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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?

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.)



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