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MPAA Hopes to Shatter Copyright Law with Megaupload Lawsuit

Blogging over at TechDirt, Mike Masnick gets right down to the point of the MPAA’s latest lawsuit against Megaupload – the company which they already destroyed via a bogus criminal case from the Department of Justice. The lawsuit, which attacks the basis of numerous perfectly reasonable activities for tons of cloud computing companies, may have extremely negative consequences felt broadly across the internet by seeking rulings which would require that tech start ups maintain expensive filtering technologies – placing the onus on service providers rather than rights holders.

The article argues:

You can argue that Megaupload was widely used for infringement. You can even argue that Megaupload management were awful people who didn’t care that much about copyright. But if you read this lawsuit objectively, you have to admit that it is a straight up attack on the basic principles of cloud computing and user-generated content, while seeking to change settled law and reinterpret the DMCA in a way the MPAA fantasizes it should be, rather than the way the law is today. That’s incredible dangerous.

It’s no surprise that they’re doing this against Megaupload, a company based halfway around the globe, with all its assets seized, and which is fighting a massive criminal complaint at the same time. That will, obviously, lead to limited resources to fight this civil suit, making it easier for the MPAA to sneak through dangerous changes to the law, via potential court rulings. These are changes that it’s been unable to get written into the law for the past few years, so now it’s using the courts to try to do its dirty work.

No matter what you think of Megaupload, this is a very dangerous lawsuit.

Hollywood’s determination to fight against the advance of technology is very, very worrying, and it’s time we did something about it.