Real Reason for Prosecutions of Bodog.com and Megaupload?
With the attacks on Internet websites Megaupload and Bodog we find what we call the Internet Reformation is providing us with a good look at the evolving face of Western-style civil and criminal justice.
Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, a file-sharing facility, and Calvin Ayre, the founder of 'Net gambling operation Bodog, have both been indicted by US federal prosecutors.
There are other prosecutions on the way, apparently, that are even more tenuous than the ones leveled at Megaupload and Bodog. But no doubt they will be pushed forward as well.
The attack on Bodog is sad for me personally as I know Calvin Ayre and have admired him as a courageous entrepreneur – someone who has created new business models using the power of the 'Net.
Sure, his businesses involved gaming and sports contests but he didn't coerce anyone into participating. He offered a service – as a technology pioneer – and people spent their money willingly. This is not the mark of a criminal enterprise. And yet US officials want to arrest him.
We've predicted this for a long time, here at the Daily Bell. As the Internet Reformation gathers force (as it is, in my opinion), those who oppose it and want to sustain the status quo are using increasingly obvious methods of repression.
They are being forced to show their collective hand, in other words, because technology is overwhelming their previous methodologies of control. One of the basic methods of control has to do with what we call elite dominant social themes, the fear-based promotions that frighten people into giving up wealth and power to global enterprises.
But these promotions are seemingly foundering now as the Internet exposes them one by one. Global warming, the European Union, central banking, mass vaccination campaigns, "Peak Oil," electric cars – one by one the themes and sub themes of the power elite have come under serious attack.
The result has been a forcible return to authoritarianism. If people cannot be scared into willingly complying with a New World Order, then they will be FORCED into compliance.
This is just what happened after the Gutenberg Press began to have an impact in Europe. People began to find out the way THEIR world Really Worked and the result was the emergent Renaissance.
Now, people can make the argument that the Renaissance and the Gutenberg Press were two entirely distinct and separate evolutions but I would argue that to view them discretely is a mistake.
There may have been certain evolutions leading to the Renaissance that were not directly involved with the dissemination of mass-produced information but obviously, the one was influenced by the other. The result was two-fold. People became aware, increasingly, of their manipulation, and the power elite of the day – uncomfortable with this growing knowledge base – struck back as best it could.
Two of the tools that the elites used at the time were wars and legal maneuvers. There were so many wars, in fact, that eventually the Treaty of Westphalia was convened to try to stop them.
At the same time, the doctrine of copyright was developed and propagated. Copyright, especially, was intended to stop the free-flow of information and to make both books and periodicals more expensive and thus less apt to be purchased by the "masses."
Now, granted, this is a particular point of view. Another one is that the past 1,000 years have simply marked the ascension of one ethnic type at the expense of others – the Dark Forces, so to speak, at the expense of the Good.
But that seems a bit simplistic to me – blaming one group alone for history's complexity and leaving aside other equally important forces. To be clear: It seems the Gutenberg Press threatened the elites of the day, and, partially anyway, they responded as best they could.
The Reformation and Glorious Revolution did not arise in a vacuum. No matter how manipulated they were initially by a power elite desperate to retain its influence, the ramifications ultimately seem to have outrun the intentions of the founders.
In other words, once launched, these socio-political occurrences had ramifications far beyond what was perhaps planned. And in my view they were likely launched to help blunt the impacts of the Gutenberg Press itself.
We can arrive at this conclusion simply by asking if those who may have been behind the Reformation intended that the schism create the New World (and eventually the United States) with a thousand thriving, separate sects.
The answer is, of course, no. The elites did not foresee all that came from their maneuverings – nor do they ever.
It may be argued that they are "in charge." But anyone following what has occurred in the past ten years would have to come to a different conclusion. There are distinctly "reactive" elements involved. Anyone with an open mind can see them.
As it is today, so it likely was then. Whatever the reasons for the Reformation and events like the Glorious Revolution, one can see from today's vantage point that they were probably a reaction, at least in part, to the advent of increasingly available information via books and periodicals, courtesy of the Gutenberg Press.
And the reaction is continuing. Watch as the Motion Picture Association of America, having successfully targeted Megaupload, is now taking aim at a company called Hotfile. In fact, the MPAA has filed a lawsuit against Hotfile and recently filed for summary judgment as well. Here's how Techdirt described the argument:
The more you read, the more you shake your head. The MPAA's circular arguments can basically be summarized as "We shall prove that this tool is illegal. Exhibit A: People use this illegal tool." Very large segments of the motion are basically this tautology over and over again. "Oh my goodness, this is illegal, and our proof is that it's designed so people use it!"
For example, the motion focuses on Hotfile's affiliate program for uploaders, which is quite similar to Megaupload's. However, the MPAA interprets this in a bizarre way suggesting that it was designed to encourage infringement. Why? Because it was designed to encourage usage. Really. The affiliate program pays people more if more of their content is downloaded. According to the MPAA that alone is evidence of encouraging infringement.
That seems crazy. As we pointed out, plenty of artists used such services themselves to distribute their own works free to consumers, while still getting paid for it at the same time. This is a business model that cuts out the legacy gatekeepers ... but does that make it against the law? In the eyes of the MPAA, absolutely.
It is this sort of abuse of power and legal authority that marks the second stage of the elites' battle against the Internet Reformation. But history tells us that this stage, generally, was not especially successful.
It might, in fact, be compared to the migration of Protestant sects to the New World to escape prejudice and oppression. Migration need not be merely physical; it can be electronic, too. ABC News tells us that after the "take down [of] Megaupload, other file sharing sites will look for countries where they can base their websites and remain safely exempt from U.S. prosecution. A new file sharing site titled Anonyupload.com is purportedly based in Russia and the Ukraine. It is soliciting donations to buy servers and other equipment."
I don't know what will happen to my friend Calvin but I do know that what he's done is NOT illegal in many countries and that his business continues to operate outside the US – as do others of the same kind.
Such actions are surely not winning the US any friends and may eventually cause a backlash. That's something the MPAA ought to be worried about, even if it isn't.
It took the elites a number of centuries to control the damage done by the Gutenberg Press. These massive technological changes are not merely dealt with by flicking a "kill switch."
The Internet, as we often point out, is a process not an episode. Many of its ramifications are yet to unfold. Simply making up new criminal law and trying to arrest people will not likely stem the tide, or not in the short run.
In the long run, technology will evolve along with "law." The idea that the elites can simply shut down the free-flow of information now that they've put their collective mind to it is doubtful, from my point of view, and perhaps even simplistic.
So what's the "real reason" for this outright attack on business and entrepreneurial freedom? The elites want to control information and make sure that gambling, which is a most prosperous business, is kept as much as possible under government purview.
The power elite isn't using legal force on a whim. I would argue the escalations they have made recently provide us with insights into their collective psyche. And I would argue what we can see there is ... fear.
Posted by Danny B on 03/10/12 08:59 PM
"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning."
There you have it. The bankers and a few other groups of parasites DEPEND on ignorance.
I earlier used a term, "window of legitimacy". As more and more truth gets out, the PTB has to have tighter and tighter control of the media, etc.
Market watch says that 227,000 jobs were created in February.
Gallup says that unemployment jumped to 9.1%
The talking heads say that the Greece problem is all fixed.
Everyone and their cousin knows that the U.S.S. Enterprise is a perfect setup for a false flag.
EVERYONE in the world knows that U.S. bonds are in a bubble. Investors are in dollar bonds because of fear not trust. China is now selling Yuan bonds.
Click to view link
China is the anchor of the ASEAN group.
America has to settle for beating up on the little guy. The emperor is taking off his gloves because the rest of his clothes are already gone.
Posted by piolenc on 03/10/12 06:00 PM
I see America becoming a "digital Albania," isolated by its government's servile compliance with MPAA diktat from many of the facilities of the global Internet. Filesharing hosts will move overseas, and will start to refuse uploads from American IP addresses, and perhaps download requests as well. Americans will still be able to do both, but will have to go through proxies which themselves will be based overseas...
Posted by ccuthbert on 03/10/12 04:25 PM
Excellent article. Pathetic, isn't it, that former communist block countries may provide the sanctuary for capitalism.
Posted by free on 03/10/12 02:07 PM
Posted by Adam on 03/10/12 02:00 PM
If they can control online gambling, they can slow the uptake of free-market digital currencies.
The Monetary Future -- Could Bitcoin be the Future of Internet Betting?
Click to view link
Reply from The Daily Bell
This may be a very good point, thanks.
Posted by Abu Aardvark on 03/10/12 01:19 PM
AW: "I would argue the escalations they have made recently provide us with insights into their collective psyche. And I would argue what we can see there is ... fear."
No doubt about that. Here's another sign of the times ... well. sort of:
"Krugman Sees His New Book Sales Crashing"
Click to view link
It saved MY day, anyway ...
Posted by rossbcan on 03/10/12 01:13 PM
AW: "using legal force on a whim. I would argue the escalations they have made recently"
Whatever goals you or anyone may have, anything from other people, be it money, sex, power, etc, NATURAL LAW allows only three basic methods of goalseeking or combinations therof:
Force: Take it
Fraud: Trick someone out of it. The internet reformation refutes frauds faster than elites can conceive / implement them.
Honest Trade: THEY are predators and have completely rejected this, apart from the Mafia "we will not kill you, if you obey / pay tribute" trade.
So, by process of elimination (since elites are determined to prey), that leaves FORCE. They are "locked and loaded" and conflict can only increase since survival is a "non-negotiable" goal.
Oh dear, what oh what shall we do?
Posted by rossbcan on 03/10/12 12:57 PM
AW: "blaming one group alone for history's complexity and leaving aside other equally important forces."
depends on the definition of "group" membership criteria. If you use predator / prey as the two opposing groups then, the rise and fall of civilizations, philosophies (pretexts) coming and going IS A SIMPLE MATTER of seeing through the pretexts (lies) and what the real consequences (goals) are. Sure, history appears complex IF you view matters in "their" paradigm.
Rise and Fall of Civilizations (root cause):
Click to view link
How to establish the (one and only) REAL paradigm:
Click to view link
like it, ot not, those in strategic denial of objective reality will be choking on the "red pill", soon enough.
Posted by Silverado on 03/10/12 12:50 PM
Fear?? And you didn't even mention the millions of guns out there in America. The ruling elite SHOULD be fearful as they've done a dismal job when it comes to most everything... .prosecutions included. How many banksters have been prosecuted for their (ongoing) crimes against humanity and yet these aye-holes have the balls (or is it nuts?) to start this circus act? No biggy as the coming economic crash will wash away ALL of their sins and armed Americans will deal with what's left over. It should be quite a show.
Oh and didn't someone famous say something to the effect that it's better for the govt to fear the people than the people fearing their govt?? That's what we really need to get back to - Govt fearing the people, pitchforks and all.
Posted by AlephNull on 03/10/12 10:47 AM
Maybe I missed your reference to "MegaBox" ( by MegaUpload ), but just in case :
---: but they're now planning the launch of a cloud-based music locker, download store, and do-it-yourself artist service. :---
Click to view link
i.e. they were about launch a music publishing site "for artists" , whereby they would retain only 10% of revenues as a fee ... . = 90% for the artists !
I'm pretty sure that would have been more than welcomed by the musical artists and the listening community !
Reply from The Daily Bell
Yes ... thanks. We wrote about this.
Click to view link