Views: 33230 - Written by: gdazegod
- February 03, 2012
The start to the 2012 year has seen tumultuous change across the technology sector. Though these impacts are spread widely across society, they have touched upon many of us in different ways.
Obviously the Megaupload situation is a huge one, and one that will reverberate throughout the online cyberlocker industry. The Authorities will have us know that a centralised repository such as Megaupload, and many of its peers (hotfile, rapidshare, easy-share, depositfiles and so on) are easier to target. In the past, overbearing organisations such as the RIAA (who, let's be honest here, are the mouthpiece and foot-solider of 'Hollywood Inc' ) have wanted to pin down ISP's to be the Policemen of the Internet.
A ridiculous suggestion considering the resources required to man such operations for the benefit of a few - and at no cost to organisations like the RIAA either. ISP's would need to foot the bill, in turn passing the costs onto consumers. A double dipping exercise as many legitimate owners of media (CD's, DVD's etc) get hit with a second set of costs to access the Internet at higher prices. That was never going to fly, and the recent court battle of Australian internet provider iiNet as an example throughout the industry, fell flat on its face. Consumers are already getting ripped off left right and center, so it's no wonder there is no sympathy toward 'Hollywood Inc' and its Media Minions.
So with that failure in mind, it was clear to the Authorities that if ISP's weren't the way to close down these cyberlocker sites, then closing them down directly would be the next option.
Also, the difficulty, and time/effort to prosecute individual downloaders (and uploaders) was another principal reason why the RIAA decided to go for the big fish and not the small-fry. Similar outcomes are being pursued by other countries where they have direct jurisdiction, but you can be assured that the sneaky finger of 'Hollywood Inc' is in there right up to their fist. Just this week, one of the biggest filesharing sites in the Ukraine (ex.ua) was shut down, with the RIAA stating it was one of largest of it's kind in Europe.
However, there is a suggestion coming out the US legal fraternity that the US Authorities may have overstepped the mark in terms of making the Megaupload case a 'criminal law' case to the point that it could collapse in court. To effect extradition, the Authorities needed to apply criminal law, but the circumstances should see Megaupload being tried under civil law, particularly if it were seen that Kim Dotcom and his associates were seen to be doing their best to comply with Safe Haven provisions under the DCMA.
Also in the news, the SOPA bill that got turfed out of the US Congress. Thank god for sensibility, but you can be assured that those with Big Pockets and with lobbyist friends in Washington DC, will try and strike again in the near future. Many of these buckethead nay-sayers have a firm mindset that the Internet should never have been given to the Public, and in a PR like endorsement, Jay Rockefeller is absolutely hell-bent on shutting down the Internet, deeming it a security risk. To whom I wonder? Big business? Rockefeller interests? You can see where I'm going with this right?
Not to be outdone, Europe is not the free haven for those wanting to undermine legitimate activity on the Net. Sweden is doing its best to wipe Pirate Bay off the map, though in other countries such as Germany and Spain, liberties are still quite abundant for Internet users. In Germany, you cannot be extradited to the US if you are found to have breached copyright laws. Still, many of the online facilities that are used for cyberlocking or torrenting emanate out of Europe.
All this will do is drive the entire downloading industry (and it is an industry) underground, to the point of using stealth and darknet related technologies. 256 bit encryption, disguised VPN-like trafficking across the Net, proxy IP addresses and many other tricks of the trade.
Over the last few days, what these events have done is to turn many regularly sourced sites upside down in panic. Some opting to remove their presence off the Net completely for fear of being targeted. So in a way, the Authorities have begun a dominoe effect by knocking over Kim Dotcom's empire and snowballing to all the others around him.
However, I doubt this will stop Hollywood Inc's Minions from going after others, because at the end of the day, what's at stake for them is simple, and they only want one thing: YOUR MONEY!!!