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"Glad tide is turning on Sopa," Neelie Kroes tweeted. The EU's digital agenda tsar says she favours a less invasive approach. Photograph: Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty The EU's internet tsar has added her voice to resistance to the Stop Online Piracy Act ( Sopa ) in an unusually open comment on US legislation.
Update (11:15 a.m. EST): In Congress's lower chamber, Rep. Lamar Smith, the sponsor of the Stop Online Piracy Act, which activists have opposed along with PIPA, said he would also halt consideration of the bill . "I have heard from the critics and I take seriously their concerns regarding proposed legislation to address the problem of online piracy.
Twitter didn’t actually call Wikipedia “foolish” for its decision to go dark Wednesday in protest of a proposed anti-piracy law, as some breathless blogs reported . What Twitter CEO Dick Costolo actually said is that it would be foolish for his own company to do the same. Pressed by a journalist on whether he would have the cojones to follow Wikipedia’s lead, he said, "That's just silly. Closing a global business in reaction to single-issue national politics is foolish."
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Photograph by Sean Gallup/Getty Images. The United States of America was forged in resistance to collective reprisals—the punishment of many for the acts of few. In 1774, following the Boston Tea Party, the British Parliament passed a series of laws—including the mandated closure of the port of Boston—meant to penalize the people of Massachusetts. These abuses of power, labeled the “ Intolerable Acts ,” catalyzed the American Revolution by making plain the oppression of the British crown.
19 January 2012 Last updated at 23:54 ET Georgina Ball of Radio New Zealand on the Megaupload court appearance Megaupload, one of the internet's largest file-sharing sites, has been shut down by officials in the US. The site's founders have been charged with violating piracy laws.
After losing access to their favorite file-hosting service last week, millions of former MegaUpload users have fled to the many alternatives available. Filefactory, Depositfiles and many of the other top cyberlockers have seen an unprecedented surge in traffic in recent days, showing that people haven’t stopped sharing even though the authorities have closed one of the main players in the business. With a self-proclaimed 50 million users a day, MegaUpload was one of the largest file-hosting sites on the Internet. Last week the feds shut down the popular site accusing its founder and six others of money-laundering and several copyright related crimes. The site’s former users, meanwhile, are left without their files and forced to find a new place to share.
While last week’s shutdown of MegaUpload is of huge interest in itself, but a wave of aftershocks and side-effects are proving equally fascinating to watch. In addition to causing all sorts of problems for legitimate users of file-sharing services, there is no avoiding the fact that certain elements of the piracy scene are in a mess. But amazingly, still the beat goes on. Despite its “rogue site” status and various other warnings, when MegaUpload went down last week it still came as a shock.
An anti-piracy group say they have monitored decreased usage of cyberlockers that withdrew their rewards programs in the wake of the Megaupload shutdown and increases for those that maintained them. What is required now, the Hollywood-backed group says, is a “burden of proof reversal” which would require hosts to prove that their businesses are not built on piracy, or face being held liable. As previously reported, the Megaupload shutdown sent shockwaves right around the world and prompted a huge rethink by many cyberlocker file-hosting services.
The United States Justice Department charged Megaupload with over $1 billion in damages—which sites that house and distribute copyright-infringing content will be next? On January 19th, the United States Department of Justice put the hammer down on file sharing site Megaupload, by charging its owners with online copyright infringement. Seven people and two corporations—Megaupload Limited and Vestor Limited—were indicted by a New York grand jury and charged with a variety of crimes.
RapidShare Attorney: If We're Shut Down Like Megaupload, Then YouTube, Dropbox, Apple's iCloud Are NextThere's been near nuclear fallout from federal prosecutors shuttering of Megaupload, the file-sharing service accused of costing the entertainment industry $500 million in lost revenues. It's estimated that shutting down Megaupload's family of websites, which are accused of hosting massive amounts of copyrighted files, affected 1% of all Internet traffic. The feds are seeking the forfeiture of $175 million from Megaupload's flamboyant founder, Kim Dotcom; sympathetic hacker coalition Anonymous has since launched online attacks against the RIAA, MPAA, and Justice Department; and file-sharing and cloud services from FileSonic to Dropbox are wondering what this could mean for the industry. On Tuesday, we caught up with RapidShare attorney and spokesman Daniel Raimer. RapidShare is one of the world's most popular file-hosting sites, and many have wondered whether the site could be next on the feds' list of targets.
The recent Department of Justice decision to indict Megaupload for copyright infringement and related offenses raises some very thorny questions from a criminal law perspective. A few preliminaries: I’m responsible for the musings below, but I thank Robert Weisberg of Stanford Law School for taking the time to talk through the issues and giving me pointers to some relevant cases. Also, an indictment contains unproven allegations, and the facts may well turn out to be different, or to imply different things in full context. DMCA SAFE HARBOR: BELIEVE IT AND IT WILL BECOME REAL: As a matter of criminal law, the discussion of whether Megaupload did what it needed to do to qualify for the DMCA Safe Harbor misses the point.
MegaUpload has received a letter from the US Attorney informing the company that data uploaded by its users may be destroyed before the end of the week. The looming wipe-out is the result of MegaUpload’s lack of funds to pay for the servers. Behind the scenes, MegaUpload is hoping to convince the US Government that it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to allow users to access their data, at least temporarily. In the wake of the MegaUpload shutdown many of the site’s users have complained about the personal files that were lost as collateral damage. From work-related data to personal photos, the raid disabled access to hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions, of files that are clearly not infringing.
The Pirate Party of Catalonia is organizing the equivalent of a class-action lawsuit against the FBI in a Spanish court, claiming damages to legitimate users of the file-sharing site Megaupload. And the group is trying to enlist the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to do the same, sending it the contact information of US residents who join the campaign. "This initiative is a starting point for legitimate Internet users to help defend themselves from the legal abuses promoted by those wishing to aggressively lock away cultural materials for their own financial gain," the group said through its website . Stating that the FBI has " impeded the access to millions of archives of both private individuals and organizations , potentially causing huge personal, economic and image damages," the Pirate Party also suggests that private data might have been misappropriated by the FBI and other authorities in the course of the investigation, violating privacy rights.
Two events this week produced some serious cognitive dissonance. First, Congressional leaders sheepishly announced that they were withdrawing (at least for the time being) two bills heavily backed by the entertainment industry — the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) in the Senate and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House – in the wake of vocal online citizen protests (and, more significantly, coordinated opposition from the powerful Silicon Valley industry). Critics insisted that these bills were dangerous because they empowered the U.S.
The Justice Department on Thursday shut down file-sharing site Megaupload for "massive online piracy" in what the agency called the largest criminal copyright case ever brought by U.S. authorities. But what about the files that were stored on the service legitimately? Megaupload undoubtedly included a treasure trove of illegal data—hence why the site's executives are now facing up to 50 years in prison. However, the files stored by Megaupload weren't just copies of the latest movies, software, or MP3s.