Thursday, January 19, 2012


Okay, just had to post this real quick.

You know the SOPA/PIPA bills that are causing so much controversy in Congress right now?  It's been driven by the RIAA and the MPAA and the Senators and Congressmen who have taken big money in donations from them (a former Senator runs one of them, by the way), and purely to protect their own interests.  Well, opponents said that it would not only cause damage to the U.S.'s claim to Internet control, but that it could also easily lead to government censorship with little or no evidence, just because they feel like taking out a website.  For any reason, including political gamesmanship.

Well, guess what?  They just confirmed opponents' predictions: the Feds took out MegaUpload, accusing them of some $500 million in piracy revenues.

Before we get to the response, it should be noted that MegaUpload is likely the holding ground for a pretty large amount of pirated music, movies, software, and so on.  Anytime you offer free online storage, that's going to happen.  But, MegaUpload has removed any confirmed pirated intellectual property that has been brought to its attention, they aren't searchable (meaning, you can just go there, search for your favorite movie title, and download it illegally - you have to have the exact link in order to access anything on the site), and the point of the site is to offer free online storage.  I've used it myself any number of times when downloading new fun stuff for my phone.  It's a perfectly legitimate site, and in my humble opinion, they've taken as many cautions as necessary to prevent outright piracy.

But now they're toast.  If you go to their site, it's a smoking hole at the moment.

Now for the really interesting part.  Remember Anonymous?  You know, that hacker group that went on a tear a few months ago, took down Sony for several days, and crashed the CIA's website?  Well, let's just say they weren't pleased by the Feds' actions, so they crashed the RIAA's website.

And the MPAA's website.

And Universal Music Group's website.

And the U.S. Copyright Office's website.

And the BMI record label website.

And the French copyright authority's website.

And the Department of Justice's website.

And the FBI's website.

I suspect they're not done yet.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not endorsing illegal file sharing, piracy, or hacking.  However, I do think the last couple of days have demonstrated beyond doubt that once again Congress really doesn't have a clue what it's doing, nor who it's dealing with.  If it's cyberwar they want, it's cyberwar they'll get.

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