Today the American FBI took down Megaupload and its sister sites on the ground that Megaupload was intentionally designed to promote piracy. I could have decided to not care, until I realized we (the /talk community) host hundreds of perfectly legal homebrews there, independent games and creations that are now potentially lost forever.
I will do my best over the days to come to fix broken links on our homebrews database, although we already have lots of things hosted directly here (on my server) or on other websites such as mediafire.
Am I the only one pissed at the fact that the US can purely and simply shut down, for the entire world, a german website hosted in
Hong Kong? (Update: . Megaupload is a HK based company, but the site was apparently hosted in Virginia, US, which changes lots of stuff). Apparently not, seeing that Anonymous started to retaliate with what seems to be one of the biggest coordinated DDoS attacks ever.
It also makes one wonder why the Music Industry in the US so badly needs the SOPA and PIPA laws, if they can already basically shut down a foreign website at will…
In taking down Megaupload, the FBI probably removed thousands of copyright infringing files. But they also removed hundreds of thousands of legal files. Thousands of people, artists, programmers, creators were legally making a business out of the downloads of these files, and will have to find new solutions for hosting their files at a reasonable cost. The same content creators that the RIAA and MPAA in the US claim to protect. Except if you don’t pay a tax to these groups, they don’t protect you, and they apparently don’t hesitate to shut you down. There is a group of people who do similar things as the RIAA and the MPAA in the real world (not the digital one), they are called the Mafia: pay us for protection, or you’re just collateral damage.
I’m not pretending Megaupload wasn’t a hive for pirates, but it also contained lots of legal content, that has been wiped out without any form of discrimination, in the name of the crusade against piracy that was started by the american entertainment industry.
I also can’t help but feel the recent events on the Internet (which basically started in 1998 with the DMCA) are similar to an invasion: the people who were here first on the internet are progressively losing their rights and the very own identity of their “land” (the network) because a handful of powerful men found that it is full of resources they plan to exploit. The poor internet natives are fighting with what they can (bows, arrows, DoS), but the powerful men have boats, guns, money and lawyers. They will eventually win, and in 50 years there will be internet reservations where small group of Native Internauts will slowly die, while discussing how cool it was when their land was free and full of buffalos, movies, and music.
I hope Universal and Sony don’t start sending us blankets…