Megaupload down?

Forum organization and occasional community-building.
Forum rules
Questions about Ren'Py should go in the Ren'Py Questions and Announcements forum.
Message
Author
User avatar
Funnyguts
Veteran
Posts: 417
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2011 5:31 pm
Projects: That's the Way the Cookie Crumbles, Ibuki Magica
Organization: Twin Turtle Games
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#16 Post by Funnyguts » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:32 pm

^As was pointed out, quite a few people on this site uploaded their completely legal games to Megaupload. If you think all these sites are for illegal uploading, then apparently all sites that let you upload anything should be closed.
ImageImage Image
Petit Fours and Sushi: The best name for a Tumblog I could think of.
,%,..@@@,.Þ%,.@G,.@@,.% ...What? It makes sense to me.

User avatar
DrakeNavarone
Veteran
Posts: 338
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 2:27 am
Completed: see sig below
Projects: always; never not
Organization: Team BG
Location: PA, USA
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#17 Post by DrakeNavarone » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:34 pm

Looks like this did not go unpunished...

http://rt.com/usa/news/anonymous-doj-un ... -sopa-235/
http://www.twitter.com/drakeynv
The Compendium of Drake:
Starlit Sky ~ Songs of Araiah ~ Mirai Imouto ~ Temple Glen ~ Fuyu no Tabi

User avatar
jack_norton
Lemma-Class Veteran
Posts: 4036
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2008 5:41 pm
Completed: Too many! See my homepage
Projects: A lot! See www.winterwolves.com
Tumblr: winterwolvesgames
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#18 Post by jack_norton » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:38 pm

Funnyguts wrote:^As was pointed out, quite a few people on this site uploaded their completely legal games to Megaupload. If you think all these sites are for illegal uploading, then apparently all sites that let you upload anything should be closed.
All I say is that if those sites continue to ignore the laws and don't take any measures, they'll be likely closed down. I'm sure that if they only hosted A FEW illegal downloads, nobody would have cared. Doing an operation like that is expensive, and they don't do it "just for fun", but because they gathered lots of data over the years (wasn't so hard lol) that confirmed that the website didn't give a f*** about checking if what people were uploading was legal or not.
follow me on Image Image Image Image
computer games

User avatar
mugenjohncel
Hentai Poofter
Posts: 2117
Joined: Sat Feb 04, 2006 11:13 pm
Organization: Studio Mugenjohncel
Location: Philippines
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#19 Post by mugenjohncel » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:41 pm

jack_norton wrote:If they shut them down, honestly I don't care.
I do... and so are countless layman people like me who depend on them to pass large files "legally"... especially in my case where I have to toss back and forth large amounts of files to and from clients and to my fabricators and architects and most of the times they happen in a hurry and for business people like me... "time is money" and can't be bothered by the technicalities such as FTP transfers or dividing content via several emails and so forth... I also love the convenience of having a user friendly interface to accomplish such tasks...

"STAYS" (Not gonna go anywhere for now)

User avatar
PyTom
Ren'Py Creator
Posts: 15476
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 10:58 am
Completed: Moonlight Walks
Projects: Ren'Py
IRC Nick: renpytom
Github: renpytom
itch: renpytom
Location: Kings Park, NY
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#20 Post by PyTom » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:41 pm

jack_norton wrote:Really SOPA was bad and everything, but those sites alongside with rapidshare, mediafire, filesonic, and many others exist with ONE SINGLE PURPOSE, to share illegal stuff
That's something of an exaggeration.

For example, ADRIFT was hosted on megaupload. Someone posted a legal mirror of Katawa Shoujo. RSP was hosted there. So was Laws of Exponent, Rise and Fall, and the demo of K-ON! Alumni Tea Time. Those are in the first 3 of 15 pages you get when you search megaupload on the forum - and the first page and a half is all this thread.

In fact, I dare say that we just lost access to a lot of games with this. (We should try to find a way to fix that.)
Supporting creators since 2004
(When was the last time you backed up your game?)
"Do good work." - Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom
"Silly and fun things are important." - Elon Musk
Software > Drama • https://www.patreon.com/renpytom

User avatar
AxemRed
Veteran
Posts: 482
Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:10 am
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#21 Post by AxemRed » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:48 pm

jack_norton wrote:
Funnyguts wrote:^As was pointed out, quite a few people on this site uploaded their completely legal games to Megaupload. If you think all these sites are for illegal uploading, then apparently all sites that let you upload anything should be closed.
All I say is that if those sites continue to ignore the laws and don't take any measures, they'll be likely closed down. I'm sure that if they only hosted A FEW illegal downloads, nobody would have cared. Doing an operation like that is expensive, and they don't do it "just for fun", but because they gathered lots of data over the years (wasn't so hard lol) that confirmed that the website didn't give a f*** about checking if what people were uploading was legal or not.
They don't have to take 'measures', that's not the law. The DMCA protects them as long as they comply with valid takedown notices.

User avatar
LateWhiteRabbit
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:47 pm
Projects: The Space Between
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#22 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:52 pm

jack_norton wrote:
LateWhiteRabbit wrote: It wouldn't solve anything. Just like with Youtube, Megaupload may ban a user based on ID or IP address, but the real pirates will just make a new account using a proxy server that cycles IP addresses.
Well then a simple solution - not allow proxy adresses :)
Really SOPA was bad and everything, but those sites alongside with rapidshare, mediafire, filesonic, and many others exist with ONE SINGLE PURPOSE, to share illegal stuff (megaupload/megavideo in particular was famous for sharing movies). And they were making MONEY over that (by selling premium account and so on). If they shut them down, honestly I don't care.
Gear wrote:But why shut down the website to get a few illegal files?
If by "FEW" you mean thousands and thousands, then yes :)
You can't screen for proxy IP addresses. They don't look any different than a non-proxy address. Again, there are no simple solutions.

And saying those filesharing sites exist for one sole purpose is patently false. As has been said, many people use them to distribute their own games, corporations use them to send large files, others use them as an online storage vault for accessing files away from home, others use them to send files too large to be sent over email. I've been part of development teams that used similar sites to distribute assets and builds between team members.

I understand your personal feelings on these sites as they have been used to distribute pirated versions of your own games, but that is no reason to descend into hyperbole. They host thousands and thousands of illegal files, yes. They also host thousands and thousands of legal files. And as I have pointed out, there is no way for them to know the difference between the two most of the time. Maybe that file listed as AA100.rar is Arkham Asylum version 1.00, or maybe its an HD video collection of the family vacation someone is uploading for the extended family. Filesharing sites have no way of knowing unless someone says, "Hey, that file is a pirated game." Then they take the file down. What else do you expect them to do, Jack?

Like AxemRed said, they are complying with the law. And just for emphasis - they have no way of knowing if what people are uploading is legal or not. Megaupload staff would have to download and open and research copyright on what they found and then research who owned the IP that uploaded it, etc. etc. on every file uploaded. When that is thousands of files per day that is impossible to do.

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4053
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: something mysterious involving yuri, usually
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#23 Post by papillon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 7:55 pm

mugenjohncel wrote: I do... and so are countless layman people like me who depend on them to pass large files "legally"... especially in my case where I have to toss back and forth large amounts of files to and from clients and to my fabricators and architects and most of the times they happen in a hurry and for business people like me... "time is money" and can't be bothered by the technicalities such as FTP transfers or dividing content via several emails and so forth... I also love the convenience of having a user friendly interface to accomplish such tasks...
There are a number of similar services that exist for transferring large files between individuals which aren't used by pirates and are primarily used by business folk. There are reasons that they choose the ones they choose.

One of the key differences, of course, is that business people are willing to pay fees and be non-anonymous.
Maybe that file listed as AA100.rar is Arkham Asylum version 1.00, or maybe its an HD video collection of the family vacation someone is uploading for the extended family. Filesharing sites have no way of knowing unless someone says, "Hey, that file is a pirated game." Then they take the file down.
But other times the file is clearly labeled "ArkhamAsylumVersion1.4CrackedByTehHaxorz". As I said, they could, if they wished, try to design a system that better (but NOT perfectly) identified suspicious files. The indictment hints that they have that capability already and are misusing it. That may be a complete fabrication. I don't know.

User avatar
Spiky Caterpillar
Veteran
Posts: 252
Joined: Fri Nov 14, 2008 7:59 pm
Completed: Lots.
Projects: Black Closet
Organization: Slipshod
Location: Behind you.
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#24 Post by Spiky Caterpillar » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:07 pm

papillon wrote:
The problem's not so much the accounts as the files - it's not practical to stop a warezd00d from creating three dozen accounts, but it's technically trivial to take a SHA1 or MD5 hash of a file and block that file from being reuploaded regardless of the account used.
Which is why they put them in password encrypted rars to change the hash. Pirates aren't quite that stupid. :)
I'm pretty sure I've seen identical files reuploaded there. I'm not a hundred percent certain, but...
Some of the bits of the specific indictment are interesting because they suggest megaupload IS capable of identifying warezed content and hiding it from view of the toplists and the like in order to promote their image as a legit filesharing site. I have no idea if that's actually true or just a crazy theory made up by the governments, nor how it's being accomplished if it is true.
Hiding warez from toplists isn't necessarily a malicious act. If they have an algorythm which detects probable warez but isn't guaranteed accurate, it might make sense for them to avoid promoting the link while still giving the uploader the benefit of the doubt.

Hiding encrypted files from indexers is a logical act - an encrypted file is useless to anyone who doesn't know the password or have the time to brute-force it, and it's probable that anyone distributing an encrypted file would prefer it not be in the posession of half the globe.
They could apply some more sophisticated algorithms to detect "suspicious" content by name, source of inbound link, usage patterns, etc, and flag those for human review.
It's not uncommon for passworded fake warez to include nonencrypted files with instructions for obtaining the password (Usually by indirectly giving the uploader money in some way), and for real warez to include text files that brag about one or another site through which the file supposedly passed. Rar archives disclose the names of the files inside; there are probably other archive encryption weaknesses that can be exploited to detect suspicious files.
Nom nom nom nom nom LEAVES.

User avatar
LateWhiteRabbit
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:47 pm
Projects: The Space Between
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#25 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Thu Jan 19, 2012 8:25 pm

papillon wrote:
Maybe that file listed as AA100.rar is Arkham Asylum version 1.00, or maybe its an HD video collection of the family vacation someone is uploading for the extended family. Filesharing sites have no way of knowing unless someone says, "Hey, that file is a pirated game." Then they take the file down.
But other times the file is clearly labeled "ArkhamAsylumVersion1.4CrackedByTehHaxorz". As I said, they could, if they wished, try to design a system that better (but NOT perfectly) identified suspicious files. The indictment hints that they have that capability already and are misusing it. That may be a complete fabrication. I don't know.
Right now the information we are getting is from the Department of Justice and the MPAA, and there is a strong possibility the spokespeople for the Department of Justice are parroting what the MPAA is saying. I think we should take everything they say with a grain of salt at the moment.

It is true a system could be designed to check filenames, but how would it work? That example you listed would require the program to break down a continuous stream of characters into all possible words. What if instead of reading "Arkham" it read "Ark" and "ham"? Nothing to flag there! What about just keying in on certain words, like "cracked"? Seems plausible - except what about innocuous files flagged as pirated material because they were named "ThisCrackedMeUp" or "Cracked Vase", etc? Okay, what about we search for specific titles and common abbreviations for pirated material? Cool, so we have a list with Arkham Asylum flagged on it. Only now we have other problems - what about fan art labeled Arkham Asylum? Or photographs of the real life place called Arkham Asylum? And who decides what goes on this list? New copyrighted material comes out everyday. How often is the list updated? If uploaders use the common abbreviations, won't those get flagged in the middle of totally innocent words? Will anyone that posts a file labeled "WOW" get labeled a World of Warcraft pirate?

Now onto the big issue - pirates aren't stupid. If you design a system like what I just described and you happen to have sold your soul to the devil to make sure it works flawlessly, pirates are just going to stop naming files with the real title of the copyrighted material and stop using the word "cracked". They'll label files perfectly innocent things to sneak them in under the automated radar. Arkham Asylum will suddenly be "CrazyInNY.rar". Pirates link to these files from specific places - they are going to say, hey, this is Arkham Asylum and here is the password for the archive - and Megaupload will have no idea that CrazyInNY.rar is a pirated game.

There are no ways to flag suspicious files that don't harm legal filesharing either, and even if such a system is implemented it is easily circumvented. Megaupload had 50 million users a DAY. Could you design a better system for catching piracy on the site besides the one they had? Flagging suspicious files for human review is all well and good, but when you get millions of new files everyday, it is impossible to put eyes on every flagged piece of content. Youtube hosts thousands and thousands of illegal files everyday too, and they have algorithms to detect pictures and music and still pirates find a way to circumvent it by squashing videos or flipping them, or putting a pause on the music for a few seconds, etc. etc. All Youtube can do is yank the files when they discover them, the same thing Megaupload was doing, yet I don't see the Department of Justice arresting Google executives.

User avatar
papillon
Arbiter of the Internets
Posts: 4053
Joined: Tue Aug 26, 2003 4:37 am
Completed: lots; see website!
Projects: something mysterious involving yuri, usually
Organization: Hanako Games
Tumblr: hanakogames
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#26 Post by papillon » Thu Jan 19, 2012 9:04 pm

I have neither the expectation nor the desire to squash every bit of illegal file-sharing. I'm just saying, sites CAN make it harder for pirates IF that is their desire.

Of course it will be worked around! And popular workarounds can be easily caught if they are in fact popular and someone is trying to be on the lookout for them. If the end result is a more fractionalised system that is more complicated for pirates to deal with, then it's a win for me. Even just having made-up filenames could be a win, because a lot of the recurrent posters on warezblogs I've seen demanding that people give them free stuff are not very bright and would be totally confused by files not having the right names. :)

User avatar
LateWhiteRabbit
Eileen-Class Veteran
Posts: 1852
Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:47 pm
Projects: The Space Between
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#27 Post by LateWhiteRabbit » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:13 pm

papillon wrote:I have neither the expectation nor the desire to squash every bit of illegal file-sharing. I'm just saying, sites CAN make it harder for pirates IF that is their desire.

Of course it will be worked around! And popular workarounds can be easily caught if they are in fact popular and someone is trying to be on the lookout for them. If the end result is a more fractionalised system that is more complicated for pirates to deal with, then it's a win for me. Even just having made-up filenames could be a win, because a lot of the recurrent posters on warezblogs I've seen demanding that people give them free stuff are not very bright and would be totally confused by files not having the right names. :)
I guess. The main place I'm coming from on this is that filesharing sites can't be expected to stop all illegal use of their business, anymore than a bank can keep money made from illegal means from ending up in their vaults. You can catch some, but not all. The main argument here is what constitutes criminal activity on the part of the filesharing sites.

The Post Office is the best analogy I can think of. Letters and packages can be sent by anyone without proof of their identity. While the Post Office has legitimate uses, it is also used by criminals to transport and move illegal contraband across state lines. Unless something is overtly suspicious about the package or letter, however, it is impossible to distinguish between mail that is illegal and mail that is legal. Indeed, illegal pornography used to be distributed this way, and drugs still are. The Post Office cannot open and screen every letter and package, but their business enables criminals to conduct theirs. Does that make the Post Office "criminal operators" with the "malicious intent" to distribute illegal items (to use the RIAA's words for Megaupload)?

Now think about Megaupload - they handle 1000x the volume of the Post Office everyday with 1000x fewer employees. How can anyone expect them to be responsible when their service is used for illegal means when they already remove illegal content when they find it? People can say, "But the illegal file was up for days after I contacted them!" Well, Megaupload gets millions of files a day. That takes time to work through backlogs. The point is they still remove the content, unlike sites like Pirate Bay that will publish your request and laugh at you instead of taking action.

I guess illegal activity can almost always be stopped, but it depends on how draconian a world you wish to live in. Stores could prevent all theft if they frisked and scanned customers before they entered and left, but it would be an awful experience. All illegal online activity could be stopped if you were assigned a permanent IP address at birth and required to scan your identification card before accessing each site or making a post. Maybe. But I suspect not. In the mean time all unpopular thoughts would be censored by governments, political dissidents identified and spirited away, people fired from jobs for behavior online, etc. I know it is all a bit of strawman argument I'm making here, but a world where the Internet is heavily regulated is a world where thoughts are regulated.

To paraphrase an old expression: "If a man can invent the best defense in the world, another man can invent a means to defeat it." I just think we would be better served developing business models that assume piracy rather than fighting against it with ever bigger defenses. Arms races inevitably end with everyone getting blown up.

User avatar
SleepKirby
Veteran
Posts: 255
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 10:02 pm
Projects: Eastern Starlight Romance, Touhou Mecha
Organization: Dai-Sukima Dan
Location: California, USA
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#28 Post by SleepKirby » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:28 pm

I've used Megaupload for uploading a demo of one of the freeware games I'm working on, Eastern Starlight Romance. We do have a website, but I had to transfer the game files to our webmaster first before he could upload the game on our site. I uploaded our game to Megaupload so our webmaster could get it. Our game demo was over 200 MB, or whatever the Mediafire single-file limit was at the time, so I used Megaupload because it had a much larger filesize cap (like 1 GB).

But the point is, if Megaupload gets taken down, then other file sharing services like Mediafire, Rapidshare, and Dropbox could easily be taken down as well - unless there's solid evidence that Megaupload is particularly poor at monitoring illegal files (which, I imagine, would be difficult to prove; see the link Funnyguts posted about Megaupload's volume of corporate filesharing). If all of these sites get taken down, the Internet would lose an extremely valuable service altogether, and filesharing will have to be done through self-run websites and emails, which have much stricter bandwidth and filesize limits. Independent game makers are certainly among the main (legitimate) groups that will suffer from this.

Not to mention that those who are currently using these services within the law will have to spend many hours cleaning up the mess made and re-uploading their files to whatever options are left. Many will not even have the time or energy to re-upload and change links, or the original uploaders may be difficult to contact. This is what the Ren'Py community is at risk of right now: losing valuable and legitimate downloads.

I'm a former intern and current volunteer in a coral reef research group at my university; they use Dropbox a lot for sharing research related documents and images. It would be strange to have a group like that disrupted by the FBI... is it all really worth it? And will taking down these sites even slow down piracy appreciably, seeing how determined pirates will merely find another way to pirate and upload files?

User avatar
LVUER
King of Lolies
Posts: 4538
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2007 9:57 pm
Completed: R.S.P
Location: Bandung, West Java, Indonesia
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#29 Post by LVUER » Thu Jan 19, 2012 10:56 pm

From what I know, Megaupload is less-strict about illegal files. Perhaps because of this Megaupload is taken down. I just hope it's not forever and Megaupload will up and running again ASAP or at least after the case is over. Many people depends on Megaupload.
"Double the princesses, quadruple the fun!" - Haken Browning (SRW-OG Endless Frontier)

DeviantArt Account
MoeToMecha Blog (under construction)
Lolicondria Blog (under construction) <- NSFW

dott.Piergiorgio
Veteran
Posts: 345
Joined: Sun May 18, 2008 1:52 pm
Contact:

Re: Megaupload down?

#30 Post by dott.Piergiorgio » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:29 pm

sorry for this confused post, but after a long night watching live the anon rampage (rather impressive, if one think that is an impromptu reaction without advance planning & preparation) I'm rather tired & exhausted, but that the ill-timing of the MU crackdown is definitively a massive mistake in my mil historian & political scientist mindset; stirring the anti-IP abuses (real or perceived) passions in that manner is akin to "awakening a giant with a terrible resolve"....

OK I suspect that I'll write after a good night's sleep, but I for sure agree that this MPAA/RIAA/DoJ action is damaging to small IP business, and I add that MPAA & RIAA are much more friendly to very large or huge businesses than tiny and small businesses (@Jack, in other words, they're not much different from SIAE, you can explain (or rectify, if I'm wrong...) to the others ?

G' night to everyone and

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgio.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users