Friday, January 20, 2012

RIP Megavideo

As you all may know, piracy around the internet is a hot issue now-a-days. With the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and other such bills, the media sharing age may have come to an end. Although it hasn't passed, that still hasn't stopped the federal government from cracking down on piracy sites.With this mind, I have sad news to report:the government has shut down the popular media sharing site MegaUpload and the sister video streaming site MegaVideo.

Now, in case you didn't know, MegaUpload was a site where user could upload files to share with the world, basically a peer to peer (P2P) site. It limited downloads to one download at a time, and had a wait time for those with only the free access, although for premium user, you could download multiple files and no wait time. It was popular for sharing anime, music, and other such files with the world, even with its stipulations. Megavideo, like its sister site MegaUpload, allowed users to share files, though MegaVideo streamed videos rather than allowing users to directly download the file directly. It too had stipulations, such as if you watched 72 minutes of video, you had to wait, usually 54  minutes. Even though with these stipulations, people made bypass sites that didn't have the 72 minute limit, and it was useful for watching anime because anime episodes on Megavideo were not as often taken down like they are on Youtube, and people could upload full episodes, movies, and basically what ever they pleased.

The news came Thursday to me in the form of a chat room, with people buzzing about how Megavideo was shut down. I also noticed how one of my videos that was supposed to be from MegaVideo was not working. Curious, I started looking around as to the exact cause of the shut down.

The reasoning for shut down: If you guessed piracy, you guessed right. The US Federal Government shut down the site, claiming that the site was making money off pirated material. True, users could pay for premium accounts in order to watch how much video they liked, with no time limits.Also, the prosecutors that the copyright holders could have caused over half a billion dollars in sales loss. But the employees at MegaUpload have been estimated to have made as much as 42 million dollars off the site, and when the federal government raided the founder's house in New Zealand, they took 8 million dollars that were in a case, cars, artwork and guns. Though most of the site was hosted in New Zealand, prosecutors are starting to investigate that there are servers in Virginia and all over the world.

So who is in the wrong in my mind? As a user of the site, and as it allows free downloads and streaming for those who are seriously broke, I honestly have to say both parties are wrong. Don't get me wrong: I am grateful for the free videos and all, but the way it was conducted was sort of illegal. The copyright law is a strange thing; it says that all right go to the copyright holder, and it cannot be reproduced with out the owners permission. However, in the internet age, it has been ifferred that yes, you can reproduce it, but only if you are not A:Taking credit for it or B: making profit off of it. MegaUpload did the latter half by making people pay for unlimited downloads or unlimited streaming. However, the site should have realized this, and had unlimited bandwidth and not had a problem with this in the first place. Also,I do not like how the government feels that it can take down sites just because of online piracy, especially those hosted mainly in other countries. It would be one thing if it was hosted all in Virginia, but all the way in New Zealand, that's ridiculous.

But, overall, it is a sad, sad day for those craving free online T.V. Shows and movies. All I'm going to say is that I hope that they do not try and shut down other sites, because the Government has already taken many other file sharing sites off the web, including Napster and Limewire. In all honesty, I can see how somewhat, the entertainment industry thrives on these sites because with out them, who would know what's out there, and potentially buy them?

On one last note: I hope that this isn't the end to free movies, music, and file sharing all together. 

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