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File Sharing In the Post MegaUpload Era

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the whac-a-mole dept.

The Internet 334

An anonymous reader writes "This report looks at file sharing in the post MegaUpload era. The main finding — file sharing did not go away. It did not even decrease much in North America. Mainly, file sharing became staggeringly less efficient. Instead of terabytes of North America MegaUpload traffic going to U.S. servers, most file sharing traffic now comes from Europe over far more expensive transatlantic links."

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334 comments

What did you expect? (5, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38971895)

It's not like the people who've been pirating for the last ten years are just going to say to themselves "Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's and forget that we've gotten used to not paying for our movies and getting them instantly!" just because of some raid. And as long as there are pirates sailing the high seas, *someone* will be there to sell them boats.

Blame Napster (5, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972011)

Blame Napster for making file sharing main stream. Back in the day when we had to walk uphill to school both ways the only way to pirate stuff was to be a geek or know someone who was. In the glory days most piracy happened on BBS'es, IRC and USENET. The former two were generally only available to those "in the know" while the latter was mostly used by people seeking pornography (who remembers working on PCs and finding gigabyte sized Free Agent cache directories?)

In the end even the RIAA/MPAA types know that they will never stop piracy. Driving it further underground and returning it to the domain of the technically informed would stem their perceived losses though. I'm not sure if this is an obtainable goal with the internet being what it is but you can bet they will keep trying as long as they draw breath. The only thing that will stop this is the rise of meaningful (read: cheap and easy to use) online services that make piracy more trouble than it's worth. A lot of people think that iTunes did this for music, though I would argue that Pandora has done more to negate music piracy than iTunes. I don't think you can directly translate Pandora into movies though.

Re:Blame Napster (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972189)

It's only a matter of time until someone develops an Android or jailbroken iOS app that allows true peer to peer piracy over bluetooth or wifi. You'd set it up to share what you want, and to search for things you're looking for. If you were friendly, you could even set it up to look for things other people you see for x amount of time are looking for. Walking on the street? Riding in a bus? File sharing everywhere you go.

Re:Blame Napster (1, Informative)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972341)

It's only a matter of time until someone develops an Android or jailbroken iOS app that allows true peer to peer piracy over bluetooth or wifi. You'd set it up to share what you want, and to search for things you're looking for. If you were friendly, you could even set it up to look for things other people you see for x amount of time are looking for. Walking on the street? Riding in a bus? File sharing everywhere you go.

Didn't Zune have a feature that did bluetooth or WiFi song sharing called 'squirt' (or 'squirting')?

Re:Blame Napster (2)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972367)

That is actually really cool, but the opening for trolling is huge!
name your file todays.hot.movie.avi but have it be a slideshow of the best ever internet toll shock images...
aside from that however, I think it is a really interesting idea for dense areas where person to person near field contact is likely (NY, SF, London, Tokyo, etc.)
-nB

Re:Blame Napster (3, Insightful)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972723)

IP Trolling can't be "dealt with", like every politician does; you have to annihilate it and then salt the soil in order to optimistically dampen it's impact. The only true solution is the one of self mutilation. The global community has to reorient to a new set of rules for attribution of intellectual work in order to end this self impeding plutocratic movement.

Re:Blame Napster (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972405)

Better yet, use waste (http://sourceforge.net/projects/waste/) with your friends. If you can get your friends to use it.

Re:Blame Napster (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972693)

Sending movies over Bluetooth seems like a non-starter. Even sending an album-worth of music is a pain, and of course your recipient needs to be close enough to sneeze on you. Much easier to put it in the cloud, though we're gonna have to restrain or government from jailing people for largely legal and legitimate sharing sites.

Even that Re-whatever site is struggling to go into the first-sale resale business. The &^AA is undoubtedly trying to get some agency to raid them before they even start up.

Re:Blame Napster (4, Interesting)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972213)

Driving it further underground and returning it to the domain of the technically informed would stem their perceived losses though. I'm not sure if this is an obtainable goal with the internet being what it is but you can bet they will keep trying as long as they draw breath.

Not a chance. Even if we had to go back to finding files on IRC, someone would whip up an XBMC plugin that made it entirely transparent and usable by morons.

Re:Blame Napster (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972417)

At some point that will stop as well because those in the know will want to preserve their last free zones and protect them from the masses, because once the masses can get there easily so can the lawyers.
The other option is a darknet/TOR style network, but latency and throughput suck enough that it is not a very viable option.
-nB

Re:Blame Napster (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972259)

The *AAs at this point are simply in a quixotic battle against the rules of the real world. They might as well lobby for changes in the laws of physics... it falls into the same category. Trouble is most of our legislators are oldsters, people easily bought, or people who can't understand any of the basics of the world we live in.

Every attempt to curb the "piracy" will fail because this is simply the digital laws of information work. We can take huge step backwards into the world where every piece of information is tied to a piece of paper or a piece of rock, we can try to legislate it out of existence, or we can accept it and make a world that the artists (not corporate middlemen) can make a living.

Re:Blame Napster (4, Interesting)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972445)

or we can accept it and make a world that the artists (not corporate middlemen) can make a living.

That's a great theory where music is concerned and any start up band can get going with a couple hundred bucks worth of equipment and a broadband connection. I'm not so certain how it translates into movies though. To pick one of my favorite bits of modern culture, do you think you can bring Harry Potter onto the big screen without the resources of big budget movie studio? All of the special effects, the editing, the cinematographers, the actors, director, stunt performers, etc, etc? How do you propose to see that the "artists" in this example get paid without having some sort of corporate middleman?

If you accept that movies are a part of our culture then there has to be a sane middle ground between "information wants to be free!" and "we are going to control where and when you can watch the movie you paid for"

Re:Blame Napster (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972541)

To pick one of my favorite bits of modern culture, do you think you can bring Harry Potter onto the big screen without the resources of big budget movie studio?

You could try not paying actors $20,000,000 for a few weeks' work.

And, frankly, a future where movies were based more on characters and story than fancy effects wouldn't be a bad one.

Movie budgets (4, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972679)

  1. There is no real way for an outsider to estimate the cost of producing a movie. Movie studios vastly overstate the costs of movie production to avoid paying people whose contracts stipulate a percentage of profits; this is a practice that is called Hollywood Accounting and it once received the attention of a congressional investigation.
  2. Large amounts of money is spent on special effects that add little to the development of the plot or characters in a movie. While this makes movies look cool, it is not clear that it is necessary for the movies to be a box office success, and it often detracts from the plot (many movies hardly have a plot to speak of, and rely solely on special effects for entertainment value). Further, these special effects should come down in price as computer time becomes cheaper and software is improved.

Movies could be produced for far less than what is typically spent on them, and at a reasonable quality level. What makes a movie like The Matrix great is not the special effects or the bogus accounting, but the story that it tells, and that story could be told on a lower budget, with good acting, good directing, and good camerawork replacing much of the technology that is thrown at movies today. Movies are indeed part of our culture; special effects need not be.

Re:Blame Napster (4, Insightful)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972749)

People will still pay for stuff. Hell, the MPAA had record profits each year from 2006 to 2010.

Movies provide an actual valuable service, that some guy in his home connection can't replace for free: huge screens to appreciate those expensive special effects and pretty photography.

Re:Blame Napster (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972607)

On the contrary, and playing devil's advocate here, they are actually winning the war. Yes, SOPA and PIPA may not have gone through, but it was the fact that if the US turned off another country's domain, it might be considered an act of war, with the ramifications that comes with it, similar to a naval blockade is considered an act of war for a port.

Here is how the *AA is winning the war:

1: ISPs will hand them logs now by request. Not by court order. This allows long fishing expeditions.

2: Treaties like only appear on the news after they are signed. It only was a lucky happenstance that this didn't happen with ACTA.

3: Foreigners who have never set foot on US soil are being held criminally liable for breaking US laws. Picture Americans being deported to Saudi Arabia or Syria for lashings or beheadings because they were viewing pr0n.

4: Piracy is being forced to the edges. This is success right here. Once piracy is forced to transatlantic or transpacific links, it isn't hard for ISPs to charge users for bandwidth use across those links, similar to how AT&T charges $250 a terabyte with DSL now.

5: DRM stacks are everywhere. The next generation of Windows 8 logo compliant PCs can be said to have a hardware level DRM stack with the signed UEFI mechanism that cannot be disabled, and if disabled, content like programs and games won't work.

6: It is becoming harder and harder for devices to get jailbroken. The PS3 took almost five years to have a single signficant crack, and that is currently fixed, with PSN detecting and auto-banning modified consoles. Modified xboxes are tossed off XBL instantly. Even iPhones are taking longer and longer to have a significant JB, and the Cydia market has to virtually recode stuff like Winterboard from scratch. Even with that, all it takes is a restore, a forced upgrade to the latest iOS, and iOS users are back at square one.

7: One essentially is forced to use a VPS if one doesn't want to be ratted out. Of course, good VPSes are suspect.

So, compared to this time about a decade ago, life is a lot tougher -- there are nowhere near the open wireless connections (warchalking is long gone), people who had open wi-fi connections are facing steep fines or jail times due to abuse, and the PC is essentially a dead platform when it comes to gaming.

Yes, SOPA was a battle that was conceded, but the war is still being won by the *AA.

Re:Blame Napster (1)

lonechicken (1046406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972431)

Shhh. Zip it about the U-word place! You know what the first and second rule of it is.

Re:Blame Napster (1)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972717)

I wouldn't consider IRC or USENET to be 'back in the day" technologies. Both are alive and well and doing a fine job of allowing for inconspicuous file transfers...

Just because you can't search for it in Google doesn't mean it's not on the Internet.

Re:What did you expect? (5, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972015)

Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's

Yeah, piracy didn't exist in the 90s. Do we get the don't copy that floppy [youtube.com] guy back too?

Re:What did you expect? (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972055)

"...and forget that we've gotten used to not paying for our movies and getting them instantly!"

Your 90's must have been way different than mine.

Re:What did you expect? (2)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972163)

People copied floppies. And look at what became of the software industry.

Re:What did you expect? (3, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972231)

Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's

Yeah, piracy didn't exist in the 90s. Do we get the don't copy that floppy [youtube.com] guy back too?

I think my first "copy party experience" was in a church, in 1983ish... Everybody had their box of 100+ floppies and you'd walk around and see if there was anything you wanted, "borrow it" for 5 minutes to make a copy, rinse, lather, and repeat, for hours.

Re:What did you expect? (4, Interesting)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972513)

I think my first "copy party experience" was in a church, in 1983ish... Everybody had their box of 100+ floppies and you'd walk around and see if there was anything you wanted, "borrow it" for 5 minutes to make a copy, rinse, lather, and repeat, for hours.

For me it was in high school, all the nerds wandered around with boxes of flopppies, some of us custom painted our boxes, or put stickers so everyone knew who was cool...

When the school had all Apple computers we used to trade games and utilities straight across, disk for disk... If you didn't have something someone else was interested in, you didn't get their stuff. But once we all started upgrading to PCs, we were a lot more free about "sure, copy anything you want". I don't know what changed, really, same people, mostly the same physical floppy disks, too...

Re:What did you expect? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972123)

That's why we need to sink those boats. Filesharing services of all kinds need to be shut down; they're only ever used for piracy. These fagets need to be stopped. People deserve to be paid for what they create, not ripped off by a bunch of hippie information-wants-to-be-free fagets.

Re:What did you expect? (4, Funny)

jaca44 (2557600) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972401)

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972569)

This one gets me every single time.
When I first read "Did she eat them?", I almost choked.
Then that end. Damn, some people really don't think.

Ah, laughing at tragedy. So going to some sort of hell. Fitting that I watching Hellraiser.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972565)

File sharing is used legally - you'd have to be a grade A moron to not see it.

Red herrings, ignorance of facts abounds the anon. coward.

Keel the fagets (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972583)

That's why we need to sink those boats. Filesharing services of all kinds need to be shut down; they're only ever used for piracy. These fagets need to be stopped. People deserve to be paid for what they create, not ripped off by a bunch of hippie information-wants-to-be-free fagets.

I deeklare whore or speling. Keel the heapy fagets. Keel edukation. Everyones have to pays for everyrthink.

It's only fare.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

aktiveradio (851043) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972181)

So at Skyfile we have seen a huge amount of US users since January 19th, not sure that many users that use File sharing sites like ours for legal sharing needed to go outside of the US to do this.

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972191)

It's not like the people who've been pirating for the last ten years are just going to say to themselves "Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's and forget that we've gotten used to not paying for our movies and getting them instantly!" just because of some raid. And as long as there are pirates sailing the high seas, *someone* will be there to sell them boats.

Are you serious? the 90's? .... newsgroups have been around awhile ... try like 1979/1980 ... people have been sharing (or pirating if you want to call it that) stuff for a lot longer than the 90's.

Watch out Hollywood, the VCR is going to cripple your business model!

Re:What did you expect? (3, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972199)

The only permanent solution is to make content that people want to pay for, instead of making content they feel like they have to pay for. It's not hard to get people to pay for content when you make it actually engaging. You do have to give up on the lie that everyone wants content all the time, but it's possible to survive.

Re:What did you expect? (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972223)

So if the content sucks then why pirate it?

Re:What did you expect? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972271)

To see if you like it?

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972355)

Why waste your time?

Re:What did you expect? (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972449)

Because you hope you'll get something entertaining? Not to mention that downloading a file doesn't take that much effort (and you can do other things while you wait). Why not?

Re:What did you expect? (1)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972721)

Because they paid for people to announce how THIS version does not suck. So you constantly live in the (false) hope that it's true.

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972297)

How will you know it sucks?

Re:What did you expect? (5, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972387)

In the cases where an alternative distribution channel is available (there often isn't) and it is available for a reasonable price (which people often also disagree on), people pirate content that they don't really care about in order to fill their lives up. Perhaps there's a social incentive for knowing about what happened on some TV show; perhaps it's to stave off boredom because they're depressed and don't have greater ambitions or hobbies for their free time (this describes more people than anyone cares to admit); perhaps it's just to distract them because they're tired. In none of these cases is the consumer deriving value from the art of the content; it's just slightly more interesting than usual time-filling fluff, like the proverbial airport novel, sports news, the weather, or gossip in a bar. That's why we don't feel compelled to repay the artists behind the content.

Re:What did you expect? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972395)

So if the content sucks then why pirate it?

It doesn't matter that it sucks. What matters is that pirate content is shackle free and IT works !!!
There is value in pirate content precisely because legitimate content has been rendered almost useless and crippled by DRM etc...

Economics (5, Insightful)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972423)

Economics defeats moral arguments every single time. People pay money to see their favorite bands play a live concert, because live concerts are an experience that cannot be burned to a disc or downloaded from a website. People pay money to see movies in a movie theater because you cannot download the experience of being in a movie theater. Concerts and movie theaters make money because the experience you are buying is scarce.

Copies of music and movies are not scarce resources anymore. We no longer require specialized industrial equipment to make those copies, and it costs almost nothing to make a copy. With an effectively unlimited supply, we should expect copies of music and movies to cost nothing; the industry needs to find some new scare-but-demanded way to enjoy entertainment, or focus more on the ways they have left.

Re:Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972727)

"People pay money to see movies in a movie theater because you cannot download the experience of being in a movie theater. "

You mean seeing the screens of a couple of hundred kids lighting up, checking their messages every 10 seconds plus several dozen people getting calls, eating tacos, chips and burgers?
Yep, it's definitely something you don't have at home.

Tragedy of the Commons (3, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972537)

Look it up. The sad fact is that if a resource isn't protected, people will abuse it. Example

In our village we have a surviving section of a Roman road, and a small, protected wood of ancient hardwood. They are open to the public all the year round. The preservation committee has enough cash to go to the High Court for an injunction against people who might try to damage them, but almost every year we get some moron trying to destroy the road by ploughing it up with a Range Rover, or trying to vandalise the wood. We are prepared to defend both, but we have to be.

The problem is that a nasty minority spoils things for the majority. Security at the Glastonbury costs a fortune because of the people who try to destroy the security fence - which is needed because those same people used to break in and try to wreck the festival.

This isn't a rant against file sharing. I think the recording industry is its own worst enemy - it is purely entrepreneurial and entrepreneurs should never have special rights over real property. But, at the end of the day, the real answer is drastic: if you don't want performance to be free, do not encode it digitally and accept that restraint.

But perhaps that's what you meant?

Re:What did you expect? (1)

nonicknameavailable (1495435) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972411)

in the 90s i didn't pay for music and programs and games

ms office 97 install code 1112111 111111111

Re:What did you expect? (2)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972429)

It's not like the people who've been pirating for the last ten years are just going to say to themselves "Hey, let's go back to the way it was in the 90's and forget that we've gotten used to not paying for our movies and getting them instantly.

Interestingly, the most popular items are not movies but television shows. But that's neither here nor there -- Even if the MPAA stopped charging for movies and TV shows "pirate" distribution would continue, because the quality is superior. Let's look at the selling points for "pirate" distribution content;

  • Available immediately after broadcast
  • No commercials
  • Wide variety of TV formats (480p, 720p, 1080p, stereo, 5.1, etc.)
  • Wide variety of encoding formats.
  • No DRM; Can be viewed on most devices without restriction or encumberance.
  • Free trials - if you don't like it, you don't have to pay for it.
  • Low cost.

The MPAA currently can only compete on one of these points -- cost. And they've been competing like mad here, by sending anyone who even looks like they might download a cease and desist, airdropping lawyers by the hundred on college campuses and filesharing sites, and spending hundreds of millions on political contributions to induce law enforcement to attack downloaders. They aren't trying to win the war by arresting everyone and giving hackers 30 years in the electric chair... they're trying to win by making the cost of downloading look less appealing compared to their own product offerings, through their distribution channels.

Era?! (5, Insightful)

TaoPhoenix (980487) | more than 2 years ago | (#38971961)

I'm more annoyed at the wording - "In the post ____ era, the world will never be the same."

Re:Era?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972007)

Yeah, some of us are still doing the same shit they were doing pre-megaupload. I never was on that waggon, ever. I still get my shit, always. Fuck'n kids these days I tell you. L2P2P

Re:Era?! (4, Insightful)

Rary (566291) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972093)

I'm more annoyed at the wording - "In the post ____ era, the world will never be the same."

Especially in this case, where the "Post MegaUpload Era" isn't even three weeks old.

Re:Era?! (4, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972187)

I'd agree with you, but in the eons that have passed in this, the post-TaoPhoenix's-post era, it's become entirely irrelevant. Just like the first half of my post, in this post-Captain-Spam's-first-half-of-his-post era.

Re:Era?! (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972443)

*blink*

Re:Era?! (1)

khr (708262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972441)

And how different will my world be post-MegaUpload? I never even heard of MegaUpload until they got busted... Sure rocks my world...

Wait! I have a plan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38971991)

We need to waste more taxpayer money going after what amounts to jaywalkers. We need to show the world that the US government truly polices the world!

Also, having ads on a website is the exact same thing as selling the content on your website.

Re:Wait! I have a plan! (2)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972169)

The real loss on "piracy" comes from the copies made to CD-R and DVD-R that are regularly sold on the Asian street markets. The loss is multi-million each year and it is a *real* loss as compared to the bogus loss numbers we are subjected to in the media over file sharing.

However no one ever goes after THAT problem. Why? It would take actual diplomatic work.

Re:Wait! I have a plan! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972249)

They go after it with bulldozers, man. Literally. Google it.

I still think going after individuals and destroy their lifes for having sharing a few movies is unjust and immoral.

Why not? Less Windows = More Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972233)

After all, people keep telling me on Slashdot that the pirates are not to be counted as lost sales since they would not buy it anyway. If there was no way to pirate Windows I assume it follows people would just switch to Linux !!

Re:Why not? Less Windows = More Linux? (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972323)

After all, people keep telling me on Slashdot that the pirates are not to be counted as lost sales since they would not buy it anyway.

The most I've seen is people saying that someone downloading copyrighted material doesn't necessarily result in a lost sale. Not always.

Sneaker Net (4, Funny)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972013)

I now accept requests for files over the phone or via hand-written letter and I deliver them on a USB stick, multiple foppy disks, or cassette tapes, whatever you prefer.

My file sharing will not be stopped

Re:Sneaker Net (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972115)

I now accept requests for files over the phone or via hand-written letter

You might want to look up the definitions of wire and mail fraud in the United States. ;)

Re:Sneaker Net (1)

jdastrup (1075795) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972171)

Hmm, good point. Now that puts a snag in my plan. I must learn semaphore flagging and maybe smoke signals.

Re:Sneaker Net (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972407)

Homing pigeon.

Re:Sneaker Net (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972325)

I now accept requests for files over the phone or via hand-written letter and I deliver them on a USB stick, multiple foppy disks, or cassette tapes, whatever you prefer.

My file sharing will not be stopped

I think the year was 1995, I was looking for an out of print movie that one of my friends was in. I found a guy on the internet who said he had a copy, we negotiated by e-mail, I sent him a tape I had made of 14 "Twilight Zone" episodes from PBS, and he sent me a copy of the movie I wanted.

Not as fast or efficient as copy by wire schemes, but it gets the job done.

But is it file "sharing"? (5, Insightful)

zarlino (985890) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972021)

Honestly, I never even thought of Megaupload-like sites as "file sharing". If that's file sharing, then every website is sharing with you lots of html, css and image files. I'd rather call that "File publishing". You upload a file to a server which is then published to the world. "File sharing" to me implies some form of P2P technology where users literally share local files and bandwidth with other member of a network.

Re:But is it file "sharing"? (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972195)

Agreed. I think the term for sites that are MU-like used to be 'one-click filehosts'. This is only speculation, but I think that the use of terminology like 'file-sharing' might be the result of the anti-P2P campaigns by the RIAA and such, so 'sharing' has become a bit of a dirty word.

Re:But is it file "sharing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972535)

Well you can share files using it, legally or illegally. But they are definitely not ONE-click filehosts. A more appropriate term would be click-captcha-click-wait 60 seconds-click-filehost.

Re:But is it file "sharing"? (1)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972517)

How is this 'insightful'? To me, from what you describe, I see "File sharing" and "File publishing" as entirely synonymous. You certainly aren't sharing your local file unless you are using a multi-seat system (even then temporary copies might be made within the system).

The emperor has no clothes. There IS NO DIFFERENCE. The unproductive elements within our power authority heirarchies want the essence of FTP, and even the cp/copy commands to be under their control. They don't want encrypted smtp email going between 2 people, they want a corporation like facebook/gmail to sit in the middle and enable them to control such data transfers.

Or not, maybe thats just paranoid rambling. The main point was that your distinction between synonymous 'sharing' and 'publishing' was even less of an insightful comment than my rant.

It's now less convenient (2)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972025)

It's less convenient, for sure.

Other filesharing sites (filesonic comes to mind, but there are others) have either disabled file sharing, or changed it in such a way as to make it less convenient, never mind efficient.

Re:It's now less convenient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972293)

Well, there is rapidshare and mediafire.

Re:It's now less convenient (1)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972629)

Actually, for me, it didn't take long to discover that putlocker was actually a better host for the 'pirated' mythbusters episodes I was watching than megavideo was (on my given hardware/OS/browser-stack platform). The process of working around megavideo's demise also led me back to bugmenot.com which I had forgotten about, to get premium file downloads from videoweed (whose non-registration video player was worse than megavideo's for my setup, but like I said, putlocker is better than both).

tv-links.eu -> mythbusters -> putlocker

I certainly grant the argument that until places like tv-links.eu get shut down, shutting down megavideo only serves the purpose (entirely useful) of stopping one particular group of assholes from profiting from something we should all be doing with a p2p network and no advertisers or profiteers ___ to empower our FAIR USE RIGHTS TO EDUCATIONAL AND ARTISTIC USES OF THE COPYABLE ARTISTIC AND INTELLECTUAL PRODUCTS OF HUMAN ENDEAVOR.

People have been pirating stuff (4, Informative)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972049)

on computers since there were computers, 1 website is not going to stop them, all websites will not stop them, what will stop them is a change in how things are done.
If people are "too cheap" to buy your product maybe your product is too expensive.
If people are getting pirate copies of your software to avoid the iron fisted DRM bullshit, well maybe get rid of your DRM bullshit.
If people are downloading your movie to watch once then never again maybe you should make it easier for people to watch.

just a thought that no one making this shit wants to hear

Re:People have been pirating stuff (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972291)

If people are "too cheap" to buy your product maybe your product is too expensive.

This is a bit of a self-defeating position... because a person who claims that the work is too expensive as an excuse to download an infringing copy of it is still proclaiming that they actually *DO* place a high amount of value on the work - the real problem is, quite simply, not that the work does not have the value being asked for (a view which is contradicted by the fact that some people are willing to actually pay for the work), but that the person expressing that sentiment is just being cheap - whether that is because they genuinely cannot afford the work or not. Perhaps it had not occurred to such people that people who consider the work to be too expensive were outside of the demographic for which the work was targetted in the first place? Never mind the notion that the creators might make more money if they widened their demographic, the fact that they might be still choosing to market it only to a particular one that is willing to pay for the work is still their full right to do.

Re:People have been pirating stuff (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972427)

They won't know if they like it until after they try it.

as an excuse to download an infringing copy of it is still proclaiming that they actually *DO* place a high amount of value on the work

It could be that it doesn't have enough value to them to buy it (seriously, downloading something isn't that difficult, so just downloading it doesn't mean that they place a "high amount of value on the work") or it could be, as you said, that they're just cheap.

Re:People have been pirating stuff (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972577)

just downloading it doesn't mean that they place a "high amount of value on the work"

They place just as much value on the work as somebody who was willing to pay for it, because the reason a person is willing to pay for it is because they want to use it, and the reason a person downloads a work is because they want to use it.

The same value, either way. If it wasn't worth the amount of money being asked for, then nobody would be in the former category.

Re:People have been pirating stuff (1)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972461)

I don't agree. My friends and I have a rating system for movies: Theater, DVD, Rent/PPV/Netflix, TV (when I can't sleep or there's nothing else on), Never. This assigns a real value to the movie that is willing to be spent. Notice that the last 3 options have VERY LOW values.

Re:People have been pirating stuff (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972641)

Perhaps it had not occurred to such people that people who consider the work to be too expensive were outside of the demographic for which the work was targetted in the first place? Never mind the notion that the creators might make more money if they widened their demographic, the fact that they might be still choosing to market it only to a particular one that is willing to pay for the work is still their full right to do.

That's perfectly reasonable, so long as the creators accept that many people outside that demographic—the people who cannot afford it—are going to pirate it because it still has utility, but not enough to justify the cost. This is the way things used to work before the content industry got a huge hair up its ass.

The problem is that the content industry has started making false claims that the lost sales caused by piracy are beyond their control, when in fact, those lost sales are entirely within their control. They are then using that argument to try to stop the piracy so that they can squeeze those same unrealistically high prices not only out of the target demographic—the ones who can afford that price—but also out of the folks who are not in its target demographic and can't afford it.

In short, the content industry is forgetting the first law of commerce—high margins or high volume: choose one. It is within their right to choose high margins; however, that is their choice, and they must live with the consequences. High rates of piracy are a direct consequence of pricing a product outside the range of the average consumer.

Want to stop piracy? Sell first-run movies at the same $5 price point as ten-year-old movies. Piracy will drop like a rock, just as it did with music when folks got the ability to buy single tracks for 99 cents. It's that simple. The fact that they aren't willing to do that is their problem, not the government's problem, and it isn't the government's responsibility to prop them up because they failed first-semester business 101.

Re:People have been pirating stuff (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972703)

> the real problem is, quite simply, not that the work does not have the value being asked for (a view which is contradicted by the fact that some people are
> willing to actually pay for the work), but that the person expressing that sentiment is just being cheap - whether that is because they genuinely cannot
> afford the work or not.

Well value is relative, not absolute. Some people will pay market value for a house in a neighbourhood with a homeowners association. To me, that drops the value to a negative...negative because it would mean having to keep up with HA rules, which would be an ongoing expense. Other people make different assessments. You can't really call mine, or any other assesment wrong, because it is a personal value. To me, thats what they are worth.

Could I buy them and flip them and make money? Maybe...sure... there are ways to get value out of such things. However... thats not what I do, thats not the position I am in, they are not worth that to me. Someone else being willing to do that, does not invalidate my value assessment.

As for videos? The last video I downloaded was litterally just to test freenet as a medium for large file distribution. Last game? One I already originally had a purchased copy of, but the company went out of business and their online license server was gone so I couldn't play it without getting a cracked version. Why? Because I have amazon prime and cable, and a good job that allows me to afford the few things I watch.

Frankly....copyright was a great idea back when copies were hard to make and distribute and when they worked like physical objects. Now, technology has outstripped it and any restrictions are just sillyness and treated as such. A stupid law, by silly people, and not one that I recommend paying any mind to. Then again....I never had much respect for the law for its own sake.

I don't pirate...100% because its more easy for me not to.... just like most people who don't.

Re:People have been pirating stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972719)

From my point of view you are missing the point. It is a matter of accessibility.

Did you buy your Office Suite, Photoshop and other major software ? And to your mother ? And to your daughter ? And please do not sing me the song of OpenOffice is free and gna gna gna...
Look at the price of Adobe Photoshop ... everyone is using it. Beside enterprises, who pays for this ?

At some point it just doesn't make sens to pay high amount of money for 'convenient' software you use for personal usage.

The point of 'pirating' is a matter of distribution and availability. This has been demonstrated with the music industry. The movie industry is a bit slow to move but seem coping. Software industry, well... take a look at the app stores and apps at rangin from 0.99$ to 2.99$ this is a good indicator of what I am saying.

I agree with Osgeld (1900440). Make it available and affordable and pirating will go away... As simple as that :-)

Re:People have been pirating stuff (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972505)

If people are downloading your movie to watch once then never again maybe you should make better movies for people to watch.

FTFY

Re:People have been pirating stuff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972523)

It's also about distribution:
I wanted to read a japanese book (light novel), but it seems the only way to get my hands on it is to buy a paper version.
That's really unconvinient as it takes weeks for it to get here, the customs + shipping taxes double or even triple the cost, I can't read it on my PC (I still want the help of an electronic dictionary when reading it). And lastly, I actually don't want the book, I only want to read it. Once I'm done with it I'll probably gift it to a friend or something.

Couple of weeks ago, I went to a cinema. To my joy, it was dubbed (synchronized to the domestic language). It was awful, I left after a couple of minutes. The fact is, the undubbed version just doesn't air here, and as I payed the ticket to watch it, of course I'm going to pirate it now, and likely continue to do so in the future for similarly dubbed stuff (without paying the ticket, of course).

Re:People have been pirating stuff (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972539)

Specifically:
I have no problem buying a product if it is worth it (there is opinion here, my value assignment may be higher/lower then yours)
I do not buy DRM stuff for my PCs. I only allow iTunes and similar stuff on one PC in the house (as a pragmatic issue), not on any others.
I would watch downloaded movies from the studios if they made them available, I'd even deal with an embedded ad or two and one trailer (more than that and I'll start looking for something stripped of that).
Look to Netflix as a viable business model.
-nB

Not sure this is just for US users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972071)

So at Skyfile.co we have seen a huge amount of US users since January 19th, not sure that many users that use File sharing sites like ours for legal sharing needed to go outside of the US to do this.

And this is what they do. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972083)

Instead of having a local place where they could have probably got some information on traffic, it is all external to their operations AND it is hammering the backbone and international lines more than ever.

THANK YOU FBI, YOU JUST INCREASED MY PING BY A FEW MILLISECONDS ON US SERVERS.
Eh, it's the only way they will win, win by making others have lag. Cheat hax noobs.

Tested? No. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972129)

I like how the picture in the article most likely contains a link to either a virus, malware instead of the actual movie. We all have seen these in the links before -- 100% complete , full download, real version , etc. I wonder what the percentage of these files they claim are movies are the actual movie, and not some scam to download supposed codecs.

color me surprised (1)

whathappenedtomonday (581634) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972139)

Isn't the real question whether litigation remains the dominant way of a dying industry to fight the status quo (i.e. files being shared)? File sharing is here to stay. About the syndicates I'm not that sure... .

Whats this Mega thing?... (1)

thaiceman (2564009) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972151)

In the end it will come down to what has always been the backbone of sharing on the internet newsgroups/private ftp's and the servers that host them. That said I haven't had any problems for the better part of the the last decade and a half getting anything I wanted & somethings I didn't from one of the oldest parts of the internet.

RIAA/MPAA - idea. (1)

dowens81625 (2500160) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972161)

If the RIAA/MPAA really wanted to increase revenue, they would start bootlegging a low res version their own movies, and sell slices of time of the movies to advertisers, anyone remember when Movies where on Film in the theater and the 1/30 second image of a bucket of popcorm flashed by ? Let me insert subliminal adverts into the low res version and the distribute it freely and widely.

please note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972165)

3 weeks = an era

didn't fix the problem, it... outsourced it? (0)

Creepy (93888) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972215)

American business outsourcing at its best - it cost Americans jobs and moved them overseas.

I am not a pirate and have never used MegaUpload for anything, so I don't really know what kind of content was on it, but I kinda see irony there - stopping copyright infringement is supposed to create jobs here...

Sorry, what? (1)

Saint Aardvark (159009) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972227)

  1. What's their methodology? How exactly did they get this info? I see nothing here like a link to a full paper.
  2. Who are they and why should I trust them? Disclaimer: I could turn out to be woefully ignorant, and maybe I should just get my head out of my ass. But their main web page appears to be amazingly content-free, and there are two posts on the blog -- this is one of them. (To be fair, the
  3. They only present two data points here -- Jan 18 and Jan 19. What's happened since? Why the breathless summary (Slashdot's and the blog post) saying file sharing is all going to Europe now?
  4. The post-Jan 19 diagram says the hosting provider breakdown changed, which is presumably why they're breathless about Europe. But there's no data presented on where those new providers are located -- no corporate info, no datacentre locations, nothing.

If there's something to see here, I'm missing it.

Re:Sorry, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972439)

Agreed that blog post is bereft of data explaining the conclusions reached in TFA, but it appears that the "Craig" who penned the post is this guy, Dr. Craig Labovitz [monkey.org]

Archaic models of war (5, Insightful)

Wolfling1 (1808594) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972269)

Traditional military strategy has been to go for the command and control infrastructure. The morons in DoJ just don't realise that its a useless strategy when dealing with the internet. Your enemy is far more mobile than you are, and they will simply relocate, or re-distribute to overcome the assault.

/politicians and police don't understand the internet

Re:Archaic models of war (1)

M0j0_j0j0 (1250800) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972597)

They don't understand anything for what it looks.

Re:Archaic models of war (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972689)

it is almost like the internet was designed to prevent a decapitating strike on c&c...

Don't fight it, put ads on it. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972277)

Looking back at the stuff I "pirate" it's really kinda funny. It's mostly TV shows that are no longer on the air. Shit I would watch on Hulu if they had it. It baffles me that the TV networks are so bad at this concept. Put a show that's been off the air for 5, 10, 20, 50 years or more and slap some modern advertisements on it and you can do what you've ALWAYS done and make money off of advertising. Off shows that you've already paid the production price... it's practically free for fuck sake.

You get targeted ads, a clear picture of what people are interested in watching, and you're continuing to make money off of your legacy. But no they only want to put the last 3 to 5 episodes off the current season. So stupid. I pirate less because of sites like Hulu. Their business model, making money off adds, doesn't even have to change. How can they fucking not see it? So. god. damned. stupid.

Re:Don't fight it, put ads on it. (2)

Sarten-X (1102295) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972519)

They're also seeking to increase revenue in other ways. If they make all their old good shows available, there's a smaller audience for their latest "reality" show. That means the ads for the new show bring in less revenue. As a show's viewership get higher, ad prices rise exponentially. To the distributors, it may very well be worth it to have a slightly smaller audience, but more concentrated on a few new shows.

Re:Don't fight it, put ads on it. (1)

Loughla (2531696) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972609)

This is exactly what I don't understand. These corporations will spend years, and millions of dollars trying to maintain their comfortable status quo; laboring under the delusion that it's easier and cheaper than adapting, simply because they've never tried to adapt.

You give me all the seasons of (insert show here) available on your website for free, and I will be more than willing to watch 20 seconds of commercials.

A man who fails to adapt is a man who fails to understand his world on the most fundamental level.

Re:Don't fight it, put ads on it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972709)

You know, I discovered that Amazon lets me watch most current TV shows (on channels I don't subscribe) on a pay per view basis right on my Mythtv installation. I used to use eztv and torrent them before I knew this was available. Now, I don't. I'm happy to pay reasonable costs if it's available.

I miss megaupload but Ill still use other services (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972311)

The problem for megaupload was it wasnt used for piracy as much as people think. The majority of megaupload usage was for watching tv shows and such also.

If I can watch something on tv already what does it matter if I watch family guy on megaupload or episodes of frasier? What about all the tons of content on megaupload I cant find normally? Alot of stuff on places like this ISNT piracy because we dont exactly have anyother way to get the content because its been discontinued, not in circulation, being sold or anything else because its simply not there anymore to be bought through normal means.

Re:I miss megaupload but Ill still use other servi (2)

tommy8 (2434564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972647)

Posting TV shows is still piracy from what I understand.

There is no stopping it (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972353)

No mater how much Governments try to stop this, others find better ways around it. When they put a stop to Napster and Limewire, Bit Torrent was invented. Someone will find a new way to share files that make it impossible to control, or until our Government becomes a complete Totalitarian and controls everything!

true technical workaround for legal measuresneeded (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38972653)

i agree that decentralized operation of the network is a key component, but in my opinion, as many have pointed out, anonymous operation is equally critical. there have been several studies thus far on using anonymity tools such as TOR and I2P with the bittorent protocol that show that the user swarm real IP's can still be logged. this is the real flaw. it means that users cannot necessarily be blocked when using these technologies, but can be tracked via public IP and therefore still put each user at risk for possible litigation(i.e. sued). This should be the next primary focus of applications such as this. freedom from persecution should be equal to freedom from censorship. ask users of blogs in other countries who are arrested for there public opinions if they consider the technical means to share information as more important then being protected when doing so. the same principle should apply to these applications.

in my opinion there are 4 areas of equal importance that should be vital to the success of free information:

1. free operation( decetrilization, anti deep packet inspection, anti port blocking ect.)

2. user identity protection( anonymizing operation, hiding of user public IP, anti tracking tech ect)

3. intermediary protection( forced end to end encryption.anonymizing supper peers, list hubs anti trace routing to protect VPN operators or private anonymity hubs like Tor supper peers, and protection for ISP's needs to also be considered as country's are leaning not just on sites but providers as well)

4. public pool poisoning( MPAA RIAA bad peers poisoning the network and introducing malware to install tracking software on intermediary and end users computers thus breaking all protections or making the network unusable due to bad content or no content(null actors)).

any application that focuses on these 4 areas will be a success as long as each are given equal consideration and implementation. without any one of these considerations, the network will ultimately fail either due to technical or legal external pressures.

What it did do... (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38972711)

...is cause a lot of people to rethink storing legitimate data in the cloud.

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