Thinking about monopoly brings back fond memories of racing around the board in the classic monopoly racing car, trying to accumulate as much money, property and houses and hotels as fast as possible, a true dying breed capitalist consumerist. In the new Information Revolution the whole instant gratification thing has taken a completely new spin and the way that Informationists view Consumerists is probably the same as a century or two ago a a young Eskimo would have looked at an aging Eskimo that thinks there is a few years left before mounting the floating piece of ice destined for nowhere.
Anyway, I digress. Monopoly.
Is monopoly a bad thing? Are there benevolent monopolies (maybe Google?) Anyway, Megaupload was a file storing monopoly and the recent International crackdown by the United States of America (aka the USA) on the cartel that operated Megaupload, which received great publicity all over the world, is going to prove interesting when it goes to court. Megaupload was the largest file storage cloud application on the planet and had a monopoly in certain way as it stored millions of terrabytes of files at locations all over the world on thousands of servers.
Since the very public arrest of Kim Schmitz and detention without bail in New Zealand at the request of the USA government, many things have changed and technologically here are important lessons for all citizens of the word:
1. Megaupload and all its affiliate companies, associated companies and partners have completely closed shop directly due to the arrest of all the executives of the company. No court case, no trial, no long detracted case or any defense and many normal employees are left without jobs almost instantaneously.
2. Megaupload in itself probably did not break any USA laws, it removed copyrighted content when it was requested to do so. The court case and outcome thereof would be interesting to watch. The USA flexed its very huge muscles, New Zealand (and other coutries) jumped to attention and effected the closure of the largest file storage website in the world.
3. With huge multinationals all from the USA) fighting to be the largest cloud business, the business angle of the Megaupload closure should not be overlooked. Interesting to note that Fileserve and Filesonic as well as numerous other file serving websites have either closed shop, scaled down or have changed the way they operate. Also interesting is that the instant vacuum in that market was filled by hundreds of new startup companies, from Afganistan, Pakistan, China, Russia and every corner of the world. So where there were about ten largish players there are now thousands of small players and new entrants daily.
Torrents was basically killed by file sharing sites, similar to the web that killed usenet, I mean, yes, usenet is still operational and of course some people still have torrents, but they are not relevant any longer as the new technologies offer ease of use, speed and broader base support and money.
Now file sharing may have changed, it seems that the new method in which files would be shared is through the use of shared accounts, in this less public way of sharing it would mean that an account would have to be compromised and infiltrated before an infringement notice could be sent.
This will complicate the ongoing piracy battle and the next chapters in this interesting saga will be watched with great anticipation and excitement.
Just a last comment: It would be a better world if the content owners would offer online licensing for their content. (oh, no wait, that would mean that they cannot make 100000% profit margins any longer, silly me)
My definitions of Informationism (and Informationists):
1. The movement seeking to protect and inform people by requiring such practices as free and open standards, access to information or published methods to apply for certain information, the freedom of information as well as the protection of children and minors against certain types of information
2. The theory that a progressively greater consumption of information must result in cheaper information and an end to the extreme capitalism and exploitation by popular content in terms of similar revenue irrespective of popularity. The price of content should decline as popularity increases.
3. Attachment to information, the hoarding of Information in the hope that it would be accepted as digital currency.