Megaupload is dead. So what?
So, a justice court from a country abroad has decided that megaupload must be put to an end, along with their sistersite Megavideo, and so they’ve took it down yesterday evening. This is sad, and it’s a bad day for individual freedom. But it is not unexpected and you were warned this would happen and you choose to do nothing. But first, let’s look at what has been put offline.
God bless Megaupload
Megaupload (for the one of you who don’t know what it was), was described as a filesharing website where everyone can find what they want. Be it illegal porn, clandestine copy of movies or TV show, applications or other software, cracked or fully legal, and every thing that can be put in a digital format and brings online (and believe me, that’s pretty much everything you can use with a computer or a smartphone). So, it looks like a good idea. Except for two or three little and neglectible point of details.
First, Megaupload is a company. Yeah, you’ve got free account, but they do everything they can to makes you buying a premium to have unlimited download (at least, as long as you paid the monthly 10$ fee for it). Yeah, Megaupload is a company whose jobs is to makes you pay to access files. Doesn’t it make you think about something?
Second, extreme centralization. They have more than one server, and kind of work like in a cloud, but your files are still in only one place. You share a link to access it, not a file. It’s more convenient you say (but sharing a .torrent is convenient to, and easy to do). So megaupload begins to have all of the illegal files the majors and governements were looking for in only one place. Big, obvious and easy target (since it’s a company).
Third, you know Megaupload because you want to see How I Met Your Mother. So, you were paying a media company because you did not want to pay for another media company. You were enforcing a monopoly because you are against a monopoly. You were saying that the whole media industry produces shit, only because that gives you legitimity to pay for the same shit (but to another one). Megaupload was a form of global licence, and it’s a bad idea (unless you can defines precisely who is an artist and who is not and tells me exactly how you can redistribute it with equity).
Fourth, you were using megaupload because you were scared by a government which tries to hunt down pirates that use peer to peer filesharing. Those system are extremely resilient, there are multiple copies of the same files all over the network and it cannot basically be shut down by a single justice decision. Yeah, Megaupload was a solution that government indirectly promoted by scaring people.
And I can continue for a long time, but people told me that endlessly raging is useless. I’ll just redirect you to a good article written by Bluetouff on reflets.info which wrote all of this, at the end of the year. (and yeah, use a seeks node to find more about it, I won’t do it for you).
Rage against the machine
So, last night it was shut down. And a lot of people were raging after it, accusing governement to tackle their liberties. Yeah, right. But that was a lot of people told you like, two days ago about SOPA and the black out stuff. Or the precedent years about ACTA, or when they try to makes you understand why HADOPI or ARJEL are extremly dangerous for our liberties (and for no community gain). So I tweeted this (and launched an easy troll I must confess):
Et donc #megaupload ferme et vous êtes perdus? #Decentralisez. #onvousaveeprevenus #alleemourir / And so #megaupload close and your lost? #Decentralize. #wetoldyouso #godie
Some people were answering and told me that they were fighting for their liberties. In fact, they’re not. Else, they would have fought fiercely when copwatch was taken down. Or when all of the websites we try to mirror with streisand (and I do not have all of them here) where taken down by one state or another. Or when Wikileaks was under an heavy attack from institution. If people really want to fight for their freedom, they’ll be in the street with the Occupiers, they will be asking their governement answers and justice for the infamous acts of some police forces. They will use their right to throw out their governement to choose a new one.
But instead, people (most of them, a lot of people are acting, in more or less usefull way, in more or less fun way and in more or less legal way) were just saying, "I do not care. I can still use Megaupload to see that stuff." Or Allostreaming (they will be shut down soon to, French governement has assigned all the major ISP to think about an effective blockade (details here). But now that megaupload is gone, what will you do? You’re to scared to use P2P, Direct download is now dead, streaming will follow, and (you can bet on this) major companies will provide you a not so good implementation of a global licence and you’ll accept that and you’ll be screwed. And they’ll win.
You made this happen
Yeah. You. Not someone else, not the major, not the governement or banks or aliens. You. By trading your liberties for confort (look at the iPhone, you cannot have anything that may looks like pornography on it. And Apple will soon sell school books. Same for google and for each and every monopolistic dragon that sleep on a treassure of data to mine. Each time you enter a URL in the google search bar, each time your’d rather download copyrighted material instead of free and opened one you’re playing their game. We warned you. Richard Stallman has been doing this for a long time and he was right, the EFF or LQDN were trying to give people enough knowledge about those shadow agreements to empower those people.
But you always choose the easy way, trusting companies or governement because they won’t hurt you. This is the cute cat theory. AS long as you can access your porn and your cute cats, you won’t protest. Yeah, that means those websites will be the last ones to be shut down by governement. And that’s why activists uses them to communicate. But then, you’ll focus only on cute cat access, not on information access. There is almost no media coverage of the Occupy movement here, but people does not care because some star does something trashy (or an election campaign running but without any programms from the candidates at least than 100 days to the election) and they control the focus and you are happy with it.
That’s why I’m a bit raging and yelling at people Y U NO DOING SOMETHING BEFOR IT HAPPENS!?! [insert cat picture here].
We spend an amazing amount of energy to try to warn you, for nothing. You let this happening.
Well, in fact, I was quite suprised that the US government shut down the Megaupload stuff. I mean, when you do politcian politics, you learn tha the people only need bread and games (since Caesar in the antic roma at least). But I think that with the crisis, a lot of people do not have bread anymore, so they probably thinks they can stop the games now because citizen will have other things on their mind. It’s either because they think they’ve lost the battle of the control and are tired to play games, or they think we have abandonned the ship and it’s time to show us who’s the boss.
What can you do?
Hang yourself. Really. If, at this point, you still don’t know what you can do, go hang yourself.
Or you can try to beat them at their own game. They do want us to pay to watch/listen at stuff? So be it. But then, do something usefull with your cash. Instead of giving them 10$ a month, give this cash to crowd funding entertainment project, like Pioneer One (a web serie that follow high standards of quality, and they’re at their 6th episode, only funded by crowd funding). Go on kickstarter they have a lot of project that can use your 10$. ANd most of them will reward you for that (being your name in the generic, a special edition, or whatever). There is more and more media licenced under Creative Commons, you can find a lot of free (as in freedom) music online. And some quality one. You can go to a concert. Stop feeding them. Stop copying their shit you would not pay for.
And if you still want your dose, the media junkies must go on The Pirate Bay. No governement has managed to shut them down. They are not a company. Their distribution system (bittorent) is decentralized. No one has still be condemned yet for using the .torrents. Don’t be afraid by them, they aren’tworth it.
Think. Use your brain. Use your civil duty to think. Change, have fun doing it and then change the world.
Licence and stuff
This version 1.2 of the txt has been written by okhin on the 20th of January of 2012. You can do anything with it, as long as you just tell people who wrote this text. If you really need a licence, it’s the WTFPL.