The international phenomenon in online file sharing Megaupload has been shut down due to being sued by the FBI and the US Department of Justice for Copyright infringement. Although the site has been hosted in Honk Kong, two corporations and seven individuals have been charged in the United States.
First, let me say that I do try to be as far from politics as possible since I am coming from another dimension and do not understand it all. Also, I like my life more simplified than politics, hence, I stay away from it. Here, though, I have a lot to wonder about, especially after aligning myself with the worldwide anti PIPA/SOPA movement.
This invasion of the life of one of the biggest file and video sharing websites in the world can easily be considered a taste of what is to come if PIPA/SOPA really happen. Thanks to much of us (I appreciate all help on this one!), this will not happen at least for now. However, one of the first to go away is Megaupload.
In the list of accusations spilt over the responsible persons in the website’s staff are conspiracies to money laundering, racketeering and copyright infringement. 103 are the exact reasons given by the authorities on January 5, 2012. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Megaupload Limited, Vestor Limited and seven individuals are “international organized criminal enterprise”. Except for the companies, the people accused along are citizens of the Netherlands, Estonia, Slovakia, Finland, Germany. For the combined charges, each one of these people can get a conviction worth 65 years in prison. Considering the American legislations, this is more than 3 life sentences. The common imprisonment period for a first degree murder is one life sentence. Is Hollywood three times more important than a human life?
Among the sites mentioned in the official documents are the anime streaming portal AnimeFreak through which a user has watched Fruits Basket and has added to the harm Megaupload has done to the world… Could RapidShare be the next one in the list? Additionally, named are other main reasons (aside of the television anime Fruits Basket, I mean) for the loss of money of the big companies with the big copyrighted materials: Twilight, The Simpsons, The Matrix, Thor, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Green Hornet and others.
This is just a foretaste of what is coming. You should be warned. I declare myself against illegal watching and reading of anime and manga when you can get it officially. I do understand that not everyone can buy all they want, that they cannot spend as much as they would love to… I feel for them and hope that prices get to be in a reasonable equilibrium with incomes in the future. I believe that the anime and manga industry has a future because it can still produce worthy material… alas, I am not as certain for the ones behind Twilight and The Green Hornet…