The fall of Megaupload--and by 'fall', I mean, a movie-quality raid and seizures and truly impressive use of rhetoric. Every article talks about his excess lifestyle and cars and money and helicopter and apparently rather disconcertingly wild parties where there was a.) women and b.) alcohol and possibly c.) killing puppies. I mean, I can't prove the last part, but I've only skimmed the first five pages of google news on megaupload conniptions.



Okay, I'm totally almost but not really overstating how many articles that are purportedly about the arrest spend many pixels gushing about the toys of millionaries, I assume for the dual purpose of discouraging sympathy and attempting to separate him from hacker culture and nail him directly into lifestyles of the evil and famous.

Okay, enough about that.

I've been thinking about it since [personal profile] svmadelyn sent me an email about it and I heartily wished I hadn't bought a six month account when they were on sale. I'm assuming I am not getting that money back, though I don't see why; the feds and media are really emphasizing there's lots of money there. Plus, Child is trying to learn to be a hacker now for greater justice or something in between mourning the horror of life lived without megaupload and seriously, so you see why I am really unamused by this; he can't program. He can't even unblock the router when I get bored and lock out his IP address in fits of quasi-maternal discipline (I mean, it's deserved and everything, but I think punishment should be fun for someone, so might as well be me).

I am unamused, Feds. I am so not in the mood to deal with this. He's getting taller, and I mean, I could take him, but I'm kind of lazy, so come on.

This article kind of nails down my thoughts on this, which are not new: Piracy is part of the digital ecosystem, which has some illustrative pie charts for people who like that sort of thing, which is most people because the math is kind of fascinating.

Here's the text before the pie charts:
More broadly, how large is piracy today? At the last Consumer Electronic Show, the British market intelligence firm Envisional presented its remarkable State of Digital Piracy Study (PDF here). Here are some highlights:
• Pirated contents accounts for 24% of the worldwide internet bandwidth consumption.
• The biggest chunk is carried by bittorrent (the protocol used for file sharing); it weighs about 40% of the illegitimate content in Europe and 20% in the US (including downstream and upstream). Worldwide, bittorrent gets 250 million UVs per month.
• The second tier is made by the so-called cyberlockers (5% of the global bandwidth), among them the infamous Megaupload, raided a few days ago by the FBI and the New Zealand police. On the 500 million uniques visitors per month to cyberlockers, Megaupload drained 93 million UVs. (To put things in perspective, the entire US newspaper industry gets about 110 million UVs per month). The Cyberlockers segment has twice the users but consumes eight times less bandwidth than bittorrent simply because files are much bigger on the peer-to-peer system.
• The third significant segment in piracy is illegal video streaming (1.4% of the global bandwidth.)


Again, math. Five percent of global piracy bandwidth goes to the cyberlockers.

Also mentioned is the regionalization of the global market, which I'm still not sure of the reasoning behind, because it's kind of a guaranteed way to encourage illegal downloading and, as usual, the entire 'we are all hypocrites of downloading and not really sorry about it' which admittedly is true, but also beside the point.

Massive shutdown of other locker sites (my child is going to join Anonymous and I am going to be bailing him out of jail and posting from the police station, I can feel it) including a lot of ones I've used, others are locking down their users to their own uploads (yeah, that'll work), others are

Also, Anonymous attacked like whoa, MegaUpload Take Down Affecting Other File Lockers and is also threatening X-Box (my Child is going to be on the FBI wanted list if this affects gaming, Christ).

While mourning my lost account (and hiding from Child, Christ, his misery is so loud) and grimly signing anti-SOPA and anti-PIPA petitions, I also tried to work out the effective lifespan of a working restriction on the internet that wouldn't break beneath the stress of regulation. I'm not specifically talking about the crippling amount of damage I'm pretty sure the cyberhacktivists could pull off given enough free time and incentive (and what do you think they're going to be doing with their free time now that time spent downloading and watching illegal music has gone poof?); I'm talking about how fast tech catches up with reality, and if anyone is under the impression that piracy will ever be more than briefly set back, they haven't paid attention to human history. Try this, let's go back ten years and look at what has changed since then; nothing at all. It's gotten faster, and it's gotten easier, and it picked up some new names, but filesharing is filesharing world without end and it's not going to stop. It's going to get worse, for whatever value of worse. And if the entire idea is to put it off by massive lawsuits, again, see your history; that didn't work either and then just pissed people off. DRM was chum in the water. New blurays' encryption is hacked practically before the movies they're based on are released. Apple lost the right to penalize consumers from jailbreaking their own phones.

We use the word jailbreaking in perfectly legitimate news stories without irony to refer to Apple's restrictions on its own product.

I don't particularly think long-term this will break or even damage the cyberlocker; I am pretty sure, however, that someone, somewhere, did, is, or will very soon file a lawsuit on the strength of whether or not digital space can be under ownership like your car, your house, your apartment, or your, you know, closet.

Final article because, really:
Behind the music: What if the culture industry shut down for a day?

Tagline: Wikipedia went black in protest against anti-piracy legislation. But which would you miss more: an encyclopaedia or music?

Wikipedia. Bitterly, every second. I knew I used it a lot, but I didn't realize how much until I hit that page no less than ten times absently looking up something I'd read and then staring blankly at it because yeah, it's still down.

The article itself is adorable, and a part of it cultural elitism--wherefore does your entertainment come if not from Hollywood and the RIAA--but a really scary amount of it isn't corporate shilling; behind it is an honest bewilderment with the idea that culture exists that isn't paid for. This is a very bad article in general, but I offer it up for amusement value.

...seriously, lose Wikipedia? You can have my entire music collection, but do not fuck with my ability to find information. I waited my entire life for the world to become a library; so not losing it now.

See, the thing is, I don't think anything is going to get better very soon.
Their relentless, pitiless war that requires that every customer is also an enemy from the moment they buy the product because of their potential for using it in ways not sanctioned by the producer is not a business model. I'm not worried as much about the long term, but the short term does worry me a lot, because what the entertainment industries and pro-regulation are trying to do will not work as a model, but they can do so much damage in the meantime to people, to new ideas, to new possibilities.

Yes, this is not an uplifting entry, but I just told Child about the X-Box Live thing Anonymous is planning and honestly, bringing the entire entertainment industry to its knees and doesn't sound so bad if it means I won't have him staring at me balefully from the door every few minutes because I'm not, IDK, rebuilding megaupload from scratch and leading a revolution. I mean, sure, I'm lazy, but he whines.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Date: 2012-01-24 04:06 am (UTC)
I waited my entire life for the world to become a library; so not losing it now.

Me too! Every time someone looks something up on old episodes of Star Trek, I giggle in excitement because the technology is already here! In my lifetime!

And yes, the distribution model is broken. I would happily pay for my content - just like after years of downloading I pay for my music now that I can - but I'm Australian so nobody will sell TV to me. Not even region 4 DVDs, a lot of the time. I'm annoyed by Megupload being taken down, but I'm not impeded.
cat_77: no idea who made this, please let me know? (Assistance)

From: [personal profile] cat_77
Date: 2012-01-24 04:13 am (UTC)
I do not mean to laugh at your predicament, but I am totally laughing at your predicament with Child. He is just a hair older than my Eldest, who only knows a teensy bit about tech because Youngest taught him in exchange for chores.

Youngest just saved up his own cash to buy an Xbox from Game Stop, with the reasoning that we would not take it away from him that way. Silly child, the experience with Eldest and the Gameboy should have taught him better (sold the one we got him on eBay, kidnapped the one he bought until his grades improved).

Really, they are only slightly worried about this "whole Internet thing" at this point, because only Youngest really knows what we mean when we say we push the flashy button to get our shows and he has faith that we will find a new flashy button. But if they fuck with his Xbox, or Eldest's Starcraft account, I am quite certain there will be hell to pay and my dear and loving partner and their dear and loving father will be right there next to you trying to reanimate Al Gore to build us a new Internet.
nagasvoice: lj default (Default)

From: [personal profile] nagasvoice
Date: 2012-01-24 04:57 am (UTC)
Tell Child that real hackers don't whine. (*cough* actually, they join Occupy Wallstreet, acquire odd friends named things like Wheels, Gimpy, and Duckman, and I understand they wear crusty-style fashions that really are...crusty.) With all that free non-movie time he has now, he could stand at the offices of politicians and stare balefully...
sara: S (Default)

From: [personal profile] sara
Date: 2012-01-24 05:06 am (UTC)
Plus, Child is trying to learn to be a hacker now for greater justice or something in between mourning the horror of life lived without megaupload and seriously, so you see why I am really unamused by this; he can't program. He can't even unblock the router when I get bored and lock out his IP address in fits of quasi-maternal discipline (I mean, it's deserved and everything, but I think punishment should be fun for someone, so might as well be me).

Dear God, you're making me SO VERY GLAD that Herself is only 8 1/2 and not allowed out on the Internet without a grownup yet.

Because she'd be, like...yeah.
silentcs: (Default)

From: [personal profile] silentcs
Date: 2012-01-24 05:19 am (UTC)
BoingBoing linked to this article as lies, damned lies, and piracy statistics, which amused me.

If the entire culture industry actually did shut down and they took away all my music, I would just get to work on writing an EP full of ditties like "Better than Cookies, Pirates Ahoy!" or "DCMA Diva". Since I don't know how to mix sound or play guitar, I imagine I'd be plenty entertained until the hacker wars were over.

That and they'll never take my library away from me.

ladysorka: (Computer Girl in Paradise)

From: [personal profile] ladysorka
Date: 2012-01-24 05:34 am (UTC)
Completely agreed re:Wikipedia. I hit it at least 10 times even knowing it was going down. It was just automatic. If the music went away, you know, I have a piano. I have a voice. I even still have that trombone I played in high school. I can make music. But take away the information, I don't know what I'd do with myself.

I honestly think its a vast cultural divide and they fundamentally just don't get what's important to us. Which is scary and depressing and I'm kind of terrified of what's coming. I've been reading the stuff on the ACTA since the tech blogs first got wind of it, however long ago that was. I've known this fight was coming for longer than that. And right now, I really don't think we're going to win it, at least not in the short term.

I honestly don't know what the internet is going to look like in another five years.

And for crying out loud, Hollywood, if you just give me an instant, available worldwide downloadable drm free .avi or .mkv of tv episodes the day they air (you know, basically exactly what the scene provides, because that's what I want) that I can buy for a $1 each and I'd probably stop pirating tomorrow.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

From: [personal profile] lilacsigil
Date: 2012-01-24 09:12 am (UTC)
I'm willing to go as high as $5/episode, because I'm paying $100 or more for the imported DVDs months later anyway!
cyprinella: broken neon sign that reads "lies & fish" (serious business)

From: [personal profile] cyprinella
Date: 2012-01-24 03:04 pm (UTC)
And for crying out loud, Hollywood, if you just give me an instant, available worldwide downloadable drm free .avi or .mkv of tv episodes the day they air (you know, basically exactly what the scene provides, because that's what I want) that I can buy for a $1 each and I'd probably stop pirating tomorrow.

Yes, this. I mean, honestly.
tazlet: (Default)

From: [personal profile] tazlet
Date: 2012-01-24 03:45 pm (UTC)
...just give me an instant, available worldwide downloadable...that I can buy for a $1 each....

And that is why quietly, stealthily, 5 years tops, Amazon is will be running the world. $2 an ep, you say? The next day? I can watch whenever and wherever I want? And Hollywood thinks it's got trouble now. On the other hand, the enemy of my enemy....

gwyn: (serious bznz littlespank)

From: [personal profile] gwyn
Date: 2012-01-24 06:46 am (UTC)
He's getting taller, and I mean, I could take him, but I'm kind of lazy, so come on.

This is one of the funniest and most cogent statements on parenting today I've ever read. Well, actually, all your lines are. I actually truly LOLed.

From: [personal profile] annaalamode
Date: 2012-01-24 07:27 am (UTC)
Everyone seems to be running to ground right now. However, is it wrong to be *most* upset that rawr-caps is taking down their website?
ratcreature: RL? What RL? RatCreature is a net addict.  (what rl?)

From: [personal profile] ratcreature
Date: 2012-01-24 12:10 pm (UTC)
Many days I don't listen to a single piece of music (I can't concentrate with background noise) but I use wikipedia all the time. So yeah, I'd definitely miss wikipedia more, no contest.

ETA: One detail I find hilarious about the coverage is how all the English-language articles respect that fantasy last name change to "Dotcom", but all the German news articles keep calling the guy "Schmitz" (perhaps because you can't really change your last name here unless you can prove you are harmed by it or something, so I have no idea whether the authorities here ever changed his paperwork).
edited at: Date: 2012-01-24 12:17 pm (UTC)
vickita: Vicki the Biker Chick (Default)

From: [personal profile] vickita
Date: 2012-01-24 12:59 pm (UTC)
Yeah. The music thing didn't bother me all that much; abandoning EMI and Sony was a non-event in my life, because I get my music live, and have for years. 99.8885% of the CDs I've bought in the last ten years have come from the hand of the musician over a table at the back of the bar/tent/whatever.

But how am I supposed to thumb my nose at Universal and 20th Century Fox? I mean, sure, I could spend my time going to plays over at the U, but fandom needs common source to be fannish about. If a viable alternative turns up, I'll be on it so fast, there'll be a clap of thunder from the displaced air of me apparating to it.

I know that this will all shake out eventually, but yeah, it's going to be a long, ugly slog through the middle. *sigh*
dorothy1901: Gilda: Put the blame on Mame (Default)

A little bit of history repeating

From: [personal profile] dorothy1901
Date: 2012-01-24 03:51 pm (UTC)
Watching the fight against Internet piracy is like watching history being made, and by that I mean eighteenth-century history. The late historian Barbara Tuchman wrote at length in The March of Folly about the potentially catastrophic results of trying to control that which you cannot control. She illustrated this with an account of how England basically pushed its North American colonies into armed revolt, even though it was widely assumed that the loss of the American colonies would doom England. The MPAA and RIAA have to accept and adapt to the realities of the twenty-first century; there's no going back.
drunkoffthestars: (Default)

Re: A little bit of history repeating

Date: 2012-01-24 07:01 pm (UTC)
I am totally stealing that point the next time someone tries to talk to me about the morality and/or justice of controlling an uncontrollable thing.
ariadne83: danny is ridic (Default)

From: [personal profile] ariadne83
Date: 2012-01-25 05:59 pm (UTC)
Wikipedia, hands down. I still buy CDs *is a dinosaur*
christycorr: Toothless (How to Train Your Dragon) (Depressing shot.)

From: [personal profile] christycorr
Date: 2012-01-24 03:51 am (UTC)
All the reports about Dotcom's lifestyle are seriously pissing me off. I understand why they're doing it, and yeah, so not going to work.

Totally agree with you on the Wikipedia thing.

I definitely trust people to come up with morei inventive ways to share files. Of course we'll all miss MU terribly (I'd just bought a permanent account this year, too. Damn.), but maybe it's time to, I don't know, resort to Usenet? :D

Go Child! If the X-Box thing does happen, you should totally train him :p
ext_9649: (Default)

Date: 2012-01-24 03:58 am (UTC)
if my brain wasn't currently dribbling out my ear, I'd take a runner at linking up this business with a fascinating article I read recently about how the black market is actually essential to the global economy and shutting down bootleggers and dealers of stolen/knockoff material goods would do far more damage than what their cut into corporate profit is. but. brain. liquified. so.

Date: 2012-01-24 05:09 am (UTC)
This reminds me of what we learned in microeconomics, which is that if there is demand, there will be supply, legitimate or not. It's very frustrating that no one seems to get this point and work with it. The media industry has a lot of talented business brains, after all.

Child sounds awesome. Mildly terrifying, but in a good way.

Date: 2012-01-24 06:35 am (UTC)
I've asked this elsewhere and have yet to get a reply, but if anyone here can give an insight: why hasn't the massive availability of pirated works had a market effect to drive down the price of movies, music, and books?

Is this just the industry being obstinate and resisting market pressure in the hopes that they can stem the flood of free media?

Because for reals, if I could dl the things I want to dl from a reliable source, quickly and completely, with the assurance that I'd end up with a high-quality, complete file, I'd pay a dollar for that. But not twelve dollars, which is what iTunes is charging for movies at the moment.

Date: 2012-01-24 07:12 am (UTC)
that is my question exactly. I'm particularly annoyed by the sale of eps. on iTunes (since I'd rather go to the cinema to watch a film, or I wait until it's on TV). An ep. costs £2.5, so for a series of 22 eps. one would have to pay £ 55. The dvd of the series is between £15-22 (on amazon). So, are we to wait until a series is completed in order to watch it? why the huge discrepancy between price per ep. and DVD sale?

If I could buy the eps. at a reasonable price, then I would (since 9 out of 10 series are not worth buying on DVD)....
ext_127: (Default)

Date: 2012-01-25 06:01 pm (UTC)
THIS

Date: 2012-01-24 07:18 am (UTC)
argh.

As someone in a smaller, country where we wait months for music, tv shows etc- I buy them on dvd from overseas WHEN I CAN.

But what if they are not available at all? I want to pay for them - but there is NO OPTION! How is the company losing money, if there is no way for me to pay for it legally?

Sherlock S2 I wanted to read the fic without being spoiled, so yes I obtained it every week. I will buy the DVD from Amazon this week too- but why should I have to stay away from LJ, AO3, twitter for the 6 months it would take to show up here?

The entertainment industry needs to rethink their business model-badly. People are willing to pay for this stuff- but they won't sell it to us. Then they stamp their feet that we're 'stealing'. Well let me buy it you wankers!!!

Can you tell I have ~feelings~ about this?

Date: 2012-01-24 09:24 am (UTC)
I only found out two weeks ago that MU was where the Sherlock was, and I hadn't even had a chance to go watch them yet. The world is one big place now; if it's on TV over there why can't I watch it over here?
luminosity: (MISC-Working)

From: [personal profile] luminosity
Date: 2012-01-24 08:15 am (UTC)
I miss newsgroups. I wallowed in them back in the day, when I had to get to them via the good graces of my sysop, and that love affair lasted until wayyyy in the 2000's. I remember going to the NG's to download Angel episodes, so that's only eight years ago.

Remember newsgroups? Let's do newsgroups again! Who's with me?!

Date: 2012-01-24 02:27 pm (UTC)
The way the articles are focusing on his lavish lifestyle make it seem like they're trying to make it appeal to people who were really into the Social Network or something.

Date: 2012-01-26 12:45 pm (UTC)
Wiki isn't just for fans, etc. either. I use it on my job because they have links back to source material! Damn it!

As for MU, I was surprised it wasn't taken down earlier. It's pretty easy to see that copyright material was being downloaded onto it and the feds have just caught up with the idea. I did consider paying for faster service but in the end, I just used youtube (and I'm wondering when that's going, too).

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