The Entertainment Industry

The entertainment industry cites Megaupload, a cyberlocker that did more than $100 million in business (e.g., from membership fees), as an example of piracy. Megaupload operated from Hong Kong and New Zealand, with servers in several countries, and had 180 million registered users. It claimed that its terms of use prohibited copyright infringement and that it took down infringing material when notified to do so.

Determining whether a particular business illegally contributes to copyright infringement depends on consideration of the factors that are required for safe harbor protection and how seriously the business complies. The US government shut down Megaupload (by legally seizing its domain names), and police in New Zealand arrested its founder and several employees. A study found that online sales and rentals of movies were 6–10% higher in the weeks after Megaupload and Megavideo, a similar sharing site, were shut down, suggesting that the cyberlockers affected the market for the movies.

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Kim Schmitz “Dotcom” was the founder of the now-defunct, alleged by US authorities to have “generated more than $175M in criminal proceeds and caused more than $500M in harm to copyright owners.”  In 2010, Dotcom fled Hong Kong for New Zealand, where he has been fighting attempts to extradite him to the US.  In 2013, he launched, which offers what it characterizes as secure, encrypted, anonymous cloud storage.

Address the topic in an essay :

Bring the update of the current situation with Kim “Dotcom” and his business.
Identify the negative and positive rights involved.
Try to stake out a position, but be sure to discuss arguments for both sides.
Answer the following questions:
Is “Dotcom” a hero, a criminal, or something in-between?
To what extent should governments (in the US or elsewhere) hold people responsible for facilitating illegal activity?
Find non-cyber analogies.

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