It turns out that most of the evidence in the case against Kim Dotcom and Megaupload was kept on their servers at the request of the US government:
A fresh legal bid to throw out the case against Kim Dotcom in the United States is being made after claims of an FBI double-cross.
Evidence has emerged showing the Department of Homeland Security served a search warrant on Mr Dotcom’s file-sharing company Megaupload in 2010 which he claims forced it to preserve pirated movies found in an unrelated piracy investigation.
The 39 files were identified during an investigation into the NinjaVideo website, which had used Megaupload’s cloud storage to store pirated movies.
Mr Dotcom said Megaupload co-operated with the US Government investigation into copyright pirates NinjaVideo and was legally unable to delete the 39 movies identified in the search warrant.
Mr Dotcom said: “We were informed by (the US Government) we were not to interfere with the investigation. We completely co-operated.
The FBI application to seize the sites said the “Mega Conspiracy” members were told by “criminal search warrant” in June 2010 “that 39 infringing copies of copyrighted motion pictures were present on their leased servers”. The application was approved to allow the seizure of the domain names.
Someone was outright lying to judges in both the United States and New Zealand in order to do a favor for the pukes at the MPAA.
This is what happens when you make the conscious decision to use the powers of government as the enforcement arm of private interests.
It is inherently corrupt, and inherently corrupting.
If you want to make the argument that the MPAA is just being a zealous protector of its client studios, it’s not. It’s about power.
If the movie studios were to look at the effect of low levels of file sharing, like that which was done by some Megaupload customers, they would know that shutting down the file storage site cost them money:
A new paper suggests that box office revenues were negatively impacted after the shutdown of Megaupload. The dip in revenues was most visible for average size and smaller films. According to the researchers this may have been caused by the loss of word-of-mouth promotion by people who used the popular file-hosting site to share movies. For blockbuster movies the Megaupload shutdown had the opposite effect.
In common with every file-sharing service, Megaupload was used by some of its members to host copyright-infringing movies.
For this reason the MPAA was one of the main facilitators of the Megaupload investigation, which ultimately led to the shutdown of the company in January.
The movie industry was quick to praise the government’s actions, but a new report suggests that Megaupload’s demise actually resulted in lower box office revenues.
Researchers from Munich School of Management and Copenhagen Business School published a short paper titled “Piracy and Movie Revenues: Evidence from Megaupload.” The study analyzes weekly data from 1344 movies in 49 countries over a five-year period, to asses the impact of the Megaupload shutdown on movie theater visits.
The researchers theorize that some films may actually benefit from piracy due to word of mouth promotion, and their findings partly support this idea.
So some level of file sharing can help, particularly with smaller films, like indie films.
There appears to be less/no benefit to larger films, probably because most of the studio blockbusters are crap, and so word of mouth is a bad thing.
This is not about protecting the artist. This is about protecting the do-nothing job of the studio chief’s brother in law.
Or, to be a little bit less flip, it’s about shutting down potential distribution and publicity channels that threaten the movie and record distributors’ ability act as an intermediary and charge a toll.