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Oops, the FBI stole my files!

In case you’re not a regular here, over the years I’ve offered a variety of more or less large files on this site: a portable version of OpenOffice 3.2.1, a portable version of R (about version 2.11, I think), high resolution episodes of Pioneer One (that’s a free series primarily distributed over BitTorrent), Doctor Who trailers, portable versions of Flash, some other free portable or non-portable applications (7-Zip, GnuPG with unlocked key size – binary and source -, etc), my OWN application VisualGPG, Catalyst drivers, some other drivers (like, all the drivers of my computers), and other things I’m probably forgetting. That was all legal files, in total about 200 files for about 10 GiB.

Well, they’ve just all been stolen – during my sleep like a proper robbery – by the FBI, who effectively took them away when they decided to shut down MegaUpload. Although I did have a backup of my most important files, I didn’t have a backup of most of the files, which were rather there for storage or archiving. They claim they did that to fight copyright infringement, well at least copying isn’t stealing. But taking away the files is. The FBI robbed my files, should I call the police? … or maybe I should call al-Qaeda?

Anyway, for you visitors, it means that at the moment, all the files I link to on Megaupload are sadly unavailable. For a few of them, a FileSonic mirror is available. I’ll try to upload some of the others there, too. But I don’t really have the time to browse all the site looking for every missing file, so in case you need specific files, drop a comment and I’ll give them priority for the re-up, if I have a backup of them.

Update (2012-01-23)

Well, this seemed to have scared the hell out of other hosts. FileSonic, the alternate mirror where I put some of the files, also SILENTLY (as usual when they do a crappy move) disabled file-sharing (since they delete uploaded files after 30 days with no downloads I really wonder what kind of a business model they can have now…). Good thing I hadn’t moved more files to them…
Since it seems that most file hosts are (or will be) chickening out too (which I guess is understandable since they get treated worse than terrorists), I’m left with the only option to host the files on this very server. This means that there won’t be big files anymore (bye bye Pioneer One…), and also probably I won’t keep an archive of old versions apart from a few exceptions.

Update (2012-01-28)

Looks like legal action is indeed on its way, see Joint complaint of those affected by the closure of Megaupload service. Of course, Megaupload’s Terms of Service said something along the line “we reserve the right to delete your hosted files at any time”, but it didn’t reserve the right for a third party such as the FBI to do so.

Posted in digital rights and DRMs, site news, Totally pointless, web filtering.


9 Responses

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  1. m3lang3 says

    Hello,

    I came across this: http://www.megaretrieval.com/ (via http://hardware.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2646891&cid=38876897 ) and thought it might be of interest to you (if you’re in the US).

  2. David Dernoncourt says

    Yeah, I saw that but I’m not in the US. Bah, I don’t really miss the files now: I managed to restore the high traffic ones (had backups of those very few ones), and as for the others, most of them are too big to be hosted on this server and I don’t really want to bother uploading them to another host which might get shutdown as well… It’s a pity for the few people who still do come here looking for old versions: just found one looking for VLC portable 1.1.0 in the stats. I had totally forgotten I uploaded that.
    I guess I’ll have to get used to not posting too many files now. No more Dr Who trailers, too.

  3. Franck Dernoncourt says

    If you re-up some files, you may want to use Neembuu Uploader – http://neembuuuploader.sourceforge.net/ so as to automatically send your files on numerous DDL hosts.

  4. David Dernoncourt says

    Since it’s not a web-service, does it upload stuff to each hoster one by one?

  5. Franck Dernoncourt says

    Yep, hence bandwidth-intensive unfortunately… but at least we don’t have to rely on any web-service that could be closed down by FBI or any other rogue agency.

  6. David Dernoncourt says

    Ouch 🙁 (Is that why the connection is often so slow? ;))
    Equivalent web-services sound somewhat better then. I found one a while ago but forgot about it…

  7. Franck Dernoncourt says

    The main drawback of this kind of web-services such as http://www.gazup.com/ (or others http://alternativeto.net/software/gazup/?platform=online ) is that – besides the fact they are often buggy – you’ll need to use their URLs. Furthermore they have many limitations (e.g. number of files you can upload simultaneously), which a client would have no reason to have.

  8. Franck Dernoncourt says

    To put it otherwise, if you had a backup folder regrouping all the files you post on your blog, with Neembuu Uploader (or any other similar software) it will take you 1 minute (then a few hours/days/weeks of upload depending on your connection), whereas with a web-service… good luck! 🙂

  9. David Dernoncourt says

    This page seems to have gotten a bit of interest there (link down: forum.onpsx.net/showthread.php?p=1155759#post1155759), I’ll duplicate my reply here (as well as the original post, in German):

    [quote=palmann;1155759]>> Oops, the FBI stole my files!
    >>http://notepad.patheticcockroach.com/2616/oops-the-fbi-stole-my-files/
    >>Eine Geschichte von vielen.
    Ehrlich gesagt, selbst schuld. Wer seine Arbeit im Internet ablädt und darauf vertraut, dass sie für immer zugänglich sind, dem ist nicht zu helfen.

    So ärgerlich das Ganze ist, so dumm ist es auch sich selbst nicht dagegen abzusichern.

    Gruesse, Pablo[/quote]

    As I said, I did have backups of what really mattered (for instance, the sources of VisualGPG :D). But for other stuff not that important, I assumed that the benefit of a few downloads every other week wasn’t worth the trouble of dealing with a 10GiB backup. Particularly since the risk was pretty low: MU didn’t delete files unless not downloaded for a year (that would mean only really useless files would get deleted), and actually I’m not even sure they deleted any files at all. The probability that they accidentally wiped a file seemed amazingly low too. And I don’t think many people would have bet the FBI would surprisingly shut MU down within a couple of weeks on January 1st.
    When disaster has already happened, it’s easy to say this or that should have been done. But that’s not how risk management works: when you take decisions you deal with the uncertainty of future risks, not with newspaper headlines of the past.
    Maybe I didn’t express that clearly enough in my post, but what really upset me there was:
    1. The FBI’s totally rogue behavior. Seriously, what they did is theft. Period.
    2. All the broken links and the need to reupload and fix them.
    The lost files themselves aren’t that big a deal. For instance, even though for some reason my (very) outdated Flash portable zips still seem to be missed by several visitors a day (maybe they are computer archeologists or something), I don’t really miss them myself. But again, that doesn’t allow the FBI to steal them.



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