Megaupload. When piracy hurts us all
IE Focus | By Pedro Letai, Professor at IE Business School
After the closure of Megaupload, all the people who used its online storage service for their personal files are now unable to access them. They are just one set of innocent parties affected by digital piracy.Perhaps it’s a bit late now to close the stable doors, as the more pessimistic tend to say with regard to piracy on the Internet. Seeing as pessimism has a habit of taking things closer to the point where you just give up, the Megaupload case has offered some of us a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.
On January 19, the FBI closed Megaupload’s download website and detained its head, Kim Schmitz. As I write this, the attorney general has requested that he not be given conditional bail on the grounds that he has enough resources to flee the country. After seeing photos of some of his parties and of some of his assets, the attorney general is not the only one who thinks this. Although Schmitz obviously has to presumed innocent until proven guilty, he would be an odds on favorite in a dodgy character contest.
The angry reaction of the defenders of the social ill known as free access to culture, coupled with the mass elimination of content or even closedown of other accommodation services on the Internet, are enough to make you think that the steps taken are not quite as insignificant as some would have us believe. Meanwhile, cinema revenues in the US have gone up 32% just this week, and video streaming pay sites like Filmin have doubled their traffic in Spain.Details