A few days ago the Recording Industry Association of America made an effort to force MasterCard to cut off payments to cyberlockers like MegaUpload. Now MegaUpload is responding on this news.
Things over blocking infringing websites are currently heating up between the MPAA, RIAA, and a number of sites accused of facilitating copyright violation. A few of those websites host large files, allowing people to download them as a side bonus of saving bandwidth costs for some companies. Meanwhile, some accuse such websites of duping consumers into paying for illegal content, and the RIAA is one of them, trying to force MasterCard to block payments to MegaUpload.
While the entertainment industry is claiming that payment system had come to them on its own will to cooperate, MegaUpload also made a statement in respond. There it wonders since when payment processors are making an effort to become the legislature of our time and decide what is right and what isn’t, instead of the elected governments. The hosting service representative pointed at the example of WikiLeaks as the beginning of new era, asking where it will end. In fact, consumers may end being unable to settle their broadband provider bill by MasterCard, because their carrier of choice may profit from copyright violation, which is literally nonsense.
MegaUpload admitted that it is watching the situation with interest, but since the major part of its revenue comes from advertising, the decision to cut them off payment systems would have a limited effect on its operations.
In fact, the US entertainment industry has yet to try to litigate the company, as it would indeed be hard, considering that MegaUpload has a copyright complaints system in place. Currently the service can boast more than 100 million registered users and more than 45 million daily visitors. Moreover, employees of around 70% of the world’s largest companies possess accounts with MegaUpload. This means that the site hosts more than a billion legal files, including documents, pictures and backups. In other words, the service is sure that if MasterCard decides to turn against it, it will be the payment system, not a hosting site that faces a problem.
Well, it will be quite interesting to watch the unfolding events in the forthcoming weeks should these tensions keep rising.