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Kim Dotcom Alleges Studios Wanted to Work With Megaupload

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the sociopaths-versus-sociopaths dept.

Music 139

Fluffeh writes "In a recent story that is beating around the nets, Kim Dotcom has fired back at studios with emails that make for some interesting reading: 'A Disney executive e-mailed Megaupload in 2008. He said he was interested in having Megaupload host Disney content, but said he would need Megaupload to tweak its terms of service to make it clear Disney retained ownership of files uploaded to the site. He sent Megaupload a proposed alternative to the standard Megaupload TOS. Fox emailed "Please let me know if you have some time to chat this week about how we can work together to better monetize your inventory," in an attempt to promote their newly launched ad network. And finally, this gem: a Warner Brothers executive e-mailed Megaupload seeking to expedite the process of uploading Warner content to Megaupload. "I would like to know if your site can take a Media RSS feed for our syndications," he wrote. "We would like to upload our content all at once instead of one video at a time."' Pot calling the kettle black anyone?" Torrentfreak is running the full interview with Kim Dotcom.

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Revised TOS? (5, Funny)

bdabautcb (1040566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483131)

What would happen if an individual tried to send Disney a revised TOS for one of their services?

Re:Revised TOS? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483375)

If you had millions to invest in Disney, they would listen. You sound mighty naive.

Re:Revised TOS? (4, Insightful)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483651)

Perhaps he's idealistic, but he might not be as naive as it seems. If millions of people would send Disney a revised TOS (or any other company whatsoever), they would have a serious problem.

Here is something to try out, just for the fun of it: Read the EULAs and TOS when you buy or lease a product, make changes to the contract, and then send the changes back to the company with the note that you do not agree with the original contract, and do all of this within a short period after purchase. Some people in their legal department will probably hate you, but the worst thing they can do is keeping you from using the product, in case of which they'll have to pay you back the full price.

Should work great with software and all kinds of content where you're not given a complete contract to sign before buying the product. (Obscure links and small print on the packaging doesn't count.) Now if only enough people would do that with Sony products...

Re:Revised TOS? (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483659)

they=Disney

Re:Revised TOS? (2, Informative)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484445)

You need to read up on contract law a bit. When you pay a shop for goods, legally you are making a tender and they are accepting your offer. At that point, the contract is complete, and you can't just go back and demand another contract, any more than you can re-negotiate the price.

Someone selling to the public would obviously have to consider customer relations, but if they could see you were just dicking them around, I imagine they'd tell (in so many words) to fuck off and try to get a refund from the place you bought whatever it was..

Re:Revised TOS? (1)

YesDinosaursDidExist (1268920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484985)

I second this -- besides that a EULA and TOS are not contracts to begin with. EULA = End User License Agreement and TOS = Terms of Service...these are not contracts. You are licensing the USE of the software...something that has been discussed on /. over and over again....the point is, a contract and a licensing agreement are not the same thing...and thus the legal rules governing them are different.

Re:Revised TOS? (4, Informative)

Umuri (897961) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485025)

Correct me if i'm wrong, but I think YOU need to read up on contract law a bit.
The contract of sale is what is complete when you pay for a product, however any additional contracts, such as EULA, TOS, etc ( which is what the parent poster was talking about) are extraneous to that. In addition, they cannot just put a note saying "you agree to the contract by buying this", because that violates the contract law requirement of meeting of the minds.

Basically, if you buy a product, and then open it to find an EULA saying they get your firstborn, you can mail their legal department with an counter-proposed contract, and if they in turn reject that, they are liable for your full cost of obtaining their product originally. Either that, or you can use it and declare their EULA void and hope that it holds up in court (which has stricken down many shrinkwrap licenses in the past).

Re:Revised TOS? (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485893)

In addition, they cannot just put a note saying "you agree to the contract by buying this", because that violates the contract law requirement of meeting of the minds.

You have a point; however the summary is "it's not as simple as that". This has been tested multiple times in which people rejected Microsoft EULAs. In civilised places like France and some US states, and probably, but there's no real precedent yet, the rest of the European Union, what you said turns out to be true (though exact details are more complicated than that; sometimes it might be that other contracts might be valid). In uncivilised places, such as many other US states and much of the rest of the world, it turns out that, by being bigger than you little people, companies have the right to do exactly what they want when the put out a contract.

As an example, have a look at the recent AT&T contracts which take away your right to class actions. Try sending them a message that you don't agree. See how far that gets you.

Re:Revised TOS? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484481)

As a victim of Sony's XCP trojan, all I can say is the only thing Sony customers should do is stop being Sony customers. That company needs to die as horrible a death as possible.

Re:Revised TOS? (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485181)

This is insightful? Seriously? The Anonymous OP stated that if you had millions. If it's a contract worth millions, Disney will make an exception for you to their TOS. No idea why this concept is so difficult for people to understand.

We're not talking about $19.95/month here guys. We're talking about a shitload of money.

Re:Revised TOS? (5, Insightful)

MasterMan (2603851) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483643)

What would happen if an individual tried to send Disney a revised TOS for one of their services?

Eh, what is your point? Feel free to send Disney your revised TOS. They can either accept or reject it. Just like MegaUpload could do.

They weren't forcing MegaUpload to change anything, they were just pointing out the parts that would need to be changed in TOS if they were to use the service. Seems like standard business negotiations.

I regularly modify adhesion contracts for lulz (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485879)

I've started doing this a lot I one line and initial shit I don't like in documents before signing it and sending it back, the same sort of complacency that has individuals agreeing to all kinds of crazy shit makes companies do the same, I've pressed 4 to record in google voice and told a few telemarketers they've been previously instructed in writing never to contact me unless I've won more than $100 NSA so they need to give cash or they're in breach of the contract they agreed to by calling me,and yes the computer that came on and said they're being recorded is recording them. I've considered using firebug and resource workshop to change eula's and accept/deny buttons to something I agree with and then recording it with camtasia to anonymously mail back to the writers.

I talked to a law student last weekend about this and he told me that's some sort of gray area that still needs to be figured out. It's funny you usually can't reverse engineer software according to it's eula.. but what if you RE the installer and EULA before agreeing? Courts are hit and miss with enforcement of adhesion contracts anyhow so if you throw an adhesion contract back in response to an adhesion contract they don't have a leg to stand on... also they usually get thrown out because you never really got a chance to agree to anything.. but mine would have that advantage over theirs in that some sort of negotiation process had occurred and they'd agreed.

If you don't succeed at first, try again. (5, Insightful)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483149)

Looks like it's time to arrest him again, for rape this time.

Re:If you don't succeed at first, try again. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483263)

No, not for rape. He should be arrested for not paying "Fat Tax".
http://www.freakonomics.com/2011/10/05/denmark-levies-the-worlds-first-nationwide-fat-tax/

Re:If you don't succeed at first, try again. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39486481)

*woosh

Sun Tzu (4, Interesting)

bhlowe (1803290) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483169)

Know your enemy.

The studios wanted to have a legitimate relationship going so they could have some leverage or ability for one on one discussions about the pesky little problem of rampant piracy on his site.
What did you expect Kim to say, that he preferred doing business exclusively with illegal file sharers?

NDA Much..? (0)

xTantrum (919048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483385)

Maybe dotcom was approached by studios...maybe he wasn't. What I do find hard to believe though is that these studio execs - if they did contact megaupload - didn't have a standard Non-Disclosure agreement between them before they started talking. This would prevent Kim from talking about this stuff or sharing it with anyone else. Find that very hard to believe...

Re:NDA Much..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483419)

An NDA is only a legal contract. If you are being sued by the other party anyway, an NDA is not really worth anything.

Re:NDA Much..? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483443)

His business is borked, his entire personal and corporate asset base has been siezed and he faces a long stretch in the pen'.

He better not breach that NDA he signed, he might get in trouble!

Re:NDA Much..? (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39486193)

His assets in NZ have been temporarily frozen, except for a household allowance and there is an extradition request from the US. That is far from what you claim. The almighty US justice system is good at fingering its own people, but when it comes to foreign citizens in foreign countries, its not that easy; especially in high profile cases like these.

Re:NDA Much..? (1)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483687)

Perhaps he didn't sign an NDA? Nobody can force you to sign one.

Re:NDA Much..? (-1, Flamebait)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483807)

Ever gotten an email from one of the scum-sucking subhumans we call lawyers? Chances are there's a bunch of boilerplate BS on the bottom of it, written up like "this email is private communication, by reading it you agree to the following terms, the lawyer retains copyright over this email, you may not retransmit this email without permission, etc etc."

Worth about as much as the electrons it takes to store it, but they certainly do TRY. The legal system is an ugly parasite, a leech on the rest of society.

Re:NDA Much..? (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484509)

Yeah, fuck the legal system, let's go back to trial by combat.

Twat.

Re:NDA Much..? (2)

wild_quinine (998562) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485375)

Yeah, fuck the legal system, let's go back to trial by combat. Twat.

Twat? That's a libellous accusation!

He might be a Twat, and he might not. That'll be decided in the proper legal way: you, him, and a couple of crowbars.

Re:NDA Much..? (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485195)

whooooosh

Re:Sun Tzu (3, Informative)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483391)

MegaUpload paid well-known artists to upload their own content.

Re:Sun Tzu (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484503)

MegaUpload paid well-known artists to upload their own content.

And failing that, they paid little-known file sharers to upload someone else's content against their wishes.

Well-known artists don't have "their own content" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484739)

Any artist signed to a big record company has signed over total ownership of ALL their work to the record company. So if Joe Rapper records a brand new song and uploads it to megaupload (or anywhere) he is violating his own contract. He is not allowed to do that! You can whine and say "that's dumb" but it's all right there in every standard record contract. The record company owns everything and they decide how and where it will be distributed.

Re:Sun Tzu (3, Insightful)

Motard (1553251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483451)

More like a carrot and stick approach. "Here's a way we might be able to work together and both make money ina a cooperative way...(and failing that, we'll see your butt in jail)"

Re:Sun Tzu (1)

RussellSHarris (1385323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39486491)

Here's a way we might be able to work together and both make money ina a cooperative way...(and succeeding that, we'll see your butt in jail and make all the monies for ourselvesies, my precious)

FTFY. The music industries wanted Kim Dotcom on a leash so that they could better drag him to Shelob's lair.

Re:Sun Tzu (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488061)

There are two kinds of armed thieves. One uses a gun that fires bullets, one uses a gun that fires cops.

(meme stolen from The Who)

Yep (4, Insightful)

jythie (914043) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483173)

Not surprising in the least.

It really seems like the studios are using threats of various laws as tokens in negotiating favorable terms in business deals rather then as tools for actually protecting their IP.

Re:Yep (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483201)

It really seems like the studios are using threats of various laws as tokens in negotiating favorable terms in business deals rather then as tools for actually protecting their IP.

Right, because that other reason copyrights exist (to improve the public's access to creative works) is so relevant these days. In this century, the point of copyright is to create a favorable environment for certain businesses, nothing more.

Re:Yep (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483563)

*facepalm* Yes, the same reason it always existed then. To improve the public's access to creative works by creating a favourable environment for businesses which create those works so that such businesses don't get laughed out of the room when asking for investment.

Even if we don't need $100m movies, or $40m games, if the limit is whatever a rag-tag bunch of individuals can beg from their family & friends there'd be no cultural heritage for anyone to steal^H^H^H^H^H share, and the whole argument would be completely moot.

Re:Yep (2, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483685)

Right, because before copyright was invented there was no culture whatsoever. I think you meant there would be less cultural heritage to go around. And no, I am not splitting hairs: the difference between "less" and "none" is very significant because it means that a compromise exists. There are extremists on both sides declaring the end of the world unless copyright is either abolished or codified as a god-given right, but neither is a rational position. Once you accept that copyright is not absolutely necessary for the world to keep spinning, you can cut it down to size based on the logical argument for its existence.

The only fair solution is a balance for everyone concerned--a limited copyright that lets businesses recoup their investment without keeping works hostage to private interests for eternity. I am just as frustrated with the "all information should be free" crowd as I am with the "all free information is stealing" crowd, since neither has a lasting solution to the problem.

Re:Yep (5, Informative)

Moryath (553296) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483915)

Oh fuck you.

I am just as frustrated with the "all information should be free" crowd as I am with the "all free information is stealing" crowd, since neither has a lasting solution to the problem.

Actually, the solution pre-copyright was the Patronage model [wikipedia.org] . The state, and certain wealthy donors, made a purpose of funding artists in return for their producing entertainment that was accessible to them and to the public at large. This was the model under which some of the greatest Baroque and Classical art and music were produced, as well as the works of Shakespeare; the subsidization of the Queen allowed for the larger public to attend the Shakespearean performances for a relatively small sum.

It would not be that hard to re-institute such a model today, and there would definitely be a demand to do so if copyright terms were reduced. The structure for it still remains, and the public broadcasting system has shown that it can work quite well indeed.

So now the next time you want to say the "information should be free" crowd doesn't have a solution to the problem, I'll kindly thank you to shut your unqualified, worthless, ignorant pie hole.

Re:Yep (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484113)

Who the hell modded this flamebait? GPP was the flamer, obviously attacking the Free Software model and anyone who doesn't suck at the tit of the copyright mafia.

Re:Yep (0)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485019)

Who the hell modded this flamebait? GPP was the flamer, obviously attacking the Free Software model and anyone who doesn't suck at the tit of the copyright mafia.

It's flamebait because he ended his post with "I'll kindly thank you to shut your unqualified, worthless, ignorant pie hole.".

Oh, and disagreeing with the Free Software model doesn't automatically make you a flame artist or troll, whatever the mods on slashdot like to think..

Re:Yep (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488683)

And I wasn't even attacking Free Software, but simply observing that yelling "abolish copyright now!" does nothing to help reach a consensus on the issue.

Re:Yep (4, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484471)

Not to mention that nowadays you can have "distributed patronage" instead of relying on rich people or the state. The most funded page on Kickstarter [kickstarter.com] is impressive, with Double Fine getting $3.3 million and a webcomic getting $1.2 million.

Re:Yep (3, Interesting)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484483)

I agree, but I think you make it sound even more difficult than it is. You imply only wealthy donors could fund art, These days that simply isn't the case, enough less wealthy people can also fund art just as effectively (for example, a musician can make all their money by performing concerts, no single wealthy donor, just a theatre full of average citizens.)

Re:Yep (3, Interesting)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485121)

Check out http://vodo.net/ [vodo.net] for a distribution network. They've got some cool shit on there like Pioneer One and L5, stuff that's free to download and distribute. All they ask is that you do so under the Creative Commons License and not remove the imbedded link screens so the creators can fund their next project. It and some of the other alternatives to big studio contracts like Kickstart are things I'm looking into for something I'm working on a bit here...

Re:Yep (2)

saider (177166) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484521)

Public broadcasting is not patronage, it is simply a company with a different business model. Their revenue comes directly from consumers, but they also accept advertising as well (it is much less intrusive advertising at that). They do not release their works to the public domain, but rather they use copyright just like any other company. Try to rip and distribute a Nova episode to see what happens.

Re:Yep (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#39486051)

Much less intrusive? Tell that to homer simpson. "Elmo knows where you live!"

Re:Yep (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484971)

Actually, the solution pre-copyright was the Patronage model.

After the rich are done pillaging civilization, we'll have no choice but to return to the patronage model. Any model that depends on the working classes having expendable income won't work for too much longer.

Re:Yep (0)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484975)

If your solution to the copyright issue is to reinstate patronage, you've lost the argument. Your ideal world may be one of rich aristocrats, grateful artists and bread and circuses for the masses, but the rest of us have moved on a few hundred years from that.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485011)

That's right, make it illegal to sell entertainment for profit. Whatever kills the 24/7 stream of garbage on the Disney channel, I support it. Because spending 30% of life watching shows with 0% Intellect involved makes people exactly that much smarter.

Re:Yep (0)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485021)

I don't think the patronage model would currently work anymore than letting corporations pay little or no taxes is creating jobs, or that fur coats and diamonds "trickle down". Rich people don't give a shit about the arts anymore unless there is a profit to be made. We don't even spend as much on our educational system in this country as some much poorer countries do - and you think rich people will just give their money away to dirty artists? It was a different time back then - when people actually cared about enriching their lives with more than just monetary gain.

Re:Yep (1)

maccodemonkey (1438585) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487809)

How about the "it's my work so I'll distribute it however the hell I want" model?

Seriously. What ever happened to the person who actually did the work deciding how they want to distribute it? If you don't like the way I'm distributing it, don't buy it. It seems everyone in the debate (publishers/agencies/consumers) has only themselves in mind. Just let artists decide. They have brains too, you know, and don't need armchair model legislation thrust upon them.

Re:Yep (1)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39489285)

Just let artists decide.

Sure, in those cases where the artists go it alone they have every right to decide how to distribute their material. Things might be a little different when they receive funding and support from someone else to produce that material. Artists are not forced into agreements with publishers and producers, etc...

Re:Yep (1)

wertigon (1204486) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485481)

The only fair solution is a balance for everyone concerned--a limited copyright that lets businesses recoup their investment without keeping works hostage to private interests for eternity. I am just as frustrated with the "all information should be free" crowd as I am with the "all free information is stealing" crowd, since neither has a lasting solution to the problem.

I personally very much favor this solution;

0. All copyright must be global. No exceptions.
1. Everyone gets a basic copyright term of X years from release date, where X is a number between 5 and 20.
2. After X years, the works is released to public domain, unless...
3. The rights holder pay a fee to their respective native government each year to maintain copyright.
4. The fee should have a minimum threshold, say, $5,000 USD, or alternatively 5% of total earnings.
5. The reason for this fee is that society grants copyright in order to promote useful arts, pretty much like patents. If you want indefinite copyright, I see no problems with that, as long as you pay the fee.
6. Failure to pay the fee will result in a non-revocable release into the public domain for the work.

Such a model comes with quite a few advantages;

1. No need to extend basic copyright terms every 20th year or so a la Disney.
2. Orphan works automaticly end up in public domain (noone to pay their fee makes them public domain)
3. Very easy to know if a work is still under copyright law (today you need to know the death date of the author and count 70 years from there; here you just need to know the release date, and if it's bigger than X years, check the open register compiled and released every year)
4. Rights holders are actively encouraged to release their works to Public Domain
5. Markets dictate when a work is no longer profitable enough to keep copyright

But the chances of this middle road ever happening is slim... :/

Re:Yep (1)

j35ter (895427) | more than 2 years ago | (#39486941)

Right, because before copyright was invented there was no culture whatsoever.

Have you had any knowledge of culture, you would not have claimed such a BS.
FYI, IMAX theater musicals, MTV cartoons and superhero comics are not the foundation of human culture.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39487533)

Right, because before copyright was invented there was no culture whatsoever.

Have you had any knowledge of culture, you would not have claimed such a BS.

FYI, IMAX theater musicals, MTV cartoons and superhero comics are not the foundation of human culture.

You know that line was sarcasm right?

Re:Yep (1)

robot256 (1635039) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488607)

I apologize for neglecting the tag at the end of my first sentence. Everything else I said was serious. My sarcasm was targeted at the post to which I was replying which claimed that without copyright "there'd be no cultural heritage for anyone to steal^H^H^H^H^H share, and the whole argument would be completely moot." That is the post to which you should direct your outrage, sir.

Re:Yep (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484463)

Youre a short sighted fool to believe that load of tripe.

There would be no heritage without copyright? Do you really believe that copyright is what is keeping people creating works? No every industry even has copyright. Fashion and food are both thriving monumentally SPECIFICALLY because they do not suffer the ill effects of insane copyright laws. Anyone is free to use and improve upon the works of others. The only IP they have are trademarks.

Try opening your eyes for just a second. Just one second to question to hogshit you've bought into hook line and sinker. We do not need copyright to make money from works.

Re:Yep (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39485303)

We do not need copyright to make money from works.

It's one thing to make money from something you've created. It's something else entirely to demand money for being creative long after the creation has run its course. 7 years is long enough for a copyright, with ONE 7 year extension. You want more money, work on creating something else that somebody might want to buy. And be creative for a change. Sequels for the sake of being sequels is ridiculous.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484955)

yeah but what happens when they have already made their money back 100 times and it's been on tv 20 times or the internet servers required for multilayer are taken down. The pirated copies are never quite as good as the real ones (you rarely get online play, and please a handy cam of a cinema is not like being there yourself) so if you have a good game or movie you are going to make a lot of money and fans regardless of piracy. Instead they should embrace it as a way get there names and titles out there while letting people remember their previous classics as well (which will pay off in the inevitable sequels).

Re:Yep (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39487137)

Even if we don't need $100m movies, or $40m games, if the limit is whatever a rag-tag bunch of individuals can beg from their family & friends there'd be no cultural heritage for anyone to steal^H^H^H^H^H share, and the whole argument would be completely moot.

Odd how the 1%ers consider sharing to be "stealing". The love of money is the root of all evil.

Few are arguing for the abolition of copyright, I certainly don't, but its abolition would be far better for culture than the present forever+70 years. Art is like science and technology -- everything comes from what has come before. The "shoulders of giants" exist in the arts, too.

The theives in the copyright cartel have stolen our cultural heritage and locked it in vaults. Imagine how technology would suffer if patents lasted as long as copyrights?

And the fact is, piracy doesn't cost anyone. Study after study shows that pirates spend more on media than non-pirates. One study was commissioned by a book publisher a couple of years ago who wanted to find out how much money piracy was costing him. Since pirate versions of books take a few weeks to hit the internet, the researchers looked at data to see how much of a drop in sales occurred. They were astounded to find that there was a sales spike. They hypothesize that the spike was caused by internet buzz about the book after it hit the web.

As Cory Doctorow points out, nobody ever went broke from piracy, but many artists have starved from obscurity. I would not have two dozen Isaac Asimov books on my shelf if I hadn't read Asimov for free from the public library. Movies and music are free at the library as well.

It isn't piracy that's hurting publishers, it's an obsolete and unworkable business model that's killing them. Their greed is killing them. If they were a lot more intelligent and a lot less greedy they'd give their media away over the internet and use marketing to convince people that a tangible item has more value than an intangible one. Give away the MP3s and sell physical media, preferably at an insanely high bitrate in beautiful boxes.

Re:Yep (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483227)

Not surprising in the least.

It really seems like the studios are using threats of various laws as tokens in negotiating favorable terms in business deals rather then as tools for actually protecting their IP.

Of course. Look how much they pay for those laws:

http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/indus.php?ind=B02

Re:Yep (5, Informative)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483573)

Of course. Look how much they pay for those laws:

Google: American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

They are the clearing house for all laws that are purchased by corporations. They'll even write the law for you and then helpfully handle the "lobbying effort" to get the law passed. And by "lobbying effort" I mean they will pump millions into the campaigns of lawmakers who will push and pass their laws. And by "push and pass" I mean the way you push and pass a rock-hard stool. And by "stool" I mean Republican.

I'm putting the above to music, in my effort to re-make Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st century. "How to get law passed if you are a wealthy corporation" is the title of this one.

Re:Yep (2)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484417)

At the end of such an Informative post you actually compared "Republican" to "turd"? Wake up man! Both sides are the same! Don't you know that by your comparison all you're communicating is that you're a pawn of the media? Besides, we're talking about media companies, not oil and war contractors, so if your blaming leans at all, it should lean left.

Re:Yep (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488923)

Besides, we're talking about media companies, not oil and war contractors

Media companies, oil and war contractors are often parts of the same conglomerates.

In the case of the members of ALEC, you'll find some of each. All funneling legislation to Republican-controlled state houses all over America. Oh, and as a Democratic congressman recently learned the hard way, the American Legislative Exchange Council has a strict "No Democrats Allowed" policy. They don't publicize it (in fact, they don't publicize anything) but the policy is there.

A secretive, corporate sponsored, right-wing organization that's responsible for nearly all of the legislation passed in Republican-run state houses, including the now well-known "Stand Your Ground" laws that have been interpreted as "Kill a Black Guy/Get a Coupon Laws" in many Southern states. We've been hearing a lot about these ALEC-sponsored laws since the murder of Trayvon Martin last month.

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484527)

Of course. Look how much they pay for those laws:

Google: American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

They are the clearing house for all laws that are purchased by corporations. They'll even write the law for you and then helpfully handle the "lobbying effort" to get the law passed. And by "lobbying effort" I mean they will pump millions into the campaigns of lawmakers who will push and pass their laws. And by "push and pass" I mean the way you push and pass a rock-hard stool. And by "stool" I mean Republican.

I'm putting the above to music, in my effort to re-make Schoolhouse Rock for the 21st century. "How to get law passed if you are a wealthy corporation" is the title of this one.

Yeah, only Republicans sell out.

Which must be why you can't spell DMCA without that BIG FAT D.

Which must be why the MPAA explicitly threatened that right-wing wacko Rethuglican Barack Obama: [dailytech.com]

MPAA Chief Threatens Obama, Congress for SOPA Rejection

"Don't take us for granted."

That was the message the former Democrat Senator from Connecticut Chris Dodd sent his old Senate colleague -- and now President -- Barack Obama...

He comments, "Candidly, those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake."

Re:Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484715)

You had me until you mentioned Republicans.

You do realize that the media companies are friendlier with the Democrats than with the Republicans, right?

Re:Yep (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488843)

You do realize that the media companies are friendlier with the Democrats than with the Republicans, right?

I was referring to ALEC, which is so Republican that recently a Democratic congressman went to one of their meetings, paid the $100 and once they found out he was a Democrat, he was escorted out of the place. This was a Democratic congressman.

I didn't mention media companies.

I wonder... (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483187)

These little gems do certainly paint the entertainment industry's hatchetmen in the most mendacious possible light(not that they need the help, or that this was news to anybody); but what I'd be delighted to know is whether they correctly dotted their 'i's and crossed their 't's legally speaking...

Strategically, having somebody like Megaupload as a promotional channel makes a great deal of sense: zero cost(to them) distribution channel used, at least initially, by a highly cost-sensitive(but, if capturable, quite desireable, youth market); but with enough legal and general sleaziness to keep the Disney moms away and offer them a way of squeezing and/or cutting off at a later date(as they appear to be attempting now).

However, as the copyright holders, it is conceivable that they may actually have authorized MegaUpload's activities, at least for some of their material, when they crossed the line from 'merely ignoring' to 'actively aiding and abetting and discussing how to more efficiently upload themselves'. If the person uploading does actually have the power to authorize uses of a copyrighted work, it is conceivable that even those flimsy "Yup, I totally pinkie swear that I'm the copyright holder and this is A-OK" clickwraps that many of the cyberlocker types have you click through could actually end up meaning something... That would be hilarious.

Re:I wonder... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483599)

However, as the copyright holders, it is conceivable that they may actually have authorized MegaUpload's activities, at least for some of their material, when they crossed the line from 'merely ignoring' to 'actively aiding and abetting and discussing how to more efficiently upload themselves'. If the person uploading does actually have the power to authorize uses of a copyrighted work, it is conceivable that even those flimsy "Yup, I totally pinkie swear that I'm the copyright holder and this is A-OK" clickwraps that many of the cyberlocker types have you click through could actually end up meaning something... That would be hilarious.

The fact that an authorized copy of a work is made (even if it is made for free) does not mean that it automatically becomes public domain and any further copies can be made without restriction by anyone who feels like it. Even if the copyright holders uploaded some stuff onto MegaUpload it would not inherently authorize everyone else to upload anything they want.

If Megaupload had a contract with the studios they would be fine. Having evidence that the studios at one point discussed hypothetical contracts they might consider entering into under certain conditions - but which they did not in fact enter into - means very little really.

Re:I wonder... (1)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484551)

Actually it may mean more than one might think. Having proof of the discussions proves a possibility of non-infringing use. This is one of the excuses people always use as to why google is ok, but megaupload isn't, they claim that google has legitimate uses, despite the massive amounts of "illegal" content available, whereas they hold that megaupload doesn't and is primarily for illegal use.
Proving that you have been in talks with "legitimate" organizations (wow... I can't believe I just called the MPAA legitimate...) even if no final deal was reached, can help you to establish the case that your site was a legitimate site (like google) that just happened to have some illegal activity happening, rather than the other way around. Even better if you can show that you tried hard to work in good faith, but that the studios were being overly harsh in their requests. This goes a long way toward showing "intent" which is still an important factor in any legal case.

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39488005)

This goes a long way toward showing "intent" which is still an important factor in any legal case.

...in the U S of A.

Re:I wonder... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484881)

Obviously an authorized copy being made doesn't make something public domain(very few things do make something public domain); but, if a copyright holder uploaded anything to MegaUpload(as the request for an RSS feed intake suggests that they might have done on at least a limited basis), it is entirely possible that the uploader clickwrapped their way through a clause giving megaupload the nonexclusive right to redistribute what was uploaded...

It sounds like some(eg. Disney) were just nibbling, and trying to hammer out an alternate user agreement for themselves that they could accept(which further suggests that the default one may have given megaupload more rights than the studio would prefer...); but that some may have gone further than nibbling, whether head office knew about it or not.

MegaUpload's only generally viable defense, for the substantial amount of what was definitely unauthorized uploading, would be DMCA safe harbor; but it might also, separately, be the case that certain copyright holders granted greater distribution rights than they would now like to admit. Hard for us to say.

nonsense (3, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483905)

What it shows is that the studios tried to work with him in a manner that would have had them being paid when he distributed their content. They gave him every chance to have a legal, mutually agreeable working relationship and he screwed them over anyway.

All his admirers want is for somebody to help them steal.

Re:nonsense (2)

green1 (322787) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484579)

Actually without reading the full text of the discussions with the studios, you could just as easily claim the opposite. Perhaps it shows that he tried hard to work with the studios to come up with a mutually agreeable working relationship and they screwed him over anyway.

Without seeing both sides' positions, how can you claim to know which of the two was being unreasonable?

Re:nonsense (1)

Em Adespoton (792954) | more than 2 years ago | (#39488861)

Personally, I believe it was more "both sides tried to gain an unfair advantage over the other and ended up getting screwed" situation. Of course, getting screwed doesn't affect a multinational corporation as much as it does an individual.

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39485905)

p>All his admirers want is for somebody to help them steal.

Infringe, not steal.

work (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483191)

So in 2008, 4 years ago, they tried to work with him. That apparently didn't work out, why didn't that work out, and how?

And why would that have any impact on what is going on now? If they tried to work with him, but he refused and then started monetizing their copyrighted works on his own, without their permission. Wouldn't that just bring him in more trouble now?

Obviously i didn't RTFA and I'm hoping this really hurts the case of MPAA/RIAA etc. instead of Kim's.

Re:work (0)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483421)

MegaUpload was monetising their copyrighted works all along... if the big media companies think that's an illegitimate business, it's hypocritical to try to be a part of it.

Re:work (4, Interesting)

delinear (991444) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483547)

No, this doesn't make sense. If there's some guy selling copies of your work on the local market, and he's an amazing salesman, it's not hypochritical of you to approach him and ask if he wants to sell the real thing instead. If that deal falls through then it's still not hypochritical to go report him to the police. And in any event, one party being a hypochrite bears no weight on the legality or illegality of the other party's actions. I'm certainly not going to stand up and argue in favour of MPAA/RIAA as I think they're vampiric entities that need to be ended, but like GP I feel I'm missing whatever point Dotcom is making.

Re:work (1)

metacell (523607) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483953)

Even if, say, Disney, struck a deal with MegaUpload, MegaUpload would still be distributing pirated versions of other companies' files. So Disney would buy a service from a company they think is illegitimate.

But I agree that the point is not very strong.

Re:work (3, Insightful)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483649)

It seems more like they gave him a chance to go legit. As in, I see you're making money off our products, I'd like you to join our authorized reseller/distributor program. I don't think accusations of hypocrisy really work here, because they make it sound like the media companies should be lambasted for NOT being belligerent on initial contact -- that had they "used the stick" from the beginning, they would have retained the consistency to not get blamed for "hypocrisy"

Re:work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483679)

And why would that have any impact on what is going on now? If they tried to work with him, but he refused and then started monetizing their copyrighted works on his own, without their permission. Wouldn't that just bring him in more trouble now?

It shows that the argument of "MPAA needs to get with the times and use a modern distribution channel" is bogus.

Re:work (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39486147)

So in 2008, 4 years ago, they tried to work with him. That apparently didn't work out, why didn't that work out, and how?

Better question. Keeping in mind the laws today are the same as they were 4 years ago, SOPA et al didn't go through and all that, why did they wait 4 years to drop the hammer on him?

doesn't make sense... (2)

lookatmyhorse (2566527) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483273)

...if Kim could go work with the big industry where he could cash more money and have no worries about copyright, why would he go alone and take the risk?

Re:doesn't make sense... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483331)

...if Kim could go work with the big industry where he could cash more money and have no worries about copyright, why would he go alone and take the risk?

My guess: risk related stress usually keeps waistline slim. Didn't work too well for Kim, but... at least he tried.

Re:doesn't make sense... (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483475)

I doubt that money is DotCom's main objective. He could easily live his dream of being an independent larger-than-life millionaire on the money he made with MU. Why sacrifice all that and become a middle manager at Disney?

Re:doesn't make sense... (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483735)

Probably because a) he didn't want to have to answer to anyone else (or share profits), and b) he didn't care about the risks (or wasn't worried about them).

I mean, I was surprised at the Kim Dotcom raid, but only because the raids were successful and Megaupload got nuked off the 'net. Up until this point, pretty much everything the MAFIAA has done to stem file sharing has been like fighting the hydra; cut one head off, two grow in it's place. The Pirate Bay has been thumbing their noses at the MAFIAA for how many years now?

Granted, Megaupload can't have been nearly as nimble as The Pirate Bay given the fact that they were hosting petabytes worth of shit as opposed to a bunch of torrents and magnet links, so it's not like Kim Dotcom could just server hop all over the globe like they at TPB do. Based on Kim's lifestyle, he really seemed to think he was some sort of modern day Tony Montana [imdb.com] , slinging pirated files instead of cocaine. This probably contributed to his downfall as much as anything else. I mean, there's no point in busting someone that doesn't have anything to lose, right?

Re:doesn't make sense... (2)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483785)

Of course, you're assuming that these media companies would actually pay him. It's more likely that they'd rig the contracts to make sure megaupload never got paid, the same way they do with directors, actors, and bands. "Yes, you'll get X% after the costs of Y are recouped. Unfortunately, Y has an infinite cost and will never be recouped, because I pay myself out of Y."

America, holding on to the last decades industry (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483339)

I heard on the internEX that somewhere domkim was in the process of trying to offer a direct sales/promotion thing for up and coming artists to bypass the studios monoploy on it. He had the platform, he was getting access to the artists (said video that got taken down most places) and from some of his interviews you can see he dislikes the music studios alot.

The artical yesterday on torrent freak was very eye opening. I really do hope this backfires on the US gov (who everyone outside the US now is starting to just see as a currpted goverment controled my corpated enterties. The only difference between russia and america is perpective. Russian Gov (from wiki US cables) has large currption, but so does the US, its all about money.

Personally I think what is going on is great, in a few years NO One will host anything of worth in the US, they can keep the .dom dont give a shi% and it is great that other groups now are taking control of their domains. And lets be honest right now the US only has a few exports, and entertainment/media was one of them from the last decade, what was going to make america strong in this decade was the internet, instead they want to keep the old system, fine by me.

Sidenote, the federal reservse, pushed 15trillion pounds via english banks illegally recently http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201212/ldhansrd/text/120216-0002.htm#12021643000172 this is UK Parliament minutes. Also we have the FBI handing out money ot banks without congress http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-11-28/secret-fed-loans-undisclosed-to-congress-gave-banks-13-billion-in-income.html hehe basiclly the US is in trouble, very bad trouble and it is trying to hold on to its last remaining money maker "hollywood" but by doing so they have just killed this decades income and traded in their rep for the wishes of the RIAA. ALSO look up a document called "life After Debt" it is a report drawn up in like 1999 or something. it was a report about WHAT if america paid off all its debts. so in 12 years you were going to be debt free instead you are in lots of money trouble. Whos got the money? you know who the lawers, the policits people, NOT YOU, YOU WILL NEVER HAVE MONEY on the scale of these goverment bleeders

I from england, my country not great and it is getting worse but fuk me america is in trouble

Re:America, holding on to the last decades industr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483501)

Reading this caused me to have an aneurysm.

Re:America, holding on to the last decades industr (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483505)

Lol, wut

His name is Kim Schmitz... (1, Informative)

Fusselwurm (1033286) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483361)

... and he's a fraud.

Re:His name is Kim Schmitz... (4, Interesting)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483631)

So? Chris Dodd is a fraud [zdnet.com] , you don't see him being arrested. Nobody is even investigating him, even after he openly admitted to congressional bribery... because the people who would need to start the investigation are the same people who he bribed.

Let's face it, Kim Dotcom is a fraud, but so are the people he's fighting against. Kim is guilty of not bribing the right people. He should have used some of his massive profits to bribe politicians like Chris Dodd of MPAA did, then he wouldn't be in this situation. In a world of frauds, I root for the newcomer fraud.

Re:His name is Kim Schmitz... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484395)

Kim dotcom is an honest fraud at least.

Not like the backbiting double dealing lawmaker in their pocket "have the cake and eat it too" way the mpaa/riaa do things.

It's quite a refreshing change to see some honesty. Even if it is from a 'criminal'.

Kim dotcom for president!

Business-speak (1)

ChrisMP1 (1130781) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483597)

God I hate business-speak. "Work together to better monetize your inventory"? Three words' meaning over the span of seven Dilbertian words...

Re:Business-speak (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39483827)

Seriously..So gay

Verification? (2)

redbeardcanada (1052028) | more than 2 years ago | (#39483709)

Is there any way to verify these emails are real? Dotcom is a known "shady character", what are the odds these are fakes to get attention and distract from his legal issues???

Re:Verification? (1)

Swampash (1131503) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484159)

On the shadiness scale, next to the entertainment companies he is Doris Day.

Re:Verification? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484875)

On the shadiness scale, next to the entertainment companies he is Doris Day.

Meaning... what, exactly? That we should completely trust him implicitly just because you put him next to someone worse? He's still shady and everything he says should be taken with a chunk of salt.

"Yes, Kenny Kleptomaniac offered to watch over our house while we're on vacation for the next two months. I know he's a convicted robber and he's pawing through our stuff right now while I show him around the house, and I think he's already put a handful of our silverware in his pockets to later test if it's pure silver or not (it is!) so he can fence it later, but hey, Harry "Human" Atrocities across town is actively committing genocide as we speak, so we can trust Kenny entirely!"

Hedging their bets -- why not? (1)

FridayBob (619244) | more than 2 years ago | (#39484549)

It sounds like the studio bosses have decided to hedge their bets. On the one hand they are constantly busy lobbying to have laws passed to introduce more censorship that will hopefully be effective enough at countering piracy. On the other hand they may actually realize at some point that their lobbying efforts are futile and want to try out new business strategies, but of course any such efforts are bound to take place while their anti-piracy policing efforts are still in full swing.

So perhaps the next question should be, If one of more of the various publishing industries eventually decides on a new business strategy, will they ever bother to stop their anti-piracy efforts? I don't think so. Why would they? Even if their new strategy is wildly successful and most pirates decide that rewarding the publishers for producing good content is better than not rewarding them, there will always be those who will want to watch, listen or read for nothing and thus, in the eyes of the publishers, will still need a little extra prodding before they do do the right thing. It would be a classic carrot and stick strategy. But even if this never convinces all of the pirates, as long as it convinces a few more of them it will still worth keeping those laws in place. Besides, who knows what would happen if those anti-piracy measures were removed...

It also handed Kim some rope, possibly.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39484621)

....if he communicated back in the affirmative that he was trying to, "monetize his content." Had any such communication happened, it could then be evidence that he attempted to profit from Disney et. al's content and puts a nail in the copyright coffin. Kim Possible, anyone?

Believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39486279)

Believe in Kim Dotcom like like you believe in the record industry. :P

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