Friday, January 20, 2012

Where's Megaupload?

So as many of you know, the sharing site Megaupload was forcefully closed by the U.S. Justice Department yesterday after an investigation into alleged copyright infringement. It's founders were detained in New Zealand and will be shipped to the US where they will await trial.

The reasons for this raid are simply ridiculous, far fetched and unjustified; at points, it's borderline crazy or paranoid. It's just corporate America wanting to limit the sharing freedom of the people: Megaupload was previously targeted by large corporate copyright sharks such as Universal Music Group.

The legal document released is full of complete garbage that doesn't justify such drastic action. Read the whole thing here, if you wanna subject your brain to injury. If you don't, I did it already... read some excerpts below and what I think of them.

Calling the owners of Megaupload "The Mega Conspiracy", a worldwide criminal organization whose mombers engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale, with estimated harm to copyright holders well in excess of $500,000,00"

Well we're off to a good start. Let the paranoia begin! A file hosting service is not such thing, not even a conspiracy. It's the Mega Conspiracy against those honest hard working copyright holders that are losing so much money because of the Internet, it's intolerable and has to end ! </sarcasm> is a commercial website and service operated by the Mega Conspiracy that reproduces and distributes copies of popular copyrighted content over the Internet without authorization. 

No, it's a site where anyone can upload anything at any time and where as there are files which are intellectual property of some, it doesn't mean the primary goal of the site was to host illegal files. was at one point in its history estimated to be the 13th most frequently website on the entire Internet. The site claims to have had more than one billion visitors in its history more than 180,000,000 registered users to date (...).

So being successful is a crime?'s income comes primarily from two sources: premium subscriptions and online advertising.

Like many websites nowadays.

In exchange for payment, the Mega Conspiracy provides the fast reproduction and distribution of infringing copies of copyrighted works from its computer servers located around the world.

No, that's nowhere on the site and are bogus conclusions of what someone CAN do with a megaupload membership, not what they were designed for. 

Subscription fees collected during the existance of the Mega Conspiracy from premium users are estimated to be more than $150 million. 

Good for them...?

Any internet user who goes to the website can upload a computer file. Once that user has selected a file on their computer and clicks the "upload" button, reproduces the file on at least one computer server it controls and provides the uploading user with a unique Uniform Resource Locator ("URL") link that allows anyone with the link to download the file.

Thank you for explaining how someone can host ANY file in megaupload, not only copyrighted material.

For example, a link distributed on December 3, 2006, by defendant DOTCOM links to a musical recording by US recording artist "50 Cent." A single click on the link accesses a download page that allows any internet user to download a copy of the file from a computer server that is controlled by the Mega Conspiracy.

A link from 2006? Damn, these guys talk like most of the content in is copyrighted material, and all they could find is a 50 Cent mp3 from 5 years ago? 
It must have been a huge deal though. That poor guy must be living on the streets because megaupload deprived him of so many dollars. The poor fella. advertises itself as a "cyberlocker", which is a private data storage provider. However, as part of the design of the service, the vast majority of users do not have significant capabilities to store private content long-term. Unregistered users (referred to as "non-members" by the Conspiracy) are allowed to upload and download content files, but any Non-member-uploaded content that is not downloaded within 21 days is permanently deleted. 

Surely deleting old unused files can't be because hosting files costs them money. Oh no, it's a conspiracy. 
Yes, if you want your files to permanently occupy space on a server rented and paid for by, you must pay some cash to help with the bill. Is this proof of criminal activity or just something that makes sense?

Once a user clicks on a link, the user is generally brought to a download page for the file. The download page contains online advertisements provided by the Conspiracy, which means that every download on provides a financial gain to the Conspiracy that is direcltly tied to the download. The more popular the content, such as copies of well-known copyrighted works, the more users that find their way to a download page; the access of these additional users, in turn, makes the Mega Conspiracy more money. 

Another good idea they didn't have which they wish they did, probably. To pay for the costs of freely-hosted files, those which are not supported by the paying members, Megaupload displays ads and generates some revenue which goes to paying hosting costs for those files. Again not an illegal thing to do. 
The argument that most popular files are copyrighted material is debatable and no actual evidence was shown for this claim.

Though the public-facing website itself does not allow searches, it does list its "Top 100 files", which includes motion picture trailers and software trials that are freely available on the Internet. The Top 100 list, however, does not actually portray the most popular downloads on which makes the website appear more legitimate and hides the popular copyright-infringing content that drives its revenue.   

So at least some honesty in the middle of this witch burning circus. Megaupload is NOT searchable, so that makes it not a reliable means of getting copyrighted material. Saying the Top 100 files is a fa├žade hiding the illegal pirating scene is just going complete bananas at this point.

A non-premium user is limited to watching 72 minutes of any given video on at a time, which, since nearly all commercial motion pictures exceed that length, provides a significant incentive for users who are seeking infringing copies of motion pictures to pay the Mega Conspiracy a fee for premium access.

Again, someone forgot that hosting video and streaming that video is very expensive both in server capacity and bandwidth prices, and pushing people into buying the premium access is also a way to paying the bills and making a little money, which is what most sites actually aim for, right?

It goes on and on with useless points that anyone with a shade of intelligence could tear apart in just seconds.
What's really scary about this event is that if SOPA passes, we will be seeing this everywhere. Again, I urge everyone to do whatever they can to speak up and stop this complete nonsense.


  1. I think I got halfway through before I had to stop, and I did good to get that far. It's ridiculous, and it's bullshit, and I support the backlash that has come.

  2. I fail to see how what Megaupload was doing differed all that significantly from what YouTube allows their users to do.

  3. May be off-topic but who really likes 50 Cent's music anyway? -.-
    Thank goodness you read the entire document, I would've slept through it all :D
    The good bit is that SOPA has been postponed (or is dead, according to the Internet) so I hope that means they can re-install MegaUpload quickly

  4. What they also fail to say is that whenever they received a complaint, they removed the file that was in any type of violation. They have so many customers/users, like most places, don't know the content going through until a complaint comes in. And they act fast. What's next, killing people who host full servers for rent?