(Graphic via the Washington Post)
(Graphic via the Washington Post)
“If you never, ever talk to people, and you meet all of your needs on the Internet, you wake up one day and you’re the Unabomer.”
– Author ANN PATCHETT, on the importance of bookstores in the days of Amazon.com — and perhaps of getting off the Internet in general — on The Colbert Report
“You know, the New York Times has great coverage… and you can read it all on the Huffington Post, because we copied it and we pasted it.”
– Nasim Pedrad, as ARIANNA HUFFINGTON, on Weekend Update
Federal prosecutors say data from users of Megaupload could be deleted as soon as Thursday.
U.S. prosecutors blocked access to Megaupload and charged seven men, saying the site facilitated millions of illegal downloads of movies, music and other content.
The company says its millions of users stored their own data, including family photos and personal documents. They haven’t been able to see their data since the government raids earlier this month, but there has been hope would be able to get it back.
Megaupload hires outside companies to store the data, for a fee. But Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken said Sunday that the government has frozen its money.
A letter filed in the case Friday by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said storage companies Carpathia Hosting Inc. and Cogent Communications Group Inc. may begin deleting data Thursday. Spokespersons for the two companies and for the U.S. Attorney’s Office did not respond to messages Sunday night.
The letter said the government copied some data from the servers but did not physically take them. It said that now that it has executed its search warrants, it has no right to access the data. The servers are controlled by Carpathia and Cogent and issues about the future of the data must be resolved with them, prosecutors said.
Rothken said the company is working with prosecutors to try to keep the data from being erased. He said at least 50 million Megaupload users have data in danger of being erased.”
When Ellie Cachette started pitching her tech start-up to West Coast investors two years ago, she expected to raise big bucks. Instead, all she got from the roughly 25 all-male investors she met with were dismissive looks and patronizing advice.
“I wouldn’t even finish my sentence, and they’d say I should be a nonprofit,” said Cachette, now 26, who was building a startup designed to help companies manage product recalls. “I found it impossible to raise money.”
So Cachette made a bold decision: She headed to New York to test the waters of the city’s burgeoning tech scene. The gamble paid off handsomely. Within seven months, Cachette had raised $200,000 from eight investors, garnered features in two top business magazines and was selected to ring the NASDAQ’s opening bell.
“The tech scene in New York is just a lot more female friendly,” said Cachette, CEO of ConsumerBell. “You actually have a fair chance here. Investors are willing to look past your gender.” New York is quickly establishing itself as the place to be for women seeking to launch tech startups, experts say.”
“Hollywood wants to take the law into their own hands — they had our representatives add a vigilante clause, for God’s sake, to protect overzealous censors from legal challenge by users — and like a Scooby Doo™ episode, they would have gotten away with it too, if it hadn’t been for us meddlesome kids.”
THE AUTHOR OF SOPA IS A COPYRIGHT VIOLATOR
I decided to check that everything on Lamar’s official campaign website was copyright-cleared and on the level. Lamar is using several stock images on his site, two of which I tracked back to the same photographic agency. I contacted the agency to make sure he was paying to use them, but was told that it’s very difficult for them to actually check to see if someone has permission to use their images. (Great news, copyright violators!) However, seeing as they’re both from the same agency and are unwatermarked, it seems fairly likely that he is the only person on the entire internet who is actually paying to use a stock image (and he’d be an idiot not to).
So I took a look back at an archived, pre-SOPA version of his site.
This is a screenshot of his site as it appeared on the 24th of July, 2011.
And this is the background image Lamar was using. I managed to track that picture back to DJ Schulte, the photographer who took it.
And whaddya know? Looks like someone forgot to credit him.
I contacted DJ, to find out if Lamar had asked permission to use the image and he told me that he had no record of Lamar, or anyone from his organization, requesting permission to use it: “I switched my images from traditional copyright protection to be protected under the Creative Commons license a few years ago, which simply states that they can use my images as long as they attribute the image to me and do not use it for commercial purposes.
“I do not see anywhere on the screen capture that you have provided that the image was attributed to the source (me). So my conclusion would be that Lamar Smith’s organization did improperly use my image. So according to the SOPA bill, should it pass, maybe I could petition the court to take action against www.texansforlamarsmith.com.”
Oh dear. Luckily for DJ, there are people out there like Lamar making new laws to protect the little guy against online copyright theft. Keep fighting that good fight, Lamar!
“The idea that anything goes on the Internet — where did that come from?”
Internet victim RICK SANTORUM, at tonight’s GOP debate.
To find out where that came from, please Google “Rick Santorum.”
“Well, you’re asking a conservative about the economic interests of Hollywood. …If a company finds that it has genuinely been infringed upon, it has the right to sue. But the idea that we’re going to pre-emptively have the government start censoring the Internet on behalf of giant corporations’ economic interests strikes me as exactly the wrong thing to do.”
– Republican NEWT GINGRICH, when asked how he feels about SOPA and PIPA.
In what the federal authorities on Thursday called one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought, the Justice Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation seized the Web site Megaupload and charged seven people connected with it of running an international enterprise based on Internet piracy.
Coming just a day after civil protests in the United States over proposed antipiracy bills, the arrests were greeted almost immediately with digital Molotov cocktails. The hacker collective that calls itself Anonymous attacked the Web sites of the Justice Department and several major entertainment companies and trade groups in retaliation for Megaupload’s seizure. The Justice Department’s site and several others remained inaccessible for much of Thursday afternoon.
Megaupload, one of the most popular so-called locker services on the Internet, allowed users to anonymously transfer large files like movies and music. Media companies have long accused it of abetting copyright infringement on a vast scale. In a grand jury indictment, Megaupload is accused of causing $500 million in damages to copyright owners and of making $175 million through selling ads and premium subscriptions.
Four of the seven people, including the site’s founder, Kim Dotcom (born Kim Schmitz), have been arrested in New Zealand, the authorities said; the three others remain at large. Each of the seven people — who the indictment said were members of a criminal group it called “Mega Conspiracy” — is charged with five counts of copyright infringement and conspiracy. The charges could result in more than 20 years in prison.
As part of the crackdown, more than 20 search warrants were executed in the United States and in eight other countries. About $50 million in assets were also seized, as well as a number of servers and 18 domain names that formed Megaupload’s network of file-sharing sites.”