As a sign of the times if SOPA and PIPA pass, the Department of Justice today shut down the file sharing website megaupload.com and charged 7 people with running an international criminal enterprise. Under the outlined plan for SOPA and PIPA, each person convicted could face up to 5 years in prison. In response to the Mega Upload shut down, the hacker-activist group “Anonymous” has claimed credit for shutting down the websites for the DOJ, Universal Music, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), and the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The MPAA and RIAA are two of the biggest supporters of SOPA and PIPA.
Just before 6p, the Twitter account @AnonOps, reportedly controlled by Anonymous members, posted,
#OpPayback – Recording Industry Association of America – Department of Justice – Universal Music – all TT, all TANGO DOWN. #Megaupload
According to the Associated Press, a message was posted on Mega Upload’s site before it was taken offline,
“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,”
I am very much down the middle on this issue. I don’t believe in internet piracy, but the broad wording of both SOPA and PIPA make it easy to prosecute the innocent. Also, the punishment is a little harsh. As one person already pointed out, you can get 5 years in prison for uploading a Michael Jackson song, a year more than the doctor who killed him.
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