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The stink of differential justice is yet again smelled surrounding a massive "anti-piracy" effort

There are a number of things curious about the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations and U.S. Department of Justice's haphazard takedown of the popular content storage site Megaupload among them:

+ If the site was truly involved in $500M USD in copyright threat, what took the FBI so long to act?  The site has been live for seven years now and used by millions of Americans.

+ How is Megaupload fundamentally any different than Google Inc.'s (GOOG) YouTube?  Like YouTube users upload content which the site cannot control.  Megauploads admins have suspended accounts in the past for users who were caught uploading copyrighted work.

+ If Megaupload was so evil why did many major artists support it?  (Last we checked big pop artists are no fans of sites who deliberately promote infringement.)  And why did these big music labels try to stop those artists from showing their support?

+ But most of all:

Why is Megaupload's CEO, famous American DJ, rapper, and producer Swiss Beatz (best known as the husband of Alicia Keyes, perhaps) not named in the lawsuit?

Virtually every other employee -- including the company's CMO and CTO -- at Megaupload is facing criminal piracy charges, but for some reason this key American music insider was not even mentioned in the Grand Jury's complaint [PDF].

Some have pointed out that Swiss Beatz owns no stake in Megaupload, merely served as its leader.  But that hardly makes a difference, given that he was leading a company that the feds claims was profiting off infringement.

Swiss Beatz
[Image Source: GQ Magazine]

To Swiss Beatz credit, he surely never wanted Megaupload to be whacked down like this -- he was its biggest fan, and convinced many artists of its merits.  And it's hard to fault him for keeping quiet -- after all who would rather be in jail than free?

Swiss Beatz
[Image Source: HipHop DX]

But this yet again shows the differential brand of justice that is applied to piracy in America.  Major music labels troll the internet looking for people to sue, yet at the same time steal hundreds of millions in yearly revenue from small independent artists by seizing and selling their work under questionable laws.

SOPA House author Rep. Lamar Smith (R- Tex.) or his staff stole copyrighted images from a small artist and used them without payment or citation on the campaign site that helped elect him, yet now he wants to imprison Americans for intellectual property theft?

And what about the rest of Congress, who were initially so supportive of SOPA/PIPA, while their offices were caught illegally torrenting pornography and other copyrighted work?  

And how can Rupert Murdoch support SOPA when his own employees were caught stealing text messages and voice mails from the families of murdered children and dead soldiers, in a sickening profit scheme?

Clearly the American justice system consists of two groups -- "the proles", which contains everyone from your college educated professionals to your McDonald's Corp. (MCD) fast food workers, and then "the inner party", a fortunate lot that includes millionaire musicians, big media executives, and their hired help (politicians).

Source: New York Post



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Bought and paid for
By villageidiotintern on 1/20/2012 10:32:54 AM , Rating: 5
The US Government is a bought for by and paid for by service of the MPAA and the RIAA acting on their behalf with no regard for the little people.




RE: Bought and paid for
By masamasa on 1/20/2012 11:15:05 AM , Rating: 5
Watch that documentary narrated by Matt Damon and you'll just how corrupt the US government is and how they are also in bed with Wallstreet. It's corruption at its finest. They are no longer working for the people, they are just working to fill their bank accounts by partnering with big corporation. It's the same in every country.

Power is given, power is abused, those in power get rich, and then inevitably they depart with their piles of cash. Bunch of limey bastards.


RE: Bought and paid for
By StevoLincolnite on 1/20/2012 12:56:49 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
It's the same in every country.


It really isn't. It's just more prevalent in the USA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_Perception...


RE: Bought and paid for
By Etsp on 1/20/2012 1:56:07 PM , Rating: 3
I think you misread that chart... Higher numbers mean LESS corruption.
quote:
As of 2010, the CPI ranks 178 countries "on a scale from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt)."
The USA is about middle of the pack when it comes to first-world corruption. We can honestly do much better, but at this point it's not bad compared to other countries. In many places, bribes are simply a part of doing business.


RE: Bought and paid for
By SoCalBoomer on 1/20/2012 1:59:34 PM , Rating: 2
You did realize that you linked to an article talking about PERCEPTION of corruption, yes?

And the higher number is actually BETTER, lower (and red) is WORSE? So the article shows that it's LESS prevalent in the USA (according to your linked article) - you did realize that, yes? "As of 2010, the CPI ranks 178 countries "on a scale from 10 (very clean) to 0 (highly corrupt)."


RE: Bought and paid for
By StevoLincolnite on 1/20/12, Rating: -1
RE: Bought and paid for
By Keeir on 1/20/2012 7:21:25 PM , Rating: 2
Errr.. the issue is that your taking a very local approach to your comment though...

Looking at the world population, more than 80% live in areas of higher perceived corruption and less than 10% live in areas of significantly lower perceived corruption. At some point in time "most" becomes "all" or at least for the purposes for state

Australia should be commended. They are highly ranked and still have a fairly large and diverse population. (A characteristic of the top ten are fairly small populations and fairly high cultural/racial dominate groups) But it probably should be noted that 75%+ of Australians are British Island immigrants or descended from British Island immigrants and most are fairly standard Christian religions or grew up in such families.

Perceptions of corruption often is related to feelings of fairness. Its easier to feel treated fair in a small homogeneous society.



RE: Bought and paid for
By OAKside24 on 1/20/2012 3:13:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're referring to (the awesome) Inside Job. Another great one to watch is Alex Gibney's (of Enron: The Smartest Guy in the Room fame) latest: Casino Jack and the United States of Money. It's about more than just Abramoff, but the entire culture of corruption in Washington, including a bit about PACs, campaign finance (legal bribery), etc.


RE: Bought and paid for
By geddarkstorm on 1/20/2012 11:19:35 AM , Rating: 5
If a government agency really did follow the whims of a corporation, sidestepping DMCA procedure and fair use laws, because they were bought out... I'd say it's time to call that what it is: Treason.

I am highly reserved though, and think there has to be something a lot worst going on behind the scenes that doesn't have anything to do with the usual copyright debates or DMCA laws. It's just hard for me to believe the DOJ would really pounce like the RIAA's lapdog, let alone cross national borders to go after New Zealanders for American issues.

But the fact the person who was in command and control of the entire company, the one responsible for the actions of its employees, the CEO, has been blatantly ignored in this...

It's a confusing mess. We have to wait for more information and see which of these contingencies are true.


RE: Bought and paid for
By TSS on 1/20/2012 11:26:12 AM , Rating: 2
I've said it before and i'll say it again. Everybody knows this already. And has known now for years.

Where is the revolution? Instead of occupy wall street, occupy the capitol and the senate.

Once you've gotten rid of wall streets cronies it's much easyer to get rid of wall street.....


RE: Bought and paid for
By Shig on 1/20/2012 2:30:18 PM , Rating: 5
We're in a revolution TSS. The standard of living is crashing for the majority of the western nations while debt continues to explode, the eastern nations have horribly exploited people with unsustainable populations, and the world is quickly running out of cheap and accessible energy that drive our economies.

When one sheds all their preconceived notions and political affiliations and takes a big step back to look at all the facts, the big picture is so scary most do not want to accept it and want to play the blame game.

Isn't this exactly what happens right before you go off the cliff? The problems go far beyond just our broken government.


RE: Bought and paid for
By Natch on 1/24/2012 9:14:34 AM , Rating: 2
Well, it's not as though this "Justice" Department has ever worried about justice.....or following any law that didn't agree with what they want to do. The Constitution? It's just another old document, we'll interpret as we see fit!


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