America’s war on file-dump site Megaupload has escalated dramatically, with founder Kim Dotcom and three others in Auckland among seven people arrested in connection with the site. The four arrested in New Zealand include Megaupload’s chief marketing officer Finn Batato, cofounder and CTO Mathias Ortmann, and BOFH Bram van der …
In Soviet Russia,
law follows YOU. Everywhere.
>>"Why then can another country project its laws to the other side of the world and bring people to its own land for trial?"
That depends what extradition agreements might exist, and how much they might be stretched in a particular case.
If there's a 'dual criminality' clause, what's done needs to be sufficiently seriously illegal in both nations.
In some cases (murder, etc), that's a pretty trivial thing to evaluate.
The trickiest cases are where something might be /arguably/ illegal in the country someone is in, but might be rarely, if ever, prosecuted even if an activity is common. Or, if you like, where the local law really *should* be clarified, and either used or repealed.
It could be that someone does something that is (or *arguably* is) illegal where they are but which pretty much everyone tends to get away with. In that situation if a request for extradition is made, the country where they are might not have the same leeway with regard to extradition it would have if deciding whether to prosecute locally (ie deciding whether to enforce its own laws or not).
If a request is made properly, then "yes, but /we/ wouldn't normally prosecute someone here for doing that!" /might/ not be a valid reason for refusal.
So it's not necessarily a case of 'having to know US law', but of knowing local law well enough to be sure you're not breaking it even in ways which rarely attract local attention. If you're operating internationally in any meaningful (or even arguable) sense, you may require a better knowledge of local law than someone who's only being local.
>>"Is Russia the only real safe place left to live?"
Not, it seems, if you do stuff the government doesn't like.
Like opposition politics, or journalism.
"one of their laws (that no one outside the USA voted for or had a say in)"
You'll find that precious few of us, the irrelevant masses (formerly, "We, the people"), inside the USA voted for or had a say in them either.
Regardless of your opinion of the MU execs
It feels a lot of people miss the point... why should they be tried as copyright infringers or anything else for that matter?
They provide a service that allows people to upload files and receive a unique url to share that file, just as imgur allows people to upload an image and soundcloud to upload an audio track.
There is no traditional crime such as money laundering, human trafficking, extortion or anything else.
The onus lies with the user, not the execs nor the service.
As with the physical world, people will always abuse things. Just because thieves use a crowbars to break in to homes doesn’t mean you shut down the manufacturer.
Apparently because they knew that copyright was being infringed on their site and willfully resisted doing anything real against it.
one point no one has made...
...or if they did i missed it!
Now people who used "megaUpload" to store LEGAL files have now lost them and that same data is now effectively owned by the US government.
I can see a few Class Action lawsuits in the future... ^_^
Megaupload wasn't advertised as somewhere to store your data securely. As such anybody trying to take action against the US authorities for the loss of their data would be on a hiding to nothing. All the authorities would have to do is to point out that Megaupload did not advertise they would keep your data safe so the uploader had no reasonable expectation that their data would be protected. And anybody uploading important data to a site like this would be an idiot if they did not have secure backup copies.
As such I can't see there being any such lawsuits at all. Certainly not successful ones.
Ooh-rah! The fat lady just cleared her throat again. All the thieving little shits world wide will be up in arms. Popcorn ... where's the popcorn.
Yeah, let's ignore the real issue here, in favour of having a pop at the freeloaders. Let's not disucss the fact that Holywood's paramilitary wing ( sometimes called the FBI, I believe ) can stomp all over the planet demanding everyone else falls into line, regardless of local statutes and laws?
>>"Let's not disucss the fact that Holywood's paramilitary wing ( sometimes called the FBI, I believe ) can stomp all over the planet demanding everyone else falls into line, regardless of local statutes and laws?"
Well, the FBI can't *extradite* people 'regardless of local statutes and laws'.
That's why it might have to wait for someone to be in one place rather than another.
Whether you (or I, or anyone else) might think they *ought * to be able to extradite someone in a particular case is a very different question to whether they legally *can*.
Legality has nothing to do with it
As various organisations around the American legal system have shown in the past, whether they can legally do it, is not always relevant. Maybe not the FBI, but American state organisations have previously carried out extreme rendition, kidnapping (in Italy), torture (both within their definition of torture and outside), illegal arms shipments (Iran Contra) etc.etc. So, I'm not sure that legality has an awful lot to do with it. If the political masters are paid enough by someone to want to do it, they simply order it done and deal with the minor issue of legality later.
>>"Maybe not the FBI, but American state organisations have previously carried out extreme rendition, kidnapping (in Italy), torture (both within their definition of torture and outside), illegal arms shipments (Iran Contra) etc.etc. So, I'm not sure that legality has an awful lot to do with it."
Legality has a lot to do with it.
Especially since the AC was effectively suggesting that the FBI was demanding that every other country should ignore their own laws when it came to copyright matters, which doesn't seem to be what is happening in this case, or in general.
It's poor logic to say that because some entity or a related one has engaged in some illegal acts that that has any bearing on whether a particular act, or acts in a particular 'cause' are legal.
It'd only be if someone was suggesting that the acts must be presumed legal because the entity was of impeccable character or presumed illegal because they were such a consistent lawbreaker that their other behaviour history might be relevant to making a guess, and even then, the guess would rapidly become irrelevant in the face of actual evidence.
As it is, illegal behaviour by the CIA et al doesn't *seem* to have been directed in any meaningful way at copyright infringers, so appears of even less relevance.
>>"If the political masters are paid enough by someone to want to do it, they simply order it done and deal with the minor issue of legality later."
Though in the examples you give, it's not obvious that many would likely have some external agent prepared to pay bribes to politicians for them to be done.
Many (if not most, or even all) seem to be fairly easily blameable on misguided politics rather than profit.
Who would conceivably pay US politicians or political appointees bribes to get the CIA to snatch someone suspected (rightly or wrongly) of terrorism offences from a foreign country, or to torture them?
Even if some other country wanted the supposed information very badly, they could likely get co-operation by mutual usefulness to the CIA, with no bribery needed, they way they would do if requiring some lawful assistance from the CIA.
It is amazing how you are willing to defend organisations that have acted illegally so many times before. If you want to be specific about the FBI, let's try the communist witchhunts of the past and J Edgar Hoover. As has been coming out for sometime now, Hoover ordered many illegal acts personally as part of these witchhunts. A very large number of American citizens were wrongly accused during that time and effectively had their lives ruined on complete rubbish evidence, the testimony of others under duress and illegal wiretaps etc.etc.
So, now we've established that the FBI cares nothing of the law (except when it suits them), a large part of your argument disappears. I can pretty much guess your next attempt to justify Americas laughable action will be to claim the communist witchhunts were years ago and everything is different now etc.etc. The irony of this is quite good though, as many in Hollywood were on the receiving end that time.....
Whether a company is paying them to do it directly or through politicians is irrelevant. Many politicians and companies have made a fortune out of the Iraq and Afghan wars........companies such as Blackwater. Construction companies are making a fortune as well. If you really believe American (and UK and other) politicians aren't owned by big business you really are stupid. If you really believe they aren't making money out of everything politicians do, the same applies. They don't give politicians jobs after they finish in politics for nothing you know.
This action is a great over reaction to a problem they will never defeat (which makes it pointless, whether morally right or wrong) and simply brings American into more disrepute in the world. If these people have committed crimes, have them prosecuted in the countries they reside in. If they have broken NZ laws, fine. However, applying a law from one country to another and then trying to enforce it makes a mockery of international law.
Why don't we simply enact a law in this country making it illegal to have ginger hair. Pop over to America, find a ginger and try to extradite them. Any luck? Thought not. I'm sure Iran has laws against people defaming Mohammed and Islam. I'm sure they could find plenty of people in America (and elsewhere) to extradite. Any luck.....thought not. It's a complete one way street, where America gets everything it wants as it's the most powerful. End of story.
Most people around the world consider America (and rapidly other countries) as hypocritcal and bully boys. They wonder why they get attacked all the time. Perhaps it's time to keep their noses out of other peoples business. By wanting everything on their terms and bullying everyone to do it, they make the whole world hate them. This is just a another example, where there is a problem and they use the legal equivalent of a nuclear weapon to deal with it when a small precision weapon would have done. Their military have been doing it for years. Look at the Gulf wars, Vietnam etc. Just bomb everything flat, opposing military, civilians the lot. Who care. Then, they wonder why everyone hates them!!
Americans (and I assume you are one) need to grow up.
>>"It is amazing how you are willing to defend organisations that have acted illegally so many times before."
I'm not saying that they're *right* in this case, or defending them as an organisation in general.
I am saying that concluding that the FBI *are* wrong or even *probably wrong* in this case because of some past wrong activity would be deeply retarded if someone is focussing on a cherry-picked fraction of their past activity and ignoring the rest.
FFS, the UK police break the law on occasion, some of which we hear about, and a dela of which we likely don't, but if someone claims that that means they must be or probably are breaking the law on some specific occasion when they're doing something the person doesn't approve of, that person would be being an idiot.
All it would mean is that they can't *automatically* be trusted, something which people who have grown up past black/white with-us-or-against-us reasoning would already know.
>>"So, now we've established that the FBI cares nothing of the law (except when it suits them),..."
You haven't established that at all, though given your apparent limited grasp of logic, and the way you seem to mix it with hyperbole, I can see why you might *think* you have.
What you've established is that at some points in time, some people in the FBI ignored some laws, and you're trying to conclude that that means that it as a body, (and/or the people within it as individuals) don't feel obliged to obey the law in general, except where obeying it is no real inconvenience.
I think you're conveniently forgetting what organisations *really* look like when they pay no real regard to the law.
For a start, they seem to generally end up with a death rate among people who don't agree with them rather higher than the FBI seems to achieve.
>>"I can pretty much guess your next attempt to justify Americas laughable action will be to claim the communist witchhunts were years ago and everything is different now etc.etc. "
Then you guess wrong.
McCarthyism was a shameful episode in history for a country which likes to claim 'freedom' as a founding principle, just as the various interventions in South America were the height of hypocrisy for a country claiming to be a bastion of democracy.
But just as it's not at all obvious what those behaviours would have had to do with an extradition case at the time they were happening if that case wasn't meaningfully related to Communist or similar politics, it's not immediately obvious what they, or any of the other things mentioned (or not yet mentioned) necessarily have to do with the merits of a specific current extradition case, where the legal arguments will be put forward in court, and people will have the opportunity to see if they agree with the eventual decision or not,having learned more than they probably currently know about the relevant laws
Though it seems highly likely that many people would be likely to agree or disagree not really based on any legal case, but on what they wish the law was in one or both countries, rather than what the law actually is.
If faced with 20 US extradition requests they personally didn't want to happen, if 10 were approved and 10 refused, there are *some* people who would conclude that the 10 refusals were down to a country having a 'brave independent legal system', and the 10 approvals down to 'corruption or undue influence'.
That'd basically be the arrogance of the conspiracy nut - "I'm such a bleeding genius and so obviously in the Right that anyone who disagrees with me must be being *paid* to disagree with me!"
>>"Whether a company is paying them to do it directly or through politicians is irrelevant. Many politicians and companies have made a fortune out of the Iraq and Afghan wars...."
So, you're backtracking on your previous claims about 'political masters being paid' to order things like the kidnapping of [rightly or wrongly suspected] terrorism suspects, or torture, and trying to change it to a far weaker (and blindingly obvious) argument about companies making money out of the Iraq war, while not having the decency to admit your previous claim was one you couldn't really defend as it was?
>>"If you really believe they aren't making money out of everything politicians do, the same applies."
So who's making money out of the CIA waterboarding innocent (*or* guilty) people?
A conspiracy of bucket and towel manufacturers?
Please don't try the pathetic tactic of making a stupid point, and then trying to pretend while failing to defend it that I claimed something I never claimed.
I never even came close to suggesting that companies don't make money as a result of *some* political decisions, or that they don't try to influence decisions.
I merely asked who would pay for the decisions in the cases which you chose and suggested (rendition, torture, etc).
The fact that *you* chose a crap set of examples is your problem, not mine.
>>"This action is a great over reaction to a problem they will never defeat (which makes it pointless, whether morally right or wrong) "
So you think it would *necessarily* be pointless to do something even if it was morally justified, if it was thought unlikely to make a great practical difference?
>>"Why don't we simply enact a law in this country making it illegal to have ginger hair. Pop over to America, find a ginger and try to extradite them. Any luck? Thought not. I'm sure Iran has laws against people defaming Mohammed and Islam. I'm sure they could find plenty of people in America (and elsewhere) to extradite. "
So by that attempt at making an analogy, you're making the assumption that in this case:
a) there's no NZ law equivalent to the US ones which are alleged to have been broken
b) none of the alleged offences took place meaningfully in the USA despite that being where a lot of the business mentioned in the indictment actually happened?
Or are you just no chuffing good at making up relevant analogies?
>>"Americans (and I assume you are one) need to grow up."
Then you guess wrong (again), and I guess you probably haven't meaningfully read much of what I have written.
Speaking of which. I always thought the FBI operated within the US and the CIA outside the US. That being the case what are the FBI doing operating outside the US?
"I always thought the FBI operated within the US and the CIA outside the US."
You are lost.
Roughly speaking, the CIA are the spies (Central Intelligence Agency) and the FBI are the more conventional police (Federal Bureau of Investigations). While the CIA isn't supposed to target citizens (and thus generally not domestically), the FBI can operate domestically, or with the cooperation of local authorities, abroad.
Have any of anonymous' attacks ever resulted in a victory? Other than a perceived moral one? IOW have any of their attacks over arrests ever resulted in the arrestee being released without charge? Have they ever succeeded in getting the law changed?
I think that they are hopelessly naive if they think these attacks do anything other than harm their case. Taking the MU case as an example it seems that Anonymous are playing right into the Fed's hands. So the Feds have shut down the site and arrested some of the owners and employees. The anonymous start attacking the Feds and various media industry sites. And what will be the general public perception of this? Well as far as Joe Public is concerned a hacker is a criminal and probably not too far from being a terrorist. So the public perception of MU is now that these guys are best buddies with criminals and terrorists, even if they're not.
Politically speaking therefore what we have is a neat little spin on the SOPA/PIPA issue. The US authorities have, with the aid of anonymous, demonstrated to the great unwashed that the file sharing sites that SOPA and PIPA are targeted at are clearly a bunch of anti-American crooks.
And surely the timing of this is not coincidental.
Now before you start flaming me I'm not saying that hackers are necessarily crooks or terrorists. Or indeed that file sharers or the facilitators thereof are so affiliated. I'm just pointing out how this will be spun politically and why this makes the members of Anonymous hopelessly naive.
I agree with a lot of what you're saying, but I'm not sure that the general public thinks a hacker is a criminal and not far from a terrorist. I think the publics perception of hackers is mostly determined by who they attack and given the targets of these attacks, probably think hackers are Robin Hood. The rights and wrongs of the action don't come into it. They simply 'like' which ever side is considered 'least bad'. Both sides could be bad, but they would side with the least bad one. In this case, I suspect most people hate RIAA etc. more and therefore the hackers are the 'good' guys.
Large elements of the public are becoming very disillusioned with anything that even smells of big business or politics. Politicians are at an all time low in public perception largely due to Iraq, Afghanistan and matters such as this where they are deemed to have lied or used dubious means. Media companies and their representatives have made themselves some of the most hated companies on the earth with their actions, such as Crossley prosecutions in the UK etc.
So, compared to these two groups, hackers seem almost morally righteous and clean.
"Dotcom nee [sic] Schmitz"
Since Kim Dotcom is a male, it should be written "Dotcom né Schmitz" instead of "née" or doubly wrong "nee".
They should be tried in New Zealand for any breaches of New Zealand laws they committed. If they haven't set foot in the United States, and they don't vote in U.S. elections, why should U.S. laws have anything to do with them?
After all, New Zealand does have copyright laws, and it does have laws which forbid its citizens, for example, from amusing themselves by launching missiles at Australia.
It is distressing that the U.S. has apparently pressured many countries into ceding an important element of their sovereignity to it.
Never going to be prosecuted in New Zealand
The local police have already indicated that they won't be tried in New Zealand as they have no operations here and have broken no local laws worth taken them to court (though I am surprised Kim managed to legally own weapons and number plates like STONED)
As I understand it, NZ has an agreement in place with the US for extradiction so simply went along with the normal arrangement as if a local had murdered somebody and jumped on a plane to the US. In such cases ( and there are recent examples), the FBI will hunt for the person and hand them over to the US.
That being said, something like 70 local police involved in the raid along with helicopters etc is an extraordinary amount of effort from NZ police for somebody not seen as dangerous to society.
I can't help but feel that some of the zeal from governments involved is that knowledge that they will find the operation quite profitable; I presume assets seized will be pocketed by the US and NZ governments. Could you imagine the same effort being applied if Kim was just another broke ex-dotcom CEO?
Skip the trials...
Just shoot them on sight. It's a shame to waste a good bullet, but it's the best for society so we'll just have to make the sacrifice.
It's bastards such as this that empower those other bastards, the MPAA and RIAA, making it difficult for everyone.
Trouble is, their existence is just the very excuse the Copyright Industry thugs need for their 'justifiable' overreaction, SOPA/PIPA being the result.
We ordinary users end up caught in the crossfire.
They can run...
...but they can not hide. Ask TPB and Anonymous members behind bars.
I hope they enjoy prison life
The shitze people do in their lust for money. I hope they all spend a long time in prison.
Beware the Ides of March
There seems little difference to me between what Megaupload does and what the Media Industry does - by and large both take the work of artists and sell it, giving little or nothing to the artist.
I don't see the Media Industry having the moral high ground here, especially as the sole reason they want to destroy Megaupload is clearly jealousy - they can read its balance sheet and want it all for themselves. It is a pity they are not equally capable of reading how the UK government finally solved the 'problem' of pirate radio ships in the '60s. Here is a clue: they allowed legal stations to supply the public with what the public wanted - as the pirate ships did.
If the cretinous US Media Industry could run an operation as efficiently as Megaupload seems to have done there would be no need for Megaupload. Or if Megaupload could devise a simple way of recompensing artists for their work, there would be no need for the Media Industry. Either way there would be happy customers paying fair sums for their entertainment. Instead of which we have millions of ordinary, law-abiding folk throughout the world who utterly despise and revile the US Media Industry, to the point where the slightest excuse will have them kill it off like cockroaches in the kitchen. Incompetent management or what?
In the meantime the most incredible marketing opportunity the world has ever known, or could even have dreamed of a few short years ago, is being thrown down the pan by people too blinded by short-term greed and a criminal's contempt for the customer to muster a single coherent thought on the subject. And the likes of Google trundle quietly on making mega-fortunes by giving people what they want, simply, efficiently and freely, without feeling any need to imprison babies or bankrupt old ladies. The mind boggles. Monty Python couldn't dream it up.
Good luck to Y Combinator - http://ycombinator.com/rfs9.html
The Ratnerisation of the US Media Industry
I have just thought of a new word - ratnerise. It means to destroy your business by showing contempt for your customers.
Not so fast
The RIAA and MPAA are not showing contempt for their customers. In fact most of the world has no issues with the RIAA, MPAA or copyright laws. The majority of people in the world who are law abiding citizens actually pay for digital products and services everyday. The only ones who really have an issue with copyright laws are pirates and those who falsely believe in entitlement.
Obviously if the charges are proven against Mr. Dotcom then he's up the creek without a canoe for intentionally violating copyright laws.
And you evidence for most of the world not having a problem with RIAA and MPAA? Absolutely none. If the number of pirates and the amount of content being passed around is as great as these wonderful organisations suggest, it rather makes the majority pirates and therefore, by definition, you argument is wrong. Either these organisations are guilty of grossly overstating the problem and therefore dishonest (as they've been told long enough this is the case), or your argument falls. Either way, your argument is rubbish.
At least Dotcom picked a nice, inconspicuous pad to live in. Duh!
His new "home" is likely to have less of a view.
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