Jul 14

FYI.


German Artist Faces Criminal Charges for Projecting Kim Dotcom Image on U.S. Embassy (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 13, 2013):

In case you missed it, last Sunday German artist Oliver Bienkowski projected a giant image of Kim Dotcom on the U.S. embassy in Berlin coupled with the phrase “United Stasi of America.” The entire thing lasted about 30 seconds and was extremely good natured and humorous. However, it seems German “authorities” don’t appreciate being out-Stasied by the USSA, and in an attempt to demonstrate their authoritarianism are looking to criminally charge Mr. Bienkowski. After all, in the Western “civilized” world these days, freedom of speech leads to criminal charges, while the theft of trillions leads to bonuses and promotions.  From ArsTechnica:

A German artist may now potentially face criminal charges in Germany after he projected a huge image onto the walls of the United States Embassy in Berlin last Sunday.

The image was of fellow German Kim Dotcom, the embattled founder of Megaupload, along with the phrase “United Stasi of America,” referring to the secret police of former East Germany. Oliver Bienkowski videoed the event and set the video to a song that Dotcom had previously recorded, entitled “Mr. President,” which includes lines like: “What about free speech, Mr. President?”

His possible crime? Violation of Paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code (Google Translate), which forbids insulting foreign heads of state, members of foreign governments, or other foreign diplomatic staff in Germany—and is punishable by “up to three years in prison.” If combined with libel charges, that sentence can increase to up to five years.

Watch the video yourself to witness this heinous crime of human expression.

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Jan 25

SOPA and PIPA Fully Alive — And a New Bill Joins Them (Activist Post, Jan. 23, 2012):

Many of us breathed a sigh of relief when an overwhelming amount of Americans banned together and voiced their opposition to Congress over both the Stop Online Piracy Act, and Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Sites that dimmed the screen for a day or two have gone back to normal — Facebook users have swapped their anti-SOPA images for their previous profile pictures.

We may have even believed that the postponement of the vote originally scheduled for January 24th was some sort of white flag of capitulation. But that is certainly not the MO of most lawmakers.

While the outcry did get the attention of Congress, they are simply returning unflinchingly back to the drawing board to wait out our attention spans. Articles whirled that SOPA was dead and the bill was pulled when the bill’s sponsor Lamar Smith said in a statement that there would be no further action “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”

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Jan 21

From the article:

“Arrests were made at a number of homes in Auckland, New Zealand, on warrants issued by US authorities.”

“In all, addresses in nine countries including the US were raided as part of massive international operation.”


US government hits Megaupload with mega piracy indictment (Guardian, Jan. 20, 2012):

Seven executives charged as filesharing site shut down over accusations they cheated copyright holders out of $500m

Police in New Zealand have arrested four men after US authorities shut down the filesharing site Megaupload, including founder Kim Dotcom Link to this video

The US government has closed down one of the world’s largest filesharing websites, accusing its founders of racketeering, money laundering and presiding over “massive” online piracy.

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Jan 20

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player
Megaupload: Web Site Hit by Feds

Popular File-Sharing Website Megaupload Shut Down (ABC News, January 19, 2012):

One of the world’s most popular file-sharing sites was shut down Thursday, and its founder and several company officials were accused of facilitating millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content.

A federal indictment accused Megaupload.com of costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. The indictment was unsealed one day after websites including Wikipedia and Craigslist shut down in protest of two congressional proposals intended to make it easier for authorities to go after sites with pirated material, especially those with overseas headquarters and servers.

The news of the shutdown seemed to bring retaliation from hackers who claimed credit for attacking the Justice Department’s website. Federal officials confirmed it was down Thursday evening and that the disruption was being “treated as a malicious act.”

A loose affiliation of hackers known as “Anonymous” claimed credit for the attack. Also hacked was the site for the Motion Picture Association of America and perhaps others.

Megaupload is based in Hong Kong, but some of the alleged pirated content was hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Va., which gave federal authorities jurisdiction, the indictment said.

The Justice Department said in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, 37, and three other employees were arrested Thursday in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials. Three other defendants are at large.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, which defends free speech and digital rights online, said in a statement that, “This kind of application of international criminal procedures to Internet policy issues sets a terrifying precedent. If the United States can seize a Dutch citizen in New Zealand over a copyright claim, what is next?”

Before Megaupload was taken down, it posted a statement saying allegations that it facilitated massive breaches of copyright laws were “grotesquely overblown.”

“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch,” the statement said.

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