Some heuristics for evasion of the observed colateral damage scenario:
* Store your files in several places. For example use Dropbox and link two machines with it. One at home and your laptop maybe.
* Rent a cheap vserver and install your own URL-Shortener (http://freecode.com/search?q=url+shortener&submit=Search)
* For files you'd like to distribute, put them into the Dropbox public folder. Generate your own short links with your own shortener.
* distribute the shortened links
* If Dropbox goes down, copy files to other webspace. Adjust URL-Shortener entries to new location.
If you don't trust Dropbox or any other file storage service, rent some webspace and sync your files there. There are a couple of 'How to build your own OpenSource Dropbox clone' recipies out there. (https://duckduckgo.com/?q=dropbox+clone). AFAIR they all suck in different regards. Simply choose the one that does the job and sucks least.
If you are not capable of doing stuff like that, then contact your friendly neighbourhood tech collective. Where to find them? Start here: http://www.hackerspaces.org . Don't ask them to do stuff for you. Ask them to teach you how to do it. Then donate. DONATE!? Yes, donate. And remember, with all the commercial services you have been cheapsurfing on, if you are not paying for it, then you are not the customer, but the product.
The interwebs have offered us the opportunity of an empowered, self organized distributed digital information society. But alas! we lazy bums are opting for the cheap consumerism solution. And on top we are whining and sobbing, when the freebies are being taken away from us.
I have little compassion for people who store their files in the cloud only.
On the other hand, one of the reasons Normal People dislike the hacker community is the prevalence of "see I told you so" and/or "bad things wouldn't happen to you if you weren't such a dumbass" culture.
The fact that a technical workaround exists for this particular brand of destructive and capricious behavior by the U.S. Federales is not, in itself, a great reason to transform the story into Yet Another Personal I.T. Teaching Moment.
The safety deposit box example is apt here. If my local bank gets busted for some shady-ass shit, and the Feds confiscate some family heirloom along with all the bricks of heroin from the bank vault, what should we demand from our government in that case?
And if we're not likely to get what we feel entitled to demand, what are our realistic options for doing something about that?
A handy article on the topic that was easy for me to find:
In short, don't hold your breath waiting for your data to come back.
Note for the future: This adds no value to your comment, and makes you look like you're trying to spin this story in someway to benefit your political alignment.
cut me some slack, jack.
Time stretches on. They investigate. The DA agrees it's a clean shoot and declines to file any charges. It's been 18 months. You ask for your gun back.
"No," they explain. And that's... all, pretty much. They have no legal right to keep it. They offer no explanation. You can always spend ten grand suing over an item worth less than $1000, but you won't and they know it.
So if you had files at Megaupload, even though (I think we agree) you have a perfect right to expect the feds to return your property, you probably shouldn't actually expect them to do so.
*"We" might not include you, OP, so apologies. Not directed at you. Just noticing a trend.
*"we" intentionally including non-tech-savvy people.
Except that you will probably not put your money in a bank that's widely known for being a drug dealers haven, will you?
I also am not a big fan of the "see I told you" attitude, but it seems to me that no sane person would ever put some valuable/important things on megaupload.
Of course there is not guarantee that services like icloud or dropbox will never get shut down, but they do look much more reliable than megaupload..
What's worse, HN readership is arguably an upper-crust-of-savvy environment for making that sort of appeal, but imagine:
- two weeks ago, someone offers HN readers $100 bets that megaupload will get raided / shuttered / data frozen in the next two weeks
- if you take the bet, and you win (megaupload raided), you get $200 back
- if megaupload doesn't get raided, you get $90 back (i.e. you pay as much for losing the bet as a megaupload user pays to access to service)
Do you honestly think more than 10% of HN readership would have taken the bet and tried to double their money? Or would the "smart money" (and again, some of the smartest money available on the internet) been on megaupload staying up and available?
I don't know about you, but my facebook stream has been polluted with dozens of messages crying over what happened to megaupload (and not because they had there work uploaded on it), which (wrongly, I know admit) let me to think that everybody knew about megaupload shadiness.
Now as you and others rightly pointed out, I forgot about the rest, maybe the majority of people who used in a totally legal way.
Anyway, point taken !
How do we explain to sane, but non-internet-savvy, people what rules they should use to tell "safe" places to store their data from "unsafe" ones.
Megaupload took pains to not show infringing content on their home page and they did not provide a search engine that would return it. I'd ended up at the site several times and, though it set off a few of my red flags, I can't really explain why.
File in two widely separated places: pretty safe
File in three widely separated places: safe
File in only one place, no matter where it is: unsafe
"Copy your important stuff to at least one other place, be it an external hard disk, a USB-Stick, a DVD or an online storage service."
And then I usually configure Dropbox for them and show them how to use it. And I tell them not to put sensitive information like online banking PINs on there. And tell them that I can also show them a way to further secure the data with TrueCrypt.
But some are even resistant to this. I don't bother pushing them, because I know they will lose data at some point. When that happens I "told you so" them once and after having a good laugh at their dangling unmentionables I help them setting up backup/redundant storage.
Which, I think, confirms my suspicion that with both financial institutions and websites it's probably impossible to explain to nonexperts how to judge their credibility.
Yes. No one would ever use Wells Fargo now, would they?
(If you didn't get the reference: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/apr/03/us-bank-mexico-d... )
I need to print T-shirts with this quote.
It is safer to assume that they are than to assume they are not. Maybe they got an NSL with a gag order that requires them to silently store logs indefinitely. There's no way of knowing, so just assume that's the case and plan accordingly (e.g. don't upload embarrassing college photos that would cause you problems if the upload logs were hacked and released to the public).
In Germany it is allowed to make a small number of copies for friends and family (Privatkopie). So if I transfer a song to DB for a friend, the evidentary trail will also show that the file has only been downloaded very few time, which is legal.
It is even allowed to make a copy of a copy. So if I recieve a song from a friend, I am allowed to give it to a couple of my friends. But I am not allowed to simply seed it to strangers through anonymous filesharing.
Translation of the german wikipedia entry on "Privatkopie":
That's all well and good, but what about the other 95% of the population that just want to pay someone to host their files?
Why should consumers have to know the best technical solution? All they want is to pay for a solution to a problem.
"Why should consumers have to know the healthy food? All they want is to pay for a solution to their hunger."
"Why should consumers have to know which cars have good gas mileage? All they want is to pay for a form of transport."
Because there are advantages to consumers in being knowledgeable about what they buy. Like knowing your cloud storage isn't (and can never be) perfectly reliable.
I don't care how the financial markets work - I trust my 401k to pay for my retirement.
Life is far too short for me to want to know about things that don't interest me. One of the points of an advanced society is that we can pay people to do things for us.
People shouldn't have to second guess every professional service they use. Maybe it's time to add legal guarantees to the cloud?
So... Lets make it illegal for a site to lose your data by being shut down by the FBI? Seriously though, is it really a good idea to make more (artificial and unsolvable) problems for cloud service providers to worry about?
Where do you draw the line? Do you make your own yoghurt? What about milk your own cows? I very much doubt you do that. My time is valuable enough that I'm comfortable paying people to do these things for me.
If person A offers a service to person B, there needs to be some level of trust and expectation. In this instance, the government is responsible for destroying people's assets and I hope they get sued to oblivion for screwing up. Other times, companies are at fault.
Gotta love the Libertarian mindset that appears to prevail here. Sheesh.
I think it's still worthwhile to have a superficial understanding of the services you buy, as this allows you to maximize the value of your dollar and avoid getting fleeced.
Today it was the Feds. Tomorrow, it could just be a poorly run company going out of business. Or a massive failure in a technology stack without redundancy. Consumers can't reasonably predict these sorts of thing, so the only reasonable course of action is to keep redundant copies of your data. Use SpiderOak and sync a few computers. Get an External HD.
So what the consumer should take away is that they shouldn't trust a third-party with the only copy of their unrecoverable data. The fact that they don't want to care doesn't mean that they shouldn't or that they can actually not care.
So the right solution is to have your (important) data replicated in a couple of different cloud services (Google Docs replicated with Dropbox, etc.).
That is reason I started cloudHQ: just sync and replicate data between cloud services in real time. Nothing sexy: but fast and reliable.
Obviously this only works when you use your own personal URL-Shortener and not one of the ubiqious cost free shortening services like bit.ly et.al.
While we're coming up with analogies, this seems more like impounding all the other cars in a public parking lot because a percentage of them had drugs.
If they find a body in a storage facility, they will probably deny everyone else access to the facility until they have gathered all the evidence they need.
Shutting down MegaUpload isn't to "gather evidence", it's a punitive, open-ended action.
Yea. Stretching the metaphor.
Unless the MegaUpload business continues to operate somehow, I can't imagine how they would allow people to access their data once again. Would the police run the business so that people can get their data back? Hard to imagine them absorbing the cost of doing that.
The Feds confiscated a cloud storage service used for both lots of copyright infringement and lots of valid files. The situation isn't so complicated to understand that we need metaphors anyhow.
While police investigate the warehouse's dealings with Al Capone, others are unfortunately inconvenienced as their belongings are inaccessible. Those who had legitimate possessions in storage should question why the warehouse owners put their belongings in jeopardy by knowingly storing illegal material rather than taking responsible measures to curb illegal use.
This is more like the FBI burning the warehouse to the ground, with everyone's stuff still inside.
If you've a militaristic mindset, and there's a bad guy in the warehouse, this is exactly what happens. A siege mentality, and the simplicity and effectiveness of execution reinforce the approach.
"You know the score, pal? You're little people."
These questions would apply to all cloud-storage companies. Can someone with more legal experience shed some light?
Regardless of precise laws (it will take years to make a precedent) it would seem extremely naive to assume that anything you upload could and will not be read by the federal authorities, or others (megaupload owners, some guy at your ISP, etc.)... This is one of the major issues with using 'the cloud' as a platform for anything sensitive, and doesnt get enough attention.
I would speculate: no. Once something was uploaded to megaupload, it was made available for download to anyone with the url for the file.
If the file is public, its going to be very very hard to successfully argue that a LEO looking at it constitutes an unreasonable search.
There may have been no comfortable file navigation tools built into megaupload, but I believe they would still be considered 'public' by nature of the fact anyone could download them.
edit: I'm assuming that the public nature of the files would be the best choice to argue that it is not a unreasonable search. Of course there may still be reasonable searches if they're not public, but I think one could make a case that the files were public. Is this what you're disagreeing about?
Isn't that replacing one dubious service with another though? Right now, I'd imagine that something akin to Amazon S3 is the only reliable solution, and even then I bet they have their fair share of infringing material stored.
It's quite the rabbit hole the FBI have gone down with this action.
Removing links isn't the same as removing content.
With most services like MegaUpload/Rapidshare you get paid when people download your files, hence their popularity, its a business for a lot of uploaders.
For $10/month you can easily get a VServer with 20 GB disk space or more. For $50/month you can rent a Dedicated Server with 2000 GB hard disks. (... assuming that someone who works with embedded linux images has no problem with installing a tiny webserver and making regular security upgrades)
Also, if youre just hosting linux images, can you not put them on github, google code or similar?
I seem to remember S3 also makes it easy to turn on an optional .torrent link, to save you some bandwidth charges.
(No personal experience, offer seems valid for nationals only, WebHostingTalk suggests there's little support, OVH apparently change their upstream providers all the time to get the best possible deals - you get a lot of bandwidth but latency varies from day to day. Seems acceptable for a simple file server.)
Why not set up a server at home? If I hadn't turned off my desktop this morning, I could rsync data from home.
(2) the hassle of running a server.
(3) he may not have much upload bandwidth, which translates to slow downloads by other people.
> 5 GB of Amazon S3 standard storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests*
So they'd terminate purely based on their own 'suspicion'? Seems a little harsh.
Acting on anything short of proof, is acting on suspicion. Now what constitutes proof as far as copyright infringement? I can't think of anything short of a court decision. DMCA takedown notices aren't proof, they're just when the complainant swears they have a good faith belief that the file in question is infringing.
An external request to take something down is different to making that decision entirely on your own suspicions.
Typically, this is covered by the "we can do whatever we want"-type clause in other file providers TOS, bayfiles is just limiting their purview to more specific situations.
My point with my previous point was that any harshness was not on the part of bayfiles.
Not everyone has the same familiarity with the reputation of internet sites as you do.
I really don't have any idea if my webhost is complicit in hosting illegal activity. If they were to get shutdown to hosting child porn, that's all well and good, but I'd still want my sites back.
On the other hand, it seems that for many the distinguishing factor of legal vs illegal is that legal sites are financed by venture capitalists and illegal sites are privately owned.
More importantly, what's the difference between your site (data) and an mp3 (data)? Your site was "taken from you" but you didn't take that artists mp3, just a copy?
> Your site was "taken from you" but you didn't take that
> artists mp3, just a copy?
If you copy an mp3, there are now two copies of an mp3. One in the original 'owner's possession, and one in yours.
If I take the hard drive that an artist is storing the only copy of his/her mp3 on, then I have 'stolen' the mp3 because I have deprived the artist of possession.
When the FBI took down MegaUpload, if the only copy of my files were on MegaUpload, the FBI has taken physical possession of them through the seizure of MegaUpload's servers.
What the FBI did would only be analogous to pirating if they copied all of the data off of MegaUpload's servers, but left the servers intact (thereby allowing the original owners to still have access).
I wasn't. However, you're comment is clearly a thinly veiled attempt to discredit my comment without actually contributing anything back. That you'll bite is you attempting to play the part of the "bigger person."
The reality is, you start off by being ill-mannered, insulting, and petty.
Don't bring that stuff to HN. You should know better.
> If I take the hard drive that an artist is storing the only copy of his/her mp3 on, then I have 'stolen' the mp3 because I have deprived the artist of possession.
Actually, no. In this case, the original had to come from somewhere. Data was copied from one location to another. What is up on MU is, in essence, a copy. If the original owner then removes that original copy, it doesn't bless the copy with special privileges. Hell, if you want to get technical, the artist never had possession of the only mp3 up on MU's server. MU had possession. The artist had access, but not possession. He has, effectively, given MU the right to possess the copy.
Regardless, this example, as much as yours, is silly, because it's data. We aren't talking about a physical thing. You're trying to argue that data, somehow, can be stolen (1s and 0s, something we've long argued can't be "stolen").
Honestly, I can't take any of these arguments seriously, if only because they are using the same arguments the MPAA/RIAA have been attempting to use against us for years.
> 1s and 0s, something we've long argued can't be "stolen"
> Honestly, I can't take any of these arguments seriously,
> if only because they are using the same arguments the
> MPAA/RIAA have been attempting to use against us for
What is being argued here, as I understand it, is that depriving the original owner of their only copy is being called stealing. As I stated in my original comment, the FBI confiscated the drives that those copies are being stored on.
Your camera is stolen.
If someone left you your camera, and merely deleted the pictures, and copied them onto their system, that would be copyright infringement at best (ignoring the act of hacking your camera, etc).
Whatever other philisophical argument you want to present is meaningless without an actual law backing it up. While it might feel like theft, it's not.
> is that depriving the original owner of their only copy is being called stealing.
That's the argument. It's flawed. If you make a copy of something an upload it to MU, MU now has a copy. If you delete your original copy, that doesn't bless the copy with special protection. Indeed, by uploading to MU, you probably gave them permissions to distribute the download, as well as other rights. In fact, I'd be surprised if any cloud service like what we are discussing gave you special rights over the hardware that was storing your devices.
MU is the bad guy here. They are the ones that were allegedly doing illegal things while accepting honest customers. It's a shame, yes, but the reason people are up in arms is because MU is the "little" guy fighting against the "evil" government and the vile "MPAA/RIAA." Sorry, but I don't sell out just because I don't like one side.
People save their money at banks associated with illegal activity. Microsoft, Google, Apple... all associated with illegal activities.
Our governments are associated with illegal activity. Strike that. Our governments break laws. Cops break laws. Judges break laws. Legislators break laws. Soldiers break laws.
We just observed Martin Luther King day. He was associated with illegal activity and broke many laws.
How do you avoid association with illegal activity?
Worth noting that some of them were moaning that this was their backup. Not sure I see the issue there, just move them somewhere else - if it's a backup they still have originals presumably.
There's another submission on the HN fp that seems to tackle just that: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3489313
But for the Megaupload users, I would like to quote one of the boards I saw held up by SOPA protesters: "Dear congress it is no longer ok to not know how the internet works". Dear users, that goes for you to. And trusting your valuable data to a provider who is suspected of all kinds of shenanigans is naive. You get what you pay for.
I am also thinking about what happens in the case of a federal seizing -- I wonder if they would decrypt the data.
We generate a new 2048-bit RSA public/private key pair when our client is installed, store the public key on the local disk and transmit the private key to our datacenter via https. Then, for each backup session, we generate a new random 128-bit AES symmetric key which we use to encrypt the user’s data. We secure the 128-bit AES key by encrypting it with the user’s public key and transmit the encrypted file along with the encrypted key to our datacenter over https. We destroy the unencrypted 128-bit AES key at the end of each backup session and never write it to disk. To decrypt a file, the user’s private key is used to decrypt the 128-bit AES which is then used to decrypt the file.
With pictures and everything. I'm not one of their users, but that page was interesting to read.
So they can definitely decrypt your data.
I agree with you, but think it's harsh to judge the users by it. It's not that long ago that it was nothing short of a miracle if the average home user - or small business for that matter - had any backups.
In a way, I'm heartened by the progress.
Clearly we now see that cloud storage is not reliable at all and can not be trusted because even though my data is completely legal, just because someone else misused the service in violation of its TOS, everybody's data property gets confiscated by the feds. That's not safe at all. Cloud is not safe. Owning your own server, at least you have control over what else is on it.
For example using a cloud application to actually do your work whereby all your data is saved by your app to their storage platform and there's no way to get it out.
If that cloud app gets shut down because of SOPA or whatever then what happens to your data?
In the long run, if high-profile removals happen like this, I can see it causing a general lack of trust in SaaS for the average home user.
As it should. Unfortunately, current tech isn't there for the regular user; it still isn't even there for the technically-inclined user who has a better grasp on the risks going in. There are very few solid services out of there right now, and the vast majority of them are only a platform for the techie to build the user-facing services and/or are highly domain-specific.
I totally agree there is no good way for a regular, or even techie, user to tell when a service is a fly-by-night. What do you have to gauge them on? How good of graphic design they have for their website only tells you how much they care about putting up a pretty face, which is not necessarily tied to the quality of product at all. The internet is so full of both PR and unwarranted rage, where do you even start to gauge the quality of a service?
It gets really, really difficult. I thought megaupload was a look-the-other-way-as-much-as-legally-possible-while-piracy-happens operation because I was only knew about it because of people who used it to pirate. But at the same time there were plenty of people who thought they were what they advertized themselves as, I even had buisness contacts at large reputable organizations that used them to email me big files all the time.
The fact that a local copy is kept is what I like about dropbox, and why I also keep local backups in an external HDD.
Your files are gone. Restore them from your backup.
If you give Dropbox write-access to your Desktop and all your unencrypted original files, you are 0wned.
Worried about your files? Try worrying about your car or house, they're equally at risk. Not all cops are evil, but they'll all stand behind each other regardless.
If they are governed by US laws, it's possible the FBI would return assets to lawful owners, much like the wind-down of MF Global, but that type of thing takes quite some time. Also, as possibly bad as that sounds, if MegaUpload had actually been the cause of data loss instead of an FBI take down, there is no recourse...other than pursuing MegaUpload via a court system! While I don't actually think this take down was reasonable, any expectation of warranty in MegaUpload's service can only be assumed by accepting the laws of the countries MegaUpload operates in.
Although it's not clear if a removal from Dropbox servers could trigger a deletion into my own Dropbox. Perhaps someone at HN knows? Please advise...
Of course it's technically possible, and Dropbox could probably be compelled by one law or another to make it happen. The question isn't "could it happen", but "would it happen".
Dropbox is probably not capable of triggering an actual immediate deletion of anything, unless they left some kind of backdoor. But any app could theoretically have a backdoor.
Whoever stored files there and had the idea they were "safe" should read point (8) of the above...
Edit: Even if your stuff is legal.
How was it taken down? Just DNS or soemthing else?
Btw, we all have our source in git or mercurial (vcs with full history) with an offsite repo, right? also, RAID isn't a backup. How many lessons do people need to keep relearning?
Let me repeat: "Keeping anything important in one place is a bad idea"
But backup is a separate copy of your data set aside for emergencies, while raid just increases the reliability of your one, in use, copy of the data.
Heres an example: You just accidentally dropped a table from your database. Can you recover it with a backup? Can you recover it with RAID?
If its music/movies it's not that big an issue to get 1 corrupted file, on the other hand, corruption on critical work files could be a disaster.
I say RAID is fine for a media NAS box, but for critical business files, a more thorough backup strategy is required...
In that case I still wouldn't call it a backup. I'd just say that the array itself was failure-resistant enough that you've chosen not to maintain a backup.
The idea is that each service would think you're "just" using them; meanwhile, you're really hedging your bets. Should ANY ONE of these disappear, in spite of general internet connectivity on your part, software panics and downloads ALL your data to your local hard-drive instead (on the theory that perhaps the government is about to make ALL of them inaccessible to you), sends you an email and SMS?
Another feature would be local encyrption. Let me know if there's interest in this. Basically, this is like a raid-1 layer on top of two or more disjoint services such as DropBox, optionally with local encryption.
So every major city has one of those "massage parlors" that are really just fronts for getting a happy ending. I'd liken this story to a hypothetical "Massage Parlor/rub and tug shop" getting shut down and then having a major local newspaper like the Chicago Tribune run a piece on how we should be outraged that a legit massage place got shut down because of a few bad employees and customers.
Give me a break, everyone knew what MegaUpload was doing and while I don't doubt the possibility that some people didn't know and really were using it legitimately, overall stories like this only give the pro-SOPA people more ammunition to try to make our side look like a bunch of entitled, unethical, lawbreakers. Or, as they like to say, "pirates" except when they say it it implies something totally different than what some of us see it as.
Only the most pedantic of the pedantic could not pick this story enough to try to make a case for defending MegaUpload. It's not like MU were hiding what they were doing very well. They only had plausible deniability with their cute disclaimer in the FAQ and the fact that it could be used legitimately but largely wasn't. There's no shortage of affordable, popular "file locker"/sharing sites that are legit out there.
When you try to defend MegaUpload and say "this is what happens when laws like SOPA take effect" what people outside this community actually hear is:
"look how SOPA can stop those law breaking pirates" and it actually makes us look bad.
Instead, the message shouldn't be supporting MegaUpload but actually beating the opposition at their own game by framing it as "look, the Feds can shut down pirate sites just fine as it is so why do we need SOPA-like laws?" then go into the dirty details of how SOPA is bad. Definitions and opinions on piracy, copyright, sharing, etc. are irrelevant in this case. The fact is, it's illegal right now and so it got shut down.
Anyway, our opinions on what should be legal are totally irrelevant. Fact is, piracy is illegal and there are laws already in place and enforced on it. You can't just break the law en masse and call it a protest. The opposition just ends up marginalizing you as "a group of bad apples" no matter how many people do it.
I favor copyright and don't much like piracy only because I wouldn't want my work to be pirated, however I do see the danger in SOPA and the extension of copyright so I would definitely protest with you guys here. The problem is we can't make change and be comfortable at the same time. If you want to see a change in policy you have to imcomvenience yourself a little in this case. Sitting on your computer and downloading torrents all day them writing a blog post about it doesn't do anyone but preach to the choir. You have to get active and get out into the streets. Protest in front of the offices of Universal, make t-shirts, formally organize, and start talking to the non-techie public in a way they understand. Unfortunately, us nerds seem to be terrible at doing that. We're all so pedantic, we argue amongst ourselves over the little things, and when we do try to educate the public we all spew out different, non-unified messages that the public doesn't see a reason to care about. We're all so enamoured with our ability to disrupt systems and do things our own way that we think we can always play by our own set of rules. I think thats hubris on our part and it's hurting us. In this case I think we need to play by their rules in such a way that we turn their own rules against us. Let's start a PR war. The kind of PR war that uses bumper sticker slogans and tactics the other side uses. We may think its beneath us but would you rather be right or would you rather win?
What I want to point is that the guy downloading and sharing the movie for home-viewing is definitely non commercial. And this is very much included in the common definition of piracy (along with commercial distribution like bootleg cds).
Now, about how it's not ok to break the laws: I disagree. I view laws as a convenience for having a civilized society, not as sacred rules. I have enormous respect for them and I am perfectly aware that respecting just the laws you feel like when you feel like is a recipe for chaos. But I am also aware that not all laws are just. More to the point, I am aware that historically a huge number of laws were completely absurd, and from a modern point of view they were (also literally) medieval. I have absolutely no reason to believe we are now above having such absurd laws and I think drug and copyright laws are such modern examples, having no basis in fact and rationality. Therefore not only I have no respect for them, but also no compunction about breaking them (other then getting caught).
Prostitution is a different matter btw - in principle I am for legalizing it, but in practice there are ways it could backfire. Human trafficking is real, and while I suspect having prostitution illegal only helps it I don't have the same degree of conviction.
With copyright on the other hand there is no doubt in my mind that it's an absurd law - therefore I am morally free (and somehow obligated) to ignore it.
Your main objection is that breaking the law doesn't help change it - this I do not think is true. Having millions, really having a majority of the population pirating movies and smoking pot - with no catastrophic consequences on either - only helps drive the point that the laws are absurd. If everybody respected the law just because it's the law we'd just have a world of sheep. It's enough we often get the circular reasoning that "all drugs are bad because they're illegal". I have no desire to see it applied to copyright.
if someone rents a storage space, and dump a truckload of cocaine there. what happens to the lawful customers of said storage company?
plus they had a gumball machine and two snacks and drinks vending machine in the hall that led to it and other units! they were clearly making money everytime the criminal went there with a client.
I GUESS DROPBOX IS NEXT!
There is no excuse not to have suitable back-ups of your files.