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So, I don't have all the facts about MegaUpload. I do (did) use MegaUpload for non-infringing files like Android operating system downloads, but I hate their damn popups and slow downloads, so I wouldn't call myself a fan.

I was reviewing the DOJ complaint and thought that a few of their claims were interesting and rather adventurous. One in particular struck me as probably a significant problem for 100% (OK, let's say 95%) legitimate file-sharing sites like Dropbox.

The complaint says that when notified under DMCA of an infringing file, present at a link, say that MegaUpload WOULD in fact remove the link, but that they would NOT remove the file, or remove links at say,, even if no DMCA takedown notice occurred for that particular link.

They further claim that this would be entirely possible, since they're clearly just hashing the iso and remembering which links go to which hash.

So, it's technically of course very easy to do this, but I think that circumstantially this could be a very tough bit of court precedent to set in the US. Consider this totally legal (for me) scenario: I rip the Dark Knight DVD, and place it in Dropbox as a legal backup of my content. I share the link with nobody; it's just mine, all mine.

Dropbox, as we know, hashes the file and does not require that I upload it. Now, a bad file-sharing guy, called something like Jim DotCom does the same thing, uploads it to his Dropbox folder, and immediately shares the link out on forums everywhere, eventually generating a DMCA takedown notice.

Should Dropbox be required to take down my copy as well?

I see no hard and fast right way to implement what the DMCA might require if the Prosecutors are approved in their case: clearly if I hosted an infringing file, and linked to it from 10 public and open web pages on the same site, a notice at one of them could be reasonably expected to see all of them down.

Just as clearly, Dropbox should not take down my copy. Somewhere in the middle, with a range of possible infringing and non-infringing uses lay many, many files on many, many file-sharing sites.
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+Rob Lopes Good example of how Hollywood locks you in.
As a more vanilla example, I publish a hypothetical application, let's call it LabelWriter Extreme. My software is open source so I push it to Megaupload to offload some server costs. Nero sees my software (which is now quite popular, I must say) mistakes it for their own LabelWriter Pro and sends a DMCA notification - they may have just done it to screw me over - who knows.

Megaupload's method of taking down the link reported only, and not the hash, prevents me from potentially losing a ton of customers, and all the virality of my software's hosted link building campaign.

Ironically, Megaupload would probably be the first company to attest to having mistaken DMCA notifications sent against them (ie. their Mega Promo Video).
Josh Ag
Rob, That's only in the US though. There are countries where it is legal for you to make a private copy of your dvds. And we haven't even started talking about ripping CD's, which is legal in the US. What happens if you replace black knight with, say, Dark Side of the Moon? Now what is dropbox supposed to do if i have a personal copy that i ripped and uploaded with a hash that matches someone who is sharing his link with a bunch of people?
The last thing I needed to read. I'm already angry enough at this industry and this thought hasn't yet crossed my mind.
+Rob Lopes Bypassing encryption is not necessarily illegal. The DMCA distinguishes between circumventing access controls and circumventing rights controls. Circumventing rights controls is not illegal, but circumventing access controls is. Ripping the DVD is bypassing rights controls.
+Peter Hamilton I was just going to say this. I will also note that distributing circumvention tools is likely illegal here.
Wow, very interesting point.. legitimate file storage could become a target.. There needs to be legislation defining the difference between personal backup and file sharing - perhaps through monitoring of public links and counting/tracking their use.. THAT is what SOPA should be doing..

I think we as internet uses need to start drafting our own SOPA, one that protects copyright holders, while allowing us to share remixes with friends. One that allows cloud storage and keeps people from abusing that accessibility. Allows creator to profit, but doesn't hinder people discovering new ideas.
We need to seek examples of the most universally beneficial way of distributing and passing on content - hyperlinks to media are undervalued.

Instead of revelling in how much we dislike it or use it as an excuse to pirate and slander laws. we need to see that as long as people are investing their time creating there is a place for legislation to protect them.

Aside: It's also worth taking into account the origins of Patents and Copyright - A statement that allows you control over your own creation, for a limited time, in order to develop it. It was given to projects that would benefit communities. It wasn't for profit, but improvement.
+Adam Lewicki +Newton Smartt I am pretty sure dropbox dedup works across multiple accounts. Should be easy to test given two accounts and one file.

This blogpost references a now deleted (?) post on the dropbox forums:

'Dropbox tries to be very smart about minimizing the amount of bandwidth used. If we detect that a file you're trying to upload has already been uploaded to Dropbox, we don't make you upload it again. Similarly, if you make a change to a file that's already on Dropbox, you'll only have to upload the pieces of the file that changed.

This works across all data on Dropbox, not just your own account. There are no security implications [emphasis added] - your data is still kept logically separated and not affected by changes that other users make to their data.'
+Peter Vessenes: In that case, the odds of getting the exact same rip are very low no? But the question can still be asked for countries where downloading is fair use (but maybe the Dropbox ToS assumes you have to follow US laws anyway).
This whole thing seems weird. Why now? Why after wiki's protest? Why before official release of the SOPA? Im starting to believe in that theory I heard. Some say the reason why the FBI raided megaupload was, because of record labels wanting them to stop working on the MegaBox project. That project wanted to make a direct link to artists, which would also get 90% of the earnings compared to the 15 or so they getting at the moment because of the intermediaries.
+Rob Lopes and everybody else talking about DMCA preventing you from copying a DVD, this is no-longer the case. Every 3 years, the Library of Congress debates and determines what exemptions to the DMCA need to be made. They exempted copying DVD for non-infringing use in 2010 ( This is for DVDs only, not Blu-Ray or HD-DVD. Also, for the record, the way the entertainment industry abuses the DMCA should be evidence enough that we should not enact any legislation that they were involved in creating.
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