Posted by: Kai_LeRai | January 20, 2012

Megaupload takedown affecting forum downloads

Due to yesterday’s shutdown of Megaupload.com practically all forum downloads are dead for now. I solely used that cyber locker due to its reliability. So far, there have been attempts to restart the service on new domains that hadn’t been seized during the raid. It remains to be seen if those attempts actually work out and if file downloads will be available again. According to Megaupload’s own claims, each file was mirrored on several servers all over the world to increase reliability in case of a server break down. Since it looks like only the servers in the United States have been confiscated, the files might still be available on other servers. However, different news reports also claim that the FBI worked also with other jurisdictions world wide to shut the site down, not just New Zealand. In any case, keep an eye out on http://www.megaupload.au.tc and http://www.megauploads.altervista.org.

Fun side fact: The mirror sites still claim a 100% uptime of the site. Also, they seem to have doubled the upload size for free users (2GB, formerly 1GB). The fact that there are ads on the site makes me believe that this is just a weak attempt to cash in on the current attention. How long does it take to upload the page frontend to another host and let the remaining servers do the work? Certainly less time than they needed to mock up this “replacement”.

I have doubts that the files are all lost, since Megaupload was also used to store personal and thus legal files. Once the trial is over, I assume those personal files will have to be returned or made available again, but this could take years. As for my stuff, my Dreamcast rips and PC game releases have spread to quite a few forums and torrent sites. You can find them easily by searching for the title and my name. I don’t plan on re-uploading any games, so don’t ask. My programs weren’t hosted on Megaupload and thus are still available.

On a personal note, I enjoy seeing this low life hack Kim Schmitz aka Kim Dotcom (really?) behind bars. For those of you, who aren’t aware of what a crook this guy is, here’s tiny overview over his “career”:

He started out as a wannabe hacker in the early 90s, but in fact only managed to find some good-hearted (=foolish), yet capable hackers to supply him with vital information. He used this access to underground information to make a profit whenever possible, for example he showed the back then great “blue box” exploit of the telephone network that let you phone for free on public television. Until then, the phone company (there was only one in Germany at that time), was ignorant towards the stuff that happened there. But after his little show off on television, they quickly shut the loopholes, killing the fun for everyone…

He then tried to make money otherwise by running a BBS (bulletin board system) and paid people with stolen calling cards to upload warez. He also worked together with the infamous lawyer Freiherr von Gravenreuth, who was the first to send out cease and desist letters for copyright infringement in Germany at that time. Schmitz logged the traffic of his BBS and sent the logs to Gravenreuth, who then cashed in on the victims big time, granting a share to “Kimble”…

It usually doesn’t get any lower, but when Gravenreuth stopped their partnership that didn’t stop that fat fuck from trying something else. When the new economy was reaching its apex, Schmitz tried to use that to his advantage by claiming that his newly founded company would invest in certain major websites that at that time were already on their way to bankruptcy and thus cashing in on reacting stock courses. In 2002, he was finally sentenced for insider trading and sentenced to jail and a 100,000 Euro fine. I thought the sad tale was finally over when he updated his blog from his jail cell and announced to commit suicide at a certain date. Needless to say that the date passed and nothing happened. It seemed that he had faded into obscurity, but in fact moved to New Zealand and started Megaupload. When in 2007 the German warez forum “Gulli.com” found out that Schmitz was behind Megaupload he offered them a nifty amount of cash to keep this information disclosed. They didn’t. Apparently Schmitz knew that any business tied to his name would fall under scrutiny sometime sooner or later…

By the way, in 2008 his former partner Gravenreuth was sentenced to 14 months of prison due to his practices and unlike Schmitz had the balls to commit suicide to save himself from tossing the salad in prison.

As much as it sucks to see my files gone, this is a small price to pay to see this asshole pay for the shit and suffering that he has brought upon the online world. Now that the American justice system is sticking it to him, this may finally be the end of Kim Schmitz. Finally.

Seeing that I had many discussions over the years with die hard customers of such sites, I would be hard pressed not to smile. How do you feel, now that you paid for the platinum lifetime membership? How do you like the fact that you just renewed your membership for a whole new year just to get nothing in return? Will you just move on to the next “service”, give away your parent’s money and hope that it will not end like this time?

Seriously, when will people realize that trying to make a profit out of warez is not going to work in the long run. Neither for those that cash in, nor for those that pay. Now there are 180 million (according to megaupload) headless chickens out there worrying that their personal account information may lead to further indictments. Let’s face it, if you’re stupid enough to pay for something others get for free, you don’t deserve any better. Period. However, it’s unlikely that the customers of Megaupload will ever be bothered by the justice system.

So all you bitgamers, demonoids, oneclickmoviez and warez-bbs out there that cash in for certain “advantages”, have donation requests that far exceed your costs or force your visitors through tons of ads, beware… May be I’ll write a follow up article on how much profit bitgamer and oneclickmoviez are raking in. You’d be surprised…


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