Pirates to the Left of Me, Feds to the Right

First let’s flashback to 2009 – Gilberto Sanchez, the 49-year-old New York man who uploaded a copy of Twentieth Century Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine to MegaUpload in March 2009, did so a full month before it hit theaters. Sanchez — was sentenced December 19, to a year in federal prison. Sanchez went on to promote the digital upload on other websites.

Personally, I think he should have gotten much more time.

Now, consider, for just a moment, what impact this single act had.

Hollywood is Not So Glamorous

If you’ve never been on a movie set during filming or observed what it takes to make a half-hour weekly sitcom, I can assure you, it’s not all glitz and glamour.

In 2002, I had the opportunity to attend a taping of Just Shoot Me staring David Spade, Laura San Giacomo, George Segal, Wendie Malick, and Enrico Colantoni

Going in, thought I’d be there a couple of hours; would see the glamour of Hollywood firsthand, leave and grab some lunch. Quite the contrary. What I encountered was hours, upon hours of take after take. NINE hours to be exact.

That day I developed a new level of respect for entertainers and what they go through to deliver their products to us week after week, film after film. I would imagine other forms of entertainment are somewhat similar, and not quite as glamorous as the world would think.

Who Does Piracy Really Hurt?

The next time you watch a movie or sitcom; the next time you pick up a music CD, take a few minutes to observe the credits. The names and businesses you see listed are the hardworking people who rely on the sales of that product to support their families. It’s not just the big named stars you see walking the Red Carpet, it’s the personal assistants, the gophers, the stagehands, set builders, and so many more who are paid a working wage we could more easily relate to. Take a quick look at the full cast and credits of Slumdog Millionaire, you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Pirating, as far as I’m concerned, can easily be compared to a single act of hacking the bank accounts and stealing the paychecks of all those responsible for developing the product that’s been illegally copied. While on the surface the act of copying and sharing may seem small; but under the surface the destruction spreads like a cancer.  This clown shared tips on how to get a MegaUpload and Rapidshare premium membership for free.

Ironically, he was telling how to pirate from the pirate. Funny, but it’s still not right.

I’ve not one ounce of respect or sympathy for MegaUpload founder Kim Schlitz (aka Kim Dotcom) – Anyone placing vanity plates on their ultra expensive, luxury cars that read: ‘MAFIA’, ‘HACKER’, ‘STONED’, ‘V’ (for Vendetta?), ‘KIM COM’, ‘CEO’ and ‘POLICE’ – well, to me that just oozes of “I know I’m up to no good.”

Protecting Copyrights & Trademarks – Whose Job is it Anyway?

I believe companies, brands and individuals have every right to protect their trademark, copyright and services. They also have every right to file suit against those who purposely, intentionally and willfully steal and distribute their protected materials.  I would think it’s FAR easier for the owner of a copyright or trademark.

Don’t we all get monthly bank statements? Isn’t it our place to make sure our accounts are in order and report stolen debit cards or unauthorized transactions? If companies are losing so much money to piracy – it seems it would be in their best interest to pay a handful of employees or freelancing Internet professionals to serve as gatekeepers or watchdogs to their brand. Kind of like monitoring a bank account.

Mass Internet Censorship

The recent uproar over SOPA and PIPA have captured the eyes and ears of people who hadn’t paid much attention to piracy and it’s impact, and likely wouldn’t have, had the anti-SOPA campaign not made such an “in your face” statement on Wednesday when the Internet went black.

By exposing the potential threats of sites like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter being shut down; the threat SOPA and PIPA posed was delivered to the front doorstep of all internet users. It became clear that every internet user, big and small, would somehow be affected by Internet Censorship. People listened; the world responded.

Piracy is a Problem Just Like Anything Else

Fact is, piracy is a problem. There are a few high profile websites that cater and pander piracy crimes. Those sites are making big waves, creating choppy waters the rest of us are left to deal with. However, I believe it’s the obligation of our government and the officials WE voted for to protect the voters first, not corporations, publishers, record labels, or brands.

More on the Takedown of MegaUpload

I’ve been caught up in reading the endless stream of news surrounding the MegaUpload takedown. I thought I’d save you time by sharing what I’ve found most interesting.

 

Megaupload.com Gets Hit by Mega Piracy Indictment; Hackers Attack Feds, Entertainment Industry

Downfall: Photos Of MegaUpload Founder’s Valuable Cars Getting Seized – Notice the giraffe’s shown in the second photo – toward the upper left. Seriously! smh

The Mega empire: Details of the MegaUpload indictment

Alleged Crimes: criminal copyright infringement and racketeering. The full indictment posted online.

Images and story behind renowned German hacker, playboy, Megavideo titan Kim Schlitz, a.k.a. Kimble, Kim Dotcom – known to the moral world as Sleaze ball Extraordinaire. Grab a barf-bag, you’ll want one handy.

More on the history of Kim Schlitz, previous crimes, and a lovely picture of his chubby face and middle finger to boot.

Got an opinion on MegaUpload? SOPA? Piracy? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear what you have to say.

About Gayla

2 Responses to “Pirates to the Left of Me, Feds to the Right”

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  1. Linette says:

    I do think something needs to be done about piracy, but I think SOPA and PIPA are both completely missing the mark! I don’t like the idea of giving the government (and big media) more censorship power.

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