Megaupload – Burning the Library of Alexandria

Yes it hosted a ton of content considered copyright infringing.

It also stored our collective culture of the last 2 DECADES.

Books, music, movies, games, art.  Petabytes of knowledge and data available to all, without restriction, bias or condition, available for rich and poor alike, the very vision of what a library should be.

The creative work of hundreds of thousands of individuals and groups, large and small…backed up and available for all to view and admire.

And now it’s gone.


Whether you agree with the actions taken against Megaupload that day or not, they’ve affected us all.  We lost something that day guys and we didn’t even realise it…

We lost our collective digital record.

Leave a comment



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

+ 4 = 7

Custom Search

11 Responses to Megaupload – Burning the Library of Alexandria

  1. Megaupload is lost but filesharing will always be around. New players will come up and be even better! Remember Kazaa? Winamp? Winshare? BBS? Humans will always need to share their “culture” as you say. Viva la revolution!.

  2. James – What gives you the right to steal something I spend so long to make? Do you think everything should be free? What if no one pays you to do your job would you continue? No you won’t.

    If we all steal everything then nothing will be produced and we keep watching Hollywood shit. Megaupload was for stealing movies. That is all it was for and the FBI was right to shut it down.

    • I agree with both points. Yes, Megaupload hosted lots of illegal files, but it was also a backup of culture as stated in the article.

      @Sarah – Should we close down libraries too? What about people too poor to buy your work, should they be exluded from modern culture?

      It’s a selfish attitude either way. Steal and you are selfish, protect and you are selfish. Is a non-selfish method of copyright restriction even possible?.

  3. @Sarah “What gives you the right to steal something I spend so long to make?”
    FTR You certainly don’t have a god given right to make money – the world owes you nothing (unless you believe in communism). However, if you have an opportunity to earn a reward for your efforts, then no one has a problem with that. The problem is that Big Media demand we choose their products when other alternatives are available. Although they buy the politicians, its like Prohibition in reverse, and we all know how successful that was.

    And BTW copying is no more theft than you stealing from taxi drivers by choosing to use your car instead of their service.

    • Interesting comment with the taxi drivers comparison James, never heard that one before! Wouldn’t that only be valid if you were making your own films and the MPAA were to say you could ONLY watch their movies?.

  4. You don’t need a million books to have a nice community library. You only need a few thousand good books, and that is plenty for regular people to come in and browse and read and enjoy for the rest of their lives. Have lots of good children’s books in there to read. That’s enough.
    Who want a million copies of everything that ever was written? Most of it is shit anyway. Likewise for movies. The good ones will be bought and kept by people who like them. They can be given to community libraries.
    Just my opinion.

  5. I have mixed feelings over this one. My problems stem from the fact that these copyright holders achieve their wealth by special privilege, special government enforcement of copyright down to minutia, etc. That adds up to just corporate fascism, what some call crony capitalism or even corporate welfare. There are numerous examples: Microsoft wants to severely enforce their copyright and pursue lawsuits against those who sell illegal copies of Windows. Sounds good. Yet, in reality all of their wealth is based on illegal activities by their great founder, bilge. [It’s extremely well known in the industry, and there was a private settlement for part of it known as the caldera case.] Thus, philosophically speaking, I don’t feel obligated to respect their copyright, since it is the fruits of labor paid for with ill-gotten gains in the first place. [He and his company should be prosecuted under the RICO act because it is all money-laundering. Yes, I know it’s hard to prove sufficiently in a court of law, but it’s still true.] And in the RIAA-related cases, they are attempting to prosecute in many cases children with concocted claims of financial loss that are preposterous. Again, this all smells like corporate fascism. And all of this is a slippery slope anyway: If I get superior digital quality satellite TV sound and record it and give away copies I don’t sell, am I not any different from being a salesman as is MTV or VH-1 for them? Airplay is advertising. When my friend buys an original copy from them, am I not their unpaid salesman. How are they losing money if my friend never had any intention of buying it, and would just ignore it if I didn’t provide it to him? They would have you believe that all who got indirectly from me said copy represents absolutely lost sales 100% as opposed to just letting people have big digital collections of stuff they would never accumulate if they had to pay for them. I fail to see the loss here. But they want to claim that any opportunity to lose profit is a certainty rather than a gamble. The truth is that many are just not that motivated to purchase their crap, but will take it for nothing; not a cent was lost if this is the dominant form of apathetic audience, which I think is a sizeable piece of the reality while they claim it doesn’t exist at all.

    It would be interesting if there was a “shareware” model for downloadable music. Make it optional to pay for, yet make it mandatory to use a player that reports on-line actual listening statistics. Try-before-you-buy models would show they would have far fewer sales than they claim. Even make it free to download and it expire like some free-to-try software. Let them have to be shamed into admitting there were few takers after hearing it for awhile. Payola scandals came about because they needed airplay to sell their stuff arguably when it had potential. Now, crap is over-promoted by mediocre and worse artists, they waste production money on no-talent boring artists, and yet they want every penny to cover their inefficiency. There is something wrong here and that is they should be failing and going out of business to be replaced by leaner and meaner companies with talented artists’ material to sell with a more forgiving attitude. If you are a band, go form your own website and give away 98% of your work for free. You still get your 2 percent cut of the gross, just that there isn’t a wasteful record company to keep what is left of the 98% after they waste that.

  6. You might find this an interesting read.

  7. Pingback: Links | Hobbits, Home and Abroad

  8. Pingback: EFF Launches MegaRetrieval To Help Users Save Their Megaupload Data - Forbes

  9. Wasn’t the point of part of the origin of the Internet to have a completely decentralized network and mostly redundant? Sure, Megaupload had a ton of data and certainly some unique data, but isn’t lamenting and poo-pooing over Megaupload’s loss to our “digital record” a sign that we need to become MORE decntralized, MORE redundant, and LESS reliant on a single way to store our digital record? It could certainly be the catylist of something better than Megaupload could ever be (especially with Kim Dotcom at the helm).

    Megaupload housed a buch of data legal or not, but it was no Alexandria. Not in the least. The burning of Alexandria set back human intellectual evolution for centuries. Megaupload will be a blip on the radar, a big blip sure, but a blip nonetheless.