To sum up the entire article in one simple word so viewers don’t need to move on is “nothing.” But there is ramifications across the board on this one that will affect the download community as people see it now.
I will preface this article with a simple disclaimer: Thrash Magazine does not support/condone or recommend illegally downloading music. Thrash Magazine is also not going to tell you how. But since crap like SOPA/PIPA is around, I feel the need to start articles about this topic like the above.
If you aren’t living under a rock, uber douche Kim Dotcom aka Kin Schmitz was arrested as well as his employees for the file sharing site they ran called Mega Upload. Mega Upload has been under FBI investigation for about 2 years now, headed up by the in-their-pockets MPAA/RIAA. After 2 years they were finally able to seize the site/and pretty much everything Kim owns (which is whole bunch of shit you or I will never be able to). Regardless, it was a huge success for the MPAA/RIAA and I guess the US Government, but what does it mean to you, the thief (generally speaking that is)?
Well, at first glance it does look like a large win. Mega Upload was obviously one of the larger upload sites, but Mega Upload aside; it has also caused a bunch of others to shut down as well. Filesonic and FileServe, users effective immediately can only download files they uploaded. Uploaded.to, users with unmasked IP addresses in the US can no longer use them and the list goes on. To the naked eye this is a big win, under the covers, nothing is changing. New download sites pop up every day. Bit Torrent is still huge, UseNet is growing every day as a “safe” way to download content and even Mega Upload was back up within a day (just without its domain name).
It is too bad for everyone involved (the bands, the labels and the users). If the labels would spend less time fighting the endless fight of piracy, maybe it’s time for labels to embrace simple and cheap ways for fans to get music, one single solution. Do people pirate to save money, of course they do, but those people made mixed cassette tapes back in the day as well. Each and every day I hear more and more people telling me they pirate because it’s easier to find music that way then through the 50 different media sources out there. iTunes has this, Spotify has that, physical copy has this. It’s a joke. Don’t even get me started on the way to get television/movies. People are pirating because it’s easy. If an album is coming out, I can get it at the quality level I want, from one location simple and easy, this is the RIAA’s problems. Taking down Mega Upload isn’t the right one (and yes Mega Upload deserves everything they get). People flock to simple and easy, and it will solve the current issue much like iTunes saved your asses 10 years ago.
Pricing is also a joke. A $10 CD should not cost $10 in iTunes. iTunes isn’t physical and its lesser quality. Stop with scams like buy the CD get 13 tracks, by the iTunes version get 12 tracks, but 2 exclusive to iTunes. I revert back to simplicity. I remember being pissed one day buying a CD (physical) and finding out the digital iTunes copy came with exclusive tracks. Glad I went out and supported the dying culture of CDs. Stick to simplicity. If you want iTunes to always have exclusives, make it so, don’t swap it around. Standards make people purchase because their head isn’t spinning wondering what to buy. Once your head starts spinning, you say, fuck it I will just get it on The Pirate Bay or Mega Upload.
Mega Upload is a small roadblock that in turn did nothing but hurt the RIAA/MPAA more in the long run. A few hours after they took it down it was back up and hackers were attacking the Department of Justice and other various known sites to support Mega Upload being taken down. Fix the internal issues to resolve the piracy problem. The goal at this point should be to limit it, not stop it since that will never happen.