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 megaupload.com/dark-knight-video-rip.iso
that MegaUpload WOULD in fact remove the link, but that they would NOT remove the file, or remove links at say, megaupload.com/dk-knight-dvd-rip_O_o.iso
, 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.