While two Megaupload executives have been bailed out of jail in New Zealand on Internet piracy charges filed in the U.S., Sandvine has released figures on how the shutdown of Megaupload affected other networks worldwide.
Sandvine says with all the attention on Internet regulation, a number of competing sites have either decided to shut themselves down, or dramatically alter the way files are uploaded or downloaded from their servers.
For example, FileSonic has halted any new uploads and is only allowing users to download their personal files.
It’s common knowledge that no one likes two Internet piracy bills SOPA (the Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act), both of which have stalled in the legislature after a worldwide site blackout Jan. 18 and other public outcry.
But the Megaupload news illustrates a larger debate: if Internet pirates can be arrested anywhere in the world, do we need more government intervention á la SOPA and PIPA? I doubt it. The laws regarding copyright infringement are strong enough as they are. We can find and prosecute foreign thieves of American intellectual property. More government involvement can lead to worldwide censorship.
The impacts both of these bills are far-reaching for PR. Under these laws, millions of websites could be shut down first with little due process for site owners. And given how much PR uses social media and websites such as You Tube, the concern is valid.
Are you listening, Kim Dotcom?