With the arguments about Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) still in debate, we are beginning to see signs of things to come. Megaupload.com – one of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites, was shut down, and its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content. Once recorded as the 13th most visited website in the world, MegaUpload today stands without identity.
According to the accusation, Megaupload’s offenses include:
1. Running Megavideo.com, which streams copyright infringed television shows and movies.
2. “Wilfully reproduced and distributed” copyrighted content on its servers.
3. Offering money as an incentive to upload infringing content.
4. Not terminating copyright offending accounts, as it states it can do in the Megaupload terms of service.
5. “Made no significant effort to identify users” of the site, uploaders of copyrighted content, or the content itself.
The event happened just after a day Wikipedia, WordPress and several others blacked out in protest of two congressional proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after sites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers. Following the event, several hacking communities threatened attacking the US Justice department’s website, having already posing threat to Motion Picture Association of America and several others.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends free speech and digital rights online, said in a statement that, “This kind of application of international criminal procedures to Internet policy issues sets a terrifying precedent. If the United States can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next?”
Where do we go from here? Who is next? Rapidshare? Mediafire? Are we watching the trailer of what SOPA is going to do to Internet when it comes up? No wonder Piratebay is no longer providing the links to .torrent files, providing magnet links instead (i.e there would be no trackers from piratebay from here on). So, the future of torrent downloads also seems bleak to me.
I bet we are going to see worse and this is just the beginning. But I’m hoping that somehow I’ll be proven wrong; and I know many more like me are.
Courtesy: USA Today, LifeHacker.com