Tuesday, January 31, 2012

MegaUpload and Social Distribution

The recent FBI take-down of the internet's largest "file sharing" site, with over 150 million users, has sent shock waves through the media world.  Other cyber-locker sites might possibly be closed and some have voluntarily shut off services.  MegaUpload paid users to upload files in bulk without asking questions, and then offered downloaders more responsiveness and bandwidth as a paid subscription service.  Some estimate the service earned over $40 million last year.

The media world is being turned upside down by services that charge for access but do not pay rights holders.  These services make downloading content easy, without requiring registration, through any browser to any device.  Given the success of the Louis CK experiment (see earlier post), simply requiring a reasonable fee prior to download could go a long way towards making such service irrelevant?

UPDATE:  3/2/2012

Kim Dotcom, MegaUpload's founder and the key player in this story, has been released on bail and promises to fight for the company that has been taken away from him.

As described by the transcript:  He has two main defenses: firstly that the site is far too large for him to police individual instances of piracy, and secondly that competitors like Mediafire and Fileserve provide the exact same service. Dotcom also claims that neither the MPAA nor any movie studios ever contacted him or his site before taking legal action.