Anorak | will not help Megaupload users get their ‘stolen’ property back will not help Megaupload users get their ‘stolen’ property back

by | 24th, January 2012

MEGAUPLOAD.Com, the file-sharing website registered in Hong Kong, is closed by the FBI and its multi-millionaire founder, Kim Dotcom (aka Kim Schmitz), arrested by the FBI and the Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand in the panic room at his New Zealand mansion on his 38th birday.

Kim Dotcom is not a US citizen. He holds residency in New Zealand, Finland and Germany.

Kim Dotcom was honest with the Kiwi authorities and passed the good character and health requirements for New Zealand residency.

New Zealand’s Dominion Post newspaper reports that Kim Dotcom was given residency in 2010 under the investor plus category, which requires an investment of at least NZ$10million in New Zealand. Dotcom invested in Government bonds. and its four leaders’ arrest coincided with the internet campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA), aimed at shutting sown anyone who infringes on US anywhere in the world. (More here.) The suspicion is that Kim Dotcom is being made an example of. There has been no trial. The presumption if that Megaupload – a company not based in the US – is guilty.

Wikipedia, Reddit and other sites went “dark” in protest at SOPA And PIPA. They should light up and make lot of noise about the lot of Megaupload.

When Megaupload was taken down the FBI not only switched off any illegal content but legal content, too. Will those users get their own content back? Will the FBI check every single file on the massive site? If it does, then any case could take years to build. Meanwhile, legitimate users who have had their property confiscated / stolen may care to consult their own lawyers. They have been deprived of their right to share – and sharing is what built the internet.

Maybe the copyright licences holders can do their bit. Caught wanting by technology used by people who have only ever known the on-demand digital age, the big entertainment industry is panicking that consumers are not so easily in their control.

Europe’s Digital Agenda Commissioner Neelie Kroes advises them:

“Piracy won’t be minimised until the amount of legally available content is increased. Piracy will always remain, but if the entertainment industries are smart enough they’ll eventually deliver services that make unauthorised downloading obsolete for most people.”

Megaupload is down but Hactivist group Anonymous have created, a file-sharing service similar to apparently based in Russia. Anonymous’ twitter page announces:

“For everyone asking if is legit or not, we don’t know. You will have to test it yourself.”

Anonyupload’s website says it “does not target to become a replacement to”. Anonyupload “is fun and technically interesting”.

“If we have a good economic plan with donations, and that we do not fail as soon as the site is launched, we will do our possible to keep expanding it, but let’s try to not get into a huge system that only works with money.”

It advises Kim Dotcom: “try not to make that amount of money next time and it should be alright.

And if you do fail, cite boardroom failure and see if the government will give you a bailout…

Posted: 24th, January 2012 | In: Key Posts, Technology Comment (1) | TrackBack | Permalink