Thursday, November 01, 2012

More on Megaupload: Government says that cloud data is not an individual's "property"


Cindy Cohn and Julie Samuels have a frightening op-ed on the Electronic Frontier Foundation site regarding the Justice Department’s behavior in the Megaupload prosecution, and its attempts to block Kyle 

Goodwin’s efforts to recover his data.  Goodwin, recall, was not accused of any counterfeiting or piracy, but the government still wanted to rife through his material to look for more possible excuses for additional prosecution or litigation against Megaupload customers or users.

It sounds as though the government is taking the position that any user of a service whose other users have committed crimes must share the guilt.  As I said with SOPA, it’s the “everybody gets detention” argument, well known from middle school days. It’s not just “know thy customer”, but “know thy neighbor”.  Time for Sunday School.

Worse, the DOJ is claiming that data stored in the “Cloud” is no longer one’s own “property”.  Would that mean that my Carbonite backups of my own private (unpublished) manuscripts (as I have many) are no longer my property, and maybe even the originals are no longer mine?  Could it mean that I no longer can claim intellectual property ownership of my posts on Blogger?  Of my music composition score on my own doaskdotell site?  Would that mean something to music composers (whether classical or rock)? 

The link for the EFF story is here   It’s scary.

It would be a good question as to which party would behave better on this matter.  Both Romney and Obama ought to be quizzed on how they would balance Internet free speech with piracy concerns.  No one seems to have asked them yet. 
    
The best video on Goodwin’s case seems to be in Spanish.  Hopefully, it’s close enough in language to make sense. YouTube does have a translate option.

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