The unprecedented “victory for democracy” web activists experienced once the SOPA/PIPA sponsors backed down just days after the unified web-wide action against them, has been diluted almost in the same breath by the equally unprecedented – and highly illegal – closure of Megaupload.
The site has been accused of piracy – an unproven, unsubstantiated allegation – and government agents acted swiftly and decisively, not only arbitrarily shutting the site down (which is exactly what SOPA was about), but also seizing its assets and putting it out of business.
No proof, no due process. And here I thought that the US Constitution guarantees that “no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law!“
And just in case you wondered, Megaupload no doubt hosted many copyrighted files. But so do the hundreds of other upload sites including YouTube, Viddler, Vimeo – and countless others. Just because some of your members are pirates doesn’t make YOU a pirate, does it?
And EVEN IF it could be proven that Megaupload did in fact deliberately infringe on copyrights (and it is highly unlikely to be possible to prove this), what ever happened to the LAW!
The web community should rally around this with as much – or MORE – force as it’s demonstrated during its SOPA/PIPA opposition. Otherwise, it’s all in vain, all just for show.
And do not judge Megaupload. Don’t presume guilt. Don’t write them off. Because you may be next. Large or small, if you let this slide, you WILL be next.
I’ll leave you with these immortal words by Martin Niemöller, from the time when the Nazis came to power in Germany.
“When the Nazis came for the communists, I remained silent; I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats, I remained silent; I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists, I did not speak out; I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for the Jews, I remained silent; I wasn’t a Jew.
When they came for me, there was no one left to speak out.”
Don’t let this criminal behavior stand.