Sunday, January 22, 2012


"The US government dropped a nuclear bomb on "cyberlocker" site Megaupload today, seizing its domain names, grabbing $50 million in assets, and getting New Zealand police to arrest four of the site's key employees, including enigmatic founder Kim Dotcom. In a 72-page indictment unsealed in a Virginia federal court, prosecutors charged that the site earned more than $175 million since its founding in 2005, most of it based on copyright infringement."

"Then again, Megaupload's meteoric piracy blaze and Dotcom's obese materialism had been rolling for years. Why yesterday? We asked the DoJ's IP Task Force, and they haven't responded (yet). But CNET's Molly Wood has a conspiratorial-sounding theory that makes a hell of a lot of sense—and explains why that itch had grown so strong. It all came down to SOPA:

My sources tell me the timing of the Megaupload arrests was no accident. The federal government, they say, was spoiling for a fight after the apparent defeat of SOPA/PIPA and not a little humiliation at the hands of the Web. And what better way to bolster the cause for cyber-crackdown than by pointing to a massive display of cyber-terrorism at the hands of everyone's favorite Internet boogeyman: Anonymous?"

Colorado Senator Michael Bennet was a cosponser of S.968, the Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property (PROTECT IP) Act.  Recent events suggest he had a change of heart, as he said in a email to me:

"The PROTECT IP Act received unanimous support from the Senate Judiciary Committee. It now awaits consideration by the full Senate. I initially cosponsored S.968 after noting the support of business groups such as Microsoft and the National Association of Manufacturers, worker organizations such as the AFL-CIO, and law enforcement organizations such as the Fraternal Order of Police. But upon hearing the legitimate and understandable concerns of Coloradans that this legislation could have unintended consequences — such as chilling Internet commerce, potentially leading to excessive litigation and running the risk of causing unexpected logistical problems online — I determined that the wisest course of action was to push the Senate to pull back, return t o the drawing board, reconvene stakeholders and start afresh."

I replied back to him:

"Thank you for the reply. The recent incident involving Megaupload proves my point and emphasizes the flaw of your proposed legislation. Instead of working with Megaupload to remove the offending, protected copyrighted material, you've taken down the whole site, including all my personal items that I've uploaded to Megaupload. As a consequence of your sledgehammer strike, I've lost everything that I've been sharing with friends and family. And that's how your legislation will work: destroy something for the purpose of serving someone else's interests, regardless of the collateral damage. That's like a person going to the doctor for a splinter in their finger, only to leave in a coffin with the doctor exclaiming "Cured!" You have good intentions but we now see how your Frankenstein creation will be used to terrorize the countryside in the name securing someone's profit. Shame on you."

Late Friday night I stand outside the truck with a stiff wind blowing. First up was Nirvana, performing live at the Estadio José Amalfitani in Buenos Aires, Argentina on October 30, 1992. This is what Michael Azerrad who wrote "Come As You Are, The Story of Nirvana" said about this show:

On October 3, four years to the day after Kurt first smashed a guitar at a modest dorm party at Evergreen State college, the band played a nearly sold-out show at the fifty-thousand-seat Velez Sarsfield Stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina. They had hardly practiced, their enthusiasm was low, and they played badly. They had done it for the money and it showed. They vowed never to make the same mistake again.

Part of the agreement was that Nirvana could choose their opening act. They went with Calamity Jane, a virtually unknown all-female band from Portland, Oregon. The overwhelmingly male crowd hated them, From a seat in the highest tier at the far end of the stadium, Kurt watched in disgust as within a minute’s time, virtually the entire crowd was chanting “Puta madre!” at the band and throwing lighters, beer cans, dirt clods, coins and whatever else they could find onto the stage. “It was the largest display of sexism I’ve ever seen at once,” Kurt says.

Chris knew what Kurt was going to do and tried to calm him down. But Kurt was determined to sabotage the show. The first thing they played was an improvised jam, which deteriorated into a fifteen minute feedback fest from Kurt, with brief breaks when he would stop to glare at the crowd. Between songs, Kurt would tease the crowd by beginning to play “Teen Spirit” and then stopping. After a perfunctory set, they played a definitive version of “Endless, Nameless. “ It was so intense, “ Kurt says. “There was so much emotion in it and feedback was coming out of my guitar just perfectly. I was manipulating it better than I ever had. It was really a great experience. It was really fun.” They never did play “Teen Spirit.”

A great recording and the story behind it made it even more enjoyable. It was clear they were having fun on stage messing with the audience. Other things to note about this recording: for the first verse of "Come As You Are," Kurt just said "hey" over and over instead of singing the words; during "Polly," Dave played a toy drum kit; after "Polly," a fairly long, bass-driven jam was played.

This time like water
Summers flow by in the stream
To be washed away

A nation chooses
White haired old men with vision
Looking to the past

Tasked with a mission
His heart overrules the mind
That he can't complete

Download it here:

Late this same night I listened to Echo and the Bunnymen perform an excellent show at the London Royal Albert Hall on July 17, 1983, a second audience version of the show.  At their peak in terms of performance while they were still rising in their career as artists.

I made it back into the house well after midnight.  I always wonder when the neighbors are going to call the county sheriff on me.

Download it here:
SORRY!  The megaupload link is dead!

Saturday night, a very mild winter evening, was spent with Public Image Limited, their show at the Brooklyn Zoo in New York on January 29, 1983.  The audience seemed to be at a fever pitch and even though it was in the winter, John Lydon complained several times about the fact there was no air conditioning.  Towards the end of the show he asked the audience to take a couple steps backward, calling in the bouncers, delaying the end of the show until they complied.  Very good recording with a different set list.

Download it here:
SORRY!  The megaupload link is dead!


Anonymous said...

Could you please upload Echo & the bunnymen Royal Albert Hall, July 17th on mediafire or other server!
Thanks a million in advance

volcano man said...

John: There appears to be some trouble with my uploading to MediaFire, so I'm considering Rapidshare. Megaupload was so easy to use, sorry to see it gone. Unfortunately I've got other more important things to worry about at the moment so it may be a while before I get to it. Check back later.