Rapidshare Latest File Sharing Website Targeted By Entertainment Industry
The fight between those who want information on the web to be free and those who want it to be controlled by the traditional gatekeepers of yesteryear, is polarizing into what on the surface appears to be a war against piracy and the struggle to protect intellectual property rights.
In this war SOPA was a blatant attempt to prevent filesharing through legislation which, when taken to its logical conclusion became so restrictive in the free flow of information, that it threatened the very foundations the web has been founded on. Bought by the lobbying might of the Hollywood Entertainment machine, SOPA was transparent enough to galvanize netizens in thei millions who petitioned the US Congress against it.
What has not been so apparent but is now rapidly being realized, is that SOPA, PIPA and ACTA, far from being fresh legislation giving governments and organizations the ability to close down websites and seize assets before sufficient evidence of wrongdoing can be proven, were actually pieces of proposed legislation that were designed to codify already existing statutes that simply do not go far enough.
The takedown of MegaUpload, which was ordered by a US court, sent ripples through the filesharing industry, forcing many websites like Fileserve to stop offering a filesharing service, and turn their business into a strictly vertical model where users could upload files for storage, but not share them with other users.
The superficial issues here of intellectual property (IP) protection and the fight against piracy tend to cloud the discussion. While, without a doubt, filesharing sites do make copyright infringement easy to perpetrate the music, publishing and movie industries have been quick to cry foul without any concrete evidence of damage being done. Their citing of dropping revenues as evidence of piracy’s damage fails to live up to close scrutiny.Continued on the next page