Tagcopyright

Inside the Secretive World of MegaUpload

wan chai hong kong

OWNI reports:

Last year, journalists from New Zealand’s Investigate Magazine looked into the identity of the mystery man at the centre of MegaUpload. Kim Schmitz is a former German computer hacker with something of a chequered past. He made a name for himself infiltrating some the best protected computer systems in the world (including NASA’s) and has been accused of getting rich on the back of fraudulent transactions and insider trading. In the early 2000’s, Kim Schmitz discovered Internet streaming. He created MegaUpload Limited in 2005 with a Finnish passport, presenting himself as Kim Tim Jim Vestor. Alternately using his German passport (where he is identified as Kim Schmitz) and his Finnish passport, he set up several companies – Kimpire and Kimvestor – in Asia following the Mega model. At the end of 2010 he relocated to New Zealand. […]

The management of the majority of Mega sites is carried out via the company MegaUpload Limited, located in the Won Chaï business district in Hong Kong. Founded in 2005, the company was likely set up there to capitalise on Hong Kong’s extremely flexible regulations for foreign companies, which include exemption from corporation and income taxes.

OWNI: Inside the Secretive World of MegaUpload

Fascinating stuff. Cyberpunk came true.

Impediments to a Post-Scarcity Future

Make Yourself by Steven Ansell
Comic by Steve Ansell

Kevin at Grinding asks some questions about the social impediments to a post-scarcity future. He looks at the legislative restraints on P2P file sharing and wonders how that mess will play out when we’re able to copy things in meat-space:

A friend of mine who collects action figures shows me a custom mod of an Optimus Prime Transformer figure. I asked him how much it bugged him to dismantle a classic figure and he smiles and tells me he just scanned the parts he needed of his old one with a 3D scanner and built most of the new one with a 3D Printer. And that’s just one example of how 3D printing is slipping into my everyday life. We’re rapidly approaching the point where duplicating Things for a fraction of the original resources is easy – and by “rapidly approaching” I mean people you know are rapid prototyping and cloning items as we speak. It’s not too much of a jump to think we’re not that far from something resembling nano-assembling – rendering ideas like “original” meaningless. We’re exceedingly close the age where “remix culture” can remix Things with nearly the ease it can remix digital media.

But how will we react? Will we put DRM on food so it can’t be mass produced? Will we attempt to limit access to production engines? Will we allow “market forces” to keep the poor needy while the top 1% don’t even have a concept of need? Will we rush out to buy iMakers that scan the net to ensure anything you’re producing isn’t a component of a copyrighted product or recipe – or that only produce “family safe” products?

Grinding: Torrenting the Future

One need look no further than the world of food for examples of how post-scarcity is already being stifled. Look at Monsanto’s strong arm tactics and how excess food is handled.

One comment at Grinding points to the fact that file sharing continues online unabated. However, ACTA could be a significant blow not only to file trading but to online freedom in general. Meanwhile, in meatspace, grocery stores are dumping bleach on food to thwart dumpster divers. There’s only so much good routing around problems can do before you must confront the fundamental problems.

India’s copyright bill gets it right

India

Another example of doing it right (I’m surprised at how positive I’m being on this blog so far!) Cory Doctorow writes:

India’s new copyright bill sounds like a pretty good piece of work: it declares private, personal copying to be “fair dealing” (like US fair use) and limits the prohibition on breaking DRM so that it’s only illegal to do so if you’re also violating copyright. That means that you can break the DRM on your iPad to move your books to your Kindle or vice-versa. It also makes it legal to make, distribute and sell tools to accomplish this.

From: Boing Boing: India’s copyright bill gets it right

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