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EFF Seeking Information of Legal Users of Megaupload

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the caught-in-the-crossfire dept.

Electronic Frontier Foundation 165

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, with the assistance of Carpathia Hosting, has issued a call for information on users who lost legitimate data as part of the Megaupload takedown. No promises are made at this point, but Carpathia at least notes: "We have no immediate plans to reprovision some or all of the Megaupload servers. This means that there is no imminent data loss for Megaupload customers. If this situation changes, we will post a notice at least 7 days in advance of reprovisioning any Megaupload servers."

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I'm confused... (1)

atlasdropperofworlds (888683) | about 2 years ago | (#38893003)

> We have no immediate plans to reprovision some or all of the Megaupload servers. This means that there is no imminent data loss for Megaupload customers.

I don't get it. Isn't the issue that megaupload customers ARE going to lose their data very soon? In that case, wouldn't the lack of reprovisioning just maintain the status quo?

Re:I'm confused... (2, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | about 2 years ago | (#38893043)

MegaUpload's problem is that they never implemented a DMCA Takedown system like YouTube has had for years now. If they do that, they can likely have their servers back quickly... if they don't and nobody steps in to pay the bills then the data is already lost.

Re:I'm confused... (4, Insightful)

spikestabber (644578) | about 2 years ago | (#38893237)

A massive civil lawsuit that proved they were not fully DMCA compliant would had been sufficient.
Surely they would had cleaned up their act if they were indeed found acting unlawful. What happend was completely unnecessary.

Re:I'm confused... (3, Insightful)

spikestabber (644578) | about 2 years ago | (#38893419)

Furthermore, what annoys me is they let it go on for 7 whole years while all the industry did was whine about them, before finally getting the FBI to take action.
They had more than enough US presense for a successful civil case, and of course disobeying a court order will be criminal contempt of court. Only then should the FBI get involved.
Suddenly being held liable for hundreds of millions in damages would make them rethink thier flawed DMCA policies.

Re:I'm confused... (2)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 2 years ago | (#38895701)

> what annoys me is they let it go on for 7 whole years while all the industry did was whine about them, before finally getting the FBI to take action...

If the unknown site XYZ is taken down, nobody gives a fsck.
If the world renowned site like megaupload is taken down, the event makes headlines, and the more controversy it causes in the details of the procedure, the better (e.g. the... ummm... terrorist way to compute damages). It fuels fear, uncertainty and doubt.

Back to topic:
"Hey megaupload users who upped legal material, come out!"
*crickets*

But:
"Hey media corporation who ask material to take down because it hurts artists that you dutifully and accurately award the right amount of money for their worthy original and artistic contribution to society, come out!"
*silence of deep space void at 0 deg. kelvin*

Re:I'm confused... (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 2 years ago | (#38893497)

Surely they would had cleaned up their act if they were indeed found acting unlawful. What happend was completely unnecessary.

While I agree at least partially with the last sentence of your post, the problem was MegaUpload knew they were acting unlawfully, and profited through such behavior, with full knowledge of the illegality of the content they were hosting. They wouldn't have changed. In fact, they didn't, after repeated notifications. Google even ceased doing business with them. Two years ago, which is (probably not coincidentally) around the time this investigation started. When other legitimate businesses stop doing business with you because they think you are breaking the law, that is a good sign you need to clean up.

With that said, the whole mess is blown out of proportion and was taken way too far. I think someone is trying to make an example out of MegaUpload.

Re:I'm confused... (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 2 years ago | (#38893647)

^[citation needed]^

Re:I'm confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38895265)

Citation: User Baloroth (2370816) said this on Feb 1, 2012 @ 12:56 PM.

Re:I'm confused... (1, Offtopic)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#38895811)

Tune in next week for another installment of CITOGENESIS [xkcd.com] .

Re:I'm confused... (4, Interesting)

localman57 (1340533) | about 2 years ago | (#38893657)

Maybe, but there is another distinction here that I don't think is getting enough attention. Unlike Napster, or Limewire, Or Kazzaa, or Torrents, or [insert whatever's next here] where people are just sharing things, as I understand it the people who sourced the copyrighted material could actually make money by posting the stuff. In order for you to actually collect, Megaupload had to know where to send the check. The government now has lots of MegaUpload's records. It seems to me that there could be an argument that everyone who profited this way is subject to the same sort of RICO prosecutions that they typically use for mobsters. Maybe winnable, maybe not, but probably strong enough to get past the threshold that you need to bring charges and begin the legal process. I think this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Re:I'm confused... (1)

Shagg (99693) | about 2 years ago | (#38893789)

They did have a DMCA takedown system. The complaints usually center around "how" they were handling takedowns, not that they were ignoring them.

Re:I'm confused... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894863)

And this is where it gets stupid and proves the judge was most likely paid off.

MegaUpload maintained files in a file system to minimize wasted, duplicated data. A file available by one link might be actually pointed to by a dozen links, each "uploaded" by a different person.

Now, here's where it gets dicey:
- If the file was something known illegal pointed out to them, like child pornography, they took it down AND they nuked the file details so it couldn't be reuploaded later. Because there is NO jurisdiction in which child pornography would be legal.

- If on the other hand it was a DMCA request, they took down the link indicated only.

Why? Because we can easily have the following situation:
1) Person #1, not authorized to put up the file, uploads it.
2) Person #2, who IS authorized to put up the file, uploads it.

This is not out of the realm of possibility, since a legitimate use for MU was to send files to someone that wouldn't fit into email for collaborative purposes.

Now, Person #1's link is taken down by DMCA complaint. But person #2's link is still authorized. The file itself was the same file: one person was authorized, and behaving within the law, one person was not. DMCA is satisfied by making the offending link no longer available.

But they forum-shopped till they found a bribable, brain-dead judge too stupid to understand the principles involved so they could get rubber stamps to have their little Kristallnacht reenactment instead.

Re:I'm confused... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894685)

MegaUpload's problem is that they never implemented a DMCA Takedown system like YouTube has had for years now. If they do that, they can likely have their servers back quickly....

IANAL, but I spent three years being sued by a fleet of them over copyright.

Establishing a valid DMCA process now, or at any point after allegedly infringing material had been made available, would do absolutely no good, even in a civil case. The safe harbor of the DMCA would be completely thrown out for all activity that occurred before the processes were put in place. Given the extraordinary per-instance damages that are permissible, even a tiny amount of infringement (relative to their total operations) would be ruinous.

Of course, just having a DMCA compliant process doesn't get you out of the woods, as there are many other things (e.g., active encouragement of infringement, financial profit as a result of infringement, etc) that could get to them.

When even good guys (like me!) can get dragged into litigation with all the best intentions and all the right processes in place, and come out having literally spent millions of dollars defending and afraid to post as anything other than AC even in an esoteric comment, it's hard to see how this could've turned out in Mega's favor in any scenario.

Re:I'm confused... (1)

tmk (712144) | about 2 years ago | (#38894861)

Actually they claimed to have a DMCA takedown system.

Re:I'm confused... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38893193)

MegaUpload's assets have been frozen, so they can't pay their hosting bills. Carpathia Hosting has several terabytes of web-facing storage that are no longer earning revenue. Eventually, they will sell that capacity to someone else, and the data will be overwritten. This has to be one of the most misunderstood, misquoted, and misdirected stories of the year so far.

There's no FDIC for data, and the bank just closed. Caveat Emptor.

Re:I'm confused... (1)

Coeurderoy (717228) | about 2 years ago | (#38895323)

Well a simple way to go around this issue would be to offer to sell the datas to the owners.
Any registerer MegaUpload customer could buy back it's data at a fair price, let's say 20€ per gigabyte.
This is a good price if you have your thesis stored there with 2 years of work and you forgot to make any backup
and it discourage anybody who uploaded tons of bootleg videos as it is more expensive than the original dvd.

They could remove all the copies of DCMA notified data, and make a special provision for non profit organisations who can demonstrate that they uploaded terabyte of research data and it's not bootleg, but they need a discount..

And they could publicly request an agreement from the "MPAA" since refusal would force the MPAA to tell that they do not want legitimate users to reposess their data (enabling a class action suit) and acceptance might demonstrate that no user is willing to pay a reasonable fee to get it's personal data back (if you have stolen the data you typically have a copy and do not really care, only "real" users would need access).

Re:I'm confused... (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | about 2 years ago | (#38893377)

I don't get it. Isn't the issue that megaupload customers ARE going to lose their data very soon? In that case, wouldn't the lack of reprovisioning just maintain the status quo?

The issue is that Megaupload doesn't have money to pay the company owning the servers that it uses to store data. If you hire server space, and stop paying, then eventually the data is gone. The server company says "we don't need the space right now, so we won't delete anything right now". Which is very nice of them, because right now their servers are not paid for. However, I wouldn't expect them to restore access to the data until all payments have been made.

Just play ball with Hollywood and it's fine. (3, Informative)

LostCluster (625375) | about 2 years ago | (#38893005)

MegaUpload's shutdown didn't need SOPA to pass... it's just a simple DMCA escalation that says if you ignore DMCA Takedown letters, your server farm will be ordered to down your server. The DMCA is still missing the provision for a penalty for an invalid takedown request but that's what we should be telling Congress to work on.

Re:Just play ball with Hollywood and it's fine. (3, Informative)

The Moof (859402) | about 2 years ago | (#38893397)

The DMCA is still missing the provision for a penalty for an invalid takedown request

No, it's there. I'm not aware of it ever actually being enforced, but it's definitely there.

Re:Just play ball with Hollywood and it's fine. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894227)

I believe that penalty only applies if you make a request for a work you're not the owner of (or authorized to act on the behalf blah-blah), so if the ownership/authorization part is accurate, but the request entire is not (maybe used under fair use, or use is permitted by a license, or maybe that work isn't even used in the file you made a takedown request against), you get off scot-free.

Re:Just play ball with Hollywood and it's fine. (1)

Shagg (99693) | about 2 years ago | (#38893409)

The DMCA is still missing the provision for a penalty for an invalid takedown request

I think there already is one, but it never gets enforced.

Re:Just play ball with Hollywood and it's fine. (3, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | about 2 years ago | (#38893781)

> MegaUpload's shutdown didn't need SOPA to pass...

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. They certainly did a lot a damage and alleged a great many things, but nothing has actually been held up by a court yet.

I've since started to wonder if that's not actually the idea. They make this giant, destructive raid using existing laws. If they win, they've set a precedent for using the current laws in a way that makes SOPA look tame. If they lose, they now have a rock-solid use-case for SOPA: the current laws, unlike everyone argued, are really not enough to take down those that everyone concedes are 'evil pirates'.

It's a bit of a conspiracy theory, to be sure, but _nothing_ gets a controversial law passed like a hyped up case falling apart because it doesn't exist.

Re:Just play ball with Hollywood and it's fine. (1)

webheaded (997188) | about 2 years ago | (#38895043)

How does what they did make SOPA look lame? They did a huge investigation and then took the servers down as part of a court order, right? I don't like it, but this is not the same as SOPA. Someone actually brought formal charges after doing an investigation...a pretty large part of what made SOPA so deplorable.

Re:Just play ball with Hollywood and it's fine. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894005)

Escalation? Letters? N... no! No! Not fast enough! I want to just point one of my fat, sausagey fingers at something I don't understand and have it go away and make my big big number with a dollar sign in front of it get bigger and bigger! Why can't you dumb stupidhead nerds understand this?!? It makes perfect sense! I even made it easy for you to get! Now do it RIGHT this time! Waaaaaah!

--
Chris Dodd

I think this could make this more interesting... (3, Insightful)

Marble68 (746305) | about 2 years ago | (#38893017)

because if enough legitimate users rise up, doesn't it throw the entire position of megaupload only "existing for piracy" into question?

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (3, Informative)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38893109)

The big problem here is that piracy probably _was_ a huge part of megaupload.

Not saying their wern't lots of legitimate users, but lets not ignore reality here.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | about 2 years ago | (#38893525)

I'd say the lion portion of usage of it was indeed piracy.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#38893547)

There are other services much more suitable for piracy. Megaupload is really not something you would want to use for downloading large amounts of data, or multiple files. I doubt they have that many pirates.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#38893655)

You can doubt it all you want... but that doesn't make it any less true. It's fairly trivial to show show that a vast majority content on megaupload was copyrighted, and unlikely to have been uploaded to it with any permission from the copyright holder.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (3, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#38895775)

You can doubt it all you want... but that doesn't make it any less true. It's fairly trivial to show show that a vast majority content on megaupload was copyrighted, and unlikely to have been uploaded to it with any permission from the copyright holder.

If it's so trivial to prove, why don't you share the proof with us? So far all I see are border-line-trolling comments saying it is "obvious" without stating why. Maybe it's because that's all those commenters have ever used it for, but that's anecdotal not statistical evidence.

Plus, as a recent article about Youtube shows, "likely infringing" and "actually infringing" are two very different things. If you go around claiming that anybody uploading stuff who isn't a big name is by default infringing, you end up trampling on a lot of peoples' rights.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

kiwimate (458274) | about 2 years ago | (#38893639)

The big problem here is that piracy probably _was_ a huge part of megaupload.

And the people behind Megaupload *knew* about it and *encouraged* it.

Besides which, I haven't seen anyone claiming that Megaupload existed only for piracy, as the poster to whom you replied stated. It was just that there was a lot of piracy and everyone was pretty blatant about it - including the owners of Megaupload.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#38894037)

So let's see if I have this straight...

  1. Somebody develops a new sharing technology or service that people can use for legitimate purposes.
  2. Its effectiveness is such that it eventually draws the attention of the piracy crowd.
  3. Eventually, piracy is the dominant use of the service.
  4. The service gets shut down.

Basically, what they are encourage people to do is not ever invent anything new or innovative, ever again, because when it gets used for illegal purposes, it will be shut down.

Can you imagine the ramifications of, say, technology-enabled telepathy?

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

Shagg (99693) | about 2 years ago | (#38894171)

That's exactly what they want to do. Sharing technology is a direct threat to their distribution monopoly. I'm sure the copyright cartel would love nothing more than to kill/scare off all file sharing sites.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894351)

There's a distinction between "it eventually draws the attention of the pirate crowd" and "it is advertised specifically for piracy" -- the latter is what's alleged here.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 2 years ago | (#38894543)

Where, exactly, is it advertised that Megaupload is intended to share content that the person uploading does not have any rights to?

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

Elbereth (58257) | about 2 years ago | (#38894935)

Are you kidding? Didn't you read the Megaupload indictment? The Megaupload founders are alleged to have gone out of their way to encourage as much piracy as possible, including soliciting and uploading pirated content themselves. Now, whether they did or not will have to be decided in court. They are also alleged to have intentionally delayed and, in some cases, ignored DMCA take-down requests. If what the indictment says is true, the Megaupload guys are going to have a really, really tough time in court.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

Anrego (830717) | about 2 years ago | (#38894637)

I wouldn't really call megaupload an innocent victim here. At least attempting to prevent illegal usage of your service is all part of the game. At a minimum, cooperating with law enforcement.

Megaupload in my opinion didn't just ignore, but practically encouraged illegal use of their system.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

kiwimate (458274) | about 2 years ago | (#38894669)

Not quite.

Your description establishes a passive acceptance on the part of the "somebody" who develops that new technology. Megaupload's founders, on the contrary, actively and deliberately encouraged piracy.

Sorry to do this, but...

It's the difference between a car manufacturer developing a very powerful vehicle that becomes the favored tool of drug smugglers, and a car manufacturer that develops such a vehicle and then deliberately arranges meetings with drug warlords to promote that vehicle.

(Please, to anyone who responds, no irrelevant comments about the "war on drugs". That just means you have nothing to say about the topic on hand.)

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894641)

Not saying there wern't lots of legitimate users, but lets not ignore reality here.

This is Slashdot. We're talking about copyright infringement on the internet. You must be new here.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38893241)

It's like sending in a drone to blow up some village in Pakistan - sure they are some civilians there but they are mostly Taliban.

If the government had to care about things like that nothing would ever get done.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#38893471)

And we wouldn't keep pissing off our allies by blowing shit up in their territory without telling them. We wouldn't want that.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (3, Insightful)

robot256 (1635039) | about 2 years ago | (#38893689)

And don't get me started on the comparison of copyright infringement and terrorism. Unexpectedly, they are remarkably similar: they are both symptoms of a larger problem in society that depriving people of rights will not solve, they are both used to justify unchecked expansion of government with new powers that can be easily abused, and they both reduce to simple law-enforcement issues when you strip away the propaganda.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 2 years ago | (#38893277)

If enough paying customers stand up, they can retrieve their own data and start a legit service... otherwise, the data will be lost and the company gone.

Labouring under (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 2 years ago | (#38894121)

if enough legitimate users rise up, doesn't it throw the entire position of megaupload only "existing for piracy" into question?

Labouring under the false assumption that the MAFIAA and their lapdogs care about the rule of law. The tipping point was Mega readying the launch of a streaming service.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (4, Funny)

westlake (615356) | about 2 years ago | (#38894481)

because if enough legitimate users rise up, doesn't it throw the entire position of megaupload only "existing for piracy" into question?

Your dear little innocent boy bought dirt cheap hosting from a 300 lb fraudster who changed his name to Kim Dotcom and lived like Fat Elvis on an income his legitimate services couldn't possibly provide.

Re:I think this could make this more interesting.. (1)

brit74 (831798) | about 2 years ago | (#38895099)

because if enough legitimate users rise up, doesn't it throw the entire position of megaupload only "existing for piracy" into question?

I wouldn't think the question of "did MegaUpload exist ONLY for piracy" is really that important. If pirate websites could protect themselves from takedown by hosting a few files that are legitimate (not copyright infringing), then that's a huge loophole in the system. Suddenly a pirate site could say, "Yeah, 99.9% of our content is copyright infringing, but I had a few people upload a few of their own files and that protects our entire site from takedown, because any takedown makes you guilty of harming those legitimate files."

I wish they would define legal. (4, Insightful)

spikestabber (644578) | about 2 years ago | (#38893047)

If I rip an album and upload it for my personal use later, then thats fair-use as long as I never share said link with anyone else.
The mere presence of copyrighted material in their account doesn't suddenly mean the users were pirates.

Re:I wish they would define legal. (2)

LostCluster (625375) | about 2 years ago | (#38893201)

The problem was, people were using it for piracy and since MegaUpload didn't shut the piracy down, the whole site got shutdown at the data centers.

Re:I wish they would define legal. (1)

anyaristow (1448609) | about 2 years ago | (#38893569)

They don't need your never-shared copy to show copyright infringement. You're fine if you in fact didn't share a link. They won't look for it on the servers.

The problem for megaupload is all those blogs and file sharing indexes, as well as google, have millions of public links pointing to plenty enough material.

Re:I wish they would define legal. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894455)

Part of the big deal is being made over the fact that user A uploaded a file, got a link, user B uploaded the same file, got a link, user A's file was targeted by a DMCA takedown, and that link was disabled while user B's link continued to work. According to the FBI, this is blatant disregard for copyright and shows that Megaupload was hell-bent on letting its users skirt the DMCA.

In reality, it's not.

Suppose you download an MP3 from iTunes and upload a copy to Megaupload as a backup in case anything happens to your computer. Suppose someone else downloads exactly the same MP3 from iTunes, but they upload it to Megaupload and post the link on a warez board.

According to the FBI, Megaupload should delete your fair-use copy just because someone else shared it illegally.

(Using the example of an MP3 from iTunes because it's a situation where you're guaranteed to have a bit-for-bit copy of the MP3 that everyone else has. Yes, I know that if you rip a CD you can get a variety of different files even if the same encoding and bitrate is used.)

Re:I wish they would define legal. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894533)

Actually, Apple burns your account info into the file, so they wouldn't be bit for bit copies.

Re:I wish they would define legal. (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#38894921)

Actually, it probably wouldn't have been fair use, unless you encrypted it - since, at the very least, you did share it with MegaUpload without a license to do so.

Loss of Service is more annoying (3, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 2 years ago | (#38893121)

I didn't lose anything I didn't have backed up locally but what I did lose was the service I was using to send clients the photos I took for them. Plenty of alternatives, obviously, but how do I know which one would be next?

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | about 2 years ago | (#38893161)

You could pick one that doesn't violate the DMCA and probably be safe.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 2 years ago | (#38893205)

Well I am open to suggestions. It's actually a real issue for me at the moment. I've just been too busy to do the research. Megaupload was easy to use and well known enough that people didn't flinch at downloading from it.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38893445)

Well I am open to suggestions. It's actually a real issue for me at the moment. I've just been too busy to do the research. Megaupload was easy to use and well known enough that people didn't flinch at downloading from it.

Pretty much any shared hosting provider for around US$100/year would work. Shop around, there are a few to choose from.

The upshot is that your clients can download files from you without being blasted with useless advertisements.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 2 years ago | (#38893983)

I could host it myself but then I am dealing with worrying about storage, security and bandwidth issues. There is a reason these companies exist and it isn't just piracy. It was just very convenient and people are used to be blasted with ads on the internet.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#38894453)

Give Mediafire a try. It was and is the most downloader friendly site for free users, meaning you can direct people there and be certain they can get the file without undue hassle and without paying anything.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (0, Troll)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#38893553)

If you were a professional sending me to Megaupload, I would never do business with you again.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (3, Interesting)

MightyYar (622222) | about 2 years ago | (#38893905)

If you were a professional sending me to Megaupload, I would never do business with you again.

LOL, he's a photographer, not an internet professional. MegaUpload was annoying, but it did work. I set my friend up with GoDaddy accounts and taught him how to make an .htaccess file and transfer files with FTP, but it's not for everyone.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | about 2 years ago | (#38893943)

Um ok. My guess is you weren't in my target clientele anyway.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38893245)

Which you prove exactly how?

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

characterZer0 (138196) | about 2 years ago | (#38893447)

You pick one that does not operate in the United States.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

Iceykitsune (1059892) | about 2 years ago | (#38893961)

Megaupload was based out of New Zeland

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894385)

Megaupload was based out of Hong Kong

FTFY. (try to keep up)

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (2)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#38894461)

The company was actually based out of Hong Kong. People in Hong Kong were not able to use Megaupload.

Kim Dotcom lived in New Zealand.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 2 years ago | (#38893727)

An unproven claim from MPAA that may or may not hold up in court. Which is a big problem with DMCA, that it allows taking down a site without due process. Even if a site is perfectly legal, they can still be taken down based on false accusations.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894101)

I don't have DMCA in my country, so how can I determine if one is violating something that has no applicability to me? When did the US become the Police of the whole world?

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (3, Interesting)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#38893383)

I didn't lose anything I didn't have backed up locally but what I did lose was the service I was using to send clients the photos I took for them. Plenty of alternatives, obviously, but how do I know which one would be next?

Why not host it yourself? /. users are constantly harping on people to host their own email services, and hosting files for your clients seems like an easier task. Sure youc an go all fancy and the like with CGI filemanagers, or you can just make a directory on your webhost for your client, disable indexing and give them the direct links.

Unless you were using MU as a way to have clients send files back (in which case you'd need to implement something like an FTP drop box or something).

Heck, maybe you can go fancier with WebDAV or something if you can secure it.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

PeterBrett (780946) | about 2 years ago | (#38893451)

What about OwnCloud [owncloud.org] ?

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

anyaristow (1448609) | about 2 years ago | (#38893595)

Use one of those file sharing indexes to search for a few albums and movies and see if your new host shows up repeatedly?

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38893651)

It really shouldn't matter whether you have a local copy of your data or not, the fact is your "property" is going to be destroyed without your authorization by a party for which you have no contractual or business relationship. The TOS you had with MU may have stipulated no guarantees of accessibility to your data so that you couldn't sue them, but you've no such agreement with MU's hosting company. Your data is there; it's legally your property; you should be able to recover it. And if you didn't have a local copy of all your data on MU's servers, destroying your data without your permission would be deprive you of its use and enjoyment. Basically, it would be theft if there was no legal grounds for the deletions.

Hopefully the EFF will be able to get a number of legitimate MU user to respond so that they can file an injunction to prevent the data deletions. Just because MU was a bad actor, doesn't mean that honest people who used the service in good faith should have their property destroyed without legal recourse to prevent it.

Re:Loss of Service is more annoying (1)

JazzLad (935151) | about 2 years ago | (#38895593)

In case your question was genuine, pBase [pbase.com] is a community of photographers sharing their work (you can password protect too if you want).

It isn't free, but a case of using the right tool for the job. Added benefit is other photographers will see your (non-password protected) work & be able to comment on it to offer advice, etc (if you don't disable comments). I have been using the service for 10 years this May. [pbase.com]

Somebody do the math (1)

LostCluster (625375) | about 2 years ago | (#38893243)

MegaUpload - piracy = ???

Re:Somebody do the math (1)

preaction (1526109) | about 2 years ago | (#38893295)

MegaUpload - piracy = MegaUpload

Re:Somebody do the math (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about 2 years ago | (#38893323)

MegaUpload - piracy = ???

ERROR: Integer Undeflow

Re:Somebody do the math (3, Funny)

Dynedain (141758) | about 2 years ago | (#38893501)

MicroUpload

Sounds Like PR Win (3, Insightful)

Volvogga (867092) | about 2 years ago | (#38893357)

While I respect the EFF and don't doubt their intentions, it sounds like this Carpathia Hosting company got itself a PR-out that it needed. The way I understood things, it sounded like MU's assets were frozen and it was assumed that since they couldn't pay Carpathia, the hosting company was going to clear out the data at the stroke of midnight (slight exaggeration, but you get the idea). I'm sure that MegaUpload users were hoping that the hosting company would wait until a trial to delete or not delete out of the goodness of their hearts, but that isn't fair to them. On the other hand, from the comment on the EFF page, it sounds like Carpathia can not get users their data, either for technical or contractual reasons, at the moment.

By giving a small grace period and supporting the EFF here, Carpathia has really put themselves out of "Bad Guy" range. I don't think they would have deserved the label to begin with, but you know some disgruntled users would have bad mouthed the hosting company once their data was lost.

Why are these servers ONLINE?? (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#38894571)

Shouldn't these servers be unplugged and in a closet somewhere as EVIDENCE?? or did the "Police" just grab a couple blades or so and are not using EVERYTHING so the stack of "razors" they didn't grab are in danger of being Wiped??

Is the EFF working for Big Content? (1)

cornicefire (610241) | about 2 years ago | (#38893571)

If I were a lawyer representing any of the major Big Content companies, I would subpoena that information pronto. Then I would get the credit card and payment records from the government. Voila. You can probably convict most of the top N uploaders of willful infringement and maybe even get a criminal conviction too. Those files are direct evidence of a crime. Is the EFF really thinking through what they're doing?

Re:Is the EFF working for Big Content? (1)

bmacs27 (1314285) | about 2 years ago | (#38893635)

Errr... what? Legitimate data loss is evidence of a crime?

Re:Is the EFF working for Big Content? (1)

cornicefire (610241) | about 2 years ago | (#38893779)

Uh, no. Not theirs. The other files. There are other files on that server and I would be surprised if less than 80% of the data was "legitimate". Oh, I'm sure there are a few Linux distros there but I would be really pretty freaked out if I were one of those people who drew a paycheck from uploading things to Megaupload. The evidence is all there.

its a little late now (1)

FudRucker (866063) | about 2 years ago | (#38893613)

unless they are planning on a class action law suit, otherwise i bet all the uploaders & downloders of Megaupload have moved on to using other services that basically do the same thing,

Re:its a little late now (1)

DanielRavenNest (107550) | about 2 years ago | (#38895419)

unless they are planning on a class action law suit, otherwise i bet all the uploaders & downloders of Megaupload have moved on to using other services that basically do the same thing,

Yes, they have:

http://traffic.alexa.com/graph?&w=400&h=220&o=f&c=1&y=r&b=ffffff&n=666666&r=1m&u=megaupload.com&&u=thepiratebay.org&u=mediafire.com&u=rapidshare.com&u=turbobit.net& [alexa.com]

Is Carpathia next? (2)

apcullen (2504324) | about 2 years ago | (#38893701)

Is there really a difference between Megaupload hosting infringing content and Carpathis hosting Megaupload?

Romney's opinion? (2, Interesting)

basecastula (2556196) | about 2 years ago | (#38893733)

So who is going to ask Mitt for his opinion on the case? I'm waiting for that soundbite.

Please don't cry for Megaupload... (5, Informative)

nweaver (113078) | about 2 years ago | (#38893777)

I reviewed an academic paper (which unfortunately the others on the PC didn't like, so it wasn't accepted) which examined the economic model of Megaupload, related services, third-party links to Megaupload, and the popular files, especially the "Uploader Rewards", and concluded that the company's business model really was about "Profit from Piracy".

Combined with the email trail that the feds apparently got (eg, emails concerning scraping of Youtube for the creation of MegaVideo, emails about reward payments including clear descriptions of the types of uploads), and the RICO indictments etc are not a surprise. (the indictment [scribd.com] )

For example, if its true that their takedown is by URL, but they duplicate based on hash (so one can have multiple URLs for the same file), thats clearly attempting to game the system, as any legitimate takedown system would take down all separate URLs which point to the same file. (Paragraph 23 on the indictment). Especially if this is related to the creation of a "dummy lifetime premium user" to "to prevent the loss of source files due to expiration or abuse reports" (from a Megaupload email).

Also, at least according to the indictment, there really should be very few legitimate files lost in this: Anonymous uploads needed to be downloaded every 21 days or they were deleted, and even free named accounts required 90-day downloads, which is very different from Dropbox and other systems, where persistence, rather than popularity-of-download, is the goal.

Re:Please don't cry for Megaupload... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894321)

Is there a chance to getin touch with the author of this paper? Or to read a copy?

Re:Please don't cry for Megaupload... (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | about 2 years ago | (#38894519)

Anonymous uploads needed to be downloaded every 21 days or they were deleted, and even free named accounts required 90-day downloads, which is very different from Dropbox and other systems, where persistence, rather than popularity-of-download, is the goal.

My experience as a free user was that anything I uploaded was not removed even with no/little download activity. I uploaded a number of things I only downloaded once or not at all, and none of those files were removed from my account over the course of a year and a half.

Re:Please don't cry for Megaupload... (3, Interesting)

ThatsMyNick (2004126) | about 2 years ago | (#38894607)

Just playing the devils advocate.

I reviewed an academic paper (which unfortunately the others on the PC didn't like, so it wasn't accepted) which examined the economic model of Megaupload, related services, third-party links to Megaupload, and the popular files, especially the "Uploader Rewards", and concluded that the company's business model really was about "Profit from Piracy".

I agree with you on this, but it is not yet illegal to "Profit from Piracy".

Combined with the email trail that the feds apparently got (eg, emails concerning scraping of Youtube for the creation of MegaVideo, emails about reward payments including clear descriptions of the types of uploads), and the RICO indictments etc are not a surprise. (the indictment [scribd.com] )

Scraping of youtube is violation of the terms of service, but again is not criminal act. I would be happy to see Megaupload sued by Google. Calling the description, clear, is a stretch. It includes file type and the description provided by the uploader. I would be surprised if any of these can be considered the real description.

For example, if its true that their takedown is by URL, but they duplicate based on hash (so one can have multiple URLs for the same file), thats clearly attempting to game the system, as any legitimate takedown system would take down all separate URLs which point to the same file. (Paragraph 23 on the indictment).

Again not a requirement of DMCA. In fact, apart from Youtube, I dont think anybody looks for similar files are removes them. Say you have two files in your server containing BluRay keys, and receive a takedown for one of them, would you also volunteer to take down the other?

Especially if this is related to the creation of a "dummy lifetime premium user" to "to prevent the loss of source files due to expiration or abuse reports" (from a Megaupload email).

Also, at least according to the indictment, there really should be very few legitimate files lost in this: Anonymous uploads needed to be downloaded every 21 days or they were deleted, and even free named accounts required 90-day downloads, which is very different from Dropbox and other systems, where persistence, rather than popularity-of-download, is the goal.

You should read their terms again. They dont "need" to be deleted in 21 days. They simply guarantee to retain your file for 21 days without any downloads in the period. Depending on their resource availability they could retain files they believe would bring them revenue, for as long as they like and in any structure they like. And why shouldnt popularity-of-download be a goal?

Re:Please don't cry for Megaupload... (5, Informative)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#38894759)

For example, if its true that their takedown is by URL, but they duplicate based on hash (so one can have multiple URLs for the same file), thats clearly attempting to game the system, as any legitimate takedown system would take down all separate URLs which point to the same file. (Paragraph 23 on the indictment). Especially if this is related to the creation of a "dummy lifetime premium user" to "to prevent the loss of source files due to expiration or abuse reports" (from a Megaupload email).

Wrong. The DMCA puts the onus on the copyright holder to provide enough information to identify the offending material, not the service provider. A legitimate takedown system would take down the URL they request be taken down, and no more.

The reason this is crucial is that deduplication is an established technique for preventing data redundancy, and does its job without regard to who uploaded the content or how it is being used. It is not at all a given that every copy of a file uploaded by multiple people is equally infringing.

For example, you and I both buy a copy of a movie. We each have the right to make a backup. I make my backup and upload it to a sharing site, but mark it "for my eyes only". This is still a backup. You do the same, but mark it "public" and post the URL to a bunch of pirated movie bulletin boards or whatever. This is no longer a backup. Your data and mine are, or at least should be, identical because they were ripped from the same DVD. They are deduplicated to the same underlying hash. When the copyright owner complains about that URL, your copy must come down. However, if my copy comes down as well, that would be illegal destruction of my personal property, and would subject both companies to civil (and possibly criminal) liability.

Taken one step further, I might have a relationship with the copyright holder that allows me to redistribute a copy of that movie to my clients. I might make that URL "public" (accessible without my password), but I might not publish the URL except in the form of sending it to my clients. That is still not a copyright violation. However, it is still technically a publicly shared URL. When yours gets taken down, mine must not, or else it is tortious interference. Yet there is absolutely no difference, as far as the sharing service is concerned, between those two URLs. Both are public. Both are backed by the same tag.

The DMCA requires that the requested URL be taken down, not every possible copy of the content in question. Any representation to the contrary is a misrepresentation of the law, and would render infeasible the standard operating procedures for large, shared server farms.

Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying that these sites aren't sleazy operators that knowingly distributed copyright-infringing material. However, their following of the DMCA to the letter to the law (and no further) should not be considered evidentiary support for such an argument.

Re:Please don't cry for Megaupload... (1)

bws111 (1216812) | about 2 years ago | (#38895375)

There seem to be a few 'facts' in your post which are nothing more than wishful thinking.

First, you do not have the 'right' to make a backup copy of a movie. So that example is invalid.

Secondly, the exact text from the DMCA is:

`(C) upon notification of claimed infringement as described in paragraph (3), responds expeditiously to remove, or disable access to, the material that is claimed to be infringing or to be the subject of infringing activity.

The 'material' is the contents of the file (song, movie, whatever), not a URL. The law does not say 'remove a single link to the material', or 'remove one copy of the material', it says 'remove the material'.

The same law which protects the host from liability to the copyright holder also protects them from liability in the case of improper takedowns, so your 'tortious interference' does not apply. If someone legitimately had the file there, they can file a counter notice stating they have the right to have the data there. It is not the hosting providers call.

I am sure ... (4, Funny)

Anomalyst (742352) | about 2 years ago | (#38893801)

They will be contacted by all six of them.

five^b^b^b^b four (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894011)

people respond

What kind of data possibly _could_ be lost? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894253)

Presumably the uploaded and served files themselves aren't at stake, because you've got to have uploaded from somewhere, not to mention that nobody in their right mind can count on a service being around forever. Even a fairly long-lasting internet company like Amazon, probably doesn't have your only copy of stuff on their EC2 machines.

So what's the data we're talking about here? Is it logs, marketing info, statistics, etc? i.e. Data created by the service itself? How would any of that be infringing? (Or if non-infringing isn't what they mean by "legal" -- is about some kind of European data collection and privacy laws?) (But at the same time, why would any of that merit anyone caring a whole lot? Anyone who was counting on megaupload has almost certainly already moved in the week or two since they went down.)

how??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#38894701)

How is Carpathia Hosting going to determine what is legal and what is not? the copyright owner can claim it is illegal and then it might still be legal, could be a backup from someone who actually bought a copy of say a movie

What if it is a compressed file? what if it is password protected, what if it is encrypted?

Don't see how they could possibly do anything but delete it all or give who ever ask, what ever they ask for

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