SOPA, PIPA, and a Criminal Copyright Indictment Against Megaupload.

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By Rene Dial

What a week in the world of intellectual property protection!

Okay I am trying to figure this one out.  Legislation is/was being pushed through with regard to SOPA and PIPA.  Read Danie Roy’s article here.  Then a couple of days after Wikipedia, Craig’s List, Google, and a bunch of other sites were down in protest to SOPA and PIPA the government shows that they do have the power to stop online piracy overseas. On Thursday the US Justice Department and FBI shut down Hong Kong based company Megaupload, seized $50 million in assets, and begun extradition proceedings in New Zealand for the company founder according to Robot6.comicbookresources.com.

Let me get this right the government has the ability to shut down a site for alleged copyright infringements, freeze assets, extradite those involved from other countries but yet we need SOPA and PIPA to allow us to basically do what was just done to Megaupload.  Not sure about you but how about we utilize the laws we already have in place instead of enacting new broader legislation.

To be honest I never heard of Megaupload before this hit the news.  I am one of those guys that believes in paying the artist so that the artist can continue to put out music or movies that I love.  A lot of the problems with the industry now is getting the product to the masses in a cheaper and more efficient way.  The music industry has done a great job but movies are a different story.  A person can go to a Redbox and rent a movie for a dollar but if they want to stream the movie from a website or cable provider the provider wants somewhere between $5 to $7 to stream the same movie and they do not have to deal with inventory or with maintenance of a box somewhere. Okay I will stop my rant and get back to Megaupload.

According to ABCnews.go.com the indictment alleges that Megaupload caused a half-billion dollars in copyright losses.  A copy of the indictment can be found at onlinewsj.com.  As this is a criminal indictment I am curious to see how this plays out and if the hearings will occupy the news stations as some other well known criminal trials have in the past.  On ABC.com the article had a quote that was placed on Megaupload before the site was taken down. “Ira P. Rothken, a lawyer for Megaupload in Novato, Calif., said “the allegations do not appear to have support in the law, and the company is going to vigorously defend against them.”"  Something tells me that they really do not have a choice but to vigorously defend themselves as they are facing criminal not civil charges.

Have a great weekend!

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MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 2014

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