Megavideo

{tab=Company Info.}

Megavideo Limited Company Profile
Business Name Megavideo Limited
Business Owner Unknown
Address P.O. Box 28410
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
Gloucester Road Post Office
HK
Phone 852-301-37707
Fax Unknown
Website www.megavideo.com
Email [email protected]
Type of business Video Hosting

 


 

The above information was obtained using a WHOIS query.The phone number listed is most probably a landline as cellular numbers in Hong Kong usually start with 6 or 9. This number starts with a 3. 852 is simply the country prefix for Hong Kong.

{tab=Investigative Report}

Megavideo Investigative Report

Megavideo Limited is the official name of the company for the popular video hosting site, Megavideo.com. The company was registered with the Government of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Company Registries on May 20, 2006 (CR. No. 1046619). However, the company is bound by U.S. laws as their hosting provider, Carpathia Hosting, Inc., is based out of Ashburn, VA.

Megavideo owns a few IP address that are associated with their domain, megavideo.com:

174.140.154.20
174.140.154.21
174.140.154.22
174.140.154.23
174.140.154.24
174.140.154.25
174.140.154.18
174.140.154.19

I’ve known about the site for a couple years or so. My main knowledge of the company was that it was a video hostingcompany. I also noticed that one was limited to the amount of video one could watch. It was usually random. Lately, though, they’ve been sticking with a 72-minute rule. After watching 72 minutes of video within a certain period of time you are no longer able to watch videos on the site unless:

  • You pay an upgrade fee to their Premium service. Fee is $9.99/month or $59.99/year
  • You wait x-amount of minutes. The system will tell you to wait, say, 35 minutes until you can watch videos again.

From my own personal testing of the site it appears that tracking is done via one’s IP address. I’ve gotten the restriction, changed my IP and a minute after I had been blocked I would be able to view videos again. There’s something I hadn’t noticed before, though. Megavideo is lying to people.

I was watching a video. First time I had watched a video on the site in weeks. After being only 16 minutes and 50 seconds in to the video clip I got the error (see Figure 1.1 below).

Megavideo Warning
Figure 1.1

According to the warning I had watched 72 minutes of video and I would have to wait 54 minutes before I could watch videos on the site or, of course, I could pay to upgrade to a premium account. At first I figured that maybe their timing system was not accurate. If you count the time I had the video on pause and the time I had to keep waiting on it to stop buffering then that might be somewhat accurate.

But wait a minute! That wouldn’t be fair. Why should they count the time that the video is on pause? I’m not watching the video. So, I done a test. I changed my IP, reloaded the video, and drug the indicator back to 16:50. The video played fine until 43:07. Then I got that stupid error message again. But wait… As far as their system knew I had only been watching the video 26 minutes and 17 seconds. I changed my IP one last time. This time the video played for 3 minutes and 53 seconds.

I researched on the Internet and found that some people did have a similar issue. They would watch a video for not long and get the limitation feature kicking in. It seems to me that Megavideo is having this limitation randomly kick in just to get people to purchase a premium account.

The only way to pay for the subscription is via PayPal or MoneyBookers. There’s a few issues.

  • The business does not reside in the United States. If I get ripped off my money is all the way in Hong Kong.
  • The company does not have any contact information on the website. The only address was the post office box address I obtained via a WHOIS query.
  • PayPal does not deal with disputes of non-tangible items. Services purchased online, downloads, and so forth are all non-tangible items. Therefore, filing a complaint with PayPal would be pointless. Only recourse would be to file a chargeback with your bank or credit card company.

In all, I think it’s a bit retarded to charge people to view content that you don’t even own. The content that is stored on Megavideo is not the property of Megavideo. The content is the property of the individual users. If I post a video on Megavideo and want my friends to watch it then they may have to deal with the annoying restriction.

I don’t see Megavideo running YouTube out of business anytime soon. At the very least Megavideo could do a system similar to Metacafe where they share the advertising revenues based upon how many views your videos have. Please understand that I’m not complaining about them charging. I’m quite concerned about their business practices (i.e. telling people they’ve already used up 72 minutes of time when only a fraction of it had been used).
{tab=Report Updates}

Megavideo Investigative Report Updates

{slide=December 8, 2009}
On December 7, 2009 I sent an email to Megavideo’s technical support ([email protected]). Today I received a response in regards to the flaws in their resctriction system. Below is the response I received.

Dear Nick,

If you are a free member, certain restrictions may prevent you from watching videos: We limit the amount of data you can download from our servers within a certain timespan. If you share your IP address with other Megavideo users (e.g. because your ISP uses proxies or NAT), you may be sharing these limitations with them.

To enjoy unlimited videos, speed, and bandwith in watching movies to Megavideo. Premium is required (http://www.megavideo.com/?c=premium).

Please let us know if you have any other concerns.

Thank you for using Megavideo!

Sincerely,
Megavideo Support

In other words they completely ignored the issues. Telling me that the amount of data that one can download is limited is pointless. I already know it’s limited. It’s quite obvious now that the owner(s) of Megavideo could care less about their restrictive system. I guess their unethical tactics are making them enough money so that they don’t have to resort to being ethical.

What can you do? There’s a couple simple things you can do.

  • Warn others about Megavideo’s unethical tactics. Send them a link to this article.
  • Don’t view videos on the Megavideo site.
  • If you know of someone or a website that is using Megavideo voice your opinion. Suggest they use another video hosting provider. You can even send them a link to this article.
  • Don’t pay the extortion fee. You have two choices with Megavideo: view videos with crappy service or pay a fee and get a little bit less crappy service.

{/slide}{/tabs}