Look, Megaupload wasn’t just a shady means for Kim Dotcom to acquire luxury cars, okay? Mr. Dotcom took a break from laying down tracks on his rap album to inform TorrentFreak that before the feds crashed the party, the company was planning a multi-billion-dollar IPO. Now, does that sound like a massive conspiracy to you? Read More
It’s going to take more than the Megaupload takedown to satisfy the copyright Rottweilers at the MPAA. Now they’re determined to convince the legal world that not just hosting, but embedding protected content is a form of direct infringement, says Ars Technica.
At issue: An internet pornography company, Flava Works, discovered Read More
Arrests, shutdowns of established file-sharing sites like Megaupload and legislation such as S.O.P.A. have driven users to seek a new breed of file-sharing destination. File-sharers are looking for security and privacy and they may have found it with newer solutions such as RetroShare and Tribler.
Naturally, since governments the world over are actively pursuing shutting down file-sharing in a variety of ways, anonymity and a lack of censorship are highly prized. TorrentFreak has more on why these and other options are gaining in popularity: Read More
At the Paley Center for Media yesterday, New York tech’s paterfamilias Fred Wilson offered something largely absent from recent anti-SOPA debates: a plan for an alternative. Better yet, he wasn’t just preaching to the choir. Rather, the Union Square Ventures managing partner broke on through to the other side: media execs.
Last month, he seemed frustrated, tweeting out “#screwcable” when a feud between MSG and Time Warner Cable forced Mr. Wilson to consume pirated content if he wanted to see the (pre-Linsanity) Knicks. But during yesterday’s talk, Mr. Wilson seemed more convinced of the universality of the condition. Read More
They might have a write a sequel to “Women Who Love Men Who Kill.” Women Who Love Men Who Allegedly Facilitate Piracy?
At a hearing today at the High Court in New Zealand, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom told the court that “during his time in prison he had received ‘funny visits,’ phone calls and contacts from people he had never heard of including a succession of women wanting to be his friend,” as TorrentFreak reports.
Now that Kim Dotcom is in custody, details about the FBI’s two year investigation into Megaupload are surfacing. According to CNET, the grunt work can be traced back to the Motion Picture Association of America.
Record labels and software and videogame companies all accused Megaupload of copyright violations, but it was Hollywood that presented the FBI with “significant evidence.” Read More
Fresh of the heels of feeling its own might in the fight against SOPA and PIPA, a civic-minded Redditor who goes by the handle “ajpos” has decided to start a section 527 political action committee.
It’s called Test Pac, it has its own Tax ID number and it purports to represent “the special interest group that represents the views of Reddit’s users,” which we guess means boobs, the free flow of information, weed, and cats. In that order.
However, as Reddit’s general manager Erik Martin informed us, it’s not Reddit’s first “unofficial” PAC. Under the subreddit /r/rpac, you can also find threads about Hive PAC (another recent organization inspired by the SOPA Opera), as well as The OSDF, or Open Source Democracy, an older initiative. Read More
Raid on Megaupload Rocks Cyberlocker Industry As Sites Stop Paying Uploaders, Delete Content, and Ban Sharing
Who needs SOPA or PIPA to pull any sites associated with pirated copy asunder when you have a very public federal raid to scare you straight?
Cyberlocker sites have responded with “unprecedented action” to last week’s shutdown of Megaupload and the arrests of its founder and top executives. Since Thursday, TorrentFreak reports, a number of Megaupload’s popular competitors like VideoBB and VideoZer have done away with payment systems that rewarded uploaders when their files were shared. Filesonic (a top-10 site with a billion pageviews per month) and Fileserve took even more drastic action; both sites now forbid users to download any content they didn’t upload themselves. Read More
The self-proclaimed geeks of the New York tech industry gathered outside senators’ Gillibrand and Schumer’s office Wednesday afternoon to protest the PIPA and SOPA acts, that they say will lead to the end of the internet as we know it.
Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, brought sympathy cards which he planned to hand-deliver to the senators, mourning the death of the internet.
Scott Heiferman, Meetup CEO, held up a sign after his speech that read, “Can we go back to work now?” in a cunning reference to the jobs the industry creates in New York, and perhaps the cold weather too. Read More
The saga of Megaupload is really earning Betabeat’s “SOPA Opera” slug. To wit: Earlier this week, the New York Post reported that Swizz Beatz was the CEO of the rogue file-sharing company Megaupload. (The news was in the context of Megaupload’s lawsuit with Universal Music Group for using its clients, namely Kanye West, Will.i.am, and Sean “Diddy” Combs in promotional video called “Mega Song”.)
A few hours before the feds arrested four Megaupload executives and shut down the “cyberlocker,” Betabeat got confirmation from Swizz Beatz’s publicist, Phylicia Fant from the Purple Agency, that he was the CEO of the Megaupload. Betabeat also reached out to his agent at Universal Attractions, who did not respond directly to that question. However, as VentureBeat reports today, Attorney Ira Rothken, Megaupload’s “top lawyer,” says, “To my knowledge, Swizz Beatz was never involved in any meaningful way. He was negotiating to become the CEO, but it was never official.” Read More