File sharing industry reels from Megaupload arrests

Big Content’s display of its control of US and foreign police forces in the arrest of the Megaupload executives appears to have caused a panic in the file sharing industry.

Filesonic, which ran a similar operation to Megaupload, has suddenly told its customers that they may not share files any more and will only run as a back-up service. The hope is that this will not get them dragged out of their beds by taxpayer funded cops carrying out arrests ordered by Big Content.

It is not clear if this is going to work, or not, but it shows that Filesonic fears Big Content much more than it fears its customers, many of whom have paid for a service they are not going to get.

What appears to have terrified the file sharing industry is that Big Content ordered the arrest, without bail, of everyone involved, including people who had no “leadership involvement” with the outfit. This includes people like the graphic designer and the bloke who emptied the company’s rubbish bins.

This is a huge step from several years ago, when Big Content could not carry out a similar move against outfits like the Pirate Bay.

Something has happened in the intervening time which has given Big Content control of the US plod, and, by association, the police forces of all those countries that bow down to US authority, such as New Zealand.

What is also alarming is that the Department of Justice has listed a bunch of charges against Megaupload which have been designed to paint the outfit as a conspiracy to the mainstream US media. But among the list of charges are practices which have already been found legal in US courts.

Meanwhile Megaupload has had to cancel its own court action against Universal Music, possibly because it will have to save all its pennies to get itself out of jail. All its finances have been seized by US spooks which actually prevents it paying for lawyers to get it out of trouble. 

With all these police powers, one can’t help but wonder what would have happened if Big Content had managed to actually get all the legal rights it had demanded under the SOPA and PIPA laws.