Thieves, crooks, pirates, criminals... according to various stories like this one.
So its a "free" upload site - how do you make money from that.
A little research turned up this article at howtodothings.com.
The basic idea seems pretty simple according to this.
Its an upload site - you upload material and you or anyone you tell about your upload can download it.
So how does Kim Dotcom make $50 million USD a year doing this? After all he would be out of pocket for file storage, web costs, etc. and there would be no income.
The answer is he doesn't.
The howtodothings site reveals a much more complex scheme involving you.
First off you set up an account on megaupload.com. You pay for it. You set up a paypal account too.
Next you go around and find things to upload: books, music, movies, etc. Do you own them? No doubt there is a Terms of Service that you must click saying you do... (I would check but megaupload.com is shut down... Damn, my book on turning lead into gold along with proof is stored there along with the only scan of my original Gospel hand written by Mark, the location of three lost Da Vinci's, the document clearing you of that incident with the 16 year old babysitter a while back and my complete set of cures for cancer - but those are just gone now. No doubt the take over of megaupload will involve the FBI folks trolling through the gazzillions of terabytes steal my stuff and yours... so it will turn up on some other megaupload in a few weeks.)
Now megaupload.com offers a scheme so you get paid if someone downloads your files.
But no one is going to download your files, are they?
Because they won't know the files are there.
So you have to tell other people that you have these files uploaded that they might want.
How do you do that?
Why you have to market your uploaded content.
So, let's ask a stupid question? Who is doing all this work?
Now, I can buy an amazon.com S3 storage account (like the one the FBI uses to store its seizure URL) and do the same thing.
But there is only one difference. The FBI won't shut down amazon. It will shut me down instead. The S3 account is just like a telephone carrier signal - the crime is what its used for, not the fact that criminals make phone calls. The phone company is not a criminal - you are because you used it for criminal purposes.
megaupload.com, from what I can see, is in exactly the same boat.
Yet their situation is magically different.
Perhaps its because they are enticing others to do wrong with a wink and a nod?
Maybe like the old Apple slogan "Rip. Mix. Burn."?
Of course, Apple did not suggest you "steal" anything; at least not directly. Just convert things to a format your iPod could
So, like everything else megaupload is taking one for the team because of what other people do with their site. (I italicized you in each of the steps you needed to do to make money on megaupload.)
Let's see. Googling "megaupload games" I see things like
So is Google involved too? Aren't they putting up ads while this displays to make money?
Seems to me like megaupload is the shlamazel. (The shlimiel is the waiter who trips, the shlamazel is the guy who the food the waiter was carrying lands on - Old Yiddish Humor).
Probably not kissing the asses of the likes of the big Hollywood studios, Johnny Depp, not saving the whales, and so on. Probably having big fun in New Zealand without inviting the required Hollywood peeps...
Because as far as I can see megaupload is just like Apple and Amazon.
Can you say "Hipocrisy?"
This is our rights being taken away. If you steal music then you are the criminal. Not the guy who manufactured the CD-R you burned with the music on it. Not the ISP who's connection you used to upload the RIPed content to the internet.
But from the point of law enforcement and Hollywood tracking down all the actual criminals would be just too much work. megaupload.com supposedly had one billion hits a day and millions of customers. No doubt only a few percent were really misusing it (the site has numerous legitimate uses just like Amazon S3 and just like RIPing CDs to mp3's).
But imagine the work involved in sifting through all of that information and then weeding out the kiddies who had stolen mommy's credit card to do this (mens rea). And then there's the bad publicity the RIAA got for suing folks.
Nope, this is much better. Take this guy down as an example.
Look at this big fat guy with the last name "Dotcom."
He has to be guilty, right?
All those fancy, high class
But I bet this back fires...
I bet Mr. Dotcom also has a crack international team of lawyers too. No doubt he never even imagined this would happen - nope - he's just a dumb crook. Just happened upon a web site for sale that did all this. Just happened to set it up in a jurisdiction where the legal idea of "intellectual property theft" are clear on the fact that its the "sharer" that's the crook - no the "dial tone."
And I bet that in various other countries the "you" I describe is probably actually the real criminal because "you" did the crime - uploaded content you didn't own, shared, made money from it.
I can see why Anonymous is busy taking revenge.
I don't want my rights taken away. I have legitimate business uses for things like S3 storage (or any of its equivalents).
And what about those that stored legit information their accounts?
No, this is big government making a big show.
To scare you...