Internet Piracy – Who Are the Thieves?
US Internet piracy case brings New Zealand arrests ... New Zealand—With 150 million registered users, about 50 million hits daily and endorsements from music superstars, Megaupload.com was among the world's biggest file-sharing sites. Big enough, according to a U.S. indictment, that it earned founder Kim Dotcom $42 million last year alone. The movie industry howled that the site was making money off pirated material. Though the company is based in Hong Kong and Dotcom was living in New Zealand, some of the alleged pirated content was hosted on leased servers in Virginia, and that was enough for U.S. prosecutors to act. The site was shut down Thursday, and Dotcom and three Megaupload employees were arrested in New Zealand on U.S. accusations that they facilitated millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content, costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. New Zealand Police also seized guns, artwork, more than $8 million in cash and luxury cars valued at nearly $5 million after serving 10 search warrants at several businesses and homes around the city of Auckland. – AP
Dominant Social Theme: Once again, state justice strikes. Thanks goodness Hollywood had the clout to bring the US government to bear on Megaupload. They've destroyed it utterly even without a trial. This is much more efficient for the aggrieved, though less so for the accused.
Free-Market Analysis: How is it that Hollywood has to bring the massive force of the US government to bear on a private company?Megaupload.com is in ruins now. Its top people are arrested, its website shut down and its assets confiscated. At whose bidding is this done?
Even were Megaupload to have participated in grievously incorrect activities, why is it that the company is to be ruined before it can make its case? Is that how justice is supposed to work in the modern era? Legal counsel for the firm already pointed out that the case is probably civil rather than criminal. But nonetheless a criminal case has been brought – with all the resultant destruction. Why?
Well ... obviously, to ruin Magaupload and its business model. The proximate cause of destruction will be "Hollywood," of course. Those on the Left shall note that corporate greed took down an information-sharing website that was possibly doing no wrong.
But, of course, it runs far deeper than that. As we've long pointed out, the Anglosphere power elite that wants to rule the world is having a good deal of trouble grappling with the Internet. In Western societies, given the civil traditions of liberty and entrepreneurialism, it is very difficult to shut down entire industries, let alone ones that are perceived as leading the way for human development and understanding.
Thus, the elites must formulate justifications for what they are doing and create "precedents." This idea of precedent justice is a doozy of a dominant social theme. Inevitably, as we have pointed out, it can only end up with half the population of a given country in jail and the other half operating as prison guards.
Precedent, after all, rarely reverses itself. It is in a sense part of the larger Hegelian Dialectic that the power elite loves to employ to move the sociopolitical and economic conversation toward more authoritarianism.
When it comes to modern "justice," the Hegelian Dialectic is sweet and simple. Two lawyers make a case and then the judge decides. Over time, given the bias of the system, the punishments grow incrementally larger, the amount of activity necessary to commit a crime shrinks and the authority given to prosecutors (and judges) expands.
It is ... natural. It is a result of the dialectic. It can end up in no other way. And that's why state-monopoly justice is an essentially crooked dominant social theme. It's advanced as "impartial" but in fact – as with so much government verbiage – it actually acts in the opposite way.
State monopoly justice cannot be other than biased because those involved all work for the state and have a stake in expanding their jobs, salaries, pensions and perks. One only does this by expanding one's responsibilities. When it comes to "justice," those involved are constantly engaged in criminalizing more and more activities. Human nature.
Most people cannot conceive there can be any other kind of justice than the current kind. But we have long argued that as entrenched as the dominant social theme is, it will come under increasing scrutiny as what we call the Internet Reformation proceeds.
Just as the state's other memes are coming under question – the fear-based promotions that frighten middle classes into giving wealth and power to global repositories – so the "state-justice" meme shall come under fire, sooner or later.
In fact, we would argue the battle has already been joined on this issue of copyright infringement. We've also enunciated a practical perspective that we believe would resolve the issue in a pertinent and appropriate way. Let those who are OFFENDED by copyright infringement enforce their copyright themselves!
Let them use their OWN assets to enforce their position. Why should Hollywood moguls and the people they work for (Money Power itself) use the assets and force of the state to enforce an arguable proposition?
We can certainly admit that Hollywood, in aggregate, has a point. Hollywood created a product and has sold the product with the proviso that any repeated viewing of the product by alternative second or third parties is illegal.
So far, so good. If that's the case, and Hollywood believes itself aggrieved, let Hollywood enforce its claim! Let Hollywood use its own funds to sort out what's actually going on and why. How does Hollywood manage to dragoon the massive powers of the United States into busting up an entire corporation and arresting its workers around the world?
Doesn't make much sense to us. But we've been arguing for privatized justice for a while now. If you have an issue with someone, take it up with THEM. Especially when it comes to "white collar" business matters.
Of course, the answer will come back that private justice will not provide even restitution. In other words, the quality of the justice will be uneven. To this we respond: You're kidding, aren't you?
Megaupload is a good example of why "public" state-generated justice is hopelessly unjust. It is not justice at all when the FBI, Interpol and other US/British-sponsored facilities impound the instruments of your livelihood and your assets without even the beginnings of a trial.
It was not justice when Amanda Knox was pursued for years by an Italian prosecutorial staff that did not want to admit a mistake (see What Amanda Knox Tells Us About Justice). It is not justice in the US that so many are put to death that DNA evidence would now exculpate.
It is not justice in the US (especially) that one of every three Americans is exposed to some sort of criminal charge before the age of 25. It is not justice that four to six million US citizens are in jail at any given time in any increasingly "privatized" Gulag that hands the keys over to "efficient" penitentiary specialists that utilize inmates as so much slave labor.
Megaupload is just the latest corporation to feel the brutality of early 21st century state-run justice. The point, of course, (in our view) is not actually to provide "justice" so much as to make people fearful of using the Internet and sharing information that may someday be deemed "criminal."
In fact, copyright laws were developed by royalty to counteract the spread of information (in books) after the invention of the Gutenberg Press. The same tactics that applied then are being applied now. War, authoritarian legislation and copyright infringement are all tools of this particular elite that we have been saddled with.
But as we often point out, the Gutenberg Press itself radically reshaped the Western world and we have no reason to think the Internet Reformation is not going to do likewise.
In the video below, you can hear about the exploits of Anonymous in reaction to what the US Feds just did to Megaupload. While we have a suspicion that Anonymous itself is a kind of false flag, the larger issue is that the Internet is not nearly so controllable as people make it out to be, in our humble opinion.
These cutting-edge technologies tend to get used up, to get utilized until their initial utility is "maxed out." That's instinct and has nothing to do with any putative elite control. That's what the elite is up against when it comes to trying "manage" the Internet and reduce its impact. Good luck.
(Video from NOTICIASchelmevision's YouTube user channel.)
Posted by WD on 01/28/12 11:21 AM
So how come state copyright police aren't busting public libraries which are full of copyrighted books and other material? Libraries are hotbeds of 'subsequent use' depriving copyright holders of billions in revenue library users would have to pay or do without. Could it be that busting public libraries would illustrate the insanity of copyright law? How useful would public, scholastic, law or scientific libraries be if they were deprived of copyrighted and copyrightable material? The advance of civilization would be slowed to a crawl. Aha! No wonder the elite are for copyright law! If they continue to get their way with government they will bring on a perpetual dark age of a New World Feudalism. The farther the elite are allowed to get out of line the uglier the correction is going to be. Wanna stop this nonsense? Demand equal enforcement of the law!
Posted by Prometheus on 01/24/12 07:32 PM
The real or colluding reason:
Mega Upload was about to start a service which would have allowed music downloads, but paid the artists large sums of the money.
The record labels and government didn't like that very much.
Click to view link
Posted by Wade777 on 01/22/12 12:58 PM
"Guilty until proven innocent", if that's even possible. If you have enough money, you stand a chance.
If they confiscate your money before you even go to trial... the fix has been set.
A One World Government, New World Order is not coming, it's already here, period.
They can take down any website in a heartbeat and flood the media with disinformation as to why.
They could of said they were providing secrets to some enemy and fabricated an entire scenario with paper trail and everything, and who would of been the wiser.
They control the information output.
How to guarantee Accurate and Accessible information to all, is the one question, no one seems to be able to answer.
This 'Net' is not as free as it appears to be on the surface. Or 'Web'.
Notice the two terms 'coined' to describe this enterprise.
I think I prefer Information Highway. I think that's where we should be heading somehow. You don't here that term much nowadays.
Any thoughts on this would be much welcomed from any source.
Posted by Thomas Molitor on 01/22/12 10:39 AM
The Praetorian Class defends the economic interests of the Corporate Class that funds the Political Class. Within this power structure, megaupload is a criminal case (death sentence in China) not a civil case.
Posted by mcfrandy on 01/21/12 07:56 PM
I've said it here before and I'll say it again.
"Intellectual property," a misnomer, is theft of preexisting property. The only way the system works is to impose increasing restrictions on what you can peaceably do with the property you already have.
End the wretched system of patents and copyrights. Free human beings and allow the progress that real property rights promote.
Posted by Cognizant on 01/21/12 05:26 PM
Though I think it's a little off my point here, I'll tell you that I had the patent already. It was an electronic device. My investment was in the research, and patent costs. A company that I tried to work with, to market it, rushed to make and market a copy-cat product. I think they knew that I didn't have the resources to defend the patent. Unethical, but common practice. My point was just to say that people need to get paid for their work, and investment in whatever their labor is. It's a gamble, but if the labor makes money, the song writer, singer, author, or inventor, should be paid for their labor.
Posted by James Nicholas on 01/21/12 02:23 PM
Excellent review of our specific remedy, now just stay focused for the battles ahead
Posted by Agent Pete 8 on 01/21/12 05:40 AM
Copyright troll propaganda merchants with glove-puppet executive as footsoldiers indictably involved in genocide, war profiteering, collusion and economic enslavement, really should not leave themselves so exposed.
Fush n Chups innwan?
Posted by flying_pig on 01/21/12 01:20 AM
"I was up against a mega-buck corporation. I had to let it go, and lost my investment."
Did someone steal your plans or what? Your statement reminds me a bit of what Monsanto claims for their patents: "Patents are necessary to ensure that we are paid for our products and for all the investments we put into developing these products." In practice, they actually use the threat of patent infringement lawsuits to stifle research about the harms of GMO technology, as part of their mission to "ensure" that they recover their investments. Doesn't matter if they ruin the health of crops, soils, and cattle.
Not saying that your attempted use of patents was as evil as Monsanto's, but that "I lost my investment" phrase does not make it clear whether your competition beat you to the finish line, or whether they came up with the idea independently though not first-to-market, or whether they stole the plans right out of your mind.
Tech companies are filing patents like crazy these days after the "first-to-file" changes, and are actually being actively encouraged by their legal departments to do this because the the patents are going to be used for defensive purposes to deflect patent-infringement claims from competitors. It's quite the scam actually.
Posted by jimmya67 on 01/20/12 11:39 PM
Why are tangible goods property? Because they're scarce and there can be conflict over scarce goods by multiple human actors. The function of property rights is to prevent conflict over scarce resources.
The problem with IP rights (e.g., copyrighted works) is that the objects are not scarce.
If you copy a video I created, I still have the pattern of zeros and ones that constitute the video. Thus, videos are not scarce in the same sense that a piece of land or a car are scarce. If you take my car, I no longer have it.
Natural scarcity is that which follows from the relationship between man and nature. Only naturally scarce entities over which physical control is possible are candidates for protection by real property rights.
Ideas (i.e., the domain of IP) are only protectable through contract.
IP and specifically copyright are a clever scam of Anglosphere PE originally employed to by the Church and State to gain control over the productions of scribes and printers who had to seek the blessing of the crown for their efforts.
Posted by fabien_hug on 01/20/12 11:35 PM
They are dumb; now the whole world knows that you can make $ 42 mil a year by hosting some files. Just don't do it where US is at arm's reach.
Posted by Dilence Sogwood on 01/20/12 08:26 PM
DB - this article has mass appeal. You should attempt broad dissemination. Well done.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Posted by josejoe on 01/20/12 07:29 PM
yeah,cognizant, the good ol' u s supreme court is right there for us too, wink,wink, with the patent law ruling they continue to rape the little guy] this bunch we have now have to be the best court ever assembled for the good of the elites!!
Posted by Cognizant on 01/20/12 04:56 PM
See Artidle 1 section 8, caluse 8 of the Constitution;
The US government has the authority to grant copyrights, and patent rights. Article 1, section 8, caluse 18, gives the US government the right to make laws to back up those powers.
The call for Hollywood to prosecute it's own case is fine for them, but an individual couldn't afford it. I once had a patent that was infringed. It would have taken mega-bucks, and years, to sue the offender. I was up against a mega-buck corporation. I had to let it go, and lost my investment.
It would seem to me that copyright infringement is the same thing. If a person writes one song, that is a number 1 hit, but makes no money because of free downloads, they are in the same situation.
Is a worker entitled to the fruits of his labor? Is stealing the fruits of labor, theft? Then it's criminal! The US government should protect copyrights, and patent rights. And there are international laws about these things, too.
That being said; the state has no authority to warrantless arrests, and to fail to render due process. But then what am I thinking, we have long since foregone the rule of law.
As you have perceived this is a Hagelian Dialectic. With SOPA and PIPA, the desired result is a side effect, to gain control of the only free press left in the world, the internet.
The internet has the freeedom to publish both truth and lies. Caveat lector!
At least both sides are there. In controlled media there is only the official side.
Posted by Agent Weebley on 01/20/12 04:48 PM
note to self: don't get cloud hosting until the sky is blue, as the clouds may float over the usa.
Click to view link
Posted by douglas on 01/20/12 04:24 PM
Posted by thefinancedude on 01/20/12 04:04 PM
Hire an attorney; go to jail on this stuff...
Represent yourself, know who you are, and you never even make it past a hearing... be smarter and write your own briefs (it isnt hard, its about SUBSTANCE not FORM(s)). Avoid walking onto the law of the seas…every question is a contract…man that is so empowering right there…you have the right NOT to contract with these fools!
If you choose to fight in the mud known as statute law, equity law, trust law you will lose every time - you do not run the asylum - they do!. So kindly point out you're not a member of their asylum and you wont answer their questions (a contract folks!) until they answer some of yours. Namely, under common law (not equity, maritime, trust etc - aka statute law) unless a victim has a sworn affidavit indicating harm or injury we have NOTHING to discuss. RIAA/and the like can not swear this because they are FICTIONS! Like I said KNOW WHO YOU ARE! (its actually easier to learn who you aren't and take it from there :)
Do not participate in the fictional legal system! Demand to be heard in the real life common law system and they can't even touch you because the common law is ABOVE MANS LAWS of control (statute law). Lawyers aren't even trained in law, they are trained in color of law! Literally as our courts operate under colour of law, the definition in blacks law dictionary, last line - truth can not be SEEN OR HEARD! Our de facto government operates under colour of law, rather than law :) do a little research... take the red pill(s)... Be FREE!
Posted by Joelg on 01/20/12 03:55 PM
How about BOYCOTT HOLLYWOOD?
The Motion Picture industry is now led by Christopher Dodd, the bankers friend and a comrade in arms with Barney Frank in the present economic mess. Sounds like an economic hit man for the PE.
Hollywood money is helping bankroll police-state candidate Obama to an insurrmountable election war chest; so stop supporting them with video rentals and movie admissions. Wean your kids off of Hollywood products.
Posted by cromwellshead on 01/20/12 03:51 PM
When and only when people start to use the net for communication, not as an extension of their "entertainment" portfolio, will these laws become useless. When you allow yourself to be sidetracked in a reformation by trivia, "they" have won. Luddite? Aye probably, sidetracked? No.
Daily Bell is one good example of the spread of knowledge, there are hundreds. There are however thousands of wanabee noticed around.
Lets be straight, this is a war. You do not win wars by being distracted.
Posted by x59htes on 01/20/12 03:49 PM
The old media empire (e.g. Hollywood, ABC, NBC, CBS, Sony Pictures, etc.) is dying, and they are going to take as many people and organizations with them as they go out. PIPA and SOPA are corporate welfare aimed at keeping the old media alive as long as possible, at the expense of everyone else. The old media are the real video thieves. They steal as a matter of business. They fix the price of everything they sell (think about the CD price fixing controversy) then complain to the feds when someone wants to avoid buying their overpriced products.