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
Aleksander
I just got a news that tomorrow will not work google and facebook :D
Posted on Reply
#2
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: WhiteLotus
Poor article
In your very humble opinion of course. ;) I'd like to see you top it. :laugh: Now quit trolling.
Posted on Reply
#3
WhiteLotus
by: qubit
In your very humble opinion of course. ;) I'd like to see you top it. :laugh: Now quit trolling.
You fail to realise that even google itself is exactly the same as MegaUpload. You fail to realise that there was HUGE volumes of illegal material on MegaUpload, from childporn to who knows what.

You are so obsessed with sticking two fingers up to the government that you have no clue as to what this means. You think that because company "X" makes lots of money then they are somehow screwing the rest of us over. You fail to realise that it was you that helped them get that big in the first place, and are now throwing your rattle out of the pram because you can't get what you want.

Whilst I don't agree with SOPA etc, I do agree that something needs to be done to curb the blatant theft of property through an electronic method. If this was a raid on a DVD store and all the DVDs were stolen what would your opinion be? "Lock up the theives" or "Support the theives, go rob a DVD store"

Since you seem to be the only one on TPU that writes any opinion based news on the topic concerning piracy, and your views heavily sway to supporting piracy, then it reflects badly on TPU and quite frankly, I am of the opinion that appointing you as a news caster was a big mistake.
No moderator, staff member, or news editor should promote or condemn anything. It is not their job to do so.
Posted on Reply
#4
Tatty_One
Super Moderator
Please refrain from specific comments about news reporting styles, news material and personal feelings about individual news contributors, feel free to comment on specifics to THIS report posted, all non specific feedback to this item should be posted here.....

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69318
Posted on Reply
#5
Platibus
by: tigger
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.
Yeah, I just read about that. Perhaps the claims of money laundring are true. In that case, I'll be glad to see these guys behind bars for a long time, organized crime is something I despise beyond words.
Posted on Reply
#7
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Surprise surprise. This guy used legit file sharing as a front for his illegal activities. I bet a lot of people right here on TPU even contributed in a way to his ill gotten gains. People came to his defense so quickly without questioning. Pretty sad state if you ask me. I am glad megauplad is shutdown and if you boycott buying things in March over this then you need to go outside and read a book for once because your brain ain't working right.
Posted on Reply
#8
entropy13
Filesonic is shuttered as well.

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/filesonic-shutters-another-file-sharing-site-bites-the-dust/67670


Summary:
MegaUpload
Closed.

FileServe
Deleting multiple files. Closed affiliate program.

FileJungle
(Owned by FileServe) Deleting multiple files. Testing out blocking some USA IP addresses.

UploadStation
(Owned by FileServe) Deleting multiple files. Testing out blocking some USA IP addresses.

FileSonic
Sharing disabled. Closed affiliate program. Deleting files and accounts.

VideoBB
Closed affiliate program.

Uploaded.to
Banned USA IP addresses.

FilePost
Started suspending accounts with infringing material (doing what Hotfile did)

VideoZer
Closed affiliate program.

4shared
Deleting multiple files.
Posted on Reply
#9
xenocide
by: HammerON
A little off topic, but according to [H] he was the number one multiplayer in MW:3:
http://www.hardocp.com/news/2012/01/22/kim_dotcom_1_on_fbi_pirate_list_modern_warfare_player
A long time ago he apparently was a "top" Quake 2 player. I guess he was an admin in a league he ran, and used to ban people that beat him. Not sure if that's 100% true, but I read it on a couple GamingTech-Oriented sites.

The guy was an asshole, and was probably doing tons of illegal shit. He was leasing his house because the NZ Gov't wouldn't let him buy the land for failing his "morals" or "good character" test that they make all land purchasers take. His charges range from Rackateering to Insider Trading. Piracy wasn't the only motive, it's just the only one people cared about.
Posted on Reply
#10
entropy13
This is why megaupload was really shut down.

Quoting a user on torrentfreak[quote]Megaupload INADVERTENTLY caused this by offering artists 90% of their earnings through the use of Megabox.com. Hollywood shit its pants and used their attack dogs to bring it down quick.
Artists were really going to get the cash they deserved. Artists started to sign up and the RIAA/MPAA immediately had to stop this. This whole thing would eliminate the RIAA/MPAA completely. Completely eliminate the middle man. This was all about destroying the progression of technology. They are trying to cripple the internet now. They don't want a internet business model. They don't want to change. They want the internet to shut down so they can force you to watch tv and buy magazines again still. Controlled mediums. Filtered and monitored content. Censored to the neck.[/quote]"Megaupload INADVERTENTLY caused this by offering artists 90% of their earnings through the use of Megabox.com."
Posted on Reply
#11
Drone
Filehosting will be dead soon. I bet they would love to kill filesharing too. So all media and information will go through their hands.
Posted on Reply
#12
erocker
by: entropy13
"Megaupload INADVERTENTLY caused this by offering artists 90% of their earnings through the use of Megabox.com."
Is there any kind of concrete information with the Megabox thing? Links, sources, etc...
Posted on Reply
#13
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
I am not any kind of happy with mega upload being down. I for one hosted legitimate files on that site. I really havent lost anything but instead its more of a hassle since some of my link sI need to go re change. The issue I have with this is that I already know this will play out for all other file sharing sites. Thats just how it works. All the FBI needs to do is run to the same judge and cry oh noes debbie does dallas is on the following sites


fileserver
mediafire
filedropper
rapidshare
fileden
filefactory
sendspace
wupload
zshare

now you can cry conspiracy nut all you want if you disagree. l but who is going to stop them? Seriously? I have a problem with how easy it is becomming to do this. I find it a problem because they dont seem to care about collatiral damage. they will take down everything as long as


Big companies make money(universal, sony, THX, lucas arts, some rapper)

average people get to play pillow fight with another inmate for a place to sleep.

Its rediculous. who seriously downloads GB movies off of file servers anyway? Shit takes forever for installers anyway. I wanted to blow my brains out getting a hak pack for nwn that weighs almost 400mb if i saw you getting an 8GB BD rip id smack you in the face.
Posted on Reply
#14
tigger
I'm the only one
I would be interested to know the percentage of files hosted that are actually illegal, though i doubt it will ever be known.
Posted on Reply
#15
entropy13
by: erocker
Is there any kind of concrete information with the Megabox thing? Links, sources, etc...
http://torrentfreak.com/from-rogue-to-vogue-megaupload-and-kim-dotcom-111218/
You would expect that a label representing an artist knows how that artist sounds, no? I think what really happened is that UMG realized how powerful our message was, how potent it would become, and how positively it would affect Mega’s image. From rogue to vogue. They decided to stop us at all costs, that becomes clear when you see the defense strategy of UMG in court. They have nothing and they don’t even care.

UMG knows that we are going to compete with them via our own music venture called Megabox.com, a site that will soon allow artists to sell their creations direct to consumers and allowing artists to keep 90% of earnings.

We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free. Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works. You can expect several Megabox announcements next year including exclusive deals with artists who are eager to depart from outdated business models.
http://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-swizz-beatz-120120/
Beatz’s appointment connected MegaUpload to many of the biggest musicians in the business. This could have come in handy as MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom was working on a plan to crush the major “dinosaur” labels, who he says are not giving musicians what they deserve.

Mega’s competing music venture is/was called Megabox, a site that would soon allow artists to sell their creations directly to consumers. And unlike the traditional record deals where artists get only a fraction of the revenue, with Megabox the musicians would get to keep 90% of earnings.

Needless to say, the raids and arrests today delayed this plan.
http://www.billboard.biz/bbbiz/industry/digital-and-mobile/megaupload-launches-megabox-online-locker-1005730552.story
http://www.prefixmag.com/news/megaupload-launches-music-service-megabox/60024/
http://www.digitalmusicnews.com/permalink/2011/111221airvinyl
Posted on Reply
#16
m1dg3t
I hate censorship, greedy capitalist pig's. What's a few file's between friend's? We still pay for 99% of it
Posted on Reply
#17
pr0n Inspector
by: Solaris17
I am not any kind of happy with mega upload being down. I for one hosted legitimate files on that site. I really havent lost anything but instead its more of a hassle since some of my link sI need to go re change. The issue I have with this is that I already know this will play out for all other file sharing sites. Thats just how it works. All the FBI needs to do is run to the same judge and cry oh noes debbie does dallas is on the following sites


fileserver
mediafire
filedropper
rapidshare
fileden
filefactory
sendspace
wupload
zshare

now you can cry conspiracy nut all you want if you disagree. l but who is going to stop them? Seriously? I have a problem with how easy it is becomming to do this. I find it a problem because they dont seem to care about collatiral damage. they will take down everything as long as


Big companies make money(universal, sony, THX, lucas arts, some rapper)

average people get to play pillow fight with another inmate for a place to sleep.

Its rediculous. who seriously downloads GB movies off of file servers anyway? Shit takes forever for installers anyway. I wanted to blow my brains out getting a hak pack for nwn that weighs almost 400mb if i saw you getting an 8GB BD rip id smack you in the face.
That is exactly how theses sites make money. Try to make you pay for premium account. And yes, MANY people use these sites to upload and download huge HDrip movies and games. Pirate sites are littered with hundreds of links and there are even automatic downloaders out there. I'd wager that most of the paying users are pirates. Like Usenet.
Posted on Reply
#18
xenocide
That Megabox idea sounds exactly like the solution to Piracy woes from an artists perspective--too bad artists aren't the ones hunting down Pirates, it's the stupid record labels...
Posted on Reply
#19
entropy13
Judge Delays Megaupload Bail Decision, More Site Operators Arrested
In a New Zealand court today, a judge delayed the decision to grant or deny bail to Kim Dotcom, the larger than life founder of Megaupload.com. The prosecutor said that since multi-millionaire Dotcom had multiple identities, four dozen credit cards and a history of “fleeing criminal charges” he represented a flight risk “on the extreme end of the scale”. In the meantime, two other site operators were arrested in Europe.

Last Friday, the founder of MegaUpload, Kim Dotcom, was denied bail in an extradition hearing in New Zealand.

Dotcom, who was raided by 76 armed police in helicopters the day before, is wanted in the United States alongside other key MegaUpload employees on racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering charges.

Today, he reappeared in court again. Dotcom denied charges of copyright infringement and money laundering and said that he was the victim of a campaign to paint him in the worst possible light.
On the other side of the world, two other Megaupload operatives have been arrested in Europe. Although currently unnamed, they are believed to be Julius Bencko, 35, Mega’s graphics designer from Slovakia and Andrus Nomm, 32, programmer and head of the development from Estonia.
Even the graphics designer has been arrested!
In the meantime, an immigration scandal is forming around Dotcom’s New Zealand residency. This week authorities there confirmed that it had taken Dotcom’s colorful past into consideration before giving him permanent residency in 2010 – but only after he’d invested NZ$10 million in government bonds.
Opps NZ government.
Posted on Reply
#20
Drone
Petition Seeks Probe of MPAA 'Bribery' Over SOPA
A petition to investigate alleged bribery of politicians by the Motion Picture Association of America was created Saturday at the activist website "We the People" by a Texas man.
....
"A so-called 'blackout' is yet another gimmick, albeit a dangerous one, designed to punish elected and administration officials who are working diligently to protect American jobs from foreign criminals," he added.
So said Chris Dodd, MPAA CEO



http://www.pcworld.com/article/248552/petition_seeks_probe_of_mpaa_bribery_over_sopa.html#tk.hp_new
He accused the technology companies behind the protest of "resorting to stunts that punish their users or turn them into their corporate pawns." He declared that the protest "is an irresponsible response and a disservice to people who rely on them for information and use their services. It is also an abuse of power given the freedoms these companies enjoy in the marketplace today."
Posted on Reply
#21
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Back in my day, if we wanted to transport unlicensed music to our friends we used FTPS. Setting up an FTP server takes all of 5 minutes and you have complete control over who has access. Why anyone thought putting their warez into an online service was a good idea is beyond me.
Posted on Reply
#22
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: Easy Rhino
Why anyone thought putting their warez into an online service was a good idea is beyond me.
Duh! +1
Posted on Reply
#23
pr0n Inspector
by: Easy Rhino
Back in my day, if we wanted to transport unlicensed music to our friends we used FTPS. Setting up an FTP server takes all of 5 minutes and you have complete control over who has access. Why anyone thought putting their warez into an online service was a good idea is beyond me.
1. Not everyone has or want to maintain a server.
2. Some people make money on file sharing sites. That's right, you can actually earn money or at least points (which can be used to buy premium codes) by sharing files. In this case every download counts.
3. Usenet binary groups. It's where most wares came from and it's also a bunch of servers that you have no control over.
Posted on Reply
#24
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
by: pr0n Inspector
1. Not everyone has or want to maintain a server.
2. Some people make money on file sharing sites. That's right, you can actually earn money or at least points (which can be used to buy premium codes) by sharing files. In this case every download counts.
3. Usenet binary groups. It's where most wares came from and it's also a bunch of servers that you have no control over.
1. It is easy.
2. Make money of legal file sharing is fine. How many of those people are out there. :rolleyes:
3. I use Usenet for DOWNLOADING not for sharing. FTPS is excellent for sharing.
Posted on Reply
#25
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
by: Easy Rhino
1. It is easy.
2. Make money of legal file sharing is fine. How many of those people are out there. :rolleyes:
3. I use Usenet for DOWNLOADING not for sharing. FTPS is excellent for sharing.
so you were in high school using FTP servers with all your friends? or school in general? I call BS Thats would be like no bro dont hand me that floppy i dont want to get busted by the feds. instead lets all go home and ill set up a VPN because were 17 and totally think like that.

As for usenet and news groups in general I dont condone that. It makes 0 sense when trying to argue mega upload. people that use usenet and other groups for "downloading" wether it be for a corporation or a web site is still stealing. You wouldnt be downloading it if you already owned the software right?
Posted on Reply
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