We should be celebrating the arrests in the MegaUpload case. They show that large-scale copyright infringement can be investigated and acted upon under existing laws and treaties. They show that even without SOPA and such draconian laws, copyright holders can seek remedy.
Note: I say we should celebrate the arrests. I question the seizing of domain names (if this has indeed happened), and we should definitely watch the ensuing actions and investigation with interest. Will we see extradition? Under what laws? Will MegaUpload be found to be infringing, even if they have attempted to comply with DMCA laws? Some say they were lax at best.
I don’t know the answers to any of this, but I’m excited to see the developments.
Knee-jerk reaction against the arrests is unwarranted. We have to assume that due process has been followed, with USA authorities notifying local police of the charges and their severity (my understanding is anything resulting in a sentence of at least 12 months is grounds for extradition).
Of course if it turns out NZ police acted with favouritism toward USA authorities, then we should be vocally angry.
Until then, we should be happy that copyright holders are using the laws already available to them, and we should push back against further changes, using examples like MegaUpload to show why new laws are not required.
We should also use this example to heap further pressure on copyright holders to provide us with better ways to obtain their content legally. Sites like MegaUpload and IceFilms.info would be less likely to exist if users like myself could obtain current TV and movies, DRM-free, when we want it.