American Prosecutors Censor ZeroPaid Reporter!

While over one hundred thousand websites and millions of people were taking a stand against a potential American censorship by copyright regime thanks to SOPA and PIPA, ZeroPaid’s very own Drew Wilson, for the first time, has officially become a victim of censorship by copyright.

Note: This is an article I wrote that was published elsewhere first. It has been republished here for archival purposes

The BBC is reporting that one-click hoster MegaUpload was shut down over piracy accusations. From the report:

Federal prosecutors have accused it of costing copyright holders more than $500m (£320m) in lost revenue. The firm says it was diligent in responding to complaints about pirated material.

Investigators denied a link to recent protests against proposed piracy laws, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The US Justice Department said that Megaupload’s two co-founders Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and Mathias Ortmann were arrested in Auckland, New Zealand along with two other employees of the business at the request of US officials. It added that three other defendants were still at large.

“This action is among the largest criminal copyright cases ever brought by the United States and directly targets the misuse of a public content storage and distribution site to commit and facilitate intellectual property crime,” said a statement posted on its website.

Back in 2010, when authorities and the content industries were trying to cut off payment processes to MegaUpload, MegaUpload spoke to ZeroPaid, saying in response to being called a rogue website, “Megaupload is a legitimate business operating within the boundaries of the law. In five years of operation we have not been sued by a single content owner. If the RIAA or MPAA would have legal grounds they would have taken us to court by now. We suggest that they attack us within the legal system and stop labeling us until they have something to show.”

That apparently doesn’t seem to matter much at this point with the owners of the site being arrested and the website forced offline. The question is, where does that leave MegaUpload’s users?

I, for one, have used MegaUpload to spread my music around. Under my DJ name, DJ Frozen IceCube, I’ve used the site on numerous occasions to allow access to my own personal music I’ve made. Examples of this include my tracks Kinda Distracted, Phantoms of London and Constructing Light. All of these tracks and more were posted to MegaUpload – a site now shut down by American prosecutors.

For years, I have been following cases of censorship by copyright. I’ve advocated that copyright abuses are a major problem that shouldn’t be ignored. Now, as of today, I am officially a victim of censorship by copyright. While I can easily find other one-click hosters to host my music, that does not fix the underlying issue I now have with American authorities. American authorities, plain and simple, are censoring artists who have legally produced and uploaded their music for free for others to listen to. This action is blatantly anti-competitive in that if I independently upload my music, I am under the threat of having my music censored under the guise of copyright infringement.

Make no mistake, I am far from the first victim and I certainly will not be the last. The content industry will not stop censoring legitimate free speech until the competition is strangled and destroyed and only they have the exclusive power to decide who can reach an audience and who can not. To add insult to injury, they will use government resources, and therefore, taxpayers money, to push their anti-competitive agenda.

I am Drew Wilson, I am a reporter and music producer, and I am now officially a victim of America’s censorship by copyright tactics.

Drew Wilson on Twitter: @icecube85 and Google+.

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