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: www.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).


Add your own comment

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

#1
Easy Rhino
Linux Advocate
Solaris17 said:
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?
Hate to sound old or elitist but we did things differently 15 years ago because we had to. Bootlegging was underground and sharing music and games was tough when most still had 56k connections. Ftps was the most secur and most reliable way of sharing before xdcc bots came on the scene.

I'm not saying that piracy is fine if you only download, I am just saying that if you are going to do it don't put it up using an online service and expect it to be around when the Feds bust the service. I hope people ditch online services and go underground. The scene was far better controlled then.
Posted on Reply
#3
johnspack
There is nothing of value to download, or purchase. Starve the media. Make them work for our dollars. Refuse all Media. Join the Boycott!
Posted on Reply
#4
erocker
Senior Moderator
Solaris17 said:
so you were in high school using FTP servers with all your friends?
We weren't using FTP servers but we were using some pretty bad drugs, hanging out in the park, going to punk shows.. It was way better than doing anything on the internet. CD-R's didn't really come to be yet so we were just dubbing tapes. Nobody cared.
Posted on Reply
#5
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
erocker said:
We weren't using FTP servers but we were using some pretty bad drugs, hanging out in the park, going to punk shows.. It was way better than doing anything on the internet. CD-R's didn't really come to be yet so we were just dubbing tapes. Nobody cared.
tsk erocker, you were a bad boy. ;)
Posted on Reply
#6
erocker
Senior Moderator
qubit said:
tsk erocker, you were a bad boy. ;)
Yes I was. I didn't steal from others though. ;)
Posted on Reply
#7
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Just bumping this thread as a reminder of this boycott.

Wear the avatar and boycott Big Media in March!
Posted on Reply
#8
erocker
Senior Moderator
I certainly will not. :)
Posted on Reply
#9
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
erocker said:
I certainly will not. :)
I perfectly respect that. :toast:

And I expect everyone else to respect others' right to boycott or not to boycott.
Posted on Reply
#10
Goodman
I wonder how long it will take them to come after individual after they "finish" taking down P2P sites?

Don't care much of what the US does in it own country but when they go put their noses in other country that is when it's going to far & they wonder after that why some country hate them , don't they ever learned?
Posted on Reply
#11
alexsubri
I wonder what right does USSA have to go to another country and shut them down? How would we like it if China shut down our ISPs/.com's?
Posted on Reply
#12
Oxford
Two lessons from the Megaupload seizure

Greenwald
SOPA opponents were confused and even shocked when they learned that the very power they feared the most in that bill — the power of the U.S. Government to seize and shut down websites based solely on accusations said:
It’s behavior like Chris Dodd’s that makes it rational not only to be cynical about our political culture, but outright jaded. What makes Dodd’s shilling for this censorship law so galling is that, during the 2008 presidential campaign, he postured as the candidate who would devote himself first and foremost to defending core Constitutional freedoms and civil liberties.

Now, a mere three years later, he is peddling his influence in Washington — assembled during his 35 years in Congress — on behalf of a bill that, as several law professors in The Stanford Law Review recently wrote, “not only violates basic principles of due process by depriving persons of property without a fair hearing and a reasonable opportunity to be heard, it also constitutes an unconstitutional abridgment of the freedom of speech protected by the First Amendment” (Constitutional law professor Laurence Tribe has argued the same).

Furthermore, one of the bill’s chief Senate sponsors is a liberal Democrat from Vermont, Pat Leahy, who during the Bush years flamboyantly depicted himself as a stalwart defender of Constitutional liberties — and whosetop 3 campaign contribution sources [are] lawyers, entertainment industry, lobbyists.”

Those industries are, of course, also major donors to Leahy’s House GOP counterpart. It’s all redolent of how Howard Dean quickly converted himself from a righteous presidential candidate who inspired large numbers of young Americans into little more than a paid shill who exploits his political celebrity by reciting the script of whichever political interests are paying him the most.

In the face of pervasive, sleazy conduct like this, it’s not only tempting to be jaded about partisan activism: it’s rational. Watching Chris Dodd and Pat Leahy join equally compromised Republicans in crusading for an Internet censorship bill ... reveals most of what one needs to know about how the political class functions and who owns and controls it.

In his SOPA advocacy, Dodd has resorted to holding up Chinese censorship as the desired model, mouthing the slogans of despots, and even outright lying. Like virtually all extremist, oppressive bills backed by large industry, SOPA and PIPA have full bipartisan support.

Industry-backed measures do not die even when they prompt massive public opposition that appears to prevent them. They simply slink away to re-tool and return when the opportunity is right. That will definitely happen with SOPA.
Posted on Reply
#13
Oxford
alexsubri said:
I wonder what right does USSA have to go to another country and shut them down? How would we like it if China shut down our ISPs/.com's?
UK Judge Rules Pirate Bay Guilty of Thoughtcrime


If You Thought SOPA Was Bad, Just Wait Until You Meet ACT
A

forbes
Few people have heard of ACTA said:

• ACTA contains global IP provisions as restrictive or worse than anything contained in SOPA and PIPA.

• ACTA spans virtually all of the developed world, threatening the freedom of the internet as well as access to medication and food. The threat is every bit as real for those countries not involved in the process as the signatories themselves.

• ACTA has already been signed by many countries including the US, but requires ratification in the EU parliament.

• ACTA was written and hammered out behind closed doors. While some of the provisions have been taken out of the final US draft, plenty of unknowns still exist. It’s not nearly clear enough how the agreement will affect US laws.

Nor is this the only international agreement in the works.

According to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, there are “other plurilateral agreements, such as the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), which contains a chapter on IP enforcement that would have state signatories adopt even more restrictive copyright measures than ACTA. Similarly, negotiations over TPP are also held in secret and with little oversight by the public or civil society. These initiatives, negotiated without participation from civil society or the public, are an affront to a democratic world order.
Posted on Reply
#14
STCNE
This boycott is kinda funny, I've been boycotting big media for over a year now. Honestly, if the stuff was any good they wouldn't need SOPA in the first place. They're trying to nuke the indie market and silence reviewers if anything.

We need to make sure not to boycott artists without RIAA/MPAA accociation, some of the indie guys are struggling enough as it is, a boycott may be the kiss of death for them leaving us with nothing but hollywood's garbage.
Posted on Reply
#15
Oxford
According to DailyTech, independent artists are already having their work stolen by the RIAA, because the way they got the law to be written -- an independent has to sue to prove that it's their work.

Jason Mick
VI. Selective Enforcement -- How Corporate Interest Write Their Own Rules

Such selective and nonsensical enforcement is common in Washington, D.C. these days. With over $1.9B USD in 2009 [source] funneled in special interest "lobbying dollars" (bribes) to federal politicians, the mess in Washington D.C. is very reflective of the "do as I say not as I do" nature of the federal government's new rulers -- special interests, including corporations.

For example all of this talk about piracy comes from an industry that has pushed Congress and its foreign peers to create laws that allow big musical labels to steal hundreds of millions of dollars from independent artists yearly. Under the current law a big media house can "claim" an independent work as its own and start selling it. The rights holder then has to "prove" that the work is theirs, an arduous process that can take years, as they lose precious revenue.

Big media steals hundreds of millions in copyrighted works annually.
Posted on Reply
#16
johnspack
We also should remember that torrents ect can be used for legal purposes. My fav flight sim is made by 777 Studios, a very small operation that just barely stays afloat. They rely on torrents to distribute the sim demo, to generate more business. This whole torrent thing is stupid.....
Posted on Reply
#19
erocker
Senior Moderator
Funny.. I'm going to see a movie in between my appointments today.
Posted on Reply
#20
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
erocker said:
Funny.. I'm going to see a movie in between my appointments today.
The Vow?
Posted on Reply
#21
erocker
Senior Moderator
Not likely. I won't know until I get there.
Posted on Reply
#22
brandonwh64
Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!
erocker said:
Not likely. I won't know until I get there.
lol I was messing with ya. Act of Valor is suppose to be awesome!
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment