Megaupload to Copyright Critics: If We’re “Rogue” So is Google

Megaupload to Copyright Critics: If We’re “Rogue” So is Google

Says that Google is “probably hosts the world’s largest index of pirated content” and yet the site is “non-rogue,” and that we don’t blame Microsoft because people use its OS to transfer and “consume pirated content on a massive scale every day.”

Yesterday I mentioned the totally worthless US CHamber of Commerce-funded “report” that claimed RapidShare, Megavideo, and Megaupload, represent 21 billion of the more than 53 billion visits to “digital piracy” sites each per year, and that these traffic statistics prove they are profiting at the “expense” of the American creative industries.

Neither the US Chamber of Commerce or MarkMonitor, the anti-fraud firm that compiled the report, seemed able to recognize that traffic visits is no indication of infringing activity. Lots of people use YouTube for example, to find pirated material yet nobody’s calling the video indexing site a “rogue site.”

RapidShare pointed out the same “absurdity” of their logic as I, and said it “reserves the right to take legal action against MarkMonitor” for this defamation of character.

Now Megaupload is entering the fray.

It writes:

Megaupload is a so-called “cyberlocker” and allows its users to conveniently store and transmit any kind of data from anywhere, to anywhere. As such, it is a dual-use tool, just like an e-mail account, a USB stick, or the Internet as a whole – it can be used for legitimate and illegitimate purposes alike. We provide connectivity between end users and storage capacity in the cloud, but no content – just like e.g. ADSL providers and hard drive vendors. As a matter of fact, most public Internet services, including backbone carriers, could not exist if the law did not protect them from liability for abuse committed by their users, as long as they fulfill specific requirements, such as the timely processing of abuse notices. Furthermore, legal ECPA and technical (encryption, obfuscation) provisions exist that make it both illegal and pointless for a service provider to eavesdrop on the communication traversing their facilities.

This is where Megaupload makes it’s strongest defense. Users create a private account to which they upload content, and are forbidden from sharing it unless they have permission from the copyright holder. Violators have their links deleted when notified, and repeat offenders lose their account entirely.

If the Megaupload is responsible for the “rogue” actions of a few then why aren’t sites like Google and YouTube made to account for user misdeeds?

It continues:

They all have to deal with the challenge of online piracy, just like us. Google probably hosts the world’s largest index of pirated content. What makes them non-rogue? Why not sue the manufacturers of external USB hard drives or burnable DVDs? They can be used for illegal purposes, too. Microsoft’s Windows operating system is the worlds largest enabler of piracy. Windows is used to transfer and consume pirated content on a massive scale every day. Why is Microsoft not rogue?

Exactly. The US Chamber of Commerce suffers from a clear double standard. It wouldn’t be such a bad thing in and of itself it weren’t for the fact that it’s using the report as further justification for filtering the Internet of “rogue sites” like Megaupload.

Stay tuned.

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