Filesharing sites close in wake of Megaupload busts-Infopolicy

January 31, 2012

[CJ Hinke of FACT comments: I’ll relate a personal story about my recent experiences during “the troubles”. I have no qualms about identifying myself as a “pirate”. Most TV series are not aired in Bangkok nor are there records stores. Arthouse movies rarely come here. So I rely on Usenet, torrents and filesharing sites for these. I am very involved in Western classical music here and was downloading some Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mendelssohn, Schubert and Mahler to fill out my collection with recordings I hadn’t heard yet. None of these composers thought I was stealing! However, after the Megaupload takedown, Filesonic simply stopped working. I’m a retired academic. If I had to pay for these, I simply could not. If I could not download them, I would not be able to buy them. So who loses, exactly? We think musicians and writers and filmmakees would rather see their art enjoyed.]

How Filesonic Just Stabbed Us In The Back

Travis McCrea

Falkvinge on Infopolicy: January 25, 2012

http://falkvinge.net/2012/01/24/how-filesonic-just-stabbed-us-in-the-back/

 

The US media industries along with their cronies in the United States Federal Government are no longer fighting with the weight of law against the process of sharing culture… they are using fear based tactics that have no legal grounds and are designed entirely to scare filesharers and other “Cyberlockers” into submitting to their will.

This is NOT the time for us to give into the fear-based tactics of the United States. It just so happens the United States DOESN’T rule the rest of the world, and we do not have to stand by as our governments sell their souls to protect the interest of the school yard bully. Maybe it was because I was raised in the United States, and I don’t know what you are taught, but I was always taught to stand up for yourself to the bullies. We must not let them believe (wrongly) that their tactics have any impact on us. Fuck those guys. What’s worse, the websites like FileSonic and the other websites that are now limiting how their services can be used… they are telling the industry and governments “hey, it doesn’t matter if you act within the law or not, as long as you can be scary about it, we will bend to your will”.

FileSonic and the other websites who are backing down are stabbing their customers and the movement in the back. They are putting the fundamental freedoms that we get to enjoy both online and offline in jeapordy by allowing fear, instead of actual law, guide their judgements. When the industries go to the FBI or Congress or the President and say “Hey, let’s take down Falkvinge.net for inspiring people to share culture and the embrace freedom” when the question of legality comes up, the response can now be “it doesn’t matter if it’s legal or not… by forcibly taking down Falkvinge we will scare other websites into shutting down too… and Falkvinge will be forced into an expensive legal battle if he wants his site to remain open”.

I know that there is a trend in my posts to talk about terrorism, I use it as a way to relate the battle we are fighting now into terms that more average people can understand. This time, however, the battle is against terrorism. The United States Federal Government is acting against the interests of it’s own people and the world, their actions are to adjust policy abroad by using these scary “Shock and Awe” tactics against those that oppose them.  It’s not just me who believes this, TUEBL and TorMovies has made me “pen pals” with a few people within the movie industry and publishing industry, and one of the executives that I have been talking to had this to say about Megaupload:

It’s funny, because Megaupload give rightsholders the ability to remove files infringing their copyright directly – I don’t think it’s about how a site is run, but the scale of it. However, questions regarding the extent to which this tool was effective have been around for a while (reiterated in thisSlashgear article): even though they provided this tool, the number of files shared on Megaupload was staggering, and I don’t really think it’s right that the onus should be on the rightsowner to find all their files and have them removed. I think the Mega song was probably the last straw, despite what they say about the investigation having gone on for two years and the raid being planned weeks ago.

I hope my quoting her will not impact our ability to keep an open dialogue because her industry insights are a valuable asset to me and while she believes in copyright, and the enforcement of copyright, she always keeps the conversation friendly. As you can see, even executives within the media industries (not music in this case) believe that this was an act of power, not law.

Today is not the day that we should be retreating, today is the day that we march (at least metaphorically) on the evil media industry. We should be opening MORE cyberlockers, we should be opening MORE torrent sites, we should be sharing MORE content. Not less. We cannot let them win and as Rick stated on TorrentFreak it’s time we go on the offensive. He was speaking in a legal sense, but I am speaking in an activist sense.

First, go after companies that stab us in the back. I cannot legally encourage a DDoS or any tactic, but FileSonic needs to be taken down. It needs to be clear that while we will not take a “your either with us or against us stance” we will take a “if you try to throw us under a bus… we are going to take you with us” stance. We need to stop spending money on the content industry. Most of the people reading this blog are the people who put the most money into the media industry. We watch movies at theatres, we buy the CD, we buy the bands merchandise, we put money into the industry. We must STOP.

Are you a cyberlocker who want’s to do the right thing but you have other responsibilities and do not want to take the legal risk? Contact info@tormovies.org or me@travismccrea.com and I would be willing to take ownership and full legal responsibility for your website. I would operate it in a way that is respectful to the way that you had run the site, and it allows you to not screw over your users.

This is now a war on culture (and I don’t mean Christmas), we must place economic sanctions (by not permitting their sites to operate, and by boycotting products) on those profiting from the abuse of the internet. We must strike and make as much non-violent damage we can to their industry as possible. I sound like a vigilante crazy guy? Good. Am I mad bro? Damn right I am mad… you should be too. Am I letting my emotions dictate my words and actions? No. I am just fighting for justice and the law. I am fighting for what is MORALLY right and I will never give up moral law for an unjust national law.

 

Travis is a 21 year old activist and entrepreneur, formerly an officer of the United States Pirate Party. He has moved to Canada and has run for Parliament through Pirate Party Canada, and uses direct action to protect civil liberties and the internet.

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