With the disgraceful Megaupload finally out of the way, it’s good to see that a reputable US-based company has stepped up to the plate on the pirate movie front. Without a federal agent in sight and with untold numbers of investors happy to support the company in public, Google-owned YouTube is showing Kim Dotcom how to hand out free Christmas movies this year without a single visit from Scrooge. Now there’s a model to aspire to.
When Megaupload was smashed into a billion ice crystals last winter, the movie industry breathed a sigh of relief, and quite rightly so.
What Megaupload did – and this may shock you – was hosted videos uploaded by its users.
The site had no control over what was uploaded and the DMCA allowed for that with a system known as ‘safe harbor’. It’s a pretty unimportant law that allows tens of thousands of companies to avoid trillions in damages caused by other people.
However, in its stupidity Megaupload over-estimated the credibility of the legislation and recklessly followed the DMCA to the letter, even going as fair as allowing rightsholders direct access to the company’s servers to remove content. A wild and stupid move that the company would live to regret.
Megaupload’s blatant following of the law showed that without doubt the company’s operators were all criminals who should be arrested and harshly punished. Not only were they hosting Hollywood movies among billions of other files, but profiting from them too. That was going too far.
If only Megaupload could be more like YouTube they wouldn’t have experienced such a crushing defeat in January. How much more like YouTube they would need to be in order to actually benefit from the DMCA’s safe harbor is up to the whims of the MPAA of course, but we’re pretty sure that since it’s almost Christmas the industry outfit will be keen on forgiveness.
So, since YouTube is operating just fine, when the new Mega launches in January it will presumably model itself on the Google-owned video site and discover It’s a Wonderful Life after all.
It could have drawbacks though – not having the MPAA continuously knocking might leave Kim Dotcom with a certain amount of uneasiness, like something was missing, like having A Christmas Without Snow. Decisions, decisions…
But with the new Mega just around the corner, it must be proving A Fairly Odd Christmas for Dotcom. Not that he’ll be Home Alone or anything like that, but I expect he’d rather be outside with The Snowman his kids might be building (if New Zealand even had any this time of year) instead of being hunched over a computer.
Nevertheless, it’s almost certain he’ll find time for A Christmas Carol, a verse of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or two, and there’s bound to be lots and lots of gifts – no one could accuse the German of being a Scrooge that’s for sure.
And there’ll be the usual Christmas-themed movies on TV of course, one with awkward titles that can’t so easily be threaded into a sentence about festivities at the Dotcom mansion such as Christmas Child, Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas, A Mom for Christmas and Barbie in a Christmas Carol.
Happy Christmas Everyone!!!!!
…..and long live
URGENT UPDATE: Everyone at Google has been arrested, more when we have it.