Megaupload never complied with DMCA requests - I made several as part of some research and never received any response. The site charged for access to, and provided advertising around, pirated content. The site paid people (users/staff - it's a fine line) to provide popular content.
It went to extraordinary lengths to hide the identity of its operators.
Now if people believe that anyone should be allowed to set up a site, fill it with full length DVD rips,and then charge $10 a month for access then no wrong has been committed. But I think most right-minded people would say that is wrong - otherwise we'd all be doing it.
Kim Schmitz has made a lot of money over a five to seven year period doing this. But the risk that came with that was that eventually he'd face serious jailtime.
I cannot believe that Megaupload is being touted as an anti-SOPA posterchild. It is, pure and simple, a piracy site full of pirated material. I'd be astounded [see update] if anyone here uses it for anything other than pirating. But let's not pretend it's Dropbox - it isn't.
I am also astounded that people on HN are calling this a legitimate business. What was its business? Was it being used to distribute Wikipedia archives? To host videos of people's kids singing? No - it was hosting pirated content. Not torrents, not links. AVI files of films. AND THEN CHARGING FOR ACCESS.
[Update: It seems some people below did use it for sending big files. Colour me astounded. I've never had to do this so it's new to me. I guess the fact remains that they had to subsidise this activity somehow - and that they made their money off popular content. They have to hope this is enough to cover their asses.]
> Megaupload never complied with DMCA requests
Based on not only the experience of others, but the claims of the DoJ itself, this is clearly false.
> The site charged for access to, and provided advertising around, pirated content.
This is true in the same way YouTube provides advertising around, and your friendly local ISP provides access to, pirated content.
> The site paid people (users/staff - it's a fine line) to provide popular content.
So does YouTube. So do various other business models.
> It went to extraordinary lengths to hide the identity of its operators.
How many legitimate business don't have their owners wrapped in layers of corporations strewn around the globe? Nothing particularly unique or illegal here.
> Now if people believe that anyone should be allowed to set up a site, fill it with full length DVD rips...
It's an outright lie to claim that they themselves filled it with said rips. The users did. Just like many other sites, usenet servers etcetera.
> Kim Schmitz has made a lot of money
Yeah, that's a crime...
You've already corrected one claim, that Megaupload wasn't used for legitimate purposes.
Full disclosure: personally, I believe copyright in it's current form should die. Partly because of exactly this: it makes virtually impossible to provide any service around something that is way more important than the profits of the entertainment industry: the freedom of people to share information.
I also highly doubt this would actually be much of a problem if there was any economic impulse for the entertainment industry to provide a decent alternative.
In the current context, with a ridiculous artificially created scarcity, how the hell is anybody supposed to run a site like Megaupload and not have it full of "illegal" DVD-rips and shit, whether they like it or not?
The DOJ might have evidence that this was deliberate, but all the rest of us have is propaganda and deeply biased speculation.
> How many legitimate business don't have their owners wrapped in layers of corporations strewn around the globe? Nothing particularly unique or illegal here.
I might be slightly off-topic here, but I think this is a good opportunity to point out the danger of falling for a "Halo or Horns" fallacy.
Wikipedia doesn't compare the Halo effect with the Horns effect but it does have an article about the Halo effect: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halo_effect
Simply put, if you believe one aspect of a person (or thing) to be bad, you're more likely to judge its other aspects in a negative light. Similarly, one good characteristic can make you more likely to judge the other aspects in a better light.
You can see examples of Halo vs Horns all the time if you look for it. It's very common when mob psychology comes into play, and often causes a change in the status quo.
> This is true in the same way YouTube provides advertising around, and your friendly local ISP provides access to, pirated content.
I can get the full "The Dark Knight" in 720p on YouTube? Links please
The point is that YouTube doesn't offer a movie experience that is comparable to what was available on megaupload.com
Point out that SOPA/PIPA are unnecessary because the Feds are shutting down sites just fine without it. Point out that due process is done away with by SOPA. Etc.
They want us to be talking about copyright and piracy but this isn't about those things at all! This is total misdirection by the other side and we all just played into it. What this is really about is the government and entertainment industry trying to grab the power to do the things they've already been doing without having to go do all that annoying stuff like gathering evidence, building a case, or holding a trial. For being such a big group of smart people I'm surprised I haven't heard anyone else point this out before.
Just a side-note: that's not necessarily true, and a perception that is partially based on scare mongering. Vast numbers of people engage in "piracy", and it isn't seen as harmful by the general public. Hollywood and music industry aren't exactly as popular as their products either, and it's the biggest fans of those products that "pirate" the most.
Piracy and illegality isn't necessarily something that scares the general public either. I'm thinking for example of the illegal pirate radio stations in Europe in the past. Hugely popular, and eventually the reason for their existence was accommodated by the law.
On the other side of the coin: the mainstream US public hasn't been particularly concerned about throwing due process out of the window since 9/11... Fuck, it's public knowledge that the US is detaining and torturing people outside the law, the people are cool with that.
Since when has "due process" suddenly become a convincing argument for the masses? Maybe you should actually be waving the pirate flag instead...
You make a good argument but that argument isn't aimed at the right audience. I for one have pirated copyrighted material but I wouldn't want my own work to be pirated and I'm actually for copyright. I'm pretty honest with myself so I recognize this disconnect and understand that SOPA is bad for the public but others like me hear "piracy" and immediately think of shady websites that steal credit cards and other individuals. It's always "someone else should be arrested for doing this but not me because (insert excuse here)". They just don't think of themselves or what they do as piracy. They think of it as isolated incidents that aren't a big deal even if their entire music collection came from the Pirate Bay.
The negative perception of piracy/pirates is fear mongering but it works. Also, despite the attitudes of Europeans that doesn't help. This is a US law and US citizens don't think that way. I don't want to offend anyone but I think that a lot of us here live in a bubble. We're surrounded by techies and programmers and people like us so we forget who we really need to convince.
It's people like our parents who we have to convince. Young people like me may get it completely of theyre tech savvy. If they're not then they get it to a decent degree. But young people in the US aren't as active in politics as they should be. There's been an impressive response to this but I still think our little bubble blinds us to the fact that far fewer people get it and are doing anything about this. Don't look at Occupy Wall Street, that issue comes from something that they personally relate to. Not having a job, being poor, and seeing the rich get richer while their financial situation isn't improving is very relatable, personal, and the cause lends itself easily to broad support. Piracy doesn't lend itself as well to such broad support. People aren't as concerned with the web as much they are about putting food on the table. To them this is a tech industry problem, not theirs.
I'm lucky and unlucky enough to be surrounded by mostly everyday folks and few techies. I'm 25 and I work primarily with people 10 to 40 years older than me (most are between 55-65). They're the people who vote. They can barely get MS Word to work. Those are, unfortunately, also the people who represent us in the US.
So while there may be decent support for piracy we still should broaden our scope and make this relatable to far more people. Make it about things people care about and use all the time like search engines and Facebook. If you tell them they could lose the ability to find what they search for because of censorship they'll come on board. If you say they can get sued or kicked off Facebook or YouTube for posting a picture or video of something copyrighted they'll be more responsive.
You're right that they may not care about due process so we can take that argument a step further and tell them in a way they understand. Instead of mentioning due process tell them their kid will (will not can) go to jail for posting the wrong thing on Facebook or downloading a single song. Or say they'll get a huge fine in the mail without warning. Let them know their online store will get shut down without warning and payments will be freezes. You'd be surprised at how many people who can barely use a mouse have had someone set up and online store for their little mom and pop shop or MLM business.
We're all so focused on logic and facts around here and that's not effective enough. It's one thing to have right on your side but it's another thing to be able to explain it to someone else. The web designers/developers here should understand this. We have to give our audience something they care about. We have to get people interested and listening before we can educate them and you do that by appealing to emotion by making it personal and relatable. I know it shouldn't be that way but that's how things work in the US. I'd rather swallow my pride and go about this in a way that works rather than insisting on being right and talking at people who don't want to listen.
You don't see the opposition talking about the facts, do you? They use emotion to get support. They make the word piracy negative and scare you with it while saying "we're doing this to protect you" which makes people okay with it. "Oh, so you just want to stop those dirty pirates? That's fine, put them all in jail because piracy is stealing and stealing is bad. Sure, I download a few torrents every now and then but I'm not a pirate" is the public's thinking. There's a lot of issues involved with SOPA and by trying to shove them all down the public's throat we're just overloading them and they're not listening. We have to focus on what gets this bill killed first and then try to change the attitudes of Americans. If we can just tell them how SOPA hurts the average working man without preaching about piracy and copyright we can kill this bill. Then we can all go off into our little splinter groups and do the same thing for piracy and copyright. 1. Kill SOPA. 2. Change attitudes towards piracy and copyright. 3. Stopping future SOPA style bills and getting pro-piracy/anti-copyright passed becomes far easier.
I won't be waving the pirate flag any time soon either. I'm still not convinced about it but I'm open to suggestion. The one reason I support copyright and am not a piracy fan is because as a creator I wouldn't want my work pirated. It would hurt me. But I'm still a consumer too and I see the danger of SOPA and don't want it passed. Even though I disagree with most people here I'm still with everyone in being against SOPA. I personally believe in a balance of power between creators and consumers. I'm willing to admit that the power is currently heavily favored toward the creators and wouldn't mind seeing copyright scaled back by a lot but I'm still not ready for it to go away completely nor do I think piracy is ethical.
This is why they've been trying to switch their strategy from fighting the "pirate sites" in Court, and instead just try to get Congress to pass a law that helps them bypass the courts completely and give them a kill-switch for all the sites they don't like. Their strategy with these bills has been "shoot first, and hopefully you don't ask any questions later and take us to Court".
So before anything, this is what we really need to focus on and fight against - them wanting to remove full due process. But once we do kill SOPA and PIPA for good, we really need to get Congress to kill the Pro IP Act (passed in 2008), which already allows ICE to take down .com, .org, .net sites without due process. In a way Pro IP is worse than SOPA and PIPA, because they already affect "US sites" rather than "foreign sites".
Parts of SOPA/PIPA will make their lives easier, this is true, however it also grants new powers. Much recent fervor revolves around these new powers.
You also criticize the rhetoric of the community, but due so in reference to the Wall Street Journal. I have no doubt that they will be the last publication to adopt, support, or accept our rhetoric. Now that doesn't make the general criticism false.
The primary fallacy I see in your argument is instead that the terms like pro-piracy need be liabilities. There are pirate parties in several countries now, and historically powerful, emotionally salient terms can be used either as marks of shame or pride. Language is fickle like that.
Now I can say that there is a dangerous cancer in this country and it is a malignancy that has been growing for years, and now that we've found a way to hurt it, slow its growth, to bleed it out, it's releasing toxins. Piracy is the cure to the cancer on the creativity of America. I can say that the 1% of middlemen and lawyers that call themselves 'rightsholders' are afraid of people point out how bloated they are, and how Un-American it is to be bad at your job, inefficient, and dictatorial. They represent barriers to innovation, to freedom, and to the growth and prosperity of their nation. Some of us have decided the situation is so intolerable that we will advocate breaking unjust laws and causing direct, lasting, and public harm to this institution.
This is protest and the hope of change. It is only history that will determine who played whom.
Discussions and movements surrounding copyright and piracy are definitely something we need to have but I think it's more important in the short term to stop SOPA and then leave these other movements for later. We can't change American's attitudes within a month or two. So let's prioritize and make it about the things I said earlier rather than focusing too much on the piracy and copyright. And yeah, the law does grant new powers too but you can't throw too much information at people all at once or they shut down on you. We have to break this up into small, manageable, relatable terms to get others on our side.
As it stands it just seems like we're preaching to the choir amongst ourselves. We all have slightly different opinions when it comes to some of the details but for the most part we all get it and we're against this. It's the everyday non-techies we need to reach.
I actually am in the minority here. I support copyright, I think it's valuable, and I'm also against piracy because of how I'd feel if someone pirated software I developed. But I'm still on your side when it comes to SOPA. I even feel that copyright goes way too far and wouldn't mind seeing the term shortened by a lot. But I do get this issue. There are a ton of people who share my opinion on copyright and piracy who think SOPA is actually a good thing. Their logic is that if piracy is bad then this law to stop it is good. We don't get the finer points, we don't know that there are laws in place that stop piracy already and that they're more than sufficient, and we generally think of pirates as the traditional back-alley, trench coat wearing bootlegger types. Those are the people you need to relate to. There's not enough time to change their mind on piracy so you have to frame it in a way they relate to. Make it personal. When I say we, I mean people who share my (minority here) opinion on copyright and piracy. I get the SOPA issue but others like me don't.
Hopefully I wasn't too confusing with all the pronouns I just abused.
The precedent is far too dangerous. It's so dangerous that it could make PIPA / SOPA look like little cute puppies.
The moral issues of being a pirate or not being a pirate and of allowing or not allowing piracy to exist are more of a "feel good, don't be weird" matter.
These legal precedents can and will be used to silence any kind of protests and all things like: articles / reports about police brutality, murders, people "vanishing" conveniently when what they're saying is incovenient for someome, fake votes, scandals of all sorts.
Today it's Megaupload, tomorrow it will be YouTube. After that, they will interrupt a live report which is incovenient.
If you think those who rule are better than this, you're wrong. We've seen it before and we're seeing it again: Apple used the FBI and the police on the country's territory as its own security force as if the country was its headquarters, the FBI seems to be used more and more to go after pirates and other such things.
Meanwhile, all kinds of bad things happen around the world, but the law enforcement agencies are too busy to defend the copyrights of big companies which want more billions in the pockets of those who own those companies.
While the people are paying their taxes and are expecting to live a life without being worried they'll be nuked by some insane dictator, they really don't want to look over their shoulder to make sure the politicians who are ruling the country aren't being replaced by the puppets of the corporations.
After all, making sure a 12 year old doesn't download an mp3 from Megaupload is far more important than making sure my children won't be having a probe in their bodies to tell the companies and the government where they are, what they eat, what they like, if they're sick, what they're seeing and saying and what their opinion is on the ads they see.
The real decision was made in some corporate office somewhere - the real owners of the weak little puppet called "government".
In China nowadays, it's heavily tilted government-side. In the US, it's just as heavily tilted corporate.
My mother once casually knew a guy who ended up stealing a bunch of computers from a company he consulted for. Because they had sensitive data on them, the FBI visited us.
Why? Because that's a crime the FBI covers.
There was nothing wrong, no extension of corporate powers, no overreach, no special treatment at work with the stolen iPhone prototype whatsoever.
I've never made a DMCA request against them, but my understanding from the DoJ presser was that they did comply with the letter- They removed the links that were sent. They just didn't necessarily remove all other links to the same file.
When you filed yours, did you follow legal procedure, and go through their registered DMCA agent with paper mail, etc?
(I'm not implying you didn't, I'm trying to understand this whole mess)
Let's say for the sake of discussion that these were "Bad Guys", and the site was used for infringing purposes.
If they're following the US law, they still ought to be safe.
You can arrest people for breaking laws, but not for being assholes.
Now proving this is no-doubt going to be difficult. And prosecuting in front of a jury who have been pummelled with anti-SOPA sentiment for months is a nightmare. So I think they've a very good chance of getting away with it.
They didn't need either act to be passed to arrest a bunch of people in New Zealand, after all.
For the request to go ahead, the alleged offence need to be an extradition offence (http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1999/0055/latest/D...) - which means that the alleged conduct of the defendants would be a crime in New Zealand if it was done here, and would be a crime punishable by 12 or more months imprisonment in the US.
New Zealand has a bar to Internet provider copyright liability (http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1994/0143/latest/D...), defined as follows:
Internet service provider means a person who does either or both of the following things:
(a) offers the transmission, routing, or providing of connections for digital online communications, between or among points specified by a user, of material of the user’s choosing:
(b) hosts material on websites or other electronic retrieval systems that can be accessed by a user
However, ISPs have to forward notices from rights holders to the user, and after the third notice, to the copyright tribunal, allowing proceedings to be filed.
If MegaUpload did nothing more than offer a file upload service, and complied with the applicable procedures for responding to rights owner requests, it seems unlikely that that particular allegation would amount to a crime in New Zealand. However, the article lists a number of charges, and the extradition law doesn't allow them to challenge the alleged facts, only whether they amount to a crime in New Zealand and the country they are being extradited to.
Read some samples from ChillingEffects: http://www.chillingeffects.org/dmca512/notice.cgi
The host could simply claim another user uploaded it after the DMCA notice was received and the original link removed.
Presumably DMCA notices don't apply to future uploads as well? That would be almost completely unenforceable for a service like Megaupload.
Edit: Just a couple more proposals for such a system. First, the link re-creation could be conducted randomly at different times after deletion for different uploads, giving the impression that it is not the result of an automated process.
Second, a host could publish all the DMCA notices they receive, providing a plausible explanation for why all the content is 're-uploaded' soon after being taken down. Surely a host can't be held responsible if its 'users' take it upon themselves to almost immediately re-upload any content taken down by DMCA notices?
There is also a red flags test. If a reasonable person would be aware that the site is hosting files that infringe then it's not protected. And also you can't get direct financial benefit from it, you have to close accounts of repeat offenders, and some other restrictions.
Basically everybody knew Megaupload hosted warez, there were red flags, megaupload didn't take down links they knew were warez, and they made money off of it. Case closed. There may have also been legitimate use of megaupload, but they weren't covered by safe harbor and them being shut down is the law working as intended.
> you could combinatorially add random junk into the stream and circumvent that as well.
One could, like how people flip/speed up/record tv to get around youtube blocking, but it would take a lot of work and dedication to keep uploading your 500+ MiB movie rips over and over again.
But the existence of a copy does not tell you whether the uploader had the appropriate license from the copyright holder, or is the copyright holder, of that copy. Files do not fit into "legal" and "illegal" bins by the order of the bits alone.
Let's say I create and sell a software package. I upload it to my Megaupload account so I can easily access it later at another location.
Someone else uploads a copy they bought with a stolen credit card so they can share it on a warez forum. I send a DMCA notice of infringement requesting this copy be removed from Megaupload.
Should Megaupload now also locate all links to that file and remove them, including mine, which is entirely legal for them to host? Is Megaupload required to breach its contract with me as a paying user of their service, in good faith and violating no laws, in order to meet the DMCA safe harbor requirements? I think not.
The site operators were arrested in New Zealand. Most aren't even U.S. citizens:
Now they're being charged by the FBI. How did it happen that the entire world is supposed to comply with U.S. law?
WIPO - http://www.wipo.int/copyright/en/
WIPO - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Org...
NZ Herald has more: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&obj...
There's no indication that any laws of New Zealand were broken. The NZ cops simply cooperated in enforcing U.S. law.
And then somehow I have to figure out where each item was originally created (not posted from), and apply the appropriate system for that file?
Do you mean the country of origination of the copied work?
So by your definition, Dropbox is an illegitimate business because I stuck my (purchased) copy of The Dark Knight on there and they didn't remove it?
I used MegaUpload. A LOT. For legitimate content. It's very useful because I don't have to worry about hosting it on my own server and potentially going over my bandwidth cap (I send RAR files with large images for graphic design, totally legitimate need for MU).
To be honest, I was not aware that Megaupload in particular was that pro-piracy. The times I've come in contact with them has been for legitimate content, a few times a month. I've never really liked them though, because of all the secrecy behind those who run it, and the design of the site itself which doesn't appeal to me at all.
You have to recognize that there are legal uses for such sites too, however. From my experience, people love sharing _their own_ music and images there, and that is reason I come in contact with them at all.
Just not true. I don't think there is anything wrong with videotaping police going about their business (without breaking any other laws, hindering them at their job, and such), but you WILL NOT find me doing it in my home state (Illinois) due to such actions being zealously prosecuted felonies. Many other people agree with me here. A cost/benefit analysis making me choose not to do an action is much different than me thinking that action is wrong.
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak out because I was Protestant.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
I don't know when it will become unreasonable, but I don't want to get to that moment, just to realize there's no one to speak for us.
They may start with piracy (OK, they are violating copyright), then why not libel, seems fair enough. And while we are there, why not stop this, and that.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri had an excellent phrase that I always remember:
The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on
information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but
the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse
has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would
deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself
In one example, take the Arab Spring for example, making governments fall thanks in part to the free flow of information (via internet).
Or Spain's Sinde Law (which brings SOPA-like restrictions to Spain).
We are a global community now. So it applies to everyone, everywhere.
If you read the indictment, it's clear that this was the purposeful monetization of pirated material. It wasn't a few users who uploaded some things. It was a criminal site, operating in bad faith, committing a multitude of crimes.
You should seriously be ashamed of yourself for comparing those famous words to seven criminals (who have strong evidence against them) who are about to get a jury trial.
I understand that it's easy to get swept away in fearful hyperbole, but it's not a bad thing to keep a cynical eye on the actions of a government, and not a bad thing to look to history at its worst for warning of a future we'd like to avoid. It's not a 1:1 comparison he's done, but it's a valid concern.
I read the indictment. The cause for fear simply isn't there.
It's useless to pretend you're keeping an eye on the government when all you're really doing is getting a tiny shred of information and then getting hysterical because of it.
Please don't pat yourselves on the back simply because you're able to get hysterical with your willfully ignorant, less-than-half-baked ideas about what happened. You aren't doing something noble, you're doing the opposite. You're making it hard to fight REAL fights because you're using energy on bullshit.
Also, this is an online forum, I doubt anyone feels their conversations here are noble acts or something to pat oneself on the back over, so painting broad ugly pictures of people you know very little about is just rude and not helpful to the discussion.
So, I think the quotation was very fitting for the occasion, because it means exactly that. They may start taking people in custody because of a seemingly legit reason (in this case, copyright infringement, in the case of Nazi Germany, the Dolchstoßlegende). But power corrupts, and if they start passing laws to control more and more and more the Internet, who will be the next? It can be Reddit, an editor of Wikipedia, or even You.
But of course, if you wish to honor your nickname, that's not my problem :) have a nice day.
If you'd read the indictment you'd know that the problem wasn't the percentages. We aren't standing on a slippery slope. Well, we are... but this case is not part of it at all. This case is a distraction from that problem.
This is, at it's heart, a completely traditional bust of a large-scale for-profit copyright infringement regime. Nothing particularly new about it at all, except that instead of finding a warehouse filled with tapes or discs, it's all on spinning metal disks.
Site confiscated -> branded criminal -> trial. Is assbackwards.
He's about to be tried again, for another crime. But he's already a criminal.
The person I responded to was comparing mass genocide to the orderly trial of a criminal who is suspected of committing more crimes. That disgusts me. It casually trivializes massive horrors.
So no, I don't compare piracy with holocausts. That would be mad. But I have present that passing laws that allow the government to monitor everything you do online, may gradually and eventually lead to a dark future. And I dont want to get there seeing this moment as where it all started, and having done nothing about it.
Sadly you were too busy comparing the enforcement of long existing laws to creeping genocide to read the actual case.
For your information my criminal record has been cleared under Germany’s clean slate legislation. Officially I can say I am without convictions.
In fact, I know someone who used to like Megaupload to an extent, but even before a trial, thanks to this cultural tendency and inflammatory news coverage, said, "It turns out they were guilty of racketeering and money laundering, so they were some pretty bad guys." Despite being a reasonably well-informed person, he too fell victim to the urge to equate accusation with guilt.
At this point it doesn't matter what Kim Dotcom did a decade ago in Germany, or whether Megaupload is guilty of all the things they're accused of and more. The damage to the public's perception of legitimate file sharing has been done, and what I think was the most important thing to come out of Mega, the MegaBox music service, is most likely dead.
I thought exactly the same thing. The text is structurally very similar, possibly on purpose, or it may just be an obvious structure.
Would you like to go to jail even though 70% of your users are honest and giving you a profit?
If you think this is different, pls specify where the line is drawn
Think of it like this: have you ever successfully argued to a cop that you only drive over the limit 10% of the time? What matters is the deliberateness of the speed you were doing when you got caught.
That's what I'm afraid of. A world where 1 user-posted file that someone claims is protected results in arrests and the total loss of my site.
As a counter-example, what if you hit someone with your car? Do you think it should matter if evidence exists that it was an accident or if there is evidence that you hit the person purposefully?
Rewarding people for uploading popular files does not constitute promoting piracy.
No, this is YouTube with people posting whole movies.
With that said, even if MegaUpload complied with legally-sufficient take-down requests, I imagine those who were arrested could easily be nabbed for simply having pirated content on their personal/work boxes... that's probably the fallback plan.
Side note- Google hosts a lot of pirated content on Gmail. It would be interesting to know how much pirated music is sent through Gmail in a day.
It's a specious comparison, made possible only because almost nobody on HN bothered to read the indictment before they got mad.
Wow the executives were deep in blatant piracy. It's fair that the site was shut down. Amazing, not surprising though.
Also, trying to take every pirated copy down has a huge false positive problem.
Read the indictment.
Yes, but it was also full of absolutely legal content uploaded by law-abiding users. Many people don't have the expertise needed to set up a file server and not everything is small enough to be attached to an e-mail.
> I am also astounded that people on HN are calling this a legitimate business.
As I understand, they had problems of DMCA compliance. If you subtract the illegal files, theirs is a perfectly legal and quite useful business.
This accusation is as absurd as saying TPB had to pay its employees to upload trackers of pirated content.
This is hardly comparable to uploading DVD screeners and R5s. Grooveshark to be operating legally (as they didn't get raided I'm guessing they're operating way too close to the law - well within counter-suit territory - for the major labels to actively attack them) would have had to be uploading the labels authorized versions, which likely means UMG gave them access to their pre-1972 catalogue without giving them approval to use it.
Read the indictment. It contains evidence of this (amongst other issues).
IF a service provider receives a notice of infringement AND promptly disables access to the content, THEN the service provider is granted immunity from liability for that infringement.
If you ignore the notice then this provision simply doesn't apply. You haven't "violated the DMCA" or anything like that, you simply don't gain the benefits offered by meeting the conditions of that section of the law.
Why would an entity outside of the US choose to comply with those notices? Because they may be sued in a US court, and when in a US court, the judge is going to apply US law -- including the protections of the safe harbor provision.
Why would an entity outside the US care about the result of a trial in US court? First, because international treaties mean they may be extradited to the US for violating these particular laws, and second, because the officers of the company may wish to be able to travel to the US -- at which point a sentence against them could be carried out.
This is garbage and I can't believe any court in the world would uphold this extradition. I'm appalled that they even got a US court to issue a warrant for such obviously-trumped-up charges. This is truly unprecedented.
The internet changes the landscape drastically.... and using current laws to deal with real issues involving it is often dificult to useless. That doesnt mean we shold justify things that are wrong, nor should we make bad law.
ignoring the international issues.... just because a site could be used for copyright infringement is noreason tomtake it down. but lets be realistic, there a many sites out there where the owners knew damn well that their primary customer base were copyright infringers, and they catered to it fairly directly. sure some people used it for other things..... but if the primary revenue stream hosting and serving unlicensed work and you darn well know it.... you are asking for trouble.
That doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
The government's ability to preform an action does not legitimize that action.
Er, was this content that you held the copyrights to? That statement seems to imply otherwise, which wouldn't really be ok (or itself compliant with the DMCA).
// edit: magicalist is the parent poster, not rorrr. Whoops.
A response is not required for DMCA compliance -- only disabling access to the content. Did you test that the links you gave them still worked?
There are some other comments about precedents that this may be setting (i.e., _stretching_ existing law). I'm curious to see how this plays out -- will SOPA-like provisions be "read into" existing laws by the courts?
This is all anecdotal and I probably agree with you that the average user most likely just used it to download music and pirated content, but I do think you're overlooking a ton of legitimate usages as well.
Really? Because that statement completely goes against what people are currently saying over on Reddit (http://www.reddit.com/r/technology/comments/onplj/feds_shut_...)
>I'm a DMCA agent and this may well make my job harder. Megauploads was incredible with their response time to DMCA notices.
>They swiftly remove violating content, which will inevitably appear due to their business model. They do not condone piracy, and comply with DMCAs.
>The funny thing is that they TRIED to prevent this. They allowed record labels and movie studios to search through the files and delete anything they found as a copyright violation.
So someone's either misinformed or lying.
List of Full Albums:
PS: I don't think HN has degraded so much to megadownvote good comments with good reasons, although they don't represent the supposed mainstream ideas.
I'll only answer one point:
[not even arguing whether it's true or not]
As far as I understand, people who are not residents of the US don't have to comply with DMCA requests any more they have to comply with Iranian request to take down something that insults Islam. I even personally think that insulting Islam is genuinely more harmful than copying copyrighted content, so it would be very hard to argue that DMCA requests are "good" while Iranian gov ones "bad".
The only reason why I can think it's wise to comply with DMCA is because US has 43% of world's military budget and it's a very scary thought because it attack independence of everyone else.
That's the point! According to you, they were a piracy haven, and they were shut down. Without SOPA. So why do we need SOPA again?
This is pretty clearly an anti-SOPA talking point.
1) Robin hood was a criminal. Stealing is a crime, and he stole from the rich to give to the poor.
2) In this context, "piracy" does not mean stealing, it means sharing. Sharing objects, whether they are information objects such as movies or real objects such as lawnmowers, is natural and a natural right. See John Locke for details.
3) The MPAA, RIAA, and major software and video game makers have organized, through political donations and manipulating public opinion, a legal, institutionalized system of tyranny that deprives ordinary people of their natural rights.
4) The United States of America, through the FBI and other federal agencies, devotes considerable resources to finding and prosecuting those who work to oppose this system of tyranny. The United States of America is working for the tyrants whose business is predicated upon depriving ordinary people of their natural rights.
--- tl;dr ---
You do not have a choice between right and wrong. You have a choice between greedy scumbags who are tyrants and greedy scumbags who helping, in their own greedy, scummy way, ordinary people exercise their natural rights.
There was a time when you didn't have to write this. :(
So your over-generalization is flat out wrong.
As long as users do it, and the site takes them down when requested, I'm pretty sure it's legal under DMCA.
I've had companies take down content after a DMCA notice but never inform me they have done so; there is no requirement for them to do so.
I assume you're referring to the latter meaning though--that they left up infringing content after receiving notice. If they did that then they're in deep. ...As long as the US has jurisdiction to prosecute, which they probably do.
Probably more famous amongst German hackers but this is also the Kim "kimble" Schmitz of insider-trading letsbuyit.com fame who pulled PR stunts like launching "Young Intelligent Hackers Against Terrorism" (Yihat) to track down Bin Laden and before letsbuyit.com was trolling German coder newsgroups. After all that he tried attracting only "very high wealth individuals" to a company he founded in HongKong that allegedly specialized in automated artificial intelligence trading and that was about the last I remember hearing of him...
On a personal level, this is very, very satisfying to see they got him again on charging people per month for illegal downloads! He gives actual European hackers an extremely bad name.
> I cannot believe that Megaupload is being touted as an anti-SOPA posterchild.
This right here, people. This is not linux torrents we are talking about - this is "I want your money and I take it any way I can and will then post pictures of my extra-ordinary live style online" kim schmitz, a convicted criminal who prides himself on being successful "outside of rules and legislations".
The german Wikipedia has a nice overview over his former activities:
This guy has never been a modern Robin Hood.
Good. More and more of it is happening all over the net.
I hope it drives the studios, MPAA and RIAA out of business forever. The force of the US government will only last them so long.
More like a series of cases, actually. German courts seem much more level headed than their US couterparts. Details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RapidShare#Legal_issues
This is the problem. Distribution is a perfectly legitimate business model, as is hosting. Think, I dunno, Youtube? They don't generate any content; should they not be allowed to make a profit?
Your stance is just strange. Megaupload can have revenue from piracy, just not too much? Once revenue from their illegal content passes operating expenses, they should stop making money off it? I don't understand what you want such a business to actually -do-.
Personal sharing vs mass piracy is a major example. Usually the boundary is drawn at money changing hands, but other boundary lines could be debated.
No, they were Hong Kong based. Rapidshare (Switzerland/Germany) has already been sued there, and won, so their (current) business model, for the time being, is not accessible for american "shock and awe" justice.
Where do you see it as Swiss?
> "MegaUpload.com is already engaged in a legal fight with Universal Music Group over a promotional video featuring some UMG artists."
I suppose there are some reading that that don't know MegaUpload hired all the artists and had contracts and copyright licenses with them and had complete rights to the video, which UMG illegally and fraudulently filed a takedown notice against YouTube. Also, the loaded term "file-sharing site" certainly confuses the issue that the site is like DropBox and sells on line storage space. Plenty of legitimate businesses and artists use it to distribute files which they own all rights to. Just like YouTube, yes, some misuse that. Is YouTube also fairly called a "file-sharing site" by the Journal now? Would not know any of the real facts from reading this article. How far has fallen the formerly great, but now Murdoch owned and controlled Wall Street Journal. I was a subscriber for years, but gave up a few years ago when the quality plummeted and objectivity flew out the window.
Update: Oh boy, today two of the programmers that worked for Megaupload have been arrested and another is wanted for arrest: http://torrentfreak.com/megaupload-shut-down-120119/ All face 50 years in prison. (20 years for racketeering, 5 for copyright conspiracy, 20 for money laundering conspiracy, 5 for copyright violation.) This will certainly send a chilling message to any talented engineers considering a job interview at a company that allows third party uploads some of which are DMCA violations, such as YouTube.
TechCrunch claims that for at least a few, this was not the case:
In December, Will.I.Am, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and the others pulled their support, and it was claimed that they never consented to appearing in the video, which was subsequently removed from YouTube.
I don't have any personal evidence either way, of course.
The way I see it, people change their positions when:
a)they're blackmailed - either you stop endorsing that shit or you're history
b)they notice everyone else is on the other side and they switch so that they're on the winner's side - see some of the beloved politicians & companies (BSA, MS, etc) pulling the plug on their support of SOPA
It's pretty easy to blackmail a musician when you're the record label. You certainly have far more money than the musician and dying from an overdose happens in the world of the musicians; the death of the musician even helps the record label with sales, doesn't it?
I don't necessarily agree with UMG's action (and that's completely beside the point), but AFAIK (according to the news articles), UMG didn't file a DMCA takedown notice, but a takedown notice that was completely a contractual issue between two businesses (UMG and YouTube). There's nothing illegal there.
That said, it's obviously some sort of grey area. Will be interesting to see how this plays out, though I already have my guesses, knowing that ex-RIAA lawyers were appointed to top Justice Department spots at the start of this administration.
1) The site complied with DMCA regulations, and removed material when asked.
2) The site did not directly promote piracy, which was Grokster decision.
3) The listed employees are all (or nearly all) not US citizens, so this required international cooperation, and extradition over copyright?
From my perspective it looks like they were follow the letter of the law on all, or nearly all counts.
The DOJ seems to have decided that if they can't really charge them with something specific, they'll go upstream, and charge them with vague broad things.
This makes me rather worried that even if you run a legitimate business, and comply with the law, if the DOJ decides they don't like you, you're done for.
As for the not US citizens, it's covered via the Berne Convention: The laws of the country where the copyright is registered applies. They probably spell out extradition, too.
Federal prosecutors have a 95 conviction rate for trials that go to jury.
Almost everyone plea bargains.
Yup, because the feds have amazing resources and the "law" is such that everyone is guilty of enough "crimes" to get 100 years.
In other words, feds win a rigged game.
Also many times the Fed can pick and choose what they prosecute more so than local prosecutors. Many Federal cases are instead of or in addition to local prosecution, so they aren't always completely necessary because the defendant will likely get local jail time anyway.
That's not what I wrote. I wrote that they can convict anyone because they have vastly more resources and everyone commits several felonies/day, that is, is guilty.
Are you claiming that being able to win because of extra resources is good or is it the "everyone is a criminal" part that you like?
The reason that they can win or settle so many of their cases isn't their extra resources (which can be vast). It's that they are selective in the cases they choose. This ends up being self-reinforcing too - the more cases that they settle, the more the reputation that they have a strong case, which increases the likelihood that the next case will settle.
Their extra resources come into play when evaluating a single case, but when looking at the population of possible cases, it is their selectivity that skews the percentages in their favor.
The case was pretty clear cut; you can't carry a weapon as a convicted felon and once you cross state lines you fall under Federal jurisdiction. The guy was caught going from MD to DC and back to MD with two pistols during a police chase. He tossed one out the window while in DC and had the other one was on him when he finally wrecked his car just inside MD. The judge explained the law before we deliberated and also explained that his prior conviction had no bearing on him being guilty of this crime. Two people on the jury were convinced that he was just being made an example by the Feds. At the time there was pretty bad gun running between MD and DC and the local MD district attorney had a hard time getting gun convictions.
BTW. Federal jury duty sucks. It's not a one day deal like it is for most county juries. Instead you're listed for an entire month. I had to go in 4 times before I was on a jury.
I always got the impression they were complying with the law in the most minimal sense, but had no real interest in preventing copyrighted works from being hosted on their site.
In some ways MegaUpload reminds me of YouTube. Its hard to deny that they got big by providing access to copyrighted material, but have since become a legitimate service for sharing legal works.
"Complying in a minimal sense" is still complying. It shouldn't matter if their hearts were as dark as pitch.
We can't legislate the hearts of men. We can only use their actions in determining their fate.
I used to see them as an agnostic upload bin, but I'm reading the indictment right now, and from my perspective, its certainly questionable.
I'm going to copy some text from the indictment here. I can see legal defenses that they could try to counter these claims, but I don't want to get into that, I just want to put this out there.
I may edit this later with more quotes, if I have time, I've only been skimming and only skimmed a few portions of the document.
>The site complied with DMCA regulations, and removed material when asked
When a file is being uploaded to Megaupload.com, the Conspiracy’s automated system calculates a unique identifier for the file (called a “MD5 hash”) that is generated using a mathematical algorithm. If, after the MD5 hash calculation, the system determines that the uploading file already exists on a server controlled by the Mega Conspiracy, Megaupload.com does not reproduce a second copy of the file on that server. Instead, the system provides a new and unique URL link to the new user that is pointed to the original file already present on the server. If there is more than one URL link to a file, then any attempt by the copyright holder to terminate access to the file using the Abuse Tool or other DMCA takedown request will fail because the additional access links will continue to be available
On or about April 23, 2009, DOTCOM sent an e-mail message to VANDER KOLK, ORTMANN, and BENCKO in which he complained about the deletion of URL links in response to infringement notices from the copyright holders. In the message, DOTCOM stated that “I told you many times not to delete links that are reported in batches of thousands from insignificant sources. I would say that those infringement reports from MEXICO of “14,000” links would fall into that category. And the fact that we lost significant revenue because of it justifies my reaction.”
On or about April 24, 2009, DOTCOM sent an e-mail to BENCKO,ORTMANN, and VAN DER KOLK indicating, “I remembered the steep drop of revenue at thesame time in 2008 and thought that this might have also been caused by careless mass link deletions. This made me very mad, especially because I told you that such mass deletions shouldbe prevented and sources checked much more carefully. I am sure such mass link deletions arealso contributing to a drop of revenue … In the future please do not delete thousands of links atones from a single source unless it comes from a major organization in the US.”
On or about September 4, 2009, a representative of Warner BrothersEntertainment, Inc. (“Warner”) sent an e-mail to Megaupload.com, stating that Warner was “unable to remove links” to copyright-infringing content on Megaupload.com using the AbuseTool. In the e-mail, the Warner representative requested an increase in Warner’s removal limit,which is controlled by the Mega Conspiracy. On or about September 8, the representative sent afollow-up request, and on or about September 9, the representative sent another follow-uprequest. On or about September 10, ORTMANN sent an e-mail to DOTCOM, stating, “They arecurrently removing 2500 files per day - a cursory check indicates that it’s legit takedowns of content that they own appearing in public forums.” ORTMANN also stated, “We should complywith their request - we can afford to be cooperative at current growth levels.” DOTCOMresponded that the limit should be increased to 5,000 per day, but “not unlimited.”
On or about February 13, 2007, ORTMANN sent an e-mail to VAN DERKOLK entitled “my concerns about the thumbnails table.” In the e-mail, ORTMANN asked VAN DER KOLK to create “a dummy lifetime premium user,” stating that “[t]his is very important to prevent the loss of source files due to expiration or abuse reports.”
On or about October 25, 2008, VAN DER KOLK uploaded an infringingcopy of a copyrighted motion picture entitled “Taken 2008 DVDRip Repack [A Release LoungeH264 By Micky22].mp4” to Megaupload.com and e-mailed the URL link for the file to another individual.
On or about October 25, 2009, VAN DER KOLK instructed a MegaConspiracy employee in German through e-mail how to alter the “featured” videos list onMegavideo.com and the Top 100 Megaupload.com list.
Should MegaUpload.com remove the link for user2? The rights holder has not claimed that the second link is offending. It's possible that user2 has the right to distribute the file, but user1 does not.
It's a dicey issue.
If a trial goes forward, I expect to see some case law made clarifying this area.
Sadly, you (like most of HN) are raging without bothering to get any real information first.
I really can no longer stand such outlandish claims. Do they mean they would have sold 50 million more movies at US$ 10 each if the site didn't exist? Or do they think they'd have sold 500 million downloads for US$1 each? Or 5 billion for 10¢? In fact, they most probably got a couple extra sales from people who really loved a movie they downloaded to the point of buying the DVD (or BD) version.
Tired of sources supposedly at the top of their profession (WSJ) who simply repeat these money claims and don't ask to see any sort of study to back them up.
They printed another claim from the Motion Picture industry claiming "100,000 jobs lost"....ridiculous number, and WSJ doesn't even ask where they get the number from
For example, when notified by a rights holder that a file contained infringing content, the indictment alleges that the conspirators would disable only a single link to the file, deliberately and deceptively leaving the infringing content in place to make it seamlessly available to millions of users to access through any one of the many duplicate links available for that file.
I assume the DMCA specifies content removal not removal of links/access to the content? It puts places like Dropbox in an interesting place. If you share a link with someone and the link is to something from "your own" storage space, and a rights holder issues a takedown (for the sharing aspect) is the company also supposed to remove the content from "your storage" assuming it is the same 1s and 0s? Should they have a right to if it is only you with access?
The indictment of Megaupload actually uses their lack of search function and censorship of copyrighted material from their "top content" list as marks against them. This means most other file sharing services which focus on one-to-one or one-to-many sharing and hence omit search and a "trending" list (looking at Dropbox, here) are vulnerable.
It's not a straightforward issue though.
If I see "OMG WAREZ.rar" in a news feed on my homepage, should I remove the file itself, all access to the file, or just the link to the file? What if I have a strict do-not-delete policy for user data? What if I have a strict do-not-download policy for user data (even public user data), to prevent me from accidentally possessing child porn on my work PC? Do I just make an arbitrary and capricious blacklist of file names?
It's absolutely not a valid point against them - their system for "identifying infringing files" was more like a system for "identifying bad-looking file names," which is tangentially related at best.
As a legitimate file sharing service, which to a very small extent Dropbox is, it was absolutely terrible - wait xx seconds or minutes to download a file at a reduced speed.
As others have pointed out: German citizen arrested in New Zealand over... US copyrights... copyrights... from the US.
Google cache of the press release: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?hl=en&q=cac...
So the RIAA are going after their own artists for allegedly stealing money from their own artists? What a weird industry this is...
2. Please don't walk around calling people naive. It's offensive and unnecessary.
One of the biggest foes for MegaUpload was porn, who have much more money but less lobbying clout than the RIAA.
Meanwhile, precious few artists whine about piracy like the RIAA does, you hear a lot more whining about the labels, because they're the ones screwing artists.
The business of music is different than the practice of it, and lumping it all into the "label" itself is disingenuous. The politics within those companies usually means the labels at the very edge (where marketing and A&R are) are often at odds with corporate/RIAA.
When I'm on better a better connection I'll post some examples.
I don't mean to be pedantic about it, but the ecosystem around music is much more complex than "sue them all"
It's not spin, its fact. I participated.
The emails between company officers suggest that they themselves used their own service to upload copyrighted content and share it with others, knowingly breaking the law. Case closed!
But what gives US law enforcement the right to obtain those private emails between officers of a foreign company? Reasonable suspicion of infringement? What suspicion? Suspicion of failure to comply with DMCA takedown notices?
What is the basis for that suspicion? Their failure to delete ALL links to any file for which a single link is reported. But as many others have pointed out, each of those links represents a specific user who has uploaded the same file. Without a public searchable index, each of those keys is effectively a distinct privately uploaded file.
So we come down to whether a copyright holder has the authority to say "anyone anywhere who has uploaded a copy of this file, does not have the right to share it".
What next? If a service like Dropbox borrows a hint from git and stores not just single file hashes, but distinct unique data chunks, and a takedown request calls for the deletion of say, a feature film, will they claim Dropbox knowingly infringed for failing to remove a 10 second chunk of that film that some student put in their dissertation?
Instead, the indictment alleges that the conspirators manipulated the perception of content available on their servers by not providing a public search function on the Megaupload site and by not including popular infringing content on the publicly available lists of top content downloaded by its users.
Oh, and affiliate programs are now money laundering:
The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to launder money by paying users through the sites’ uploader reward program and paying companies to host the infringing content.
As alleged in the indictment, the conspirators failed to terminate accounts of users with known copyright infringement, selectively complied with their obligations to remove copyrighted materials from their servers and deliberately misrepresented to copyright holders that they had removed infringing content. For example, when notified by a rights holder that a file contained infringing content, the indictment alleges that the conspirators would disable only a single link to the file, deliberately and deceptively leaving the infringing content in place to make it seamlessly available to millions of users to access through any one of the many duplicate links available for that file.
Of course this is only a grand jury indictment and they have not been found guilty in a court. But the Feds don't bring a case if they aren't damn well sure they can win.
I might be reading too much into this, but to me this sounds like ten people uploaded the same movie (maybe with different filenames, maybe different encodings/file formats), the DMCA request only named one of these files, and MegaUpload removed only that one file.
(I know the quote says "link" not "copy" but it wouldn't be the first time people get confused over the distinction.)
If so, this sets a dangerous precedent for other (maybe more legitimate) file sharing sites: firstly, if you host millions of files, detecting which files are copies of another file, or deciding which filenames are similar to other filenames, is not a trivial task. Secondly, as far as I understand the DMCA, it doesn't even require you to go to these lengths.
Of course, I might be totally off base and they might really have kept the very same file in place and just removed a link to it on some pages while keeping the link on others.
Does anyone know more details about this?
If the provided link is private, not index by megaupload or search engines, then it can be thought of a private locker with the key being the link. In this case it should not be Megaupload's job to know who is supposed to have the key and who does not and it seems reasonable that they would only remove the link complained about and not the content. Those other links after all could be for personal backup/use which is allowed.
Can anyone verify/deny that the links Megaupload provided were private?
"The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to launder money by paying users through the sites’ uploader reward program and paying companies to host the infringing content."
I do wonder how this plays into the whole Swizz Beats is CEO news.
From a legal/rights-holder standpoint that's a double-edged sword - it could be argued that because Dropbox dedupe files, they have a head start on DMCA compliance, but it could also be argued that the technical infrastructure means they should be better at removing infringing content.
That's why I think the "Megaupload took down only one link rather than all the infringing content" aspect of this indictment is so scary, especially for a site that does perform introspection into its hosted files - it's easy for a judge to go from "you can send only unique differences" to "you can locate every instance of this copyrighted content and remove it or else."
That's related to their claim that the DMCA take down requests weren't honored: Allegedly, while appearing to comply with requests to remove infringing content, they would merely take down the reported links, yet would keep alternate links to the same md5-hash-matching content working.
When I'm looking for a job next time, it'll not be one whose primary business is hosting user content.
I have a lump in my throat, I thought down in the pacific we were safe from your batshit crazy FBI.
SOPA and PIPA are intended to address issues with foreign-hosted sites being used by Americans to pirate American copyrighted works. MegaUpload is a domestic outfit, so they fall under existing copyright law, including DMCA.
The issue with fighting foreign-based sites is that they don't fall under US jurisdiction. Up till now, the RIAA and MPAA have taken to suing Americans using those services. However, that's not really putting a dent in piracy. So, they came up with SOPA and PIPA. Of course, how do you stop Americans from visiting foreign sites which you have no jurisdiction over? Using DNS filtering is the answer they came up with. Of course, they left the language fairly broad, and now they've stricken that part from the bill.
The real issue with SOPA and PIPA is the removal of due process. Since the laws deal with foreign entities, though, the waters get muddied.
Whether or not megaupload is guilty, it seems to me this was followed and bridged international boundaries nicking a "foreign" and "rogue site".
As an aside, I don't think megaupload fits a domestic definition. All indicted are apparently not Americans and it is a Hong Kong and New Zealand based organization.
Also there were pretty high profile domain seizures done in two bouts over the last two years. ICE/DOJ seized domains (google it) - some of those were foreign based but with .com or .net. (I don't recall if any were foreign TLDs) There already doing anything they want anyway - and happily ignoring any due process - codifying these actions into law with PIPA/SOPA is just the icing on the cake.
P.O. Box No. 28410
Gloucester Road Post Office
1. The practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea.
2. A similar practice in other contexts, esp. hijacking.
1. The practice of attacking and robbing ships at sea
2. Similar practice in other contexts, esp. hijacking
- air piracy
3. The unauthorized use or reproduction of another's work
- software piracy
B. The equation of copyright infringement with other types of piracy (and theft for that matter) is misleading and pure propaganda (granted, its 300 year old propaganda, but still wrong).
So was mine! On further examination, it seems the third definition doesn't come up unless you click details. My apologies for the acerbic tone!