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MPAA: the Impact of Megaupload's Shutdown Was 'Massive' 308

An anonymous reader writes "The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has declared that the Megaupload shutdown earlier this year has been a great success. In a filing to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the group representing major movie studios says the file hosting and sharing industry has been massively disrupted. Yet the MPAA says there is still work to be done, identifying sites that make available to downloaders 'unauthorized copies of high-quality, recently-released content and in some cases, coordinate the actual upload and download of that content.' Here's the list of sites, including where they are hosted: Extratorrent (Ukraine), IsoHunt (Canada), Kickass Torrents (Canada), Rutracker (Russia), The Pirate Bay (Sweden), Torrentz (Canada), and Kankan (China)."
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MPAA: the Impact of Megaupload's Shutdown Was 'Massive'

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  • Doesn't help (Score:1, Insightful)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:14PM (#42197985)

    I don't take issue with the shutdown since Megaupload was being used as a gigantic, unregulated store for pirated content, and that does take money away from content creators. Instead, I go out of my way to purchase independent content to support artists outside of the mainstream system, and any mainstream content I do want gets purchased digitally, which ultimately contributes to a lessening of relevance for the traditional distributors represented by the MPAA. Home film releases come out out sooner and sooner after their theater runs, and streaming services like Netflix are so popular on living room devices that Microsoft claims video streaming surpasses game-playing in terms of hours of usage on the Xbox 360. Whatever traditional structure the MPAA is protecting has already been supplanted by legal mediums.

    In other words, Megaupload isn't necessary--the fate of the traditional movie industry has already been sealed by companies who embraced the internet.

  • Puke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:18PM (#42198025)

    "The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has declared that the Megaupload shutdown earlier this year has been a great success"

    Never mind the fact that the shutdown itself was conducted illegally, and that thousands of legitimate users and businesses were harmed.

    Fuck you MPAA. You're the boy with his finger plugging a hole in a dike, and the water's pouring over the top.

  • Yes, yes it was. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TemperedAlchemist ( 2045966 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:19PM (#42198053)

    It was destructive to legitimate file sharing too.

    And illegal, very illegal.

  • Thanks! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:21PM (#42198083)

    We all owe the MPAA a hearty thank-you for telling us where we can steal their movies in the post-Megauplod era.

  • by Hans Adler ( 2446464 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:22PM (#42198087)

    The MPAA's original paper: []

    They brag about how much money they are making and speak in passing about the "massive" impact of closing down Megaupload. The one thing that seems to be conspicuously missing is any estimate of how much more money they made due to the reduction in "piracy".

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:24PM (#42198109)

    Or this more in depth analysis which concludes:

    "We find that the shutdown had a negative, yet insignificant effect on box office revenues.This counterintuitive result may suggest support for the theoretical perspective of (social) network effects where file-sharing acts as a mechanism to spread information about a good from consumers with zero or low willingness to pay to users with high willingness to pay."

  • Re:Puke (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:24PM (#42198113)

    Never mind the fact that the shutdown itself was conducted illegally, and that thousands of legitimate users and businesses were harmed.

    What are you talking about? It proved that they control the world's law enforcement AND can act with absolute impunity to the Little People(tm)! That's what makes it a complete resounding success to them!

  • Re:Yeah right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pixelpusher220 ( 529617 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:25PM (#42198131)
    Also in the same way that Return of the Jedi didn't actually make a profit [] according to the LucasFilms...
  • illegal spying (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:40PM (#42198265)

    subverting foreign governments
    illegal search seizure
    violating due process

    and you brag about it?!?!

  • Re:Yeah right... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:41PM (#42198277)
    Hollywood accounting would make Al Capone roll in his grave.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:44PM (#42198293)

    This provides a really good opportunity to measure a decline in piracy against an increase in ticket and DVD/Bluray sales. If they aren't talking about how much more money they're making, I think we can safely assume that the mantra that piracy != lost sales is true.

  • by BradleyUffner ( 103496 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @07:49PM (#42198343) Homepage


    If they are "losing" money due to "piracy" then why does Piracy NEVER show up on the balance books for EACH movie?

    I'm actually surprised that it doesn't. It would make the whole "Hollywood Accounting" thing easier to pull off, letting them pay the actors and writers even less because the film made less money.

  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tagged_84 ( 1144281 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @08:40PM (#42198811)

    ...pirated content, and that does take money away from content creators.

    Please provide sources showing loss of revenue from piracy. PS. I'm an actual content creator, indie game developer, so if I was bias...

  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:5, Insightful)

    by bakes ( 87194 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @08:52PM (#42198915) Journal

    You forget that the "MPAA, RIAA, and all those other guys" are NOT the content creators.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @08:56PM (#42198951)

    Megaupload was being used as a gigantic, unregulated store for pirated content

    Before the takedown, we all thought that. Me too. After the takedown, the US and NZ governments' behaviors indicate that once they saw actual evidence, it didn't point that way. They no longer think Dotcom is a crook and apparently either intend to acquit him or get the charges dismissed.

  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @09:08PM (#42199057)
    Content racketeers.
  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hazah ( 807503 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @09:40PM (#42199293)
    Perhaps what constitues as 'piracy' is 'legitemate use' to begin with? How can *so many* people be labled civil criminals? How can it be that the majority of the world is in the wrong? How can anyone even begin to justify jail for songs and music? Songs and music.. the very thing that separates us from the rest of the species around us. Stupid, stupid, stupid. It is incredible that we are even on this path at all, but then again there's that war on drugs, that thing people call 'voting'. I'm not so much amaized that it was suggested, no, I'm far more amaized that it was surrendered. And I drown in this ocean of gullibility without recourse save for death. Great!
  • by hazah ( 807503 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:07PM (#42199511)

    Few and far between? You seem to know so much, why don't you cough some numbers instead of "fancy" quotation marks around words you wish to mock? You're implying guilt, so lets see the proof. Not to mention that it's unacceptable (this is not up for compromize) for civilized society to blame an innocent for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    Don't deny that you are accusing and condemning without providing a shred of justification. You are NOT smarter than the court system, AC. You've not enough to be able to back that claim up.

    Refrain from telling others what to do and how to do it. You are insignificant, and your advice is petty and in bad taste. You promote fear and insecurity amonst the people, thus are a disease upon humanity.

    You're small and you're thinking in small terms. Ironically, they have nothing to do with the reality of the situation. Read the GPL, at least once before you so arrogantly stick a reference to it into the paragraph I'm about to address.

    It must have really hurt your head to fall off of that cloud you've spent a decade hovering in. A strawman so fragile, I hope you already feel incredibly stupid for posting anything at all.

  • "Great success" (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Dunge ( 922521 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:41PM (#42199807)
    I'm sorry, but every new release sites have more than 4+ mirrors anyway. When megalupload went down, another came up to replace. Also, they are actually listing the next sites they gonna abuse their power to shut down? Let's do something against that and make sure it don't happen.
  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:4, Insightful)

    by faedle ( 114018 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @10:44PM (#42199831) Homepage Journal

    No, it's technically not the exact same thing. When you walk out of a store with the CD, you are depriving the STORE of their personal property (the CD). There actually is a difference, both morally and ethically: "piracy" does not deprive anyone of their property, only the revenue from the sale.

    I'm not disagreeing that both should be crimes. But the financial and civil penalties of the latter (copyright infringement) are actually HIGHER than the former. And that's not right, either.

  • by epp_b ( 944299 ) on Wednesday December 05, 2012 @11:15PM (#42200035)
    Cut the bullshit of trying dictate when, where and how your customers are "permitted" to use the products they buy from you. Y'know, just like every other business on the planet.

    The example I like to use:

    When I buy a hammer, the manufacturer can't charge me a royalty for every nail I hammer in, they can't limit me to building bird-houses and demand licensing fees to build a shed, they can't tell me I can only use it in the town where I bought it and make me pay for it a second time if I want to use it in the next town over and they can't come to my home and take it away from me when they release an updated model. Heck, I can even use it for business and commercial profits and they still can't do anything about it.

    They've sold me a product and they are now HANDS OFF until the hammer wears out and I'm in the market for a new one.

    To argue against this -- to say that "media products" don't "wear out" -- is disingenuous and simply untrue. How many times can you listen to the song or watch the same movie without wanting more, better and newer?

    The demand for new content will always exist, ergo it is unnecessary and incongruous to found your business model on the assumption that it won't.

    I will offer this advice to the entire media industry, free of charge, no royalties asked, in the public domain, no nonsense, no copyright, you're free to use it. Forever.

    How to Single-Handedly Obsolete Piracy and Earn Record Profits without Criminalizing your Customers and Building a PR Track Record Worse than Beelzebub's: provide video files in MPEG4/DivX/whatever reasonably universal format, without DRM expropriating our computers, for a reasonable price, offer fast download speeds (at least fast enough to stream) and offer it worldwide.

    That is actually a lot simpler than it sounds; certainly a whole lot simpler than all that lawyering, backroom meetings and trying to figure out how to expropriate every computer in the world.

    Not only will you have millions, possibly billions-with-a-B, customers who can't give you enough of their money, but you will be opening the door to scads of businesses who will make products that increase the value of your products and have customers begging to buy more.

    This is evidenced empirically by history: look at how unencumbered VCRs, CDs and MP3s exploded with infinite third-party possibilities and compare them to DVDs which ... well, can do nothing more than they did a decade ago because of crippling DRM.

    Why is it so hard for these people to embrace technology? Why is every technological progression in history perceived as a threat? Is there a fundamental disconnect between them and their customers? Are they just stupid? Overly stubborn, technologically xenophobic dinosaurs? Too lazy to rework their business model? Too greedy about short-term profits too realize the long-term effects? What is it???

  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Runaway1956 ( 1322357 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:04AM (#42200423) Homepage Journal

    "I don't take issue with the shutdown since Megaupload"

    Irregardless of the legalities or the morality of what MU was doing, or not doing, the shutdown was a miscarriage of justice. MPAA is saying here, that the end justified the means. In effect, it doesn't matter that all parties to the shutdown FAILED to prosecute MU for anything, and they FAILED to prove that MU was doing anything. It only matters that Hollywood is making money.

    Step down a little, from huge international servers, to your own home town. Do you have a problem with the mayor sending a swat team to crash your door down, confiscate your computers, and haul you to court because - ohhhh - maybe you published an unflattering picture of the mayor? Or, your kid is a "terroristic bully who has hacked my child's facebook account"? Or, you published an editorial opposing the mayor's plans for an "emminent domain" project?

    Remember, what goes around, comes around.

  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aaron552 ( 1621603 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:08AM (#42200445) Homepage
    Usually the store will want to be compensated for the time the copy is not available. This is called rental. In the case of copying on the internet, the original copy is still available at all times.
  • Re:Doesn't help (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheLink ( 130905 ) on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:22AM (#42200541) Journal
    So are these the same thing?
    a) taking your brain away and bringing it back 90 minutes later
    b) making a copy of your brain
    It's not like you're using your brain much anyway. So no difference right?
  • by Stormwatch ( 703920 ) <> on Thursday December 06, 2012 @12:43AM (#42200663) Homepage

    The excuse for "intellectual property" was that it would serve as an incentive to the creation of new works; it was supposed to enrich culture and technology for all by eventually becoming public domain. But the constant copyright extensions mean their very purpose was subverted: instead, it now hinders everyone's access to a massive cultural trove. That's why people can't see piracy as wrong: if anything, it performs that duty now!

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson