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Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy 1005

zacharye writes "Federal prosecutors in Virginia have shut down notorious file-sharing site Megaupload.com and charged the service's founder with violating piracy laws. The Associated Press broke the story on Thursday, reporting that the indictment accuses Megaupload.com's owner with costing copyright holders including record labels and movie studios more than $500 million in lost revenue."
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Megaupload.com Shut Down, Founder Charged With Piracy

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  • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:23PM (#38753126)

    The summary doesn't mention it, but none of those indicted or arrested were U.S. citizens or had likely even ever set foot on U.S. soil. Even if you're in another country, you had better make sure you're not violating U.S. law. Here's a full list of those foreigners who foolishly thought they weren't under U.S. jurisdiction (from the DOJ website [justice.gov]):

    Kim Dotcom, aka Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, 37, a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand. Dotcom founded Megaupload Limited and is the director and sole shareholder of Vestor Limited, which has been used to hold his ownership interests in the Mega-affiliated sites.

    Finn Batato, 38, a citizen and resident of Germany, who is the chief marketing officer;

    Julius Bencko, 35, a citizen and resident of Slovakia, who is the graphic designer;

    Sven Echternach, 39, a citizen and resident of Germany, who is the head of business development;

    Mathias Ortmann, 40, a citizen of Germany and resident of both Germany and Hong Kong, who is the chief technical officer, co-founder and director;

    Andrus Nomm, 32, a citizen of Estonia and resident of both Turkey and Estonia, who is a software programmer and head of the development software division;

    Bram van der Kolk, aka Bramos, 29, a Dutch citizen and resident of both the Netherlands and New Zealand, who oversees programming and the underlying network structure for the Mega conspiracy websites.

    Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and van der Kolk were arrested today in Auckland, New Zealand, by New Zealand authorities, who executed provisional arrest warrants requested by the United States. Bencko, Echternach and Nomm remain at large.

    • by alphatel ( 1450715 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:24PM (#38753142)
      Most will confuse this with a SOPA action, which will make it that much easier to hype.
      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:31PM (#38753274)

        Actually, this is a good argument for why we don't need SOPA/PIPA.

        • by ackthpt ( 218170 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:40PM (#38753408) Homepage Journal

          Actually, this is a good argument for why we don't need SOPA/PIPA.

          My thinking exactly.

          Present laws should be shown to fail before new laws, which are effectively wrecking balls to swat mosquitos, are enacted.

          Timing is certainly insteresting. Is this meant to underscore that point? Could be...

          • by SomePgmr ( 2021234 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:07PM (#38753928) Homepage
            It'll all be in the spin.

            Murdoch* et al. will point at it as, "See! This kind of thing is killing American business!"

            The other side will say, "Doh. You used what legal muscle you already had, which is already abusive."

            * If you didn't see him squirm on Twitter yesterday, you're missing out.
          • by Sancho ( 17056 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:08PM (#38753964) Homepage

            I think the "failure" is that the shutdown and arrest couldn't be done without due process. SOPA/PIPA eliminates a great deal of due process for the initial shutdown.

            Just consider how long megaupload's been around. If one could just mail a letter to their DNS provider to get it shut down, you can bet it would have happened long ago.

            • by genjix ( 959457 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @07:03PM (#38754922)

              Do not stand for this flagrant abuse of our farcical democracy!

              Megaupload has been forcibly closed by the FBI. In a sickening undermining of the people’s will, they are making an example out of an historic, legitimate, useful and well-known website. This is a prophetic glimmer of the coming war against pure free speech- the internet.

              This happened once before. Here in the UK, the IWF (Internet Watch Foundation) is a censoring system for the internet. In 1996, the Metropolitan Police started requesting the banning of illegal content by ISPs in the UK. With veiled sly threats they asked that ISPs engage in ‘self-enforcement’ rather than forcing them to enforce the law on them.

              Most of the ISPs complied except Demon internet. Demon was a British ISP that contributed to the Open Source community, ran several IRC servers and were pioneers of their time. They objected on the grounds of it being “unacceptable censorship”. A few days later, a tabloid expose appeared in the Observer newspaper alleging that the director of Demon was supplying paedophiles with photographs of children being sexually abused.

              Then the police let it be known that during that summer, they were planning a crack-down on an unspecified ISP as a test-case (translation: making an example of them). Between the threats and pressure, the IWF was formed- a supposedly voluntary organisation but in fact a fake-charity and a quango. The IWF is a disgraceful secretive group with an awful corrupt history and no public oversight.

              Now we see the same tactic has been used against Megaupload. They are using the threat of violence to coerce companies, how the British police did to create their own laws. The SOPA legislation did not go their way, so they have resulted to immoral tactics of repression.

              From ACTA which is decided behind closed European chambers, the DEA which was pushed through undemocratically at alarming speed before elections, evil La Hadopi and now SOPA/PIPA in the US, there is nowhere to run. The nepotists are determined to push through these legislation. At all costs. This is not about piracy- it never was and will not do a thing. It is about control.

              We have built a tool. For all their false talk of democracy we have for the first time in history reached this epochal moment. Self determination. If they truly believed in democracy, we could have a direct-democracy tomorrow. The tools exist. Instead we see this flagrant deception. It has become acceptable for politicians to cater to the greatest common denominator. We let them off the hook on the truth like Cameron pretending to be pro-NHS or Obama pretending to be Christian because it is for voters. Since when did it become acceptable to lie! Now today we see this limp-wristed hand wringing by the US president about how he will veto SOPA. Oh shut up.

              Was it Gordan Brown who said that voting levels were dangerously low in the below-30s because youngsters today are apolitical. He wanted mandatory attendance for voters. No, we are not apolitical, we are sick of your lies and deceit. This generation is probably more political than any generation in history. In the 80s, only 5% of people in the US were members of organisations. In the 90s, 70% of Americans belonged to some kind of organisation. People are mobilising and prescient of issues.

              Libel law is atrociously bad in the UK. Payouts are 10 times greater than in main-land Europe and you get a situation where billionaires use law firms like Carter-Ruck to keep news publishers (which are poor) in court and bleed them dry. Time magazine did an undercover piece of reporting and was sued for libel. They won the case but it ended up costing them $1 million. That’s effectively a fine of $1 million for undercover journalism.

              Of course when the law is broken, what do we do? Make more laws! That is why California has brought in anti-SLAPP legislation.

              Patent law is so stupid and I won’t even go there.

              Copyright is fascist. I find it revolting that

              • by Eravnrekaree ( 467752 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @08:51PM (#38756368)

                I strongly agree, that, if especially, megauploads owners have been arrested due to material that users of the site had uploaded, this is a very ominous sign, really. If this is so, it will mean that it will be basically impossible to run a user generated content service such as youtube in the USA. it is impossible for site owners to police their sites, to arrest people for what others out of their control have done really brings us to a new letter of fascist insanity and is deeplyu worrying and concerning, it is clearly an outright attack on free speech in the US and will make operating any kind of site that allows for free speech, legitimate content, virtually impossible, as it would take only one illegal post which site owners have no way of being able to prevent, to give the feds a pretext to carry out their gestapo type sweep.

                We should all be very concerned and worried about this ominous and dark development.

                It seems like they are already trying to enforce SOPA before it has even been passed.

                • by Xest ( 935314 ) on Friday January 20, 2012 @05:36AM (#38759038)

                  "I strongly agree, that, if especially, megauploads owners have been arrested due to material that users of the site had uploaded, this is a very ominous sign"

                  It's worse than this, this is a bunch of non-US citizens, situated outside America, running a business from Hong Kong, having their international domain names hijacked.

                  Worse, MegaUpload is even used by some businesses, I know a handful of companies first hand, but I suspect there are thousands, who use it as a method to distribute large, legitimate files.

                  This goes beyond any US action that has ever happened before as the US in this case has effectively just shut down a legitimate foreign business that it simply does not like, and has had arrested everyone who works at that business.

                  This can now only be resolved by the following two things:
                  - Countries must start ignoring US requests for arrest of their citizens where the crime has happened outside the US and/or is not illegal in the country of arrest

                  - The US must lose all control of the internet, it must now be internationally controlled by something like the ITU where majority consensus is needed globally for this kind of thing to be possible such that no single country or small group of countries can impose their will on the rest of the internet

                  America is now effectively just unilaterally deciding which businesses are allowed to do business on the internet, and the worst part, foreign sovereign nations are allowing it to happen.

            • by fishbowl ( 7759 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @08:54PM (#38756390)

              They didn't just want to shut down the site! They wanted to prove that the operators knew that what they were doing was illegal, and that they were taking deliberate steps to hide the money! That is central to the indictment, that they knew (because they were told!) that they hosted infringing content, and that they did not comply with removing (very specific) items from a (very specific) server. There's a lot more to the indictment, which I encourage everyone to read before they take an activist position.

              http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204616504577171180266957116.html?mod=WSJ_hp_LEFTTopStories [wsj.com]

          • by cpu6502 ( 1960974 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @07:51PM (#38755666)

            I think the timing had less to do with SOPA, and more to do with last month's brou-haha over Megaupload's yanked video on youtube.

            After the judge slapped down Universal Music(?) and said they can't censor ads just because they don't like them, the lawyers probably called the politicians and threatened not to fund their upcoming 2012 campaigns. The politicians called Justice Department and demanded action.

            Thus action happened. And megaupload was shutdown. And now Universal is celebrating with glee because they' lost the initial battle, but won the war.

        • by Hentes ( 2461350 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:27PM (#38754254)

          It is a very good argument why people outside the US should still care about SOPA/PIPA.

    • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:27PM (#38753182)

      SOPA might as well be called iDMCA because it basically takes the DMCA Takedown system to an international level. (I.E. If a TLD won't take down a piracy site, ban the whole TLD from the US Internet.) Maybe what we should trade for that is a punitive damages clause added for incorrect DMCA letters.

    • But they used server located in the US.

      If you stand in Mexico and use a remote control car to rob a bank in the US, the US will come after you..and visa versa.

    • by Skarecrow77 ( 1714214 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:33PM (#38753298)

      and people think Ron Paul is the crazy one for wanting America's fingers out of other country's pies.

      This sort of thing is going to spark widespread international hatred for the United States. No, not the general dislike that many countries have for us now, but honest-to-god hatred. Look what good things came out of that situation in the mideast.

    • by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:33PM (#38753302) Journal

      The indictment was returned in the Eastern District of Virginia, which claimed jurisdiction in part because some of the alleged pirated materials were hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Va.

      To play devil's advocate here: most Slashdot readers contend that music and movie industries should stop complaining and instead "adapt their business models", because their world has been irrevocably changed by technology. You could also say that that same technology has very much changed the way criminals do their dirty work, by allowing a person in one country to administer a server or hack a system on the other side of the world, and law enforcement officials need to adapt accordingly.

    • by hawks5999 ( 588198 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:35PM (#38753348)
      If you are going to be accused of piracy, hope that you live in one of these non-extradition treaty countries: Bhutan Botswana Brunei Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Cape Verde Central African Republic Chad China Comoros Djibouti Equatorial Guinea Ethiopia Gabon Guinea Guinea Bissau Indonesia Iran Ivory Coast Jordan Kuwait Laos Lebanon Libya Madagascar Mali Maldives Mauritania Mongolia Morocco Mozambique Nepal Niger Oman Qatar Russia Rwanda Samoa Sao Tome e Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Somalia Sudan Syria Togo Tunisia Uganda United Arab Emirates Vanuatu Vietnam Yemen Yemen South Zaire
  • by LostCluster ( 625375 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:23PM (#38753130)

    Anybody surprised by this story must be new here. File Lockers like MP3.com have been shut down regularly for ages now. You can't have an online database of content that isn't secured right...

  • right. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@NOSpAm.yahoo.com> on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:24PM (#38753146) Homepage Journal

    "holders including record labels and movie studios more than $500 million in lost revenue."
    my ass.

    • Re:right. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anrego ( 830717 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:29PM (#38753230)

      I was actually surprised by that figure. It actually seems low given the people who came up with it.

      Considering the past history of ludicrously high damage claims and the huge amount of infringing content they probably actually have, I figured they'd be making up new words to describe the number they came up with...

  • Dick Morris (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:25PM (#38753156)

    It almost comes off as intentional that this occurred the day after the SOPA protests. It looks like the battles over copyright infringement are finally coming to a head. This will all get resolved one way or another.

    Dick Morris is a former Clinton advisor and a regular Fox News commentator, but he actually wrote what I think is a rational, well-worded message about everything that's been happening:


    Dear Friend,

    The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is just the kind of bill that could cripple Internet freedom in the name of a good cause. Everybody agrees that we need to battle online piracy of movies, books, TV shows and such. If piracy spreads, nobody will create anything because their work will be pirated as soon as it is finished.

    But...this legislation, with its draconian enforcement powers, uses an atomic bomb to solve a problem best left to educated action by responsible individuals and normal litigation. The collateral damage from this bill could destroy Internet freedom.

    The bill would let the Justice Department and copyright holders to get court orders against websites they accuse of enabling or encouraging copyright infringement. It could stop search engines from linking to such sites and require service providers to block access to them.

    It should be called the Camel's Nose In the Tent Act (CNITA). It would criminalize the Internet and make search engines the enforcers of copyright laws. It opens the tent to federal regulation and judicial activism that could drive search engines and internet service providers into bankruptcy through excessive court judgments and liability.

    There is a remedy: Public education. None of us wants to kill off artistic creation. Each of us realizes that by abusing the system to get the goodies for free, we risk eliminating the goodies. We don't litter because we don't want to ruin our environment. We don't run red lights because we don't want traffic chaos. We wear seatbelts because we want to live. Law enforcement plays a role, but the greater influence is an educated public.

    Copyright infringers can't make it if we don't buy it. Consumers need to realize that we will kill the golden goose if we steal his eggs! The way to regulate the internet is to use it sensibly and wisely and not to let Congress and the Justice Department in the door.


    Dick Morris

    • Re:Dick Morris (Score:5, Interesting)

      by CRCulver ( 715279 ) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:47PM (#38753558) Homepage

      If piracy spreads, nobody will create anything because their work will be pirated as soon as it is finished.

      I don't find the support of figures who say things like this entirely welcome. It shows a great ignorance of history. Copyright is a fairly recent concept, popping up only 500 years ago and mainly limited to the West. So much of the Western canon -- the Greek and Latin classics, Dante, Chaucer, even Shakespeare, arose in a time when content creators were not compensated for each and every copy (and non-Western traditions contain further riches).

      And there was a lot of copying going on. In ancient Rome, it was common for audience members to transcribe poetry recitals, have many copies generated by amanuenses, and then sold in the marketplace with no money going back to the original author. As far as I know, the sole example of someone complaining about this was Martial in one of his epigrams [amazon.com], and he only had a problem with people passing off his work as their own -- so plagiarism, not "copyright infringement". Content creation flourished without copyright, and even in recent times, when copyright was in full force, so many classic films and musical compositions were produced with a boatload of private patronage or state arts subsidies, so the ability to be paid royalties for each copy made didn't really factor into their creation.

      In order to quicken the rise of an inevitable new economy, it's better that people just say straight out that copyright is an untenable concept and not a moral universal. No more of this wishy-washy "Piracy should be fought, but this law goes too far."

    • Re:Dick Morris (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Fned ( 43219 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:05PM (#38753892) Journal

      Everybody agrees that we need to battle online piracy of movies, books, TV shows and such. If piracy spreads, nobody will create anything because their work will be pirated as soon as it is finished.

      That's rational and well-worded? I disagree. It's boldly irrational, arrogant, and false.

      Movies, books, TV shows, and music all are still operating on a business model that depends wholly on copies being worth something. But copies of data inside computers AREN'T worth something. They are worth nothing, they have no intrinsic value at all.

      Access to the work has value. The creation of the work has value. But copies no longer have value. So bascially we have whole industries that are trying to pay for valuable things by selling their customers something valueless. Econ 101: this is a stupid idea.

      Don't get me wrong, it didn't used to be a stupid idea. It used to be a GREAT idea. But then computers got smart enough and connected enough to make copies of common media worthless, and as if by magic it became a stupid idea, almost overnight. It will remain a stupid idea until the computers aren't smart enough and aren't connected enough.

      Shit like SOPA is not some sort of accident on the road to trying to prop up this broken business model; it's an inevitable side effect of trying to create a chimeric beast called "intellectual property". It's what happens when you try to force the limitations of physical copies onto a virtual object, inevitably fail to do so in a technical way, and are left with no recourse but draconian measures to prevent people from doing the obvious. It's what happens when you try to apply copright-as-written to computers: it breaks the computers.

      Copyright needs to change. Business models need to change. If they don't, running arbitrary code will become a crime, and countries with digital freedom will leave the rest of us scrabbling in the dust.

  • by dkathrens77 ( 1090745 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:27PM (#38753190)
    The timing of this move is surely intended to send a message to anyone who opposes SOPA/PIPA. And that light to the free world, the USA has made it clear "we don't need no steenkin laws"
  • by JaZz0r ( 612364 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:27PM (#38753192)
    The People expressed their opinion about SOPA/PIPA. The Government responds with a resounding, "We don't give a shit."
  • by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:27PM (#38753200) Journal

    Looks strangely familiar [upup-downdown.com].

    In seriousness, why isn't this all over the news? Why just SOPA?

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:28PM (#38753204) Journal
    The very day after uncounted internet sites shut down to protest SOPA/PIPA (which had a profound effect), and some website gets shut down for piracy on the order of a half billion dollars? Darn, if I would've known, I would've had my popcorn and soda ready. Such theatre!
  • Fuck RIAA/MPAA (Score:5, Insightful)

    by esocid ( 946821 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:28PM (#38753206) Journal
    The $500 million figure is based on speculation by the MAFIAA. Looks like we didn't even have to wait for SOPA/PIPA. It's already here.

    I also don't understand how they got the Netherlands to raid their servers...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:28PM (#38753208)

    ...when corrupt laws don't get passed, or even do get passed.
    Not as if they care, they will deal with the backlash later.
    This will get worse if SOPA or anything like it passes.

    I can't wait for the media industry to collapse. Maybe then content creators will realize they don't need the shit labels.

    See you on Tor everybody. It is the only safe place now, but only if everyone gets in on it.
    Hope the media companies love helping terrorism get even more secure, because that is all this will do as they push more and more people to encrypted networks.
    Oh, wait, that won't be a problem, FBI will just get those backdoors and have control of millions of nodes for free.
    Time to blackhole America. Bye.

  • Something fishy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shentino ( 1139071 ) <shentino@gmail.com> on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:28PM (#38753220)

    Interesting that megaupload got nailed so soon after they tried to fight back against UMG's frivolous youtube takedown.

    I smell a rat and suspect someone's trying to avoid giving megaupload an edge in their lawsuit.

  • by DickBreath ( 207180 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:31PM (#38753270) Homepage
    If they can shut down Megaupload without SOPA, then why do they need SOPA again?
  • This is a bummer. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrCrassic ( 994046 ) <deprecated@TEAema.il minus caffeine> on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:32PM (#38753278) Journal
    On one hand, these kinds of sites have made it stupidly easy to host and download all sorts of different data, legal and illegal. It's funny how the powers that be think that shutting these guys down will curb piracy when (a) there are so many ways people can get illegal data and (b) new and more anonymous ones will pop up as the older ones fall.

    On the other hand, it's not a terribly huge loss on the material scheme of things. There are still plenty of other sites that people can use to host data, including wider-range services like Dropbox and Sugarsync. The other funny thing is that Megaupload et. al. did shut down links to any media that infringed on copyright policies, so it's scary to see how far these laws will go. I'm hoping that Dropbox and partners will not start telling people what can/can't be backed up.
  • by DarthVain ( 724186 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:34PM (#38753324)

    Why not 500 Trillion? They're not even trying hard enough anymore...

  • by Gavin Scott ( 15916 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:35PM (#38753350)

    $500M? That's like, what, one .mp3 file these days?


  • Good (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ugen ( 93902 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:37PM (#38753364)

    Megaupload was one of a few (3-4) sites where a cracked copy of my software product was uploaded. They were extremely slow in responding to DMCA request and clearly had interest in continuously providing an obviously illegally obtained copy of the software (because they make money from download fees, essentially re-selling content without paying me). I don't care much for Hollywood, but I do care about software I spend 24/7/365 writing and supporting.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:42PM (#38753450)

      what's the name of your software?

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Interesting)

      by raynet ( 51803 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:44PM (#38753494) Homepage

      How long it took for them to respond to your DMCA takedown letter and was the response time within what the DMCA specifies?

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Funny)

      by microbee ( 682094 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:51PM (#38753640)

      Apparently not 24/7/365 since you are posting on slashdot

  • Safe Harbor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:46PM (#38753532) Homepage

    Is there some reason why the DMCA's safe harbor provisions don't apply to Megaupload, or has the Federal Government decided those provisions are too inconvenient and therefore do not apply? Will Dropbox become the US Government's next target?

  • Next, YouTube (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Animats ( 122034 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @05:51PM (#38753626) Homepage

    Youtube may be next. Once they started putting ads on pirated content, they became an active participant.

  • by tekrat ( 242117 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:00PM (#38753806) Homepage Journal

    And what about the legitmate content that Megaupload was holding? No mention of that by the media... Nope, shut down, no trial, no jury, just executioner.

    Isn't that nice?

    That's like taking down Flickr because some of the photos are copyrighted... Of course, those photos are worth a billion dollars (wink,wink), so it's perfectly OK then to inconvenience the other 34 million people who had legitimate stuff on the site.

    If any of you were hosting legitimate material on Megaupload, and you've now lost access, I suggest immediately filing class action against the government.

  • by Weaselmancer ( 533834 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:34PM (#38754378)

    The United States Department of Justice also filed indictments against Western Digital and Seagate for making hard drives that are capable of holding everything from copyrighted works to child porn. "They should have some mechanism in place to make sure illegal content isn't stored on these devices," an agent representing the DOJ said in a prepared statement today.

  • by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Thursday January 19, 2012 @06:50PM (#38754688) Homepage Journal

    Megaupload was not violating any copyright laws - they had a pretty solid dmca takedown procedure that was quite fast. Most of the 'pirated' stuff you would see that were uploaded were users, you wouldnt be able to see a few days later. They were good at taking down stuff.

    But they were also the biggest. this meant that for every dmca takedown, a few went unnoticed or slowly processed. aaaaaaand fast forward to this - they shut it down and charged for piracy.

    This should tell you EXACTLY what will happen when sopa passes - imagine the sheer violations of sopa law, when entire user generated content, including comments and links have to be reviewed. NO outfit on the internet will be able to do that. NO outfit. if google, microsoft, apple, rackspace, softlayer, verizon, at&t came together to do it, set up facilities covering half of texas for it and in addition and threw the echelon listening array (belongs to nato) and all its worldwide facilities at it, still they wouldnt be able to manage an effective removal of such 'infringing' stuff in acceptable time.

    even china is not able to do it with a huge budget spent on surveillance farms and - mark that - 240,000 employees employed for censoring - quite a lot of them embedded as 'users' in internet cafes and whatnot, to snitch on the users even.

    so it is certain that there is no way in hell any outfit on this planet will be able to NOT violate sopa. every outfit will live in a constant state of varying level if infringement as per sopa.

    what does that mean ? it is a sword of Damocles, hanging over the head of EVERY internet outfit and website out there. if you go out of line in ANY way against the interests of any established private party, - whoa - a sopa complaint. MUCH more effective than suing for endless durations.

    now you see why this sopa thing is useful for censorship, and why it was intended in the first place ?

    these people do not seek to profit over anything. they are making sufficient profits. they know they can make even more profits if they adapted to the internet.

    the problem of these people is CONTROL. internet is uncontrolled. it bothers them. they need the same kind of control they exercise over cable news channels, radios and whatnot. and all these shit are intended precisely for that duration.

    these people want to control you for their own minority's profit. it is no different than dictatorship or enslavement - just the facade in front is different. they are NO longer your compatriots, they are no longer your countrymen, they are no longer your country's citizens. they are your enemies. even if you dont see them as your enemy, they DO see you as their enemy and act accordingly.

    and you are playing in their home ground - as long as you keep all the game rules that allow them to control, ranging from copyright to patents, they will keep being in the advantage - for you will be playing in THEIR home.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"