Megaupload update: legal users’ files safe for now

By , Apr 13 2012

Update: At a hearing today, US District Court judge ruled today on the side of Megaupload with an agreement to allow more negotiations as to what to do with the mammoth amounts of data stored on the seized website’s servers. Ira Rothken, an attorney for Megaupload, asked Judge Liam O’Grady, presiding over the case, to allow for futher negotiations between Megaupload, Hollywood studios, and Carpathia Hosting, a company that has been charged with oversight of the data.

Carpathia wished to sell the servers back to Megaupload, citing the cost and difficulty of maintaining the servers, but the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has fought to stop such a transaction, saying that would just allow Megaupload to set up shop again, this time beyond the reach of American jurisdiction. A US attorney has filed to deny the court-assigned hosting company’s request.

The MPAA originally intended to keep all data on the servers intact, so that it could later sue infringing users, but today softened its stance, saying that it only wants to prevent illegal data from going back to the public. The Electronic Frontier Foundation also requested at the hearing that the data be preserved.


As you more than likely already know, file-sharing giants Megaupload were taken down earlier this year.

An issue that got overshadowed by the piracy debates, tales of Megupload owner Kim Dotcom’s car collection and whether Swizz Beats actually was Megaupload’s CEO or not, was that of users who used Megaupload’s servers for perfectly legal use – i.e. to store their own (legal) files for their own use, and to share them with friends and clients. In short, when Megaupload was shut down, thousands of people who used the site legally lost access to their data as well.

Music Week have now reported that a Virginia court should today be making a decision over whether or not these users will get their access back. The case is being brought by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, on behalf of cameraman Kyle Goodwin, who used Megaupload as a way to back up his videos and as a means for his customers to preview footage.

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), however, have filed legal documents that argue against giving the data back to Megaupload or its users without strict oversight. In a spokesman for the group’s words: “The material on those servers would have a huge amount of infringing content and to provide it back to Megaupload without appropriate controls would be tantamount to enabling a new round of infringement”.

In other words, that Kim Dotcom album is, apparently, happening.

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