted material.
Posted on Reply
#9
dude12564
by: johnspack
Refuse any media. Join the boycott. I've already started... why wait?
Same here. :]

I like your sig ("Refuse any media. Join the boycott.")

I'll try to link it to this article in my sig :D
Posted on Reply
#10
johnspack
Then those people need to go and work for companies that produce quality material, instead of the garbage being fed to us. I don't feel sorry for them. Most media companies are crooked, and everyone knows it. What a crock.
Posted on Reply
#11
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
If u r going to use a service offered by someone you better know what kind of business model they run. Dotcom was already busted for insider trading. Now had u paid for the service then u can sue for damages if u lost stuff. Anyone who defends these owners has clearly not been paying attention.
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#12
johnspack
The most amazing part.. all the money spent on sopa legislation ect, and the major media companies about this, probably would have fed every hungry child in north american for the next year or more. amazing. this is more important?
Posted on Reply
#13
STCNE
We should still be supporting indie artists, I know for a fact that a lot of the bands I listen to can't survive on their music alone and they self publish their works. The media blackout should only be for the big record labels/hollywood made content.
Posted on Reply
#14
erocker
The insulting comments that I had to clean up will end now. If anyone continues to display this kind of childish behavior will have their posting privlidges revoked.

Thank you.
Posted on Reply
#15
w3b
Collateral Damage is a fair compromise.

by: STCNE
We should still be supporting indie artists, I know for a fact that a lot of the bands I listen to can't survive on their music alone and they self publish their works. The media blackout should only be for the big record labels/hollywood made content.
As stated by another poster earlier in the thread, any sort of boycott against media publishers will have some collateral damage. However, I think a little harm to them in the short term for the greater benefit of society at large globally (given how US law trickles down to other countries) for the long term is a reasonable and fair compromise.

As such; I'm taking part in this boycott (not that I haven't been for the last 3 years thanks to 2nd hand sales of items). :cool:
Posted on Reply
#16
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: STCNE
We should still be supporting indie artists, I know for a fact that a lot of the bands I listen to can't survive on their music alone and they self publish their works. The media blackout should only be for the big record labels/hollywood made content.
You're probably right about targeting it. However, getting people to know exactly what to boycott and what not to is another matter. Especially if there's gonna be some sort of public list maintained, I can imagine how any website that does so is gonna be a target for ruthless and uncompromising censorship, the law be damned. Hence, the best option to me seems to be to just stop buying everything for one month.
Posted on Reply
#17
pr0n Inspector
If you ask me, the biggest reason that MU is the only one targeted: its owner is a convicted douche.
Posted on Reply
#18
random
by: pr0n Inspector
If you ask me, the biggest reason that MU is the only one targeted: its owner is a convicted douche.
Yeah apparently they looked like money laundering kingpins because of how they spent their money. It was also said that they were the least smartest company compared to the other file-sharing sites despite MU being one of the richest. Why? No idea but I do have a few personal assumptions one being their use of megavideo for streaming copyrighted content from their users.
Posted on Reply
#19
tigger
I'm the only one
by: Platibus
LOL yeah, let them rot in hell for depriving a few million dollars from multimillionaire compaines whose truly talented employees recieve a minimum part of their work's profits, while the executives bathe in money. The guys in charge of Megaupload are just as bad as murderers and rapists, they're clearly damaging in a grave manner the lives of these "hard-working" people! .
The people running MU were bathing in money, have you seen dotcom's house, did you see all the expensive cars they confiscated. They were obviously making lots of money by committing obviously illegal activity, they got caught, what is the problem. Anyone who defends them is probably a pirate who used MU for the purpose that they were closed down for.

Its just bad luck for all you guys that had legit files stored on it, but there is no point crying about it now, MU is gone and the idiots running it got what they deserved.
Posted on Reply
#20
digibucc
by: tigger
Anyone who defends them is probably a pirate who used MU for the purpose that they were closed down for.

Its just bad luck for all you guys that had legit files stored on it,
i don't care about MU, but how is this logical to you?
Posted on Reply
#21
tigger
I'm the only one
by: digibucc
i don't care about MU, but how is this logical to you?
Why Defend them, they were obviously making money by hosting/sharing pirated content. Anyone who defends them must think it is ok to share/distribute pirated material. They were not just some innocent file hosting company, that much is clear.

Also its pretty clear, it is a shame for anyone who had legit files stored there.
Posted on Reply
#22
digibucc
yeah sorry i read "defend them" and thought more ... "get upset about this" for some reason. reading fail. people who had legitimate files have a right to be upset but not defend the company's illegal practices. i agree. my bad...
Posted on Reply
#23
WhiteLotus
Poor article, and this "Black March" wont last two seconds.
Posted on Reply
#25
tigger
I'm the only one
by: digibucc
yeah sorry i read "defend them" and thought more ... "get upset about this" for some reason. reading fail. people who had legitimate files have a right to be upset but not defend the company's illegal practices. i agree. my bad...
No problem and no offense taken at all :)
Posted on Reply
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