Megaupload – The Hong Kong based file hosting service established in the year 2005 offers a number of options to store and view files in the virtual world. Most of the companies’ websites were shutdown on 19th January, 2012 as the company came under the brunt of US Justice Department for purported copyright violation acts.
Interestingly, a number of denial-of-service attacks were made on websites belonging to US Government & Pro copyright organizations.
Music and Movie Industries Vs Megaupload
Music and movie industries are trying their level best to prevent unauthorized distribution of copyright materials in digital form through online sources.
It is quite common that a variety of information is shared through various social networking sites and file sharing services such as Facebook, Dropbox, YouTube and YouSendIt. Sharing of files includes both legitimate and illegitimate files.
Why should Megaupload come under the US Justice Department’s scanner? Probably the Megaupload went one extra mile than other service providers! It is reported that Megaupload paid users who uploaded movies and music files and complete secrecy is maintained in doing so.
It is understood that Megaupload executives had made huge sums of money by charging users in the form of subscription. The processes apparently amount to violation of copyrights of professional singers, writers and movie producers.
Megaupload’s extremity is traced by communities which work to fight against copyright violations. On the other hand, the monopolistic action of FBI by shutting down the site comes to strong criticism.
It is a common practice to use digital lockers to store various kinds of online data. Even music consultants are using cloud based storage systems to store and share information to their clients and customers.
Internet and Copyright Violations
It is easy, convenient and affordable to store content on the web. Even though organizers of sites like YouTube are committed to uphold the integrity of music producers, it is not possible to vouch the content posted by users all the time.
Many-a-times website owners are sued for the illegal or copyrighted materials posted on the sites by users. The legal battle continues in spite of strong criticism by both pro-freedom and pro-copyright campaigners.
Those who stand for freedom argue that by downloading the music or video from a website they are not depriving the privilege of those who shared the content. They argue that if a customer purchases a DVD from a music store and distributes his friends without any commercial interest, it is not being treated as stealing (at least not policed).
On the other hand, a person will purchase or copy the content from somewhere and if it is distributed through online channels, it is voiced as pirate activity.
What is Copyright Violation and What is not?
Lawmakers have to draw the clear distinction between physical stealing and virtual stealing. The second part is that who is responsible to take action against violation should be sorted out. In Megaupload case, the Government has taken action unilaterally bowing to the pressure from music producers.
There should be a free and fair investigation of the matter in a court of law. Those who are being accused should be given the opportunity to respond against the charges. The web is great platform which has a unique advantage to share thoughts and ideas.
In the name of piracy and copyrights the lawmakers should not curtail the privacy and liberty of individuals. At the same time, individuals should not take undue advantage of music and other artistic producer’s efforts who have absolute rights on each and every copy sold on the planet of earth.
Image Credit: http://www.law.upenn.edu