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Megaupload shut down by mega corporations

THE COLLAPSE of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the US congress might appear to be a victory for those who champion internet freedom.
But powerful supporters of the acts see it as a temporary setback and remain determined not to let it get in the way of forcing online industries to submit to IP rights.
Just as EMI and Universal sunk Napster at the turn of the century, so they are now trying to defend a moribund business model by taking court action against file sharing sites that allow people to transfer songs and movies without going through iTunes or Netflix.
While Google and Wikipedia crowed about the success of their blackout protest, the FBI leaned on the New Zealand government to arrest four people associated with the Megaupload website, which allowed people to view copyrighted material free.
Founder Kim Dotcom (real name Kim Schmitz) has been denied bail and is awaiting extradition to the US on charges of sharing copyrighted material without permission. He became a multi-millionaire through advertising revenue, so certainly did not set the site up from the goodness of his heart. But his arrest and site closure was all part of the battle to make sure that the mega corporations that run the entertainment industry retained their profits.
Megaupload claimed 1 billion users, and 4 per cent of global internet traffic. Now it is closed down after 70 riot police storm the home of Dotcom. The struggle over internet freedom shows how capitalism is acting as a brake on the full development of humanity’s creative forces.

The reason it was shut down
Under the capitalist system, knowledge, culture and information are tied to private owners, available only to those who can afford it. The internet represents the sharpest challenge to this control, allowing billions of people to access information and ideas previously available only to a privileged minority.
Internet freedom challenges capitalist ideas of IP rights. The growing movement to defend freedom of the internet is a reaction against the growing monopolisation of broadcast and print media, and against the growing interference of government censors under the guise of ‘national security’, ‘official secrets’ and ‘anti-terrorism’ laws. No wonder people have started to refer to ‘cyber-communism’.
The capitalist’s power rests on private property rights, allowing a tiny number of people to own the natural, technological and intellectual wealth of the planet.
Inevitably they exploit the reproduction and distribution of these resources for their own benefit, not the benefit of the people who extract, package and rely on these resources.
We need to support the movement in defence of internet freedom and give it a perspective of challenging the fundamental pillars of the capitalist system – if we are opposed to the 1 per cent profiteering from our entertainment, then we must even more oppose the ‘right’ of these few billionaires to profit from their monopoly control over the planet’s human and natural wealth which rightly belongs to all of us.
We want to put these resources under the democratic control of the majority who rely on them, whose democratic organisation is the only possible means of challenging and replacing capitalist exploitation with a better society.

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