Kevin Day toasty at
Sat Jan 21 20:22:33 UTC 2012

On Jan 21, 2012, at 6:11 AM, Rich Kulawiec wrote:

> On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 03:06:04PM -0500, Ricky Beam wrote:
>> Upon receiving notice a file is infinging, they know that *file*
>> is illegal, and must now remove all the links to it, not just the
>> one that was reported.  
> But what -- *exactly* -- is an "illegal file"?
> As Leo Bicknell astutely pointed out in this thread:
> 	"Also, when using a hashed file store, it's possible that
> 	some uses are infringing and some are not."

This is a personal anecdote, and I'm not really trying to take sides in this. But I think what Megaupload's problem was that when they were told that a specific file was not authorized to be distributed at all, they claimed they couldn't stop their users from reuploading it, could only prevent distribution of the file if you were somehow able to give them a list of all their URLs that held identical copies, etc.

We had a client that had some data stolen - a laptop was physically stolen, and data from it uploaded to Megaupload. She jumped through the DMCA hoops to get them to take it down, they took more than 72 hours to finally remove it, and less than an hour later the same data was uploaded again. Another 72 hour wait to get them to remove it, rinse, repeat. We finally contacted someone there directly on our client's behalf, who insisted they had no ability to block specific files/hashes/etc -OR- locate additional identical copies on their system. If they didn't have this ability, it was because they were specifically trying not to, since they admitted elsewhere they hash everything that comes in to save space/time on their side, and writing something to block based on a hash they were already making would fall under pretty trivial work.

Which may have been the MPAA/RIAA/etc's issue with them as opposed to Dropbox/etc. With Megaupload it was like playing whack-a-mole trying to get something removed, they kept trying to say with a straight face they couldn't stop it from happening, and actually paid uploaders of popular files to keep doing it. I'm not defending the practices of the copyright nazis, but Megaupload was frustratingly difficult to deal with in what should have been a very simple "The owner/creator of this file has not authorized it to be distributed anywhere, don't allow it on your service again" request.

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