For King, it sounds like a no-brainer. Why bother with a million DMCA notices when a concerted effort can cut off a company’s ability to do business in one swoop?
The 45-year-old has no qualms about his mission, or the methods he’s employing to complete it.
“What I hope to achieve is very simple. I want to tear apart the illegal file locker industry by removing its supply of funds and then ultimately removing its supply of network connectivity,” King told TorrentFreak.
King’s tactics focus on sites that sell premium subscriptions in order to provide users with improved access to user-uploaded content even though, importantly, those sites have no part in providing it. Secondly, he’s aiming for sites that pay members cash for uploading content that achieves many downloads.
“I decided to take this action because I was fed up with watching businesses profiting from stolen content and illegal content while doing so under the guise of ‘user uploaded’ or ‘internet freedom’,” King adds.
And the Internet, King says, is something he feels strongly about. Not only does he claim to be a vocal opponent of Australia’s proposed Internet censorship laws, he says he also played a part in building it.
“I was involved in the embryonic stages of the Internet in Australia having a role within APANA which provided network access when almost nobody could get it unless they were in University. Julian Assange was also one of many Australians involved in APANA and most of us ran APANA nodes which let people dial in and connect to the Internet all connected to central hubs.”
But ‘internet freedom’ and what some file-hosters and their users are doing couldn’t be further apart, King insists.
“In the main file lockers are simply modern-day ‘fences’ of stolen goods. Just like a thief would take a stolen television or car radio to the pub and sell it for a few dollars, there are thousands of people around the world who take copyright content, upload it to an incentivized file locker, then get a few dollars to as much as $30 for 1000 downloads of that content.”
In an attempt to bring these sites down, King has been utilizing a hugely controversial approach. One by one, King has waded through a laundry list of sites, searching their indexes for files that appear to contain not only regular copyright-infringing material, but also animal and child pornography. He then reports his findings to PayPal and other payment processors.
“Not content with merely hosting child porn, many file locker sites also host bestiality,” King explained at the start of his campaign. “Our friends at PayPal make money from each premium sale of this material to people who download it.”
At first, King got nowhere with PayPal, but through persistence something changed recently. During the last week or so King says that PayPal has been cutting off services and freezing the funds of a wide range of file-hosting sites including Putlocker, ExtaBit, TurboBit, UptoBox, Cloudnator, RYUShare, BulletUpload, BackUpload, RGHost, NitroBits, FireGet, FileMates….and the list goes on and on.
But a nagging question remains, and it’s raised time and again by King’s reports on his campaign site StopFileLockers. What real proof does he have that the files he’s finding on these file-hosting sites do indeed contain the content that their titles suggest, especially when there is reference to children and animals?
The answer, it seems, is none whatsoever. Nevertheless, King insists that’s irrelevant.
“Personally I don’t know whether a file entitled ’12yogirlraped.avi’ actually contains a movie of a 12-year-old girl being raped or a legal adult video being named a misleading file name. It would be stupid of anyone to download it to find out unless they were involved in law enforcement in that field.
“However the mere connotation that there are files named this way is, in itself, unconscionable. Where we find a systematic pattern of what appears to be child pornography based upon file names we refer the matters where possible. We are not about to download the material ourselves to find out what the file actually contains. This is a job for policing and child protection agencies,” King notes.