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  #1  
Old 01-29-2012, 01:25 AM
banana boy banana boy is offline
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Default OT: Shocks in the cloud!

The last few weeks rocked my world ... how about you? Were you as shocked as I was?

I’m a big fan of the cloud. Always available, access from anywhere, low cost storage of content and critical back-ups means as much to me as a media production person as it does to the blue-chip or government CIO seeking that secure everything-from-anywhere utopia for his company’s workforce.

I use Soundcloud a lot, iCloud a bit, and Dropbox all the time. My accounting system is in the cloud. My web-site lives there. Everywhere I go, I advocate moving to this new data model. Why leave your data hanging around your local unmanaged drives when it could be in a multi-million dollar managed environment that addresses power availability (a real issue for us here at the bottom of Africa), a safe air-conditioned (even green) environment, regular multiple managed backups, physical and virtual security, transparent authorised access from any browser on any device, latest advances in database and server technologies and their licensing ... etc etc.

That’s why I was so shocked at what happened ten days ago to one of the world’s biggest discs in the sky: the 180m user mega-service Megaupload. Here’s just one of the stories on this, and here’s another from the BBC. Short version: The US FBI shut the service down overnight, confiscating $50m in servers and infrastructure across nine countries, arresting the management (in New zealand!) because some users had some pirate content on it.

OK, so maybe there was more ...

From the BBC story: “The charges included, conspiracies to commit racketeering, copyright infringement and money laundering”, and “... the accused had pursued a business model designed to promote the uploading of copyrighted works.” A statement said: “The conspirators allegedly paid users whom they specifically knew uploaded infringing content, and publicised their links to users throughout the world. By actively supporting the use of third-party linking sites to publicise infringing content, the conspirators did not need to publicise such content on the Megaupload site. Instead, the indictment alleges that the conspirators manipulated the perception of content available on their servers by not providing a public search function on the Megaupload site and by not including popular infringing content on the publicly available lists of top content downloaded by its users."

Ironically, this all happened a day after the site like Wikipedia and many others, had deliberately shut down for a day to protest SOPA.

This terrifies me!

It’s not that I advocate piracy - my business is music and sound for picture, and it’s not that I’m saying Megaupload was clean - they called the allegations “grotesquely overblown”. It’s just that the idea that the by-now essential cloud storage and sharing services upon which my business depends could be this fragile and vulnerable scares me to my bones.

Imagine somewhere in their petabytes of disc space, your on-line service provider actually hosts someone else’s pirated content on the same servers they so efficiently offer to you for your legitimate business needs. Imagine a government agency - maybe not even the one from your own country - decides to act on this fact. Imagine that without notice your essential service gets shut down, servers and storage get attached, never to be seen again and you are left with nothing but a broken link! What would that mean to your business?

So how should I back up? How should I store the stuff I need to access from everywhere? How should I ship large soundtracks or picture files I need to share with my clients? How should I revise my cloud affinity?

How should you?

(From my blog).
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:24 AM
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Hard disks are soooo cheap there's no good reason for not having a local archival system.

And there's no real legal and ethical basis for not permiting our governments to enforce the protection of intellectual property. Otherwise we won't be working for very long...
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:48 AM
banana boy banana boy is offline
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Good points. Just seems a shame that legit use of ubiquitous cloud storage appears to have become more risky than it seemed a few weeks ago ...
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Old 01-29-2012, 05:57 AM
PastaViking II PastaViking II is offline
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Default Re: OT: Shocks in the cloud!

Very well said. However, I've been very sceptical about the business model that Megaupload and similar sites have devised: to force people to pay for downloads and to give uploaders a small part of that income. It should be common sense to everyone that such a system only promotes piracy since few others can benefit from this arrangement. Sites like yousendit and dropbox will deliver files full-speed at uploaders expense and as such are unlikely to be affected by this War on Bytes that is taking place.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:29 AM
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Drew Mazurek Drew Mazurek is offline
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Default Re: OT: Shocks in the cloud!

Quote:
Originally Posted by banana boy View Post
Good points. Just seems a shame that legit use of ubiquitous cloud storage appears to have become more risky than it seemed a few weeks ago ...
It's dangerous to have sex with people you don't know, it's dangerous to walk in bad neighborhoods, it's dangerous to eat poorly for many years............... the world can be a dangerous place. And corporations do not give a rat's ass about individuals, they can't.

As noted, if you have the only copies of your data on the cloud, then sorry, that's just plain dumb and you deserve to loose it as a lesson. It'll never happen again after that!!!
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  #6  
Old 01-29-2012, 10:57 AM
Carl Kolchak Carl Kolchak is offline
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Default Re: Shocks in the cloud ...

In case you missed it, we had a discussion about SOPA here.

I had similar concerns to yours, but one of the really dangerous things about SOPA was that it could also shut down any website that linked to the offending host site / material in question.

This could potential have killed the DUC, as I and others have used Megaupload (among other services) to host session files for collaborations, or session templates for the benefit of other P.T. users.

No doubt there were many, many users who were legitimately hosting and linking their own material.

That material is now completely unavailable.

At the time that I chose Megaupload to host my files, it was simply one of many free storage sites that any other DUC member could access and share files on, the appealing thing was that it offered over a Gigabyte of free storage, which was very handy when collaborations would balloon in size.

There was no sense that Megaupload was exclusively the home of stolen copyrighted material - that was generally considered to be piratebay etc.

Torrents in general were not considered to necessarily be criminal. For example, Nine Inch Nails have officially released back catalogues of B-Sides, old songs, music video anthologies and several live performances on Blu-ray and DVD formats, completely for free via torrent.

I have a feeling Avid have even given me torrent links and recommended torrent software in order to download versions of P.T.

I have no doubt that other storage services like Dropsend, Dropbox, Yousendit, rapidshare, depositfiles, iCloud, Soundcloud, Gobbler etc have some "stolen" material hosted by their members.

Shutting such services down completely, is not the answer - though I suspect that Megaupload may have become the worst offender (especially if it was encouraging people to upload "popular" files in return for financial rewards) and that it will be made an example of, in an attempt to encourage other services to police themselves and their members very efficiently - or face ruination.

Though I'm still not quite sure how this was an issue for the FBI, rather than Interpol.

Whatever happened to the Federation Against Copyright Theft, and Simon Bates, right VHS fans?
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:24 PM
banana boy banana boy is offline
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So you guys are saying 'back up your cloud activity locally'? Kinda defeats a big part of the object of the cloud, doesn't it?

Heard several people say recently 'if your data doesn't exist in two places, it doesn't exist'. I had hoped the cloud was one place. Maybe not.

Bottom line - I will walk the cloud much more warily than before.

Thanks for the comments.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:27 PM
banana boy banana boy is offline
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Great response Carl and thanks for the SOPA talk link. I feel the same as you - I want a legit file transfer and storage service for genuine business use, but how can I be sure it's not tainted? I can't be sure. This is a real shame, and in my mind devalues the promise of a free Internet.
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  #9  
Old 01-30-2012, 12:31 PM
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Default Re: OT: Shocks in the cloud!

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundcontrol View Post
Hard disks are soooo cheap there's no good reason for not having a local archival system.

And there's no real legal and ethical basis for not permiting our governments to enforce the protection of intellectual property. Otherwise we won't be working for very long...
+1
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Old 01-30-2012, 02:25 PM
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Default Re: OT: Shocks in the cloud!

Quote:
Originally Posted by groundcontrol View Post
Hard disks are soooo cheap there's no good reason for not having a local archival system.
When I have a full disk, it gets cryogenically frozen. This really packs the bits in tighter and I really dig that close-bit sound.
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