The website MegaUpload has been yanked from the fabric of cyberspace and its owners have been arrested on a raft of charges, including copyright infringement, racketeering and money laundering.
How coincidental that this all happens at a time when the MPAA, RIAA and other "parties" are pushing so hard to have the SOPA and PIPA bills passed into law.
It's almost an "I told you so" move on their part -- isn't it?
Spokespersons for the MPAA and RIAA claim that MegaUpload was making around US$175 million per year from this site, while costing their members around $500m in lost revenues.
Hmmm... a stupid person would probably say "oh dear, how terrible!"
A smart person would probably say "clearly, given the financial success of MegaUpload, the MPAA/RIAA are simply pricing themselves out of the market".
Obviously, since MegaUpload's subscription revenues were significant, it's clear that people are willing to pay for the material they were accessing there. Given that, it's not so much about downloading stuff for free as it is about getting value for your money.
If the RIAA/MPAA really wanted to kill MegaUpload -- and any others that might seek to take their place, all they have to do is simply sell their members' products at a price the market finds acceptable -- rather than a price the studio execs would rather charge.
Obviously the studios presently have a huge disconnect from their consumers. They don't realise that digital technology and the internet have changed forever the premiums that could be charged for movies and music. No amount of legislation will change this.
The sooner the studios and publishers wake up to the fact that subscription is the revenue stream of the future the better for all concerned.
I suspect they will eventually wise-up, just as they eventually wised-up to the wonders of selling product via legal downloads.
But don't hold your breath -- they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer -- as the events of today clearly showed.