Saturday, January 28, 2012

Human Demonology: The Megapocalypse of Kim DotCom

By P. Emerson Williams
An operation planned by a large international team of law enforcement working over the course of years and carried out with helicopters and machine guns in a military style raid. Taking refuge in a safe room, reportedly found "near a semi-automatic shotgun", a larger than life villain is dragged out and taken into custody. No, the target is not a drug kingpin, nor a deposed dictator (hence the safe room - sewage drains are reserved final hiding places for deposed dictators and jihadist masterminds), not a banker responsible for tearing the world economy apart, nor a corrupt Western politician on the leash of said bankers.

Much hay has been made of Kim Dotcom's expansive mansion, expensive toys and cheesy movie villain antics. For those wondering why Megaupload was the target this fact alone should make it clear. They needed someone who would not invoke sympathy, and in this respect, they chose well. A huge congratulations to our owners for selecting and directing a story in a manner that would qualify them to take the raw footage shot for a reality TV show and create a narrative. If spying on citizens and enforcing laws not yet passed loses its luster, they should have no problem getting a job with Wife Swap or Deadliest Catch. (I had to resort to google for show titles...)

Here's a nice, concise way to weave a yarn:
  • One Maserati
  • One Rolls-Royce
  • One Lamborghini
  • Three Samsung 83" Tvs
  • Two Sharp 108" Tvs
  • One "Predator statue" 
  • 60 Dell servers
An unspecified number of:
  • Motor bikes
  • Jet skis
  • Artwork 
The takedown of megaupload is framed in the mold of major drug busts to which we have become used when presented with such a laundry list. More ingeniusly, in a fresh new year following the annum of the birth of the Occupy movement, the preceding list brings to mind the lists of bonuses, net worth and ostentatious belongings of hedge fund managers and bank executives. Our master's meme-schemers had all of us in their thoughts in the planning stages. If this is all a coincidence, why would the presence of a full-size inflatable replica of a Russian T-72 tank on Goldfinger's, uh, I mean Mr. DotCom's property be relevant to the story? What does the widespread discussion of his license plates with "POLICE," "MAFIA," "V," "STONED," "CEO," "HACKER," GOOD," "EVIL," and "GUILTY" tell us about what the law enforcement side of the story wants us to think? Like Joseph Kennedy, DotCom amassed what to the great majority of us is a vast fortune (a $200 million company isn't enough to impress our owners) through insider trading, shady schemes and outright fraud before founding the "Mega Conspiracy".

That last one to my mind parallels Joe Kennedy's career in bootlegging during prohibition. Subsequent stages of the senior Kennedy's career nudged into legit business, perhaps with some excursions into the buying of elections for his sons and other extra-legal tactics. The history of money in business and politics is a tale of shifting legal landscapes that illustrates very well how little legality and morality have to do with each other. The colorful acts of the Kennedy patriarch remain fresh in the minds of some as the dominating spirit of the Kennedy legacy or is largely ignored, depending on which political pro wrestling team one roots for. Yea, verily, the entry from the underworld into financial royalty is a most dark and arcane art indeed!

Some users of Megaupload grow nervous reading that the FBI has a full list of downloaders and could be breaking down their doors at a moment's notice. Other users are aggrieved at the loss of files for which they have the full legal rights, the less forward looking of whom have lost the only copies they had. Independent media producers without the budget necessary to pay monthly fees for FTP hosting scramble for other ways to deliver large files to collaborators and partners. What would be reams of column inches in print is hammered out in fevered outrage or smug gloating. The glow of victory over SOPA and PIPA fades in the aftermath and ACTA passes without debate in several countries with nmore soon to fall. Leaping into the sinkhole of debate, accusation, dissent and conjecture around Megaupload is Projekt Records head Sam Rosenthal:
"You see, all those millions and millions of illegal files (music, films. p&rn, books) are not up there because of some utopian belief in open-source access to art. This isn't about paradise.This is about a new way to screw the artist. Those files are up there so people like Kim Dotcom can earn $50,000,000 a year. Let's be clear about that. 
It's using the "pipelines" to deliver our content without permission. What am I talking about? Back on December 16 (2011) Shea and I were scratching our heads wondering what incentivized people to upload the same Steve Roach album 10 times a day @ filesonic. Then we found the answer. Those sites pay users when people download illegal content. $50 for 1000 downloads! Read "Basis of indictment" at Wikipedia. "An incentivizing program was adopted encouraging the upload of 'popular' files in return for payments to successful uploaders." It is all about greed 
Follow the dots. Illegal content brings people to their sites. Those people don't want to wait 3 hours to download a movie, so they upgrade to the premium service and get the movie in 3 minutes. Ka-ching! More profit in the "locker" sites' pockets! The site wins, their incentivized uploader wins, the person illegaly downloading wins. Win-win-win! Who loses? We (the artists) lose! - Sam Rosenthal


I hope Mr. Rosenthal is being fairly compensated for all these articles he's writing for pro websites, so as not to undercut the rates of professional writers. Much of journalism is not delivered on paper or disc anymore. Pirates like Ariana Huffington are rewarding known scam artists like AOL for spreading content from all over the web, including copy & pasted chunk of articles paid for by other online entities next to ads from Citibank and youtube videos for which they pay no royalties. This isn't about paradise.This is about a new way to screw the writer and embattled newscaster and/or citizen journalist.

Digital Music News began a new rumor with their featurette called “What Really Killed MegaUpload? MegaBox, That’s What…” sparking a number of articles disputing the actuality of the Megabox service as a scam and a conspiracy theory. I actually began testing the service around June, 2010 - the time the US indictment states the MegaConspirators were informed about the charges that were to be brought. As an early beta user of Google Music, the Google service seemed to be comparable to the Mega service. I wouldn't argue that the Megabox service is the entire reason the Big Media paymasters sicced government goons on them. But...

According to one commenter on DMN:
This was widely known among hip-hop or rap artists as a way to make money off their work without signing to a label. i.e. Mega had plans to compete against the RIAA and it was gaining traction. I didn’t know this scene even existed. Dan Bull recently put out a song, video and there have been others complaining that this is stealing their method of income. The list is significant enough to realize there was potential.
There are thousands of download and streaming services out there, there are tons of sites that allow independent musicians to upload and sell their wares. Most make the majority of thier revenue from desperate would-be artists forking over fees for "premium" services, and any percentage of sales is just gravy. That Megabox artists would make money even when downloaded for free seems like an incredible claim. I can only guess that this would be a cut of premium memberships (of users, not artists) and revenue from their "free-premium" scheme and adsense advert replacer Megakey.

Video, graphics, printing, publishing and music/sound producers still need to transfer files too large for email. Teams of media producers are often spread across the coutry and even across continents these days, but the success of the current tack of copyright enforcement would make this possible only for teams with the kind of resources it would have taken pre-internet. Issues like this are all too often seen as collagteral damage from weaponized legislation, but make no mistake, this is pretty central to the purpose. If it becomes more difficult for a geographically scattered team to produce media, so does the usefulness of the tools that made the Arab Spring possible and Occupy and Anon-ops.

How many of the dictators taken down were longtime US allies and in bed with US corporations? What's the point of being part of the elite power structure if big events can sneak up on you? The public needs to be divided and disorganized, to be passive media and MegaFoodCorp consumers. In this conext note that ACTA does not just deal with distributing work under copyright without permission, but also covers among other things generic drugs and access to non-GMO seeds. The economic and violent enforcement of GMO seed patents is proving to be disastrous to third world farmers, and doubly so as GMO DNA finds its way into every species of food crops on the planet.

The international crime team followed the money to Kim DotCom's door. To find out about what wicked thing this way comes, the money has to be followed back from law enforcement through the law makers to the paymasters at the source. The 1st world copyright issues has been allowed to cloak schemes that have far more serious consequences than a few site admins locked up for a few years. Some sites are already blocking US ip addresses and we may see more of this. The ultimate consequence could be a US without access to information or entertainment that not produced outside US corporate control. We could lose the means of ascertaining the truth or falsehood of the infernal attributes of those who find themselves drawn into the narrative disseminated by the establishment's human-demonologists and have an even harder time finding out about what's being done to us and who is doing it.;content 

[Check out some of the books, albums, and soon movies produced by Mythos Media and our various media partners.]

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