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Jan 23

Pissed off mini-pirates whine “Where’s My Money?”

In an earlier blog post I wrote about Piracy’s Profit Pyramid and attempted to explain how cyberlockers operated much like a pyramid scheme, a business model that’s served as a catalyst for the explosion in online piracy for profit.  With the feds smacking down Megaupload, other similar sites are scurrying like cockroaches to cover their tracks.  Some of the most popular cyberlocker sites (Filesonic, Fileserve, Uploading, etc.) have begun purging pirated files and have discontinued “affiliate” programs and cash payouts, leaving their pirate partners empty-handed and, consequently,  very grumpy. Evidence of their growing displeasure is morphing across pirate forums around the web. The irony is beyond sweet:

Even some of the pirates can’t seem to believe the hypocrisy of their uploading peers: 

Filesonic payout for piracy

These pirate forums also feature threads where thieves post screen caps of their earnings totals from various sites, in a game of  “whose is bigger?.”  Looking at some of profit totals (wonder if they are reporting to the IRS), it’s no wonder these mini-pirates are unhappy.  Their express ride to piracy riches has suddenly turned bumpy, if not disappeared altogether.  Take a look at these totals ($26, 477!) and you will see why people were so eager to join the piracy game and why they’re so unhappy to see it disappear.

Being a cyberlocker affiliate brought in the bucks.

Megaupload's demise appears to have derailed the pirate gravy train

Profits varied, from hundreds to thousands for uploading stolen content