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Old 03-05-12, 01:49   #1
 
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Default Megaupload Prosecution Is Lawless and Unconstitutional

Megaupload Prosecution Is Lawless and Unconstitutional, Law Professor Says

Posted: 02 May 2012 Ernesto

In recent months many people have been baffled by the US Government’s decision to shutdown and prosecute Megaupload.




While the Department of Justice proudly presented the case as one of the biggest criminal cases ever brought in the US, critics claim the Government has gone too far.

Many law experts agree with this assessment and point out that Megaupload is a lot less guilty than portrayed by the authorities.

This weekend Eric Goldman, a Prof. at Santa Clara University School of Law, joined in with his comments. His attack on the US Government is scathing, describing the Megaupload prosecution as a “depressing display of abuse of government authority.”

Siding with Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom who lashed out against the Government earlier, the Prof. claims that the shutdown of the world’s most popular cyberlocker was a gift to the entertainment industry.

“The government’s prosecution of Megaupload demonstrates the implications of the government acting as a proxy for private commercial interests. The government is using its enforcement powers to accomplish what most copyright owners haven’t been willing to do in civil court,” Goldman writes.

“The revolving door between government and the content industry” and the “Obama administration’s desire to curry continued favor and campaign contributions from well-heeled sources,” are the main motivations Goldman cites.

According to the Professor, Megaupload should have never been taken offline. He claims that it’s a modern-day equivalent of the printing press.

“Megaupload’s website is analogous to a printing press that constantly published new content. Under our Constitution, the government can’t simply shut down a printing press, but that’s basically what our government did when it turned Megaupload off and seized all of the assets.”

“Not surprisingly, shutting down a printing press suppresses countless legitimate content publications by legitimate users of Megaupload,” Goldman adds.

In addition, by shutting the site down and arguing that all data can be destroyed, the authorities are destroying evidence and ignoring the constitutional rights of the millions of US citizens who stored data on Megaupload.

“The government’s further insistence that all user data, even legitimate data, should be destroyed is even more shocking. Destroying the evidence not only screws over the legitimate users, but it may make it impossible for Megaupload to mount a proper defense. It’s depressing our government isn’t above such cheap tricks in its zeal to win.”

Professor Goldman continues by pointing out that the Government has to prove “willful infringement” when they want to hold Megaupload accountable for the infringements of its users. This is going to hard, he argues, as Megaupload has several strong potential defenses.

“Whether it actually qualified for these is irrelevant; Megaupload’s subjective belief in these defenses should destroy the wilfulness requirement. Thus, the government is simply making up the law to try to hold Megaupload accountable for its users’ uploading/downloading,” Goldman writes.

In his closing arguments, Professor Goldman points out that actions like the Megaupload prosecution will only make the public more skeptical about the Government’s attempts to control the Internet on behalf of a few multi-billion dollar companies.

“In the end, the Megaupload prosecution demonstrates that SOPA advocates are inevitably going to win. The content owners’ ire toward ‘foreign rogue websites’ combined with the administration’s willingness to break the law, if necessary, to keep content owners happy, leads to lawless outcomes like the Megaupload prosecution and ICE’s domain name seizures,” he concludes.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:00   #2
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Default Re: Megaupload Prosecution Is Lawless and Unconstitutional

Ernesto does a good job as a writer doesn't he? *smiles*

Reading this article was the reason I went to hunt up the one I had read some time ago that explains how tough this case is going to be to prosecute.

It sort of fits hand in glove with this article.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:11   #3
 
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Default Re: Megaupload Prosecution Is Lawless and Unconstitutional

Quote:
Originally Posted by photostill View Post
Ernesto does a good job as a writer doesn't he? *smiles*

Reading this article was the reason I went to hunt up the one I had read some time ago that explains how tough this case is going to be to prosecute.

It sort of fits hand in glove with this article.
That was great detective work because that report was very interesting to read.

I do hope they televise any court case against Mega, but I doubt it if they prosecute under civil law and not criminal.

Bet it will get bigger coverage than the OJ Simpson trial.
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Old 03-05-12, 02:18   #4
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Default Re: Megaupload Prosecution Is Lawless and Unconstitutional

They can't prosecute under civil law. Since they initiated it as criminal, in order to take down Megaupload, they won't be able to reverse it to civil. Civil law has different requirements and allowances as to what can be done. They've already exceeded what civil allows.

Mind you, IANAL. I do read a lot and have for years on this stuff. I have a basic understanding but no better than that.
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Old 03-05-12, 15:39   #5
 
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Default Re: Megaupload Prosecution Is Lawless and Unconstitutional

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Originally Posted by photostill View Post
They can't prosecute under civil law. Since they initiated it as criminal, in order to take down Megaupload, they won't be able to reverse it to civil. Civil law has different requirements and allowances as to what can be done. They've already exceeded what civil allows.

Mind you, IANAL. I do read a lot and have for years on this stuff. I have a basic understanding but no better than that.
Yes we have noticed you are very knowledgable and your posts are always very interesting.

Love your signature & avatar pics, they are "in tune" with your title.
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Old 03-05-12, 19:17   #6
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Default Re: Megaupload Prosecution Is Lawless and Unconstitutional

*if out of place for this topic, please delete.*

The avatar is one I made some time ago. The sig is one I've had a long time. At present am working on workflow patterns that used to fairly automatic in making 3D stuff. I've just about all the programs installed but having a bit of a learning curve with newer versions of every thing. I will soon start on the installation of back files, models, textures, etc. which will take a considerable amount of time to do. I usually work with a minimum of 5 to 6 graphics programs, moving the work piece from one to another to obtain effects that each one does better than the others.

At some point I will start producing 3D rendered to 2D for displaying purposes. Most of it consumes huge amounts of time. The rendering process alone can take from a single hour to several days depending on complexity and resolution.

The avatar and sig are examples of rendered, optimized, color limited, tailored, and converted, to as small a sized file as I can make it.
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