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150 Copyright Notices For Mega 199

Posted by timothy
from the well-that's-the-business-model dept.
Master Moose writes "Kim Dotcom's Mega file sharing site has been stung with 150 copyright warnings, according to an international report. Dotcom launched the new fire-sharing website on January 20 in a blaze of fireworks and publicity.Less than two weeks later and Computerworld.com is reporting the company removed content after receiving 150 copyright infringement notices." Raise your hand if you're shocked, simply shocked.
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150 Copyright Notices For Mega

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  • Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GiantMolecularCloud (2825541) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @09:49AM (#42749961)

    I wonder how difficult it would be to upload copyrighted content and then file a complaint about it...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      That question got me thinking. If Sony uploads copyrighted material (stripping out all the copyright notices and warnings), how am I as a user supposed to differentiate between the copyrighted material and the non-copyrighted material? That would be like Spalding stripping off the price tags on it's basketballs, throwing them in a donation bin, and then prosecuting anyone that took one for theft.

      • by Zimluura (2543412)

        it's worse than that. nearly all material on the internet is copyrighted. even this post i am typing. how are you supposed to know if you have my permission to view it?

        • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

          by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:58AM (#42750571) Journal

          how are you supposed to know if you have my permission to view it?

          I am quite capable of forming my opinions on your posts without reading them.

          • That made me laugh. I stopped chuckling when I realized that a gubbermint revenooer could say that with a perfectly straight face. Now, it's scary!

            Do you work for gubbermint?

        • by cdrguru (88047)

          Copyright doesn't affect anyone's right to view something, only to distribute it.

          So you can view anything, but you may not have the right to copy it and post it somewhere else. Especially if you claim to be the author of it.

          Obviously the only control you have over preventing people from viewing something is to restrict access or not post it to begin with.

          • by meerling (1487879)
            Not according to MPAA.
            Or in the case of RIAA, listening to it.

            Just read some of their public statements, and legal claims.
            • by bws111 (1216812)

              Show a single case where any of those claims were made.

              • Apparently it 'should be' illegal for me to watch a DVD on Linux.
                God forbid a Bluray.

                • by bws111 (1216812)

                  Do you know what 'view' means? Here is a hint: it has nothing to do with computers. So again I say, cite a case where someone is accused of copyright infringement for viewing (that thing you do with your eyeballs) a movie, or listening (that thing you do with your ears) to a song.

          • So how do you plan to view something without making a copy? You are making a copy from the server to your home disk, your home disk to ram, ram to your brain, or possibly all of the above and more.

          • by Shagg (99693)

            Copyright doesn't affect anyone's right to view something, only to distribute it.

            That's the common sense answer. But then you have others who claim that downloading something is copyright infringement.

            • by AK Marc (707885)
              You can't help some confusion when the media all reports going after "downloaders" when the cases are all for "uploading". The constant lies about who is going after whom for what will confuse anyone listening. Nobody has ever been prosecuted for "downloading". Ever. It hasn't happened.

              And no ruling has come down that indicates it illegal, probably because it's never come up. There have been a few that make downloading explicitly legal, so long as no copy was made (in streaming cases where deep link
          • Re:Hmm... (Score:4, Informative)

            by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@gma i l . com> on Thursday January 31, 2013 @04:50PM (#42754925) Journal

            Wrong several businesses have been sued because an employee merely had a radio playing while they worked to make the day a little more pleasant, that constituted a "public performance" and thus was illegal.

            I'm afraid the laws have been twisted so badly in the last 25 years that you just whistling a tune while you walk down the street could be copyright infringement, its that big of a fucked up maze of laws now.

            • by tsa (15680)

              Here in the Netherlands we have that too. Companies have to pay ridiculous amounts of money to BUMA/STEMRA (one of our RIAA-like organizations (yes, we have several!)) just to be 'allowed' to play music on site.

          • by EdZ (755139)

            Copyright doesn't affect anyone's right to view something, only to distribute it.

            How do public showings of private copies (e.g. a store bought Blu Ray shown to a neighbourhood on a big projection screen) fall under this simplified view of copyright? You're not distributing it, but lots of people are viewing it.

            • by jamstar7 (694492)

              Copyright doesn't affect anyone's right to view something, only to distribute it.

              How do public showings of private copies (e.g. a store bought Blu Ray shown to a neighbourhood on a big projection screen) fall under this simplified view of copyright? You're not distributing it, but lots of people are viewing it.

              Look at the licensing blurb at the beginning of the video. It clearly states it's for private viewing only.

        • by dimeglio (456244)

          Hasn't YouTube figured it out? Sounds like Mega just needs a pseudo-copyright infringement tool to scan what's submitted.

          • Hasn't YouTube figured it out? Sounds like Mega just needs a pseudo-copyright infringement tool to scan what's submitted.

            All the content on the new Mega site is encrypted and the site owners don't have the decryption keys to the encrypted content. Without the keys they can't do automated scanning like YouTube does.

            Other site(s) [arstechnica.com] are publishing links to Mega content with decryption keys embedded. I assume these are what are used for the take-down notices. Since each take-down notice includes the decryption key, it allows Mega to see the content and verify that it should be taken down.

            The whole point of Mega is that the

      • This would be fraud on their part. Thought experiments are one thing, official and deliberate criminal activity is another.

        • You think they're above that? These are people after money, it would be extremely easy fraud to get away with as well when you consider mega has gone out of it's way to ensure the original uploaders may not be identified.
      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by alexo (9335) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @11:24AM (#42750845) Journal

        Exactly. You have no idea of knowing whether "distributing" something might lend you in jail or ruin you financially.
        Better be safe and all of your cultural sharing only via approved channels.
        After all, what's a small fee for the assurance that you won't be charged with supporting communist terrorist pedophiles?

        • That last bit might have a ring of truth to it. From what I've heard about lolita city (at least, if anonymous is correct) they share photos from each according to his ability to have access to children, to each according to his need without children, and sometimes the kids live in terror.

          So indeed you can fit those three words into the same sentence.

    • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

      by Zero__Kelvin (151819) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:26AM (#42750255) Homepage
      Much easier than it would be to upload fire: "Dotcom launched the new fire-sharing website "
    • You really think there's a need for such subterfuge?

    • Given the encryption, how would they even know unless they did it themselves? Maybe this is setting the stage for big content lobbying to get pre-emptive complaints into law. "This is a notice that we own the content to these copyrights, if anyone puts them onto your site in the future, we get to sue you. What's that? This will destroy the internet if it's successful? Oh deary me, what a loss! You've been notified, we'll see you in court immediately after we upload our own stuff to your site."
      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by BitZtream (692029)

        Because encrypted data that can't be unencrypted is useless.

        I don't think you understand the idea of sharing if you think handing someone a blob of randomness and saying 'its encrypted!' is what sharing is.

        Dotcom uses websites to profit from people sharing files that they shouldn't be sharing. If you still don't understand that, stop reading now, theres no way anything on this post or entire thread will make sense to you.

        In order for people to give a flying fuck about his website ... where he makes money o

        • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Scoth (879800) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @11:05AM (#42750633)

          Very much This. Keep in mind as well that the encryption was for *his* protection, not the users'. He wanted to be able to claim that he had no way of knowing what was uploaded or what its content was. That he's still getting copyright takedown notices should come as no surprise at all to anyone. The difference is he can at least try to claim that he had no idea it was copyrighted material. It'll be interesting arguments if it ever ends up in court or similar.

        • To be able to share the stuff, yes, they would need to have access to the keys. But as a strictly backup medium, there is no reason they need ever see them. Of course, this kills any chance of a user who lost their keys getting their files back, but...I would be willing to take that risk.

          But I assume Mega encrypts the stuff for you? You don't provide your own keys?

        • by Eskarel (565631)

          It's a little bit more nuanced than that.

          Kim DotCom created mega as a content sharing site which he intends to profit from. He's fully aware that said site will be used for copyright infringement at least in part and from a personal point of view he could care less. The point of the encryption on mega is not to secure the files, or to protect the users of said service(though it could perform said task at least in theory), the purpose is to cover Kim DotCom's gigantic read end.

          Mega, like MegaUpload complies

      • by Terrasque (796014)

        Alternatively, they just scraped this [mega-search.me]..

        No need to overthink it.

      • Re:Hmm... (Score:5, Informative)

        by blueg3 (192743) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @11:22AM (#42750819)

        Encryption isn't magic. If someone uses the site to share a file with the general public, they have to somehow enable the public to decrypt the data, right? The copyright owner can simply use the same method.

        Oddly, the DMCA actually protects against exactly the scheme you came up with. It places the operator of the website in the position where they simply need to take down offending material to protect themselves from liability. So Sony can't upload a video to the site and then sue them. They can upload a video to the site and give them a takedown notice, but if the material is taken down, then they have no ability to sue. (Despite its faults, one of the useful purposes of the DMCA was to make a clearly-defined legal framework in which the operator of a website can have immunity from liability for any copyrighted material uploaded to their website. Prior to that, it was ill-defined, which is a serious risk.)

        • Exactly this. The article basically outlines how the takedown notices are being used as intended. This isn't anything to fault Mega or the copyright holders over, and it certainly isn't big news.

          The headline and summary essentially comes out to "Mega got some copyright notices and took some stuff down". It's a non-issue, and clearly someone trying to be the first one to paint the new Mega service as a bad-willed haven for pirates and thieves. As long as they take stuff down when reported, there's no issue.

          A

        • by Rich0 (548339)

          The one advantage of encryption is that it gives Mega plausible deniability with regard to what is on its site. Mega can't tell what is being stored, so they can't filter out mp3s, or check files against a blacklist, and so on. The only way for them to know what the files are is to go out on the various boards where the keys are being posted and do what the RIAA has to do, and I don't know that any judge is going to expect them to find and monitor every board in existence where this stuff happens.

          They do

      • by gmuslera (3436)

        Ok, lets infringe a bit of copyrights from around the world... think in the number pi. There, you have it, inside it probably are encrypted all the past, present and future movies, books, songs, images, genes, or whatever could be ever copyrighted in the most stupid copyright system of the history. Also you have the text of all national security documents, the passwords of all the servers and personal computers of the world, all the pins from all credit cards and detailed instructions on how to build any we

        • by MajroMax (112652)

          Ok, lets infringe a bit of copyrights from around the world... think in the number pi. There, you have it, inside it probably are encrypted all the past, present and future movies, books, songs, images, genes, or whatever could be ever copyrighted in the most stupid copyright system of the history. Also you have the text of all national security documents, the passwords of all the servers and personal computers of the world, all the pins from all credit cards and detailed instructions on how to build any weapon, to name just a few things.

          So, as you have all that information (no matter if you can actually access to it or not), you get sued.

          Oh, the dictionary argument: since the dictionary contains all English words, no composition using strictly dictionary words should be copyrightable. Eh, eh? *wink wink*

          It's bull.

          When you have "the text of all national security documents" et cetera inside pi, it's all useless unless you have a key to actually specify and find the information you're looking for. By uniquely specifying a position and length within the digits of pi, you've just defined an encoding.

          You're precisely one step beyond "it

          • by gmuslera (3436)

            The argument with pi is not about taking isolated digits of it joined in the movie order. Maybe from the digit 348e^140 to 1gb after you get the bytes of a digital movie. The movie would be stored there, if i tell you the position and the length (not very different from telling you the decryption key of a file) you can get it, in fact, check pifs [github.com].

            The copyright notices for Mega does basically this. For Mega is like, ok, I have pi, not the position/lenght, for me is just a lot of bytes, and i sue you because

        • by lennier (44736)

          Ok, lets infringe a bit of copyrights from around the world... think in the number pi.

          Oh hi! It's Darren Aronofsky and Ang Lee at the door. They're having an argument about which one owns your number. Darren reckons he owns everything involving an electric drill, and Ang will settle for anything with a tiger in it.

          • Ang will settle for anything with a tiger in it.

            It's no secret that Ang's long term goal is to own cat videos.

    • by poetmatt (793785)

      150 times?

      incredibly easy, actually. Especially if you're the US government's copyright stasi.

    • I wonder how difficult it would be to upload copyrighted content and then file a complaint about it...

      Should have seen that coming and had a statement on the upload area to the effect that "any content uploaded to this site found to be from copyright holders, organizations or employees of those, relinquish any copyrights on said material in perpetuity."

      • So if I wrote code licensed under the GPL and posted it with a notice clearly indicating the license, you are suggested that I should have to relinquish copyrights and lose my right to enforce the GPL?

        • by Pieroxy (222434)

          If you upload it to a website with such notice and that you are the copyright holder, then yes.

        • If that's what the site requires and it's clearly stated, sure. It would be just like publishing something in a journal that requires you to turn over copyright of anything you wish to publish.

      • by eth1 (94901)

        I wonder how difficult it would be to upload copyrighted content and then file a complaint about it...

        Should have seen that coming and had a statement on the upload area to the effect that "any content uploaded to this site found to be from copyright holders, organizations or employees of those, relinquish any copyrights on said material in perpetuity."

        Well, no one would use it for anything legitimate at all if that was the case. Better would be "by uploading content you hold the copyright to, you grant us a license to make copies as required for proper storage, and to distribute to anyone who can access it based on the permissions you set."

      • by Kjella (173770)

        So if a disgruntled Microsoft employee decided to upload the Windows source code to Mega, they'd lose all copyright on it? I don't think that's how the law works, no matter what the terms of service says he's not authorized to sign that away. And if you try going after only authorized attack dogs then worst case they'll turn on whatever cyber thugs they hired and claim they overstepped their bounds had no right to upload that to Mega, but as the copyright holder they're not going to sue for damages so all t

    • You're thinking too deep. People WILL use file sharing websites for copyright-infringement purposes, they always will do. I'm actually shocked that the amount of detected infringements is ONLY of about 14 a day. That's probably 100 times LESS than Youtube gets on a daily basis.

  • by jtownatpunk.net (245670) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @09:52AM (#42749991)

    150 complaints out of the millions of accounts they claim is pretty darn good.

    • by EasyTarget (43516)

      Indeed; Interesting how the article does not point out how many items are currently shared on Mega either, which will already be in the millions.

    • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @11:19AM (#42750783) Homepage
      Well since the files are encrypted, these 150 files are simply ones where the user shared the link and the key in the URL. This can also be done via mega-search.me. In fact, according to Ars Technica http://arstechnica.com/business/2013/01/wait-for-it-select-files-from-mega-now-indexed-on-third-party-site/ [arstechnica.com], several people have shared copyrighted material using Mega as storage and mega-search.me as the locator. These files can easily be checked by the copyright holder.
    • by Bob9113 (14996)

      150 complaints out of the millions of accounts they claim is pretty darn good.

      Indeed. Here's a quick thumbnail check against YouTube:

      More than 120 million videos have been claimed by Content ID

      If 150 notices is getting "stung", what does 120 million count as?

      • Including one of mine, for the music in a silent movie made so long ago the copyright had actually expired. I looked up the date of the producer's death and checked very throughly. Bug Vaudeville.

        I can only theorise that while the producer/animator had died then, the composer managed to live on into his nineties - and with the US term of life plus seventy years, the music may still in copyright. The content ID notice claimed to come from a 'collecting society.' I can't verify this theory, as I have no idea

  • Why is this news? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Megaupload had the same policy of removing copyrighted content. Even providing special access for rights holders to flag content themselves.

    It's not like Doctom wanted Mega to be a Pirate Bay...

    • by Jawnn (445279)

      Megaupload had the same policy of removing copyrighted content. Even providing special access for rights holders to flag content themselves.

      It's not like Doctom wanted Mega to be a Pirate Bay...

      Quite right. But then if I'm Megaupload, I'm not going to cry about all this hub-bub. It's free publicity.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... is around. You can find almost any song on YT and a ton of full-length movies, all for free. You can attach "listento" after www. in YT's URL and download an MP3 of a video, for example. There's many other sites like that. And with iTunes Match around, you can convert any mp3 to a really nice 256kbps AAC file.

    Movies are a little bit trickier but if you get creative with your google searching, you'll find sites with embedded YT private videos fairly easily.

    I used to download a lot and was a "quality snob

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      This video is not available in your country...
      • by mTor (18585)

        Have you tried ProxMate for Firefox [mozilla.org]? I use to to unblock when I want to watch some UK shows. I'm sure it works the other way around (i.e. for foreigners who want to watch American-only programming).

        Proxmate just loads the page through a proxy and the video is streamed through your connection so there's no slowdown due to a use of a slow proxy.

    • by cpghost (719344)
      How do you share e-books via YouTube? By displaying every page in a video for a couple of minutes (or milliseconds)?
      • Maybe not like that, but it's conceivable that you could steganographically hide files inside the coded video stream, like how they embed digital watermarks. An interesting idea.
        • I would be surprised if Youtube didn't recode your files at least somewhat, which would likely cause the loss of any encoded data.

    • by Hatta (162192)

      I'd rather gouge my ears out.

    • People share lots of files that are not on youtube. Linux Distributions, high quality audio and video (yes, those aren't on youtube) and content that may be illegal to display on youtube, depending on which country you are visiting from or due to youtubes rules. Thinking that some regulated video site with ads can replace people's wish to share whatever they wish to share is very short sighted.
    • Your definition of the word "any" is very different from mine.
  • zzzzzzzz

  • 150 is significant? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BLKMGK (34057) <morejunk4me&hotmail,com> on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:09AM (#42750123) Homepage Journal

    He supposedly got a million subscribers on the first day, including myself. 150 takedown notices is significant in light of this? Google probably process that many in a half day and no one says a thing. That this new service has so few should probably be the news rather than the other way around. This seems pretty trivial to me, especially in light of the fact that his previous service handled so many takedowns that they granted the content folks special access like YouTube does. Bet he doesn't do that again...

  • Youtube received 150 take down notices this week.
  • by Greyfox (87712) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:13AM (#42750161) Homepage Journal
    Encryption! Der!

    Seems he learned his lesson at least, and actually removed the content. You know what would be funny? If the FBI asked him to keep the files to help with an on-going investigation.

  • by Mr_Silver (213637) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:16AM (#42750175)

    Raise your hand if you're shocked, simply shocked.

    Honestly? I'm surprised they didn't have more than 150.

  • by nweaver (113078) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @10:23AM (#42750241) Homepage

    The big reason that MegaUpload got into huge trouble is they structured things to create an incentive for piracy: those who uploaded "popular" files would earn $$$, and the "takedown" implemented by MegaUpload was deliberately defective: only taking down single URLs when, behind the scene, they kept the files available with different URLs. Thus the old MegaUpload deliberately created a structure to encourage and benefit from piracy.

    If the new Mega drops this incentive structure, and their encryption eliminates the deduplication, they should be in much more solid shape.

  • by JustOK (667959)

    rased ad bt t aes t ard t te tgs

  • When I read the details about the circumstances under which one would need to pay to access the site, it struck me that Kim had hit upon a truly novel idea; to wit, make the copyright holder pay in order to access his own copyrighted material - in order to verify of course !

    Genius Kim, pure genius !
  • by Subgenius (95662) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @12:47PM (#42751857) Homepage

    Mega cannot see the contents of files. The DMCA notices are simply based on the filenames when linked through search engines.

    I created an 80 byte text file that contained the words "star" and "wars" in the FILE NAME, with the actual content being "This is a text file..." with no internal links or other content. Using the mega-&&&.me search engine, I posted the link NAME.

    Not surprisingly, I received a DMCA notice within 10 hours of uploading, SOLEY based on the file name.

    No big surprise here. I expected the result from the test.

    • by Dr. Spork (142693)
      That's a pretty brave test to run. It's like smearing blood on plastic fish, and holding it in front of a shark to see if it bites down on it.

      I mean, your innocence is obvious and should be trivially easy to prove. My first reaction - "I'd never try that with the sort of prosecutors and dirty legal practices of today" - maybe indicates that I've lost a lot of faith in our justice system, and adopted the policy of keeping my head down to avoid trouble. But we all know that a population with this sort of atti

    • Mega cannot see the contents of files. The DMCA notices are simply based on the filenames when linked through search engines.

      I created an 80 byte text file that contained the words "star" and "wars" in the FILE NAME, with the actual content being "This is a text file..." with no internal links or other content. Using the mega-&&&.me search engine, I posted the link NAME.

      Not surprisingly, I received a DMCA notice within 10 hours of uploading, SOLEY based on the file name.

      No big surprise here. I expected the result from the test.

      So are we going back to the age of search engine misspellings, for those who actually remember the pre-web FTP based internet? Ah, pron, gfi, those were the days.

    • by periol (767926)
      appreciate you doing this. if enough people were like you, we could have some fun overwhelming the DMCA system.
  • by Tmann72 (2473512) on Thursday January 31, 2013 @02:33PM (#42753247)
    "Raise your hand if you're shocked, simply shocked." Shocked that users would upload illegal content? Nope. Shocked that yet more articles come out trying to make Mega look bad, but all it says is that they are following the law? Nope again. I don't know if they were complacent or not when MegaUpload was taken down, but I constantly get the feeling the media is always wording the discussion in such a way that demonizes Mega on the assumption that they were guilty. What ever happened to fair neutral reporting? It's such a shame.

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