Friday, January 20, 2012

Which Part of "No SOPA for You" Did You Not Understand?

Curious snippet from a New York Times article about the bust of MegaUpload, in particular the allegations in the indictment:

It quotes extensively from correspondence among the defendants, who work for Megaupload and its related sites. The correspondence, the indictment says, shows that the operators knew the site contained unauthorized content.

The indictment cites an e-mail from last February, for example, in which three members of the group discussed an article about how to stop the government from seizing domain names.

How is a discussion on how to protect yourself from domain theft, by a gang notorious for same, evidence that "the operators knew the site contained unauthorized content?"

And how is it a crime for the operators of a "locker service" to mind their own damn business, anyway? Banks not pawing through their customers' safe deposit boxes, etc., used to be considered a virtue, not a vice.

Oh, and keep in mind that the feds didn't just seize "unauthorized" content -- they stole all of it. That's like saying "we think there may be stolen diamonds in one of the bank's safe deposit boxes, so we're taking everything in all the boxes, including the one with your birth certificate and your grandma's wedding ring in it. And the cash in the vault, too, if we can get to to that."

Al Capone and John Dillinger couldn't hold a candle to Christopher Dodd. Hell, at least they hired their own gangs instead of billing the taxpayer for crew rental. And they didn't accuse their victims of "abuse of power" for not wanting to buy them new Tommy guns (all the better to rob you with, my dear).

In honor of this action, I'm canceling my tentative plans to take the family out to a movie this weekend (Daniel wants to see Red Tails; I was thinking about the new Sherlock Holmes flick, or the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo).

Between a pre- or post-flick meal at the food court, tickets, in-theater snacks, and probably some post-flick impulse shopping the kids would want to do with their Christmas money (probably for "intellectual property" in the form of video games or music), I'm guessing the St. Louis Galleria Mall can thank the Motion Picture Association of America for a loss of $100+ in gross revenues. We'll order out Chinese food and pop an old DVD (bought used, of course) in the player instead.

Anonymous is taking a more ... direct ... tack:

Good for them.
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