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After Megaupload, MPAA Targets Other File Sharing Services 214

Posted by timothy
from the making-a-list-checking-it-twice dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It is no secret that the MPAA was a main facilitator of the criminal investigation against Megaupload. While the movie studios have praised the actions of the U.S. Government, they are not satisfied yet. Paramount Pictures' vice president for worldwide content protection identified Fileserve, MediaFire, Wupload, Putlocker and Depositfiles as prime targets that should be shuttered next."
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After Megaupload, MPAA Targets Other File Sharing Services

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  • Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:19AM (#39538979)
    I guess the pirate bay is still flying under the radar. Hopefully that one never goes mainstream.
    • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Informative)

      by sg_oneill (159032) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:28AM (#39539001)

      Oh its above the radar. Heck its founders even did jail for it. But they are taking a solid stance and have basically told the MPAA/RIAA to fuck off and have deployed clever lawyers to keep it afloat.

      This whole thing really is pissing me off. My band uses these services to facilitate distributing our album and what not, and since a lot of our followers really dont know how to drive bit-torrent, this is the easiest way to get them the goodies.

      And because we are distributed across 2 countries (Members in the US and Australia) , we use it to send mixdowns and recording stems when we do stuff.. I mean I guess we probably should move to dropbox for that sort of thing, but the point still remains. These bloody lawyers are trying to ban ALL sharing, and seriously not all, in fact probably most, sharing is piracy.

      Its bullshit, these people need to be called out as enemies of the internet and free speech.

      • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by blackraven14250 (902843) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:39AM (#39539041)
        As a smaller, (presumably) independent band, the RIAA wouldn't mind killing you off. The RIAA isn't there for small artists; they're there for the few giant names they can push, and any competition is bad competition in their view.
        • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by sg_oneill (159032) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @07:23AM (#39539819)

          As a smaller, (presumably) independent band, the RIAA wouldn't mind killing you off. The RIAA isn't there for small artists; they're there for the few giant names they can push, and any competition is bad competition in their view.

          Well neither the RIAA or ARIA have ever done a frigging thing for us, so I don't doubt that. Heck I even had a genine "no no" issue of piracy happen to us once where I found a site in the US selling our MP3s for about half the priace we where selling them. I dont care if you pirate-bay or whatever our songs, its not really about that for us. But don't sell our work without giving us a cut of it, is all we ask.

          Well I contacted ARIA, and they said "Oh thats in the US, we cant help you". So I contacted the RIAA and they said "Your australians, we are not really interested sorry."

          Well I bet if we where AC/DC or something they would be.

          Frankly I'd rather kim dotcom got my money than RIAA or ARIA. At least I'm under know illusions as to who Kim represents.

      • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Daniel Dvorkin (106857) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:45AM (#39539065) Homepage Journal

        My band uses these services to facilitate distributing our album and what not

        Your label is supposed to handle that for you. If you're not signed with a major label and have the temerity to try to distribute your own music, you're clearly some kind of terrorist socialist pedophile drug dealer pirate, and will be dealt with accordingly.

        • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Xelios (822510) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:32AM (#39539185)
          Independent film makers get similar treatment [youtube.com] from the MPAA. And unlike musicians they really are forced to deal with them to have their film rated for release.
          • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Interesting)

            by PopeRatzo (965947) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @07:56AM (#39539915) Homepage Journal

            Independent film makers get similar treatment from the MPAA. And unlike musicians they really are forced to deal with them to have their film rated for release.

            And if you are an indie filmmaker, you can expect very harsh treatment at the hands of MPAA for your rating.

            I just heard an interview with the director of the terrific new documentary Bully and he was talking about how the MPAA wanted to give his movie an "R" even though all of the characters were real teenagers involved in real bullying and the movie is possibly the most important movie for middle and high-school kids to see. He ended up just going "Unrated" which of course will limit his distribution (but it looks like a lot of media people are getting behind him to help out).

            I've made a portion of my living as a professional musician, composer and arranger for about 25 years and I won't go near a project with anything but an indie label and not only an indie label but a really small privately-held indie label. I most enjoy self-released work, which in my opinion has now reached a point of quality every bit as good as anything on a major. I only pay for music when I can buy direct from the artist, or very nearly direct. I'm hoping to get to that point with movies someday.

        • by Nrrqshrr (1879148)
          Trying to get rid of the middle-man somehow became a suspicious deed, lately. It's like being an independent content creator is the new crime of the 21st century.
      • From what I understand, the founders have not done jail time but are fugitives, with a price on their head and all that.
      • Re:Pirate Bay? (Score:5, Informative)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojo@@@world3...net> on Sunday April 01, 2012 @04:04AM (#39539307) Homepage

        Heck its founders even did jail for it.

        Actually none of them have. They have been sentenced but only one is actually living in Sweden and his will be served in the community rather than behind bars. The others left ages ago and the authorities have been unable to recover a single penny of assets from them to pay the millions of Euros in fines, and as they are now in countries that won't extradite to the EU there is pretty much no chance of them doing any time. Plus there are still appeals in the pipeline.

        Meanwhile the Pirate Bay continues, benefiting from free publicity paid for by the media companies trying to take them down.

      • by nurb432 (527695)

        Its all about risk. if you are *just* running a business and it looks like you may lose everything, including your freedom, its time to bail out of the game. ( like the file storage sites they are going ofter ). And the *AA's know they are fairly easy to eradicate.

        If you are making a personal/political statement, then you stand firm. The *AAs know this too... which is why they are finally changing tactics to attack the storage sites, and end users, instead.

        And you don't think the RIAA doesn't want you gone

  • That Paramount actually has a "vice president for worldwide content protection" says plenty.

    • by PatPending (953482) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:42AM (#39539049)

      Heh. Reminds me of a story from the sixties about General Motors. A customer called GM to complain about his car.

      The phone operator asked what was wrong and the guy said a mirror was defective.

      "Which mirror?" she asked.

      "The side mirror" he replied.

      "Which side?"

      "The passenger side."

      "I'll connect you to the Vice President for Passenger Side Mirrors."

      Dunno if it's true or not. My grandfather worked in the US auto industry for 30 years and had lots of interesting stories to tell...

    • by game kid (805301) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:08AM (#39539129) Homepage

      Do you not realize how tough it is to be promoted to that office? The Executive Vice President of Employee Titles (who's also the Creative Director of Padded Résumés and Acting Senior Human Resources Strategist) does not just bandy these things around willy-nilly.

  • Countersue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sixtyeight (844265) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:25AM (#39538993)

    When do the various file-sharing services get together and collectively countersue the MPAA for obstruction of commerce, racketeering, and whatever else comes to mind when one industry gets together to choke another?

    For that matter, when does the internet start to crowdfund a bounty in the form of attorneys' fees to go after these guys? [coinconnect.org] Perhaps we were waiting until the ISPs implement "6 Strikes", at which point all the open public WiFi hotspots will necessarily be taken offline or passworded outside common public use.

    • Re:Countersue (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Trogre (513942) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:36AM (#39539029) Homepage

      The best way to get these guys is to cut off their revenue stream. Stop buying [1] their crap.

      [1] By "buying" I also mean downloading, for by doing so you are endorsing it, giving it further mindshare.

      • The best way to get these guys is to cut off their revenue stream.

        While I agree that it's productive, I have to disagree with that statement as written.

        Boycotting can be very effective, but it's unlikely to happen significantly with the mainstream media. I more or less boycott the industry just because I don't find it entertainment but insult; however, most people aren't there yet. Either way, taking action in law to stop organized criminal behavior that's plainly detrimenting society is also not only necessary, but an implied duty in a society of laws.

        (I know, our soci

      • Re:Countersue (Score:4, Insightful)

        by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968&gmail,com> on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:58AM (#39539115) Journal

        Doesn't work, and here is why: PPT math. You see they simply go into whatever legislature they intend to corrupt with a PPT and give a spiel like this 'As you can see here our focus group says people like X and people like Y, so by this chart here you can see that we SHOULD have made X PLUS Y but since we didn't? it must be those ebil pirates argh!" and then they will simply take your money in the form of a tax, while getting any draconian law passed, after they hand out the bribes of course. See the extra price added to CDs to cover piracy in many places for example.

        You see just like the banks these multinationals have a great "heads i win tails you lose' sort of thing going and there is pretty much not a damned thing you can do to stop it. After all it doesn't matter what the people say or do, the elected officials simply ignore them if it comes down to them or a multinational. throw them out, you just replace shill A with shill B, no change at all. Hell I don't know a single person that has bought one of their CDs at retail in years, we all buy indie artists or pick them up at a used CD shop, see it make ANY difference?

        • After all it doesn't matter what the people say or do, the elected officials simply ignore them if it comes down to them or a multinational. throw them out, you just replace shill A with shill B, no change at all.

          "Well there's yer problem, buddy!"

          We're encountering the symptoms of a lack of political accountability to the law, and to the People.

          See my above link for a [darn good] patch for that.

        • by Trogre (513942)

          That's not my point. My point is this - if they're not making any more money, they won't be able to afford to keep crooked senators and buy horrible legislation.

          I'm not trying to make a point to the RIAA/MPAA by not giving them money - I'm trying to gut them completely.

          • That's not my point. My point is this - if they're not making any more money, they won't be able to afford to keep crooked senators and buy horrible legislation.

            I'm not trying to make a point to the RIAA/MPAA by not giving them money - I'm trying to gut them completely.

            Now that is a very sound approach!

            In order for it to be effective, we'd need to stop the funding completely. Encourage a boycott via internet ("Haven't given the MPAA/RIAA one red cent since [date]" in .sig lines? Mass campaigns to get people to abstain from funding them?

      • By "buying" I also mean downloading, for by doing so you are endorsing it, giving it further mindshare.

        Yeah, well... see, that line of thinking sounds less and less convincing every subsequent time I read it. At this point, I just categorize it as ineffective high-horse moralizing.

        Oh, I know it looks good - it looks great - but sadly, it's not true. Whether we download copyrighted content or not, it makes not a lick of difference.

    • Now that is a creative twist...crowd source to get enough money to pay lawyers.not sure if that sis well in my stomach.
      • Yeah, same here. If normal people have to band together by the thousands just to compete on equal footing with these megacorporations with their lawyer brigades, then maybe it's time we examined the inequity of the justice system in this country.

        Of course, that'll never happen.

  • The Affordable Care Act failing to pass muster in the Supreme Court would imperil the planned 2013 Legislative Lobby agenda by the RIAA and MPAA to introduce that Affordable Media Act (AMA) which would provide Government Subsidies to help keep Blu-Ray and Access to Media Streaming Services at existing Prices in exchange for the requirement for all American Tax Payers to show proof of the purchase of at least $500 per year in Digital Media from any one of a number of participants in a Government run Media Marketplace (member including Walmart, iTunes Music Store, Amazon and others) or pay a tax penalty of $100,000.00 or 10 years imprisonment since it can be assumed that by not buying media from an authorized Marketplace Member, you are engaged in Copyright Infringement.

    American's want online media -- let's provide it to them in a lawful and controlled manner.

  • by billcopc (196330) <vrillco@yahoo.com> on Sunday April 01, 2012 @02:47AM (#39539079) Homepage

    I don't know all of these services, but doesn't the DMCA's safe harbor provision exempt them from this sort of witch hunt prosecution, as long as DMCA reports are handled in a timely manner ? You could receive a thousand such reports a day, as long as you promptly take down the content (or challenge false claims), you're supposed to be in the clear, as far as the law is concerned.

    I've received such complaints in the past, when one of my hosting clients had their site compromised and was used as a warez drop. I fixed the problem, nuked the offending files and never heard of it again. Given that I'm currently in the process of setting up such a file host (no payments though), I'm a bit concerned about this legal abuse. Youtube allows user uploads, and honors DMCA takedowns, and they seem to be doing just fine. Both sites are hosting user-created content. Both have the potential to carry copyrighted material. Both generate ad revenue from their traffic. What makes a filehost any different ?

    • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @03:29AM (#39539179)
      It's vague enough for lawyers to argue over. The problem is that DMCA takedowns are of limited effectiveness in such a dynamic environment: Take one down, someone will upload a new one in a few seconds. The legal case against Megaupload hinged on a technicality: They took the files down on request, but didn't also take down duplicates of the same file uploaded by someone else, even though they could (as they used file-level dedupe) have done so trivially. It isn't entirely clear what the responsibilities of a service provider are any more: The DMCA doesn't get into the technical implications of hashlists, de-duplication, fingerprinting, the countermeasures against them or the countermeasures against the countermeasures. It was written on the assumption that publishing content would be a difficult and expensive task, so if you can get it pulled down you've seriously inconvenienced pirates. The whole model breaks when publishing a file is just a matter of uploading, which it really always was.

      The only way to actually stop piracy would be by passing new laws so draconian that I'd rather just see the entire copyright-driven industry destroyed than sacrifice that much freedom or hand so much power to those who can afford lawyers.
      • by Kjella (173770)

        The legal case against Megaupload hinged on a technicality: They took the files down on request, but didn't also take down duplicates of the same file uploaded by someone else, even though they could (as they used file-level dedupe) have done so trivially.

        If you take MegaUpload's definition I simply have to have a dynamic link generator, oh I took down the last link but you can push "generate download link" and get a different URL to the same file and that's legal until we get a DMCA takedown for that. Everybody understands that's not how it's supposed to work and the law isn't that into the details as URLs. It simply says "(ii) Identification of the copyrighted work claimed to have been infringed". "The file accessible at URL: $foo" is identification, but i

      • by mounthood (993037)

        It's vague enough for lawyers to argue over.

        Politics is the issue, not any vagueness in the DMCA. The FBI and Justice Department could be going after the RIAA/MPAA for collusion, price fixing, fraud or any number of things, but politics says they go after Kim Dotcom and try to equate bit-torrent with terrorism.

        The only way to actually stop piracy would be by passing new laws so draconian that I'd rather just see the entire copyright-driven industry destroyed than sacrifice that much freedom or hand so much power to those who can afford lawyers.

        Wish more people saw it this way. Hollywood cannot survive as it is today; it has to adjust to the Internet like every other company.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by kamapuaa (555446)

      "The "red flag" test stems from the language in the statute that requires that an OSP not be “aware of facts or circumstances from which infringing activity is apparent.” The "red flag" test contains both a subjective and an objective element. Objectively, the OSP must have knowledge that the material resides on its system. Subjectively, the "infringing activity would have been apparent to a reasonable person operating under the same or similar circumstances.""

      These services exist for no other

    • by AmiMoJo (196126)

      Most of them are not based in the US so the DMCA does not apply. Megaupload's mistake was to have servers in the US. Everyone else learned from that and is now making sure they don't have any assets under US law at all.

      • by Raenex (947668)

        DMCA provided fair harbor, and many other countries don't provide an equivalent, so it's not like moving to a country without it would necessarily benefit. You can look at the ongoing saga of Pirate Bay to see proof of that.

    • by EvilIdler (21087)

      I know at least MediaFire is being used by larger companies for legal purposes. A recently started company is using them as their main distribution method. Does the MAFIAA just want to shut down all competing digital distribution? What's next - Band Camp?

      I know one of the accusations about Megaupload (which is very plausible, really) was that they simply removed the discovered links, not the actual files, when receiving a takedown notice. I doubt this is standard practice in the file hosting business, thoug

  • Wow. We've gone from "OMG Ponies!" to "Turn off the lights the internet is over"

    The MPAA and RIAA have shit all over April Fool's day.

    • Anyone missing the pony pink, can invert the colors of Slashdot. There's a Compiz plugin for that.
  • We have magnet links: A convenient, standard way of addressing a file by hash and size. If that were combined with some form of decentralised distribution-and-caching system, there'd be no need for lockers.

    I'm not talking about piracy, but anything that needs to distribute lots of data without spending a fortune on a CDN. Linux package repos, patches, freely-distributable content, that sort of thing. Storage is cheap now. Something like freenet, but without the need for performance-hurting paranoia in ever
  • MegaUpload can't provide me that, but that's fine when Google does it
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I see you enjoy double-encoded 128/192 kbps mp3s.

  • by unkiereamus (1061340) on Sunday April 01, 2012 @05:27AM (#39539533)
    Speaking as a casual infringer...I don't infringe by habit. But living in a third world country, sometimes I literally cannot pay for the content I want. So in those cases, I will infringe...

    Anyhow, I don't count myself as a diehard pirate, but I didn't even know about 4/5 sites listed, so I thank the MPAA for improving my options.
  • I quit purchasing all MPAA and RIAA content after the SOPA/PIPA/Megaupload fiasco. Will not purchase their content ever again and am doing everything in my power to convince people I know not to purchase their content. Then I see this article and it just re-confirms that I am on the right track. Fuckem. I'll give my money to the EFF.

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