Megaupload....

Ross Elliot's picture
Submitted by Ross Elliot on Fri, 2012-01-20 08:05

...has been shut down by the Feds.

Is anyone surprised? Well, the anarchists may be.

An analogy may help. You have this warehouse that allows people to deposit copies of films and music. Then you allow other people to visit and take away those copies. At best, you don't charge for such a service, yet you provide a facility for the transaction. What are you guilty of? Certainly not of the original theft. But you're a fence. Did you know the goods were stolen? Perhaps not. But is your ignorance any defence? A reasonable person would say no.


Well, there you go: I was

Mark Hubbard's picture

Well, there you go: I was criticising, reviewing and reporting some new news. Fair use.

If you think not, you'd better report me.

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

I gave full attribution of source.

Excuses.

It was open content, not subscriber.

Excuses.

I was helping them in this instance.

Excuses.

Consumer NZ says

New Zealand copyright law is clear about what can and can't be copied, but many people are not familiar with the rules. We answer the common questions.

Can I make "fair use" of material in New Zealand?
Yes you can. But our copyright law defines "fair use" more specifically. It applies only to copying for the purpose of criticism, review, news reporting, research or private study.

Is copying without permission ever acceptable?
Students, educational institutions, libraries and governments are sometimes allowed to reproduce copyrighted materials, but the circumstances are very limited. See www.copyright.co.nz, or contact a lawyer specialising in copyright law for more detailed advice.

Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect a cold beer.

I gave full attribution of

Mark Hubbard's picture

I gave full attribution of source. It was open content, not subscriber. I was helping them in this instance.

Hot in South Canterbury today: I'd rather you threw a drink.

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

You just copied 75%—the first 6 of 8 paragraphs—of an article from stuff.co.nz. You omitted the last two paragraphs and, frighteningly, you left off the copyright notice.

In denying bail for Dotcom, judge David McNaughton said he had been operating "in plain sight for some years'' and appeared to have an ''arguable defence'' against copyright charges levelled against him.

"No doubt very considerable resources will be brought to bear both for the prosecution and the defence should the matter proceed to trial,'' he said. Kumar speculated the legal action might be settled before then.
Ad Feedback

- © Fairfax NZ News

Do you really think your copying constitutes "fair use"?

What book would you like me to throw at you? Eye

Interesting ...

Mark Hubbard's picture

http://www.stuff.co.nz/technol...

Online file-storage service Megaupload.com was working on a legitimate music download service as recently as December that impressed the chief executive of New Zealand internet society InternetNZ.

United States technology website Techcrunch said the service, Megabox, was designed to let artists sell music direct to consumers online, cutting out record labels, and could even have seen them paid small amounts when they allowed their music to be downloaded for free.

Techcrunch said Megabox was tested with listed partners of 7digital, Gracenote, Rovi, and Amazon the world's largest online retailer. Amazon would not comment on the nature of any relationship.

InternetNZ chief executive Vikram Kumar said he was impressed by the business model for Megabox, which seemed completely legitimate.

Megaupload.com chief executive Kim Dotcom and three associates face extradition to the United States on copyright, racketeering and money laundering charges after their arrest last week.

Kumar said the case against them would boil down to the level of knowledge they had about illegal file-sharing taking place through Megaupload.com and the actions they took to prevent it. Emails cited in the US inditement appeared ''quite incriminating'' but the case would not be easy, he said. ...

That last paragraph gets me back to my roading analogy: http://www.solopassion.com/nod...

How can we gauge the

Mark Hubbard's picture

How can we gauge the magnitude of Dotcom's crimes other than by assessing the financial losses incurred by his victims? You maintain that copying is theft, so what dollar value would you put on the "stolen" IP?

The principle revolves around did he personally download illegally. I'm waiting for the courts to decide if he has committed a crime ... you're rather jumping the guillotine, putting yourself in the same camp as Winston Peters and Labour MPs.

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

Relevance?

Relevant because of the principle of proportionality. (Oops, dropped one already!) Justice requires that punishment is proportional to the crime.

How can we gauge the magnitude of Dotcom's crimes other than by assessing the financial losses incurred by his victims? You maintain that copying is theft, so what dollar value would you put on the "stolen" IP?

I was wondering how you would

Mark Hubbard's picture

I was wondering how you would compare the financial losses incurred by those whose music, movies, etc. were copied to Dotcom's financial gains.

Relevance?

If Dotcom was illegally file sharing, they will, and should, throw the book at him.

If Dotcom merely set up a site for legitimate file sharing on which other individuals were illegally file sharing, then State should have gone after those individuals, thus brute strength being used against Dotcom is frightening.

The fear factor

Richard Goode's picture

The power of the State/s in crushing this man is every bit as frightening as his alleged crimes.

You compared the frighteningness of the power of the State(s) in crushing Dotcom to the frighteningness of his alleged crimes.

I don't understand your query, again, Richard.

I was wondering how you would compare the financial losses incurred by those whose music, movies, etc. were copied to Dotcom's financial gains.

I don't understand your

Mark Hubbard's picture

I don't understand your query, again, Richard. And I fear you're about to start principle dropping ...

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

... again with the proviso that nothing condones IP theft ...

Leaving aside the question of whether or not there is such a thing as IP, do you consider the financial loss to those whose music, movies, etc. were copied to be any greater than Dotcom's net worth? If so, by how much? Why? And how do you know?

(I ask as someone who downloaded a few albums' worth of music from megaupload.com on a "try before you buy" basis.)

My post to NBR regarding failure of Dotcom to get bail:

Mark Hubbard's picture

... again with the proviso that nothing condones IP theft, in relation to his bail Dotcom seems to be getting a 'lot more justice' than some of our violent crims and rapists who do get bail.

I hope our judiciary and police aren't brown nosing their brothers from the United Police States of America, and treating Dotcom differently than they would otherwise. I mean, really, with so much at stake, where's he going to run to, how's he going to hide all that weight, and what's wrong with electronic detention at his home rather than remand? The whole sorry episode has more the feel of a movie set with key-stone cops, than a court and responsible policing.

The power of the State/s in crushing this man is every bit as frightening as his alleged crimes.

Commander

Richard Goode's picture

What is theft then, Richard?

Good question. I don't have time right now to give a good answer, but I'll get back to you.

Meanwhile, I do recommend you read this article if you haven't done so already. Perkins is half right; so is Kinsella.

Mark

Richard Goode's picture

Have you been a stuntman in some former career?

Yes, I lectured philosophy.

You're doing well, from your first sentence to your last in your single post you've turned 180 degrees.

I'm not quite sure what you mean. Perhaps I shouldn't have said Dotcom committed no crime. He's been charged with

Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering, Conspiracy to Commit Copyright Infringement, Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering, Criminal Copyright Infringement by distributing a Copyrighted Work Being Prepared for Commercial Distribution on a Computer Network & Aiding and Abetting of Criminal Copyright Infringement and Criminal Copyright Infringement by Electronic Means.

What I meant was that providing a file sharing service is not, in and of itself, a crime. I liked your road analogy. I was agreeing with you (I think) and the Commander.

What is theft then, Richard?

Richard Wiig's picture

What is theft then, Richard? Perhaps you could define theft and we'll see how it differs from copyright infringement.

Commander

Richard Goode's picture

Copyright infringement ... is a subset of theft. It comes under the category of theft, just as table comes under the category of "furniture".

You strike as a champion at the heart of the issue.

The question is, is Copyright Infringement a species of the genus Theft? The answer is no.

Is a bat a bird? No.

Is an eagle a reptile? Yes.

This is not merely a matter of semantics. It's a matter of carving nature at its joints.

Copyright infringement is

Richard Wiig's picture

Copyright infringement is copyright infringement.

Which is a subset of theft. It comes under the category of theft, just as table comes under the category of "furniture".

Have never been to

Mark Hubbard's picture

Have never been to megaupload, Richard.

Probably was a den of iniquity. Doesn't change any of my points below though.

You're doing well, from your first sentence to your last in your single post you've turned 180 degrees. Have you been a stuntman in some former career?

A is A

Richard Goode's picture

I've probably debated the copyright thieving anarchists on Mises.org as much, or more, than anyone here.

And you're still wrong. Copyright infringement is not theft. Copyright infringement is copyright infringement. A is A.

if a site is set up for legitimate purposes, then when individuals are using that legal service for illegal ends, the crime is done by those individuals, surely, not by the owners of the legitimate site.

Did you ever visit megaupload.com, Mark? It was a den of, er, copyright infringers. Of copyright infringers, by copyright infringers, for copyright infringers.

You can't take your eye off the individual.

True. Dotcom committed no crime. But he was a parasite, nonetheless.

gregster crap on that

seymourblogger's picture

Do you know how much it will cost to prove innocence. That's why they do it. To break you.

hubbard I sell duct tape

seymourblogger's picture

Someone buys it from me and uses it to tie up and gag a child that is kidnapped. Am I responsible? These idiots. Actually it just has to do with money. That's the only reason they are coming down on it. But the hackers are really mad and are out for blood I bet.

All they do is offer a way

Richard Wiig's picture

All they do is offer a way for people to connect. They have commited no crime. If any crime has been commited, it has only been commited by some of their customers. Phone companies offer a service that enables people to connect with each other and exchange messages, but the owners don't get blamed, much less arrested and locked up, when some use it for illegal activity.

You can't take your eye off the individual.

Mark Hubbard's picture

I've probably debated the copyright thieving anarchists on Mises.org as much, or more, than anyone here. However, if a site is set up for legitimate purposes, then when individuals are using that legal service for illegal ends, the crime is done by those individuals, surely, not by the owners of the legitimate site. And isn't that the case even if the owners understand that some third party individuals may in fact be using their site for illegal activities?

For me, But anyone even remotely attached to the internet knows what was going on. Let the state prove their case. It won't be difficult ... doesn't cut it for me.

Also, use of State force against the initiation of force and fraud is warranted, but at some level below the completely rational - which I know is unforgivable - the brute power of the State, and two Huge States acting together here, unsettles me, greatly. As so much does these days.

Question for you Ross:

If I build a private toll road between two major cities, not only am I likely to suspect, but I know for a certainty, that at some stage that road will be used to commit criminal acts, be it to transport stolen goods from a burglary of a house on that road, or whatever.

Am I liable for such crimes because I built a road that gave a burglar a getaway route? If so, why?

Do I have any responsibility to police my road for such criminal behaviour? If so, why?

Alcohol

Richard Goode's picture

A bar is not set up to sell drugs.

A bartender is just a pharmacist with a limited inventory

If the state

gregster's picture

proves their case, then they'll get off. If the state proves its case, then they'll get done.

Drug...

Ross Elliot's picture

...selling is not a good analogy.

A bar is not set up to sell drugs. The purpose of MU was to facilitate the exchange of material without regard to legality. Yes, MU did have mechanisms to allow complaints, but let's get real: their business model depended upon anonymous uploads of copyrighted material.

I'll be the first to say that the state has the to prove that the owners knew that such was happening. But anyone even remotely attached to the internet knows what was going on. Let the state prove their case. It won't be difficult.

The difference being that the

Richard Wiig's picture

The difference being that the fence buys the goods and then on sells them. No such thing is happening here. The site probably has rules against uploading copyrighted material. Another analogy might be people trading drugs in a bar so the feds bust the owner of the bar.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.