Now, back in the day when the legal system still used due process — formal charges, trials, defense attorneys, arguments, objections, judges, juries (you know, the stuff they do on Law and Order) — we might have expected a court presentation with the details on exactly how and when these companies broke the law. And then we’d hear and evaluate the counterarguments from the accused. But today, we learn of the accusations from Paramount Pictures’ vice president of worldwide content protection speaking at a Columbia University copyright conference. The evidence is the infographic at the right. As you can clearly see, the red circle with the diagonal slash proves that these 5 “rogue cyberlockers” are in the same category as MegaUpload, which we already know is guilty because…well, just because. And look at how guilty they are: 41 billion illegal page views per year! (Yes, they left out the “illegal” part, but that’s probably just a typo, and a minor detail in any event.)
In our post-due process world, these legal disputes take place in the Court of CNet, which is where defendant MediaFire made the opening statement of their case:
MediaFire is not operated by an outlaw gang; we are in fact a group of reputable entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds who have a history of building innovative and valuable websites and technologies. Over the last several years, we have been focused on releasing numerous updates to MediaFire’s professional and business services. For example, just in the last month we launched our document viewing system and rebuilt our image system – not the kind of features that incentivize illegal activity.
Without an infographic of their own, it’s hard to see how MediaFire can prevail, but perhaps they’ll produce one at a later stage of the proceedings. Or perhaps true due process will re-emerge at some point and we’ll have an actual trial in a real court.
Or, perhaps, as Kim Dotcom and MegaUpload have learned about the rabbit hole we’ve entered, the Queen of Hearts had it exactly right: “Sentence first – verdict afterwards.”