Anonymous 2. And, uh, jeez, if you like uptime, you don’t want to annoy Anonymous. (CC-BY-SA) liryon.

Well, that happened. It’s a surreal episode that seems not to have any clear winners, as the US government on one side and hackers on the other face off over what is and isn’t freedom online. The mystery is, what will be the long-term outcome for people making content – or, for that matter, do these kinds of dramatics even really have any logic in your work at all?

While the music tech industry was holed away in the palm tree-lined walls of the Anaheim Convention Center, it seems full-blown war broke out over content on the Internet, in a surreal collision of players. Remember that bleak future painted by opponents of new US anti-piracy legislation, one in which your ability to upload your own content might get caught in the crossfire? It turns out it doesn’t necessarily require new laws, and it could look something like this:

MegaUpload file sharing site shut down for piracy by Feds [LA Times]

And then, in spectacular fashion, the hackers strike back…
Anonymous downs government, music industry sites in largest attack ever [RT]

Updated: The raid successfully stopped MegaUpload from operating … erm, except that it’s now right here, via a direct IP address and other sites appear to be phishing scams, so stay away.

It’s hard to imagine a more heated showdown. The US Department of Justice is behind the raid on MegaUpload, and just happened to time their crackdown the day after sites like Wikipedia blocked out content in protest of more restrictive rules in Congressional legislation, rules that claim to target just this kind of site. (MegaUpload was often named specifically, and – in fairness – had run rampant with pirated files. The authorities may have chosen the date as the founder’s birthday party, unrelated to yesterday’s blackout.) But that’s almost not the oddest thing about this story: it places a site endorsed by a number of high-profile musicians opposite labels like Universal Music Group. And don’t forget reports that the CEO is using an alias and is married to Alicia Keys, for added potential drama.

Now, clearly, MegaUpload was a venue for a significant amount of copyright infringement, and it’s inarguable that its owners benefited from that infringement. But artists themselves are already crying foul, partly because a service they used is unavailable. For instance, online radio station SOMA FM protests via Twitter:
“FBI shuts down megaupload .com, claiming no legit users. However lots of indie artists used it to send us (SomaFM) their new music.”

Show of hands. Are you now thinking:
1. I’m relieved! Now that the Federal government is cracking down on these sites, I can at last have the financial security as a musician of which I’ve always dreamed! Clearly, this will help drive more money into sales of music and other creative content, and we’ll all benefit!

2. Great. This will really mean is the next time I try to upload something, there will be all kind of annoying restrictions imposed voluntarily by services to avoid getting shuttered, all because people had to upload Adele albums. I’m just trying to send a darned demo.

3. Who was using MegaUpload, anyway?

Tally to follow.

In the meantime, these fireworks with Anonymous are sure entertaining to watch.

One alternative possibility occurs to me. Because it’s clearly possible to shut down MegaUpload without the benefit of damaging legislation, the MegaUpload closure actually makes an excellent case against the need for restrictive new laws. In other words, you can shut down an obvious infringer like MegaUpload, while leaving loads of other sites that support user content, and you didn’t have to change US law. So, even though Anonymous scored a dramatic protest, the raid itself might actually make a good case against new, tougher laws.

Downpressor, via Twitter, remarks “I’m not sorry to see sites like that go down.” And that’s the crux of this – a large number of parties actually do agree that some sites ought to go away through some sort of enforcement action. After the explosive saga here settles down, the upshot may be that this is left to enforcement mechanisms within the bounds of existing law, and not the kind of radical new laws recently proposed.

MegaUpload itself, though, may prove to be a bit divisive, because it will be seen through the eyes of some users who used it legitimately, even if those activities were a minority.

  • Rodan

    This is starting to get ridiculous very quick.  Im growing very very tired of my government very very fast.

  • whore non a mouse

    thank you anon!!!!

  • Take any large source of pornography away from Anonymous and see how quickly the retaliation comes. Draw your own conclusions.

    Artists wouldn't use MegaUpload or Rapidshare because we have SoundCloud and Why make your audience wait 60 seconds to download your work? My lean is toward thoughts 2 and 3, and sadly, more toward 2.

    The DOJ complaint filed against Mega* reads like a 12-year-old wrote it. MegaConspiracy indeed.

    • peterkirn

      Yeah, I tend to agree – although, I will say, you would have *no idea* how many times press get Rapidshare and MegaUpload links. 

      Now, I'm not saying that means I like those services – in fact, the quickest way to loathe them is to have to deal with pop-up ads when you're trying to download a pre-release. 

      But yeah … MegaConspiracy?

    • This artist does…

      Go figure: I just uploaded last night's band rehearsal to Megaupload this morning. Guess my bandmates won't be able to download the files. Awesome. Welcome to the future of collaboration.

  • richard

    I'm thinking no. 2. I'm also thinking this is bullshit.

  • peterkirn

    I also find this interesting: a lot of SOPA/PIPA opponents are *not* running with this story. I think the reason may be that it doesn't make terribly good advocacy for the issue. It's just not a good narrative. (Unfortunately, as I say – it happened. It's reality. Anyway, we'll see if they were just busy and pick this up later.)

    I still think that in the long run, the upshot of the MegaUpload crackdown could actually be *good* for people opposed to SOPA. If you can shut down MegaUpload under the current law, why would you need SOPA, anyway?

    • I agree with the logic of not needing extended legislation, but though I really don't think I'll miss Mega* I am wondering what evidence will be presented as indisputable proof that the sites were created specifically for piracy. If the evidence against Mega* is lacking or poor, it sets a terrible precedent.

  • 2.

  • freesoul

    I feel like we've been down this road before…Napster anyone?

    • peterkirn

      Yeah, exactly. Now, to play devil's advocate *to myself* – I know there are many who believe that earlier, decisive action against Napster and a more workable legal alternative could have led the entire industry down another path.

      I'm not necessarily agreeing with that line of thinking – on the contrary, it seems there's substantial evidence against it – but I think it's worth at least entertaining as a possibility. 

      It's also possible that Napster demonstrates this sort of enforcement doesn't really change the landscape at all, which is where my cynical headline originates. 😉

  • Seablade


    And yes Arstechnica did run this story as well and are SOPA/PIPA opponents. But Anonymous's response doesn't help anyone to be honest.

    • Taldein

      Actually, that's where you might be wrong. The actions of Anonymous prove a very real point here. Something worth looking at in regards to SOPA/PIPA. Is the government ready to take on the internet? Do they have the power, resources, and even legitimate claim to try and control a global network that was built upon the idea of free exchange?

      The actions of Anonymous say "No, they do not."

      It is a very real reminder that their majorities are out here, and not lobbing in Washington, or counting their profits in Anaheim. It opens a whole new spin on the idea of copyright infringement. If the current laws work, why change them? And what will be the response if we do?

      Personally? I think something like this coming around after the passage of SOPA/PIPA, would have much further reaching consequences, and more destructive e-protests and "Hacktivism".

  • p0ser

    ALAS! The new-age Fascist, Draconian era begins! America is waging war on the internet, and we really cant do anything about it. "I'm not sad to see sites like that go down"??? Oh yeah? Cool! Well then, don't go to those fucking websites! Plain and simple. 

    • Random Chance

      I don't think that it's a good idea to shut down those sites, but on the other hand: Why can anyone who probably did not pay them any money complain? It's mostly a free service (at least that is how I used it) and if MegaUpload themselves decided to close down because they are not profitable or the grass is greener somewhere else, would you also complain? 

      Anyway, on the one hand we have some people (the US government and other governments and businesses that want/need to help them) and on the other hand we have the sorts of Anonymous. Like they say (actually they don't, but I do): It's idiots all the way down.

  • 2

    I use file sharing sites everyday for personal and professional use

  • anonymous

    if everyone made music this stunt would get Ron Paul elected 

  • synthetic

    WheN is the last time you saw pirated musoc, movies or software being distributed by a method other than Torrents, Rapidshare or Megaupload? NO love lost for those bastards who made money through pirating other artists’ work. 

  • dubremix

    well, here is the thing, there is no honor anymore among thieves.  when I was growing up in the 90s pirates would leave small indie labels and artists and indie software developers alone and only pirate stuff from the millionaires,  kind of like robin hood,  nowadays they just think everything should be free.  case in point,  I worked 3 years on my last album and the day after it was released on eMusic it was on MegaUpload and Rapidshare,  that really sucks, because they don't even give you time to sell it.  one could argue that the music should be free and the fans will pay you back by going to your gigs.  sure if you are a pop act, but if you are making ambient beatless glitch how many gigs can you even get?  answer no enough to pay for making the music and half the time the gigs don't pay because the promoter will say, playing for free will help you sell records.   something has to give.   

    • Polite_Society

      I would argue that through the file sharing your ambient beatless glitch gets more listeners, and more listeners means a bigger audience to buy your music. Sure, maybe a lot of people wont if they can get it for free, but those people also probably wouldn't have bought your music without having listened to it, nor possibly even heard of it.

  • peterkirn

    One option, for anyone looking for a quick fix who was using MegaUpload.

    I guess the question is, could any such service come to be labeled this way? But in the meantime, I'd say, don't let this stop you from working with your bandmates.

  • @dubremix Don't get mad. Get fresh.

    If you make "ambient beatless glitch" realize that you're making background music…at best. You're probably not going to be the main attraction (unless you have a compelling image/performance and find a way to completely rewrite the rules), so you're going to have to find ways to build your brand and hustle into some backgrounds (soundtracks, licensing, pairing with other art forms like dance, video, etc) and not even think of selling product to such a niche audience in my opinion.

    Instead of taking 3 years to do an album (what is that…one keeper song every 3 months?), work harder and try to putting out an album out every 3-6 MONTHS. The guys that posted you stuff on rapidshare are probably your core audience.

    I had one on my projects (which wasn't released as a freebie) show up on some blog sites using megaupload and rapidshare last year. I downloaded the zip file myself just to make sure that the files weren't infected or mis-tagged. Honestly it made me smile…and I dare say proud that someone put that much effort into repackaging my stuff and spreading it around.

  • ramin

    who in the world uses megaupload to share files?
    seriously it's a pop up infested unusable piece of shit. I say good riddance to mega upload.

    I understand it being shut down. I'm pretty sure 90% of the stuff on megaupload was pirated anyway.

    if you're an indie band and wanna send files there are waaaaaaaaaaaaay better options.

    Like We Transfer which actually gets used legally by agencies and artists to send files to clients and stuff.
     Dropbox which has a public folder where you can directly link to the files
    hell, even yousendit is better then megaupload.

  • stellan0r

    I wonder how the US feds or the RIAA or whoever wants to prove that actual "loss" of 500 Mio.$ as there is no way to prove for them that content users would have actually bought the products if they were not available on megaupload in the first place – maybe the consumer would simply not consume / have the desire to buy some kind of new media (music, film, whatever) if it was not available somewhere for free..

  • themicronauts

    Real artists need both: freedom and financial security.

    @dubremix: kudos to you, you're a real artist and brave

    @COOLOUT: You seems to be so submitted to your masters… That's sad. Taking 3-6 months to do an album is just adding noise to the background noise, and it's wasting the time of your audience. That's definitely not what art and music are about.

    IT companies are making huge superprofits. They should give back to the digital content creators.

  • Ronnie

    Good file transfer services are hard to find. There's always a business model, especially as said services grow in popularity. The more popular a service becomes the greater the chance the bad guys start using it and there's no mechanism to stop the bad guys it's only a matter of time before legal actions follow.

    But hey, eventually (the next week) new services pop up to fill the gap. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    I've received a good amount of megaupload links from various sources, all of them for transferring completely legal content.

  • Tim

    Totally ashamed of my country (NZ) for bending over for this trumped up bullshit. None of the accused are US citizens or operate on US soil! And now they’re to be tried under US law? I’m pretty sure I break Chinese law every day, should I be extridited to China?

  • hoobes

    if it was possible to download oil or pharmaceutical through megaupload all their owners would just “disappear” mysteriously and reappear in orange suits on cuba. 

  • JonYo

    As far as the response from Anon goes, it seems that the media is just as bad as the govt OWM (old white men) in not understanding the technology enough to properly comment on it. The sensationalist headlines would lead the uninformed to think that Anon just busted into a jillion bank accounts held deep in protected databases at once, steaing all the money in the WORLD, when all they did was use some botnets du jour to DDOS attack some public-facing websites.  Come on, it’s script kiddie stuff.  I’m waaaay against SOPA, PIPA and the way in which megaupload was brought down by US authorities (whatever happened to national sovereignty, this was NZ citizens on NZ soil, right?), so I’m certainly not on the same side as the MPAA, RIAA, etc, but Anon’s actions in this case seemed pretty tepid to me.

  • TweakingKnobs

    i cannot reach media fire even via the direct ip link 🙁

  • ZZZ

    Ok here's the deal : I don't consider myself a slave, and i see no logical reason why i should work for months/years on my album, just so that i could give it for free to the owner of MegaUpload, who in turn will charge other people for it, give me the finger, and make 150 millions$ annualy out of my work and others , while i'm still scraping a few cents to pay for cables . 
    The guy is like the digital Al Capone, owns a private jet and multiple Mercedes , a 30 million$ house in Auckland, throws 500.000 $ for a fireworks for his birthday party, was already arrested multiples times in the past for fraud, hacking, stealing credit cards numbers and selling them to hackers, etc.. All this info is largley available and confirmed.

    I will not be shedding a tear for him, or for any similar individual. I have ZERO respect for the wannabe thugs that call themselves Anonymous and support him ( only because they have dreamed themselves to lead an Al Capone or a Scarface life someday, but don't have the balls to bear the consequences of such lifestyle )

  • elk

    I can understand why they've done this. I mean, this guy is responsible for this CRIME

  • icemacheen

    Do you realize that your "update" would be illegal under SOPA and you could be charged with a crime for printing the IP address to MegaUpload?

  • I'm one of the few musicians who knows how to set up an amazon S3 bucket, so file hosting has never been simpler (or cheaper).   I agree that megaupload has been passed up a long time ago by a plethora of other file hosting sites that worked far better, but the fact is, indie digital content creators will Always have a need for general file hosting, and so will piraters.

  • i think MegaUpload got pressure from the Movie lobby. the motion picture Industry is led by a former congressman so his influence is huge. i recall a weekend when i saw youth in public spaces streaming hit movies no MegaUpload…they weren't downloads…they were streaming. that debate has largely been left out. 
    i'll add something slightly off topic but precisely at the heart of the debate with this question. WHAT HAPPENED TO FIBER? weren't we supposed to get fiber in our homes so we could have 100mb per minute downloads?
    the same lobbies that are pushing for SOPA and PIPA, the lobbies for the telecoms, cable and movie company lobbys prevented the deployment of fiber because there was no consensus on how fiber would affect copyright and licensing. fast forward 13 years later and we now are seeing the largest lobby of them all, THE PEOPLE, emerge.
    This is largely due to a "personal" device over a wireless network. In my view, blocking fiber backfired on the above mentioned groups. one addiction substituted by another led by social networking movements. it's going to get worse from both ends of the spectrum until we all unplug, the owners of the pipe unplug us, or the cost of access increases to the point where it's not usable. the alternate scenario of liberating the pipe and the content is an interesting one however.

  • Jez

    The U.S. is becoming the new China. The suppressed will always rise, history shows this. Just need a little time. Too many people on the planet to be governed by a handful of muppets.

  • 2. I was using Megaupload for some of the links to share my own music. Luckily I’ve got an link too but I guess to hedge my bets I’ll need an alternative just in case.
    In any case my aim was to get my music out there and I wasn’t bothered about getting paid so Megaupload was an ideal solution. This solution worked fine and the tunes I uploaded have spread far beyond the sites I put them on originally onto the web thus demonstrating the implausibility of measures such as SOPA.

  • I have very mixed feelings about megaupload being shut down. It doesn't take a genius to see that they built an entire ecosystem of piracy with megavideo. Pirate sights embed the videos from megavideo and served up a shit ton of ad's. Streaming video is one of those things that has moved beyond mere piracy now. People are making a lot of money embedding shows like boardwalk empire, californication etc. 

    I suppose you could argue that that's not megavideos fault. However, how long can a company fain ignorance when it is so overwhelmingly obvious that an entire system of profit has been built around the system you set up?

  • ZZZ

    Man , i can't believe the extreme poverty MegaUpload's boss was living in ! I mean only ONE Maserati, ONE Rolls-Royce, Royce, ONE Pink Cadillac , and only 3 Mercedes Benz ??? Only ONE Helicopter ?? How can anyone live in such inhumane conditions ? 
    Can't decent people be allowed to suck on artists blood anymore ? What is this world coming to ?

    I demand a general blackout of all music and film related sites to support MegaUpload , and in support of the freedom to make 170 millions$ by stealing other people's work !

  • chromatouch

    3. i never really used it, although i must admit i have got mixes by people from there. it's fine for these wars to go on i think, and they always will, cos pirate material will always be freely available, and always was. if it was up to the fuckers behind sopa and pipa, they'd probably have the internet shut down permanently, which is where it gets scary… cos it's the valid sites trying to innovate like soundcloud and mixcloud who'll go down and that's where everyone will lose out.

  • Hellgi

    I for one am VERY happy the site was taken down. There are plenty of file sharing services that do not foster such blatant piracy. I have plenty of friends who actually though the site was legal, because they were paying for the service. They used it to download everything from TV shows, to movies, to CDs. Google proved with YouTube that you can operate a fairly lenient sharing website and yet make it legal. That never interested the owners of Megaupload. It really annoys me that some people paint this as a an attack on free speech. I haven't seen Wikipedia taken down recently or its owner being taken into custody. I wonder where the difference is.

  • bliss

    Makes you wonder why MegaUpload, Rapidshare, PirateBay and all the rest like them don’t have their own lobbies in Washington, DC. (Maybe that’s the future?)

    The argument that MegaUpload was making money off of the blood, sweat and tears of uncompensated artists doesn’t resonate with me because plenty of legit US art/entertainment/finance/law companies/firms have been doing the same thing ever since art/entertainment/mortgages/loans/credit have existed in this country.

    This is not to say I agree with MegaUpload’s business model, it is to say that corrupt parties are present on all sides of this battle/war for money. It’s not about fair play. Not at all. It’s about making money and living lavishly at the expense of others. The exploitation of misery. There is no discrimination, only indifference.

    The spin is that MegaUpload operated illegally. The reality is the company operated by flouting international and US laws through the use of legal loopholes. That’s why in this case the US is keen on extraditing all of MegaUpload’s crucial players — because here it would be easier to load the dice against them. If you have taken the time to have a glance at some of the charges that have been leveled against MegaUpload’s founder, you’ll understand right away that he’s facing charges usually reserved for organized crime — which is exactly how the US has pitched its case to foreign authorities. So it’s not a simple matter of business and associated legal infractions in even the slightest sense.

    When has the US Department of Justice or Securities and Exchange Commission ever done the same or similar in the prosecution of criminal Wall Street enterprise? Please feel free to cite even a single case, because I sure cannot recall one.

    Unfortunately, all of this leaves me feeling rather numb. It’s the same old, same old with no end of it in sight.

  • bliss

    Correction: The argument that MegaUpload was making money off of the blood, sweat and tears of uncompensated artists doesn’t resonate with me because plenty of legit US art/entertainment/finance/law companies/firms have been doing the same thing to artists and ordinary citizens/people ever since art/entertainment/mortgages/loans/credit have existed in this country.

  • Peter Kirn

    I don’t think anyone is defending the MegaUpload business model or owners, even if expressing some ambivalence or concern about losing access to a site they used and what the larger precedent is.

    In other news: that vanity plate that says “POLICE” suddenly doesn’t look like such a great move.

  • Nume

    the question is, how will this impact the handling with other file/stream sharer? there are dozens of others around… Is this the beginning or was kim the only one they reached?  reminds a lot of the shutdown of the popular german movie stream links site, there was no impact for consumers as there are plenty of alternatives…

  • E33T

    What I'd like to know is what makes the US law enforcement agencies etc. think they have the right to force themselves on other countries, keep to your own country!

  • Blob

    @ZZZ and @Hellgi
    'Nuff said. Thank you.

    I don't feel particularly better by Megaupload being taken down because that's just more power for SOPA legislators and media corporations. I also don't feel better by Anonymous' actions because, well they're just helping to replace corporate fat cats with… a new type of corporate fat cat.

    Artists and the audience are the losers in any case including those in the audience that get their favourtite content for "free" and that in a few years will be terribly surprised when new content simply dries up, or is 100% driven from recycling old content.

    See Jaron Lanier's take on the subject in his book "You Are Not a Gadget" and you'll get my drift.

  • lala

    argh, im sick to death with suits "fixing" the internet!
    @dubremix: so u worked 3 years on your ambient album & then couldn't sell it because the day after the release it was on rapidshare???
    > rofl, how many copies does ambient sell?!? 3000 max.? so u couldn't have lived from 3000 sold copies anyway,  hello reality! 

    • H. Coleslaw

      uh, he could have certainly made some money, moron.  not that that's even the point.  

    • dubemix

      that means I'd break even on cd pressing.  but you are correct everyone should focus on making music that is maximum commercial and throw away.  there is no room for art now.   I will got get my Justin Beiber hair cut and start writting songs about girls.  thanks for making me understand than I was out of line thinking in I could press a CD and get the money back,  it's more important for that fat bastard at Megaupload make his money.  btw the way, hey have my CDs ripped as FLAC on there.  

      Look let's get real Megaupload is a parasite, no one uses them  legit purposes.  Anyone bitching is just bitching cause their way of getting free stuff  is blocked.

      Pirates are idiots because they don't understand one basic fact, if people can get paid to make media or software, they will stop making media and software and you can spout on about people doing stuff for free, but YouTube is filled will people in their bedrooms mugging for the camera, and for some reason people still want professionally produces stuff.

  • Bendish

    People were stealing shit right?
    There are plenty ways to share music you have made.
    Surely stealing music isn’t good?
    What’s the problem here?
    Just use another site.
    I use yousendit. It’s fine.

  • redvoid

    show of hands: #2

    That said, the reason the Feds want SOPA/PIPA to pass is site shutdowns now have to go through the existing DMCA laws which are already draconian, but at least involve charges being filed, courts and judges aka this thing America used to have called "due process" but now with NDAA, SOPA & PIPA the new goal is to avoid all that messy court stuff, and just declare guilt right away without charges, without due process and be done with whomever is bothering you without the risk of some ethical judge letting them go because of the "law" or some such nonsense like that. The "difference" is DMCA does takedowns with due process, the next wave name for SOPA wants to do it without due process. That's it in a nutshell.

    The waters have become very muddy now. MegaUpload did have a lot of infringing content. They also had a lot of noninfringing content. This is the part where opponents of SOPA were warning that complete site takedowns remove noninfringing content along with the infringing content thus limiting free speech and freedom in general for the users who were legit. Of course what Anonymous did in response may be easy to chuckle at if you agree with their motivations but hacking and DDoS attacks are still technically illegal and their choice of targets makes it highly likely they will suffer some kind of serious repercussions. Long term actions like the ones Anonymous is taking could be used as justifications for further authoritarian measures. As the final cloud in the water, the MegaUpload takedown netted the Feds a whole lot of jack! Did you read the lists of cars, cash and computers they get out of the deal? This whole online piracy thing is starting to sound like the War on Drugs where once started, is difficult to stop since its profitable for law enforcement to prosecute these kinds of crimes. Things have gotten very messy now, and I am not looking forward to what comes next. We should all enjoy this moment of mass political engagement and temporary postponement of SOPA & PIPA but this mess is far from over.

  • redvoid

    other complication arising from the MegaUpload takedown are that under the DMCA (aka current laws) they need to be able to demonstrate the MU was ignoring takedown notices, or uploading infringing content themselves (which I think is the route they'll take) since under the DMCA without these activities being present MegaUpload should have been protected under the DMCA's "Safe Harbor" provision. This whole thing seems not only like retaliation but also like the SWAT Team fell out of a time machine where future SOPA passage gave them the rights to make arrests now under those future provisions.

    Its also quite a hat trick of jurisdiction that they arrested a Dutch Citizen in New Zealand for breaking US laws. Holy "Fucking jurisdictions how do they work?" This is proof for anyone outside of the US gloating about how only Americans are losing their rights, that the World Police aren't going to let something as silly as international sovereign borders from stopping them from enforcing their will across the planet.

  • bliss

    Reply to @PK

    The pressure for the DOJ to take down MegaUpload didn’t come from artists or other people who used to use MegaUpload legitimately. The pressure didn’t come from filmmakers and their crews or screenplay authors or actors and actresses or record producers and their crews of engineers or musicians. The pressure came from entertainment-industry fat cats who benefit disproportionally from the creations of the creators whom they profess to represent. Fat cats who represent corporations, private companies and firms who are anything but transparent and straightforward about their accounting methods.

    To me, this is The Majors against MegaUpload. It just happens that this battle ties in to the SOPA/PIPA debate. But the case itself has little to do retaining present Internet freedoms. This case is more about a parasite (a very smart one, though not too intelligent) who figured out an extremely lucrative way to leech from the leeches.

    If preserving MegaUpload’s services to legitimate subscribers/users was a top priority for the DOJ, the site would still be operational despite its founder being taken into custody. The DOJ is sending a message. SOPA/PIPA or no SOPA/PIPA, media blackouts or no media blackouts, The Majors are going to have it their way.

  • Robin parry

    Encouraging to see people realize u have to pay content providers. Shame there's little of the good bits of the music business left, between illegal downloads and the cost of the real estate studios were on, a lot of amazing talent has gone or moved on to an industry you can earn a wage in. Hopefully if we as artists can be paid for our work then creativity will survive.

    • dubremixremix

      there's now shit load of hobbyist music now because software is so cheap and easy.  quality music takes years of refinement.  welcome to the cult of the amateur.

  • Juno

    What a stupid question. Really.

    Nobody used MegaUpload for their damn distribution. Stop trying to be Fox News.

  • 2, F the man, go anonymous

  • remix

    wow it's difficult to have sympathy for this clown who was serious raking in cash for his bling&nbsp ;

  • Foldy

    I use megaupload to send files to my clients. I'm a mastering engineer and I think it's a very useful site and not used only by people that pirate content…. and besides, the big media companies and the feds can go scew themselves…. they'll never be able to stop people from sharing and pirating media, they need to change the way they do business.

  • youngcircle

     In a nation like the US with  300 million people, you can now have a #1 album with a mere 150,000 
    copies sold! Which is amazing.  A lazy immature mentality that says all software and media should be free and cites a bunch of “vive le proletariat” shit gets exactly what it deserves: free buggy torrents and the end of music as a possible money maker for the next generations of working class youth. Our Wallmart/McDonalds employed teens will need to come up with new ways to make money without 9 to 5ing it. 

  • Armando C

    pretty much solely what I use my iDisk for. Now that apple is killing it with iCloud I have to abandon ship in shark infested waters. 

  • humblesound

    "UPDATE: There are  reports that this apparent revival of Megaupload may be a phishing scam, and its IP address reportedly belongs to another company that has already been flagged as a scammer."

  • hjklhjk

    I could care less that mega upload was has been shut down.  I've always found it to be a pain in the ass, too busy interface, and a kick in the nuts to use.  I still have no idea why hasn't blown up yet.  

  • less than zero

    I can't get paid enough for my art, so I became a pirate.

    • guy


  • gbsr

    who do they shut down megaupload? really. they are not breaking the law, the users are.
    it's like suing the post office for delivering a mail bomb.


    • gbsr

      or "why" even, not who. stupi noneditable comment field. 

  • lala

    the content industry is so stupid,
    instead of making it easier to buy their stuff and reduce the prices
    they put their lobby pressure in the bowl to sue everybody
    and they give us more DRM
    great, I feel so much better now &_&

    • dubremix

      you are a complete idiot.  it is incredibly easy and cheap to get content.  and album on eMusic is like $5.  people spend more than that on lunch.  there's so much easy access to content it is too much.  Megaupload as a bitch to use because it was always designed to be a site for pirated files and to make money off that.  where you born yesterday?  look at the drug dealer like lifestyle Kim Dotcom lived.  What did he make?  did he help evolve art?  

      and if anyone who was legit distributed their files via Megaupload then I would think they were technically inept and not trust their work, because it is easy way more professional to create your own .com and FTP server.  

      it goes back to my first post,  if people acted with honor, then we would not need cops busting people would we?

      • lala

        lol, u dont get it
        u just cry like a baby and u envy 4 his drugdealer lifestyle &_&

        • lala

          oh i forgot to say, if u think megaupload was only used for illegal filesharing, and u r so full off honor, how do u know it was a bitch to use?!

  • mvfarley

    1 and 2 actually.

  • CPR

    People People People! Take a breath here…

    Look, SOPA/PIPA got knocked down because they were bad pieces of legislation. Even some of its early supporters backed off. And why? Cause of END USER feedback. And this, to me anyway, is the big takeaway. Because it seems like this the first real approach to this problem that has set the entire industry I work in upside down. And it's an intriguing biz model.

    Yeah, these were bad bills. They were designed by guys who look at profit loss due to piracy not by song/album budgets, but by millions of $$$ in their overall corporate kittys (and not using 'corporate' as a noun for 'things that suck', simply the truth). But when pressure came from the ground up (ie: THE END USER) it got stopped. And obviously since this happened, I think the big boys will have to look at this more like 'trickle up economics'. I see that as hopeful.

    But if this all devolves into bumper sticker yelling ("Keep the NET FREE maaan!" vs "Where's my effin MONEY dude?"), it'll be like making book on a Brooklyn Dodgers vs Philly Athletics game. Horse.left.barn.

    As for the NZ thing. The way I understand this (and someone set me straight on this if I'm wrong), apparently the studio behind "The Hobbitt" (New Line?) kinda forced the NZ Govt to pass very harsh anti-piracy legislation (before shooting started) to protect dalies of said project splashed all over the net. Fair enough. My understanding is that Mega had either a base of opps or some sort of NZ registration that the Feds or whoever busted them used this legislation as a legal way to actually do it. That Mega's Bentley driving bosses didn't see that coming is their own dang fault, but then again, why should they be any smarter than anyone at a Major Label?

    So it's really not a choice btw 1 and 2. IF there's any chance of something practical that benefits both sides, it aint coming from the lobbyists and corner offices, it'll come from communities like this, and what happened this week kinda proves it. Also, if Anonymous thinks stunts like that are gonna keep it in good stead with the artistic community, they should prolly talk to some ARTISTS.

    This is good news. Really! Let's get to work, but right now in NYC it's snowing so open the Jaeger. Shots all around!

  • heinrich zahlen

    Glad to see more musicians starting to voice their interests vs. the abusive laws and actions corporate america and its gov lackeys are trying to make common practice.

  • Justyn

    I remember when I was first starting out , and publishers were explaining to me what music publishing was , that the story they would use to explain the birth of performance royalties was a dude hearing his music being played (on a piano) in a restaurant. The Composer said to the Owner "you are using my music to create a place that is nice for your customers. You should pay me for that"( not the actual quote) and performance royalties were born.
    The thing that rubs me about this megaupload malarky , isn't that people are sharing my music for free. I WANT that. I WANT people to distribute my music. It cost me a shit-ton to have universal market and promote my music (Well, I never actually got a dime , but you know what I mean ) so people doing it for free is good for me.
    The thing that makes me mad, Is that this dude is making millions off of distributing other peoples stuff, while they remain poor.
    I dont think the answer is ever going to be "Lets go after the end user (downloaders)" cause that would be like making everyone in a bar pay a bit of the license fee the bar pays to Ascap/Apra etc. At the Moment , the Bar/Radio Station owner pays , and it seems to work well.
    If you want to use our music/films/art/books etc to get people into your site , so you can advertise dicey porn sites or whatever at them , then you should pay the creators of said works. I know squat about what info an mp3 can hold, but is there a way to track how many times its downloaded from where etc? Cause if it is , then we can use that info to bill rapidshare/megaupload type sites.
    You can still share your stuff yourself on soundcloud , or where ever , but leave that up to the consumer to decide where they want to go to get it, and instead of jailing fat capitalistic parasites like megaupload guy , keep him working and make him pay for each distribution of Our stuff. Genius rebuttal in 3…2…1…

    • dubremix

      because they won't pay.  he wants a bunch of toys for himself.  the word for an entity that lives off the life force of another is a parasite.  Kim Dotcom is a parasite.  He not a worthy cause to defend.  you want to distribute yourself, it's so completely easy, there's YouTube, Facebook, soundcloud, twitter, MySpace , reverb nation and on and on.  there are hundreds of ways to distribute your stuff, you don't need a popup laden, timer download pirate site.

      I hope they take down rapid share next.

  • H. Coleslaw

    Kim Dotcom lives like this while you try to sell your shitty music:

    • dubremix

      yeah, crime pays, but on,t if you go large.  all that money and he just basically had a web based FTP.  there certainly no technical innovations there, unless popup adds and timer countdowns are innovations.

  • Dim Hotcom

    more interesting than the copyright stuff is that apparently you can have major convictions in other countries and gain residency in NZ if you invest $10M in government bonds

    also, kim dot com is enormous!

  • ZZZ

    Quite funny to see people spitting on evil record companies  ( "because they exploit artists by giving them peanuts for money while they make fortunes for themselves") , and  yet , they hail a guy who not only  does exploit artists and makes a fortune for himself, but doesnt even give you the choice to be on his website or not ( and you won't even give "peanuts for money", he'll just tell you to fuck off ).  Artists consider Kim Schmitz a hero because he f..ks them even harder than the major labels do.

    Artists can be real complete idiots. The tech industry knows that , and exploits it to the maximum and will keep doing so while you're eating dog food. Perhaps artists really deserve to be exploited indeed.

  • well well well.

    1) i find it rather moronic to bash against his fortune. in the world of  web2.0beta copanies I would consider him a successful businessman (and that REGARDLESS of his persona); there are similarily shady companies out there, just that megaupload is the most obvious. the latter makes everyone a legitimate judge that tries to make the case that kim seriously f****ed him. sorry, it is rediculous; that and  the way many people use the web and at the same time claim their own protective rights.

    2) i find it rather shocking how the raid worked, it was internationally organized that used a lot of high profile people and surveillance techniques. his properties have been seized. the whole stunt was about piracy, right? not some drug overlord or arms dealer? so this either shows how much power the music/film industry has in the us or that he had some far more illegal business going on. 

    3) if the whole raid is really related to piracy, then the Anonymous stunt shows another idea/perception of democracy. they see using a service like megaupload for legal and illegal purposes as their "right", so they similarily occupied their wallstreet. if that becomes the norm, then the whole legislature related to copyright protection/SOPA/PIPA gets quite another dimension of inclinations. 

  • Shink Hansen

    At least we won't get another "Mega Upload Mega Song",
    Although this Cover – Version is pretty great

  • this is just a force demonstration by fbi.
    I'm feeling more concerned by the fact ICANN is 101% american than by this story, mates.

  • vaikl

    The most important thing: Kim Schmitz, one of the biggest a..holes and gasbags in the new economy bubble, is going to jail. Finally.

  • Tim

    Here's an interesting angle on this that I hadn't considered:

    "Here is the kicker, we aren't talking about hypothetical or edge cases here. Artists were uploading their own tracks since they would get 90c in the dollar of the advertising revenue:
    If you want to know why big media hated megaupload so much re read that link. Artists were by-passing their publishers. Add to that the announcement of licensed media streaming and purchases being available on megaupload from February, and you can see why action had to be be done swiftly before hand."

  • bliss

    @ ZZZ

    Exactly who or what comments are you referring to? I haven’t read a single post here where someone has hailed Kim Dotcom. Recognizing business smarts is one thing. Hailing the player behind the plan is something quite different.

    @ Tim

    Thanks for those links!

  • Blob

    @ Tim
    quoting Busta Rhymes' eloquent tweet (to which I added highlights):
    “1st of all I am soooo proud of my brother @THEREALSWIZZZ 4 being apart of creating something (MEGAUPLOAD) that *could* create the most powerful way 4 artist 2 get 90% off of every dollar despite the music being downloaded 4 free,”

    Emphasis on "could", because Megaupload was, to my knowledge, *claiming* to offer that service in the near future. TO that effect, on December 9th (just over a month before the suhtdown) Megaupload unvelied a video with major pop/hip-hop stars.

    The choice of artists for this PR video promising a bright new future for musicians was also interesting, considering it included artists like, Kayne West, and Alicia Keys – who happens to be linked to rapper and producer Swiss Beatz who… was an OWNER of megaupload.

    Of note also the fact that Megaupload owners are being accused of a variety of other crimes that are not directly related to piracy and non-authorized content hosting, but were certainly supported by it.
    (OK, I know it's the Daily Mail, but there is some relevant info in that article).

    Anyway, very dodgy story overall.

    I will now add some info of my own, anecdotal experience regarding Megaupload – i used it a couple of times recently to send large WAV files to a colleague (a recording we had done) since we did not have access to an FTP server at the time.

    Besides the aforementioned video that surfaced a few weeks ago, I did not see any indication that there was a sort of plan to compensate artists or allow artists to make money with the site.
    All I saw was a file-transfer service, with no claims of control over the sort of content that was uploaded, and supported by ads. Do correct me if I'm wrong or if I missed some features.

    What I think really happened: (unless someone proves me wrong with new, confirmed info)

    Kim Dotcom was possibly getting nervous and knew he was on the authorities' radar.
    He and his guys had friends in the industry (i.e. Kayne, Alicia, et al) and tried to pull off a PR campaign to clean their image, change course to avoid being prosecuted, and try to pass off Megaupload as a sort of Reverb Nation / Bandcamp.
    Didn't work, obviously.

    In the meantime, has the shutdown of megaupload solved the issues of piracy and big corporations exploiting artists? No. Content will be uploaded somewhere else, and we still don't have a decent alternative model, although the efforts of the likes of Bandcamp should be supported.

    Has the shutdown of Megaupload made me happy?
    Hell yes. These people are also responsible for sucking the life out of creative industries along with the RIAA and SOPA lobbyists – the reasons and motivations are different, but the amount of damage done is undeniable.

    If anything, this shows that

    1)SOPA is a lot of bs from corporate lobbies – authorities already have the power to act on copyright infringment.
    2) It might also show that people like Kim Dotcom should and can be held legally and morally accountable for their actions.

  • An interesting piece of information regarding this topic:

  • Blob

    Yes, yes, we've been through that already. See comments above.

    Megabox conveniently popped up a few weeks before the shutdown. If you piece all the facts together, you'll see it was probably just a PR stunt to divert attention from Megaupload's massive stealing of artist's revenues.

    Plus, you already have services such as Bandcamp, Tunecore and Reverb Nation, which bypass major distributors and have been running for years.
    I'm sure major labels would like to shut them down, but there's a difference between these sites and Megaupload – they are not involved in copyright infringement and money laundering.

  • Wow, wonderful blog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you made running a blog look easy. The whole glance of your site is great, let alone the content!

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