World War Free, a section that's been a bit quiet of late, but that is about to change. Recent events in the news have seen World War Free kick off once again in a big way.
What is World War Free I hear you ask?! World War Free is the on going Data war for the future of freedom of the internet. Be this the war on Piracy or Internet censorship. It's a war over the freedom of information. Or maybe even the freedom from information.
So to start off with I'll update you our two biggest previous stories here on World War Free. That of UK Student Richard O'Dwyer and the whole Megaupload situation.
For a history of the rather shocking O'Dwyer case you can read some of our previous updates here: http://www.bewarethespaceman.com/index.php/news/world-war-free/97-american-piracy and here: http://www.bewarethespaceman.com/index.php/isthisthetruth/240-american-extradition-news-update .
The update? Well he's got his extradition appeal hearing date set. That'll be in the Royal Courts of Justice in London on the 30th and 31st of July.
His lawyer when asked had this to say:
"We just tighten up what we've done. We've got people advising us and we've had a lot of help from copyright experts.
"Our main argument is that what Richard did does not amount to a criminal offence in the UK.
"In order to be extradited the alleged offence must be a crime in both countries. This is what we have to argue."
Pretty much the same argument we said he'd have here on the Spaceman.
Sadly this is about all the news we have on this story. It would've been nice bringing the news that the charges had all been dropped but alas it was not to be. Well not yet...
Any other further developments we'll have them for you here on World War Free.
The Megaupload saga however. Now there have been some interesting developments there. Site founder Kim Dotcom is still out on bail. And he's also been very keen to point out that his propery deals were approved by members of the New Zealand parliament. Not only that after the earthquake that devastated Christchurch in 2011 he was one of the biggest private donators to the charity appeal giving tens of millions. Plus the public New Year firework display? He paid for that too.
Another factor that has come to light recently is that Megaupload employed 155 people. All of which are now jobless thanks to Uncle Sam. Fighting piracy by making people jobless. It's the American way God damn it!
An extradition order was served against Kim Dotcom in March. But unlike our Government with Richard O'Dwyer it seems that New Zealand is the little country that could and is showing a bit of backbone. At the end of April over $750,000 of his seized assets were returned to him including a couple of sports cars.
A rather interesting thing that has come to light is that a paperwork error by the New Zealand authorities meant that Kim Dotcom's property had been seized in without giving proper notice. The restraining order on his property was granted in April 2012. Quite how you get a restraining order against a house isn't made clear. Back in April 2012, US district court judge Liam O'Grady stated "I frankly don't know that we are ever going to have a trial in this matter," as he found out that the company had never been formally served with criminal papers by the US.
So really the whole situation has been handled as a farce. The only people who have “won” are the American music and film companies who have the site shut down. Does it matter that tens of thousands of people used the site completely legally? Does it hell. Not to them at least. The only thing they care about is protecting the dollar.
Another big issue for users of the service Megaupload was what would happen to their files. A lot of people used the site LEGALLY to back up their own files. And thanks to a VERY heavy handed approach on the part of the US Authorities have lost the. On 26 April 2012, Megaupload data negotiations began with their hosting company, Carpathia, for any data users had stored on the service. Carpathia reported that maintaining the data costs over $9,000 a day, and wanted to seek a formal resolution on whether to delete the data or release it to interested parties. United States district court Judge Liam O'Grady (him again) seemed sympathetic to Carpathia's plight and ordered all parties to return to the negotiating table. The DoJ, in the meantime, noted that 35 million USD had been paid by Megaupload to Carpathia, and alleged that Carpathia had knowingly profited from copyright infringement.
Which is another weak argument. Google makes profits from search. People use google to search for torrent files. How come they haven't gone after google whose profits are in the billion? I'll apply the same logic to Youtube (also owned by google) over the countless thousands of music videos up there without the permission of those who hold the copyright.
So that's your updates. Stay tuned for more World War Free!