So unless you’re some kind of millionaire or retard (or you’re bizarrely more into BitTorrent) then you probably will have noticed over the past week or so that whenever you’ve been trying to stream that next episode of American Horror Story or download that new Menzingers record that the filesharing site you probably enjoyed the most (after mediafire or course) was no longer in existence. In case you missed why, the government pretty much shut it down.
Now, the charges given for the arrests of four of megaupload’s founders (who each face 55 years in prison) and the seizure of 18 domain names and several servers worth over $50million were the following: racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, as well as a couple of other charges related to copyright infringement. The Justice Department and FBI are calling it ‘the largest criminal copyright case in United States history!’ which gives you some idea of how monumental this episode could be in the future of the internet/world.
Pretty big that is! At first glance it seems pretty obvious that eventually some of the dickheads in charge would get their act together and stop us from streaming stuff from free on the internet. I mean, they’re always trying to spoil our fun so why not over this? Megaupload had a pretty good ride, we can all switch over to Videozer or Divxden or something now and wait for that to get shut down. It’s pretty much the same as when Napster got shut down so you switched to Kazaa or WinMX or whatever before BitTorrent and mediafire came out. There will always be a way to get this content free, it just might take a bit longer now. Hell, Netflix is only 6 pounds a month at the moment, which isn’t exactly breaking the bank compared with Sky/A Tv/A Tv Licence.
But anyway I digress, this isn’t the point of this article. Although it may seem like Hollywood and the suits had had enough of all this free content lying around on the internet, and while this is certainly a part of the reason that Megaupload is sadly no longer with us (it’s even sadder because it means hilariously catchy and stupid Megaupload adverts will no longer be produced), most people seem to have missed the fact that Megaupload had announced in December that it was set to unveil Megabox in 2012.
What the hell is Megabox right? Good question. It was set to be a digital music store that was going to be entirely cloud based (don’t really know what that means but it sounds technical and cool) and would offer the artist a better deal than any other similar DIY distribution store or record deal. Even a MAJOR label deal, as Megabox was looking to pay the artist up to 90% of their earnings. To put this in context with other record deals – and critically how much the labels and suits would be losing if Megabox got off the blocks – a typical record label would give the artist around 5% of the profits if they were lucky. That’s A LOT of potential lost revenue if Megabox got set up.
On top of this, Megabox also sought to pay the artist for any music that was downloaded for free. Kim ‘Dotcom’ Schmitz explains: ‘We have a solution called the Megakey that will allow artists to earn income from users who download music for free. Yes that’s right, we will pay artists even for free downloads. The Megakey business model has been tested with over a million users and it works.’
So essentially, assuming all this was true, Megabox could have put all record labels out of business. They already apparently had several deals with big (unnamed) name artists ready to announce over 2012 because many of these artists were ‘fed up with outdated business models’ that they felt exploited their talent.
So, it seems logical that with Megabox on the horizon that those damn suits in Hollywood would pressure the U.S. government do something about Megaupload. And about three weeks after the announcement of Megabox, Megaupload is just a memory. Coincidence? We can’t be sure but I wouldn’t bet against it. What do you think? Was it just Megaupload’s time or was the announcement of Megabox the catalyst? Let us know. Or if you have any other info hit us up with that too.
For more information on Megabox, check out the press release HERE.