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Megaupload Host Wants Out

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the time-to-tap-out dept.

The Courts 164

angry tapir writes "Carpathia Hosting, a U.S. company hosting the frozen data of millions of users of the file-sharing site Megaupload, has gone to court to argue it should not keep the files if it is not being paid. The company has filed an emergency motion in the U.S. Federal Court in the state of Virginia seeking protection from the expense of hosting the data of up to 66 million users. 'While Carpathia has never had access to the data on Megaupload servers and has had no mechanism for returning that data to Megaupload users, we have been attempting over many weeks to resolve this matter to the satisfaction of all parties involved, in a manner that would allow for Megaupload users to be in a position to ultimately recover their data,' Brian Winter, the company's chief marketing officer says."

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164 comments

5th Amendment (5, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448769)

"No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ..."
constitution.org [constitution.org]

Seems like a dead letter these days. Encryption keys, laptop seizures, cloud seizures, warrantless email searches, GPS tagging, etc.

Re:5th Amendment (5, Funny)

TFAFalcon (1839122) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448825)

It's still being followed. Due process of the law now means being accused.

Re:5th Amendment (5, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450111)

That's not funny, it's true. Since "due process" no longer means "judicial process" what's left?

Re:5th Amendment (5, Interesting)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448831)

Freezing someone's assets to "Prevent their flight" disrupts all their business, legitimate or not...? Who knew that was going to happen?
Hell, I'm still confused as to how a German living in New Zealand gets arrested on the orders of the FBI...

Re:5th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449171)

Why is that confusing? The servers are in the US, he committed his crimes there.

Let's not cry for Kim Dotcom, the guy is a huge pile of shit. If that fat slob was smart enough to not use a US host, this wouldn't have happened.

Re:5th Amendment (3, Funny)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449253)

Freezing someone's assets to "Prevent their flight"

Never mind the 5:th amendment, I thought freezing peoples asses to prevent their flight was against the Geneva convention or something or another.

Re:5th Amendment (4, Funny)

TheInternetGuy (2006682) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449263)

Oh, you said assets

didn't you? Well carry on then.

Re:5th Amendment (0)

nashv (1479253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450465)

Incorrect. The Geneva conventionS (there is more than 1), consider these to be a breach of the conventions:
        willful killing, torture or inhumane treatment, including biological experiments
        willfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health
        compelling someone to serve in the forces of a hostile power
        willfully depriving someone of the right to a fair trial if accused of a war crime.

Also considered grave breaches of the Fourth Geneva Convention are the following:

        taking of hostages
        extensive destruction and appropriation of property not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly
        unlawful deportation, transfer, or confinement.

So no. Freezing of assets is a perfectly humane way of dealing with a flight risk.

Re:5th Amendment (2)

nashv (1479253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450565)

Why is it confusing ?

You can file a complaint against any an individual in the police force of any nation, and the police force of that nation has the right to make arrests if that individual is on their soil.

In the case of Megaupload, a US Federal Prosecutor filed that said complaint in New Zealand, providing evidence of international crimes. The FBI then filed for extradition of the accused in New Zealand. There was a court hearing in New Zealand, which approved the extradition.

Just because the newspapers report in colloquial language and say "upon the FBI's request" , it doesn't mean due procedure is not followed. Of course, the gist of it is still that he was arrested due to a request by the US authorities.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

FairAndHateful (2522378) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448865)

"No person shall ... be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law ..." constitution.org [constitution.org]

Seems like a dead letter these days.

Well, it definitely counts as property if they're not being allowed to use it. (Yeah yeah, IANAL, gotta say it.)

Is it just me, or is it that if someone doesn't like what you're doing, they don't care if the charges stick so long as they get to hurt you financially? In a lot of cases it's legal fees, but sometimes it just seems that they see any form of financial pain as enough. That seems like punishment without a conviction, and that bothers me.

I'd imagine that any legal case being pursued against Megaupload would be preserved by spinning the data off onto a boxload of tape and letting Carpathia get back to business. Am I missing something, or is there someone that thinks that they need to hurt Carpathia regardless of what happens?

yes I know I'm ignoring the pain being caused to Megaupload and its (arguably former) users.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450001)

By that logic though, it would be unconstitutional to hold someone on bail before the trial. Or to even hold someone while awaiting the bail hearing. They are being deprived of their liberty simply by having charges placed against them. Also, "without due process of law" can mean a lot of things. The process of the law is whatever the process of the law is defined to be. That doesn't mean a full jury trial before they are able to deprive you of life, liberty, or property. If the "process of the law" says that they can hold you for 6 weeks a judge can get around to seeing you for a bail hearing, then that's the process. If the process says that, at that bail hearing the judge can opt to freeze your assets, or imprison you, or any number of things, then that is the process. All it really means is that they can't lock you up without following whatever process has been defined, or take your access without following the process. But as long as they follow whichever process is defined in all the other legal documents, they are fine.

Re:5th Amendment (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449051)

Carpathia Hosting is unable to re-purpose these servers, they are also being deprived of their property without due process. They should be allowed to delete the data.

Re:5th Amendment (3, Insightful)

sjwt (161428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449885)

Carpathia Hosting is unable to re-purpose these servers, they are also being deprived of their property without due process. They should be allowed to delete the data.

Or perhaps as part of the due process, the government should be reimbursing the companies it can and dose cripple with such moves.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450487)

Carpathia Hosting is unable to re-purpose these servers, they are also being deprived of their property without due process. They should be allowed to delete the data.

I'm surprised that the FBI doesn't just seize the servers to prevent tampering with evidence in an upcoming lawsuit.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450647)

If there is reasonable suspicion that they aided and abetted a crime then property can be seized. I'm still £10 down because I came across a bank note smeared in red dye, so I handed it in to the police. They caught a bank robber because of it. No reward, no return of my tenner ("stolen goods"), no reimbursement, it's just the way it works. Not particularly fair though.

The sensible thing in this case would be to have a court appointed computer forensics person come in and take an image of the server, lock it away somewhere, then they have all the admissible evidence they need and the servers can be re-purposed.

Re:5th Amendment (3, Insightful)

petsounds (593538) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449099)

Funny how people say that digital goods should not be counted as a specific piece of property until suddenly their personal interests are at stake. [I'm not targeting you personally; I don't know what your take on digital goods is.]

Either files are real property, or they are not. If they are, then they must be so consistently whether it is your file on a server that you have been denied access to, or whether it is someone downloading a 'copyright-infringed' mp3 from a torrent site. If not, then the files uploaded to sharing servers are just copies; not the original item, and in that case people should've made a backup copy in a digital space that they control.

Either way, it seems like our legal definition of property is way behind the technical state of the art.

Re:5th Amendment (2)

gomiam (587421) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449259)

You are equating different things: a paper copy of a novel is a piece of physical property. The novel itself isn't a piece of physical property, as demonstrated by the fact that it can be copied (on physical media as paper for example).

Files, as pieces of magnetized ferrite on a disk, are physical things and you can complain about their not being available, because you lost your copy of those files when you lost access to that magnetized ferrite.

Besides, copyright advocates don't complain about their intellectual property "disappearing" (at least usually): they complain about there being too many "unauthorized" copies of it laying about.

To summarise: you are saying physical and virtual items are the same when they aren't and saynig not having access to some data with having "too many copies" of it around is the same when it isn't. <sarcasm>Will you try showing that black and white are the same too?</sarcasm>

Re:5th Amendment (2)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450447)

The industry itself doesn't even have a clear-cut idea as to what is property and what isn't as concerns digital media.

Take the RIAA, for instance, who in the course of a week or so, argued that an MP3 was merely being 'licensed' in order to prevent the sale of 'used' MP3's in their suit against Redigi [wired.com] , and then in another case, argued that MP3's were actually being 'sold' to avoid being liable for the much higher percentage of royalties due the artist for licensing their music as opposed to selling it [musicweek.com] .

Obviously a digital file cannot be both owned for purposes of liability and licensed for purposes of use, so the courts need to get on top of this ASAP.

Re:5th Amendment (2)

Weatherlawyer (2596357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450519)

You are equating different things: a paper copy of a novel is a piece of physical property. The novel itself isn't a piece of physical property, as demonstrated by the fact that it can be copied (on physical media as paper for example).

Files, as pieces of magnetized ferrite on a disk, are physical things and you can complain about their not being available, because you lost your copy of those files when you lost access to that magnetized ferrite.

Besides, copyright advocates don't complain about their intellectual property "disappearing" (at least usually): they complain about there being too many "unauthorized" copies of it laying about.

To summarise: you are saying physical and virtual items are the same when they aren't and saynig not having access to some data with having "too many copies" of it around is the same when it isn't. <sarcasm>Will you try showing that black and white are the same too?</sarcasm>

So are you saying the copies are not copies if they are digital copies? Why is there a problem with Megaupload in that case? And if you are wrong, what law will allow them to be copied if the owner of the file is the copyright holder? But in any case, how many people are likely to pursue this sort of thing?

Re:5th Amendment (3, Insightful)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449305)

If your data is your life, you should have been doing backups to other locations, not just posting it to a server some where.

No sympathy here for anyone who "lost" data due to the takedown. Were I in the hosting provider's shoes, my response would be along the lines of:

A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

It's an old saying in the IT world, but a sanity-saver when dealing with incompetent users and departments who always put off their requirements to the last minute and who rarely have the budget to PAY for those requirements.

Re:5th Amendment (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449641)

A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

What would you say if you got a call from your banker tomorrow saying they lost all your money, but...

"A failure to plan on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

Hell, you should have saved some money elsewhere and kept your money somewhere that didn't have a vice president who was going to Vegas every weekend, and by the way, you never complained when you were getting 0.5% higher interest rates than other banks offered.

If your money is your life, you should be more careful with it.

If it's such a high war on crime priority for the FBI to take down this goofy criminal mastermind, who they seem to believe is some James Bond supervillian, then they ought to pay this host site to preserve their evidence for them. And, they ought to allow the users of Megaupload access to their files until they are each proven to be stolen or infringing. And to anyone who actually paid Megaupload to share their files: have you never heard of a torrent?

Re:5th Amendment (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449799)

I'd say that's what the FDIC and Canadian equivalent are for.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449913)

In other words, the FDIC is the backup.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450321)

Wait, I can make backups of my money? Please explain.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

realsilly (186931) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449815)

Article. XIV.
[Proposed 1866; Allegedly ratified 1868. See Fourteenth Amendment Law Library for argument it was not ratified.]

Section. 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

This is the verbiage of the 14th Amendment, which is speaking about Naturalized citizens.

You might have a better argument if you state your quotes factually.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450245)

Wait, what are you talking about?

Are you saying that I took verbiage from the 14th amendment, and mis-attributed it to the 5th?

In fact, I took the words from the 5th (excerpted with ellipses).

If you don't for some reason like constitution.org, check it out on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Secondly, the verbiage of the 14th tracks that of the 5th amendment.

Finally, the 14th refers to the states while (according to some) the 5th refers to the government of the united States, which is what took the action in this case.

Re:5th Amendment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449911)

So its property when digital data belongs to people and its not when it belongs to companies or small businesses?

And they did get their due processes as others pointed out. Just because you don't like the results doesn't mean they didn't get due process. In fact, it sounds like everyone involved bent over backwards to follow process and procedure to ensure due process for all involved.

Re:5th Amendment (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450301)

If a rental property isn't being paid for, the landlord may remove the furniture etc to storage and accrue storage charges. Then, if those aren't paid, it goes to public auction.

Why not force taxpayers to pay for it...? (4, Funny)

mykos (1627575) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448775)

...just like we have to pay for any other copyright enforcement actions?

Bill the credit cards (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448899)

The megaupload servers will have the details of all the users and their uploaded pirated stuff in their accounts. Just bill their credit cards.

Seriously, you realize that this is the start of the process not the end, those servers contain massive amounts of copyright infringement logs and a paid account is linked to a credit card and thus to a person. So there will be a mass of investigations to follow from this.

There's no way a court will let that data be destroyed.

Re:Bill the credit cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448983)

The megaupload servers will have the details of all the users and their uploaded pirated stuff in their accounts. Just bill their credit cards.

I don't think a user would want to pay money for data that cannot be accessed by him. And if that data consists of copyright infringement material then the users who have uploaded those files would more than likely want those files taken down instead of having to pay a hosting company to keep them online.

It probably would have been more wise for the people who were sharing illegal files, if they would have uploaded the files without logging in with their accounts. Most filesharing hosters used to have the feature of hosting a file without requiring an account. Paying for an account only makes sense if you plan to download a large number of big files as fast as possible, that means that you would be paying for a better download bandwith and the feature of being able to download more files at one time.

Seriously, you realize that this is the start of the process not the end, those servers contain massive amounts of copyright infringement logs and a paid account is linked to a credit card and thus to a person. So there will be a mass of investigations to follow from this.

There's no way a court will let that data be destroyed.

Totatlly agree with that. That is the reason why Carpathia Hosting is being 'forced' to store such a huge amount of data.

Re:Bill the credit cards (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449003)

Paid accounts are not just for downloading. The people who uploaded the most copyright infringing material were receiving cash per download, that is why they would log in. If you don't use your account to upload, you don't get paid.

Re:Bill the credit cards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449067)

I've read about that, but aren't there any more subtle ways to pull that off? After all it's an illegal activity what they were doing. A normal person who is engaged in illegal activities would try to hide it.

In that case, if people received the money through the information they used when they signed up, then you first have to find out who was enganged in illegal activities before you can tell who should pay for the hosting costs. With millions of users it will take a lot of time to find them.
Carpathia Hosting probably cannot wait that long.

Re:Bill the credit cards (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449295)

I think it's worth noting that the payoffs were part of a system where you were rewarded for uploading popular files. EVERY premium user got paid for getting downloads (which were not necessarily copyright infringing files). IANAL but I don't think rewarding people for uploading popular files is illegal in itself. It just turned out that copyright infringing files got a lot of downloads, so pirates were getting quite a sum.

Re:Bill the credit cards (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449855)

The problem here is that MegaUpload were allegedly fully aware that the highest paid accounts were transferring copyrighted material, as they shared those links with each other. There's nothing illegal about the system itself, but the abuse of the system and the administrators being aware and supporting its abuse certainly is.

Re:Bill the credit cards (1)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450479)

I think it's worth noting that the payoffs were part of a system where you were rewarded for uploading popular files. EVERY premium user got paid for getting downloads (which were not necessarily copyright infringing files). IANAL but I don't think rewarding people for uploading popular files is illegal in itself. It just turned out that copyright infringing files got a lot of downloads, so pirates were getting quite a sum.

Megaupload was never a popular as a cashhost. People who were interesting in making money did not use MU. Period.

I'm tired of seeing this BS assertion on /., from people obviously not remotely familiar with filehosters and their usage.

Re:Bill the credit cards (1)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448991)

That sounds like a good use of taxpayer money. We'll get those game copiers! The gains we get from doing so will be immeasurably high!

Re:Why not force taxpayers to pay for it...? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449775)

Just what I was thinking. When a regular citizen gets a copy by these means,, is either theft our copyright infringement. Now they are holding and possibly copying the information, and somehow it's suddenly legal (I'm assuming some people actually hosted files for which the authorities don't have the copyright for)

Holdng data hostage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448777)

It's ironic that a HOSTing company would be going to such lengths to keep data HOSTage. I guess it's another way to make money off of people's fear of being caught red-handed with stolen files.

Illegal filesharing? Is it good or is it whack?

Re:Holdng data hostage (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449161)

It's like this:

Company A pays Company B for hosting
Company B buys/rents servers, rackspace, power, bandwidth to provide the service

Government C shuts down Company A
Company A no longer pays Company B
Company B still has it's bills to pay.

Therefore, either:
Company B removes it's service, and re-uses the equipment, rackspace etc for a new paying customer
or
Company B loses money running a service that costs money but it gets nothing for
or
Government C re-imburses Company B for the cost
or
Government C uses a legal instrument to require Company B to retain the data

Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (4, Insightful)

AGMW (594303) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448789)

It totally stinks that the high percentage of legitimate Megaupload customers are getting screwed 'cos of the US bully-boy tactics. What about shutting down the US Postal Service because of all the illegal activity that enables? People do bad things with telephones too. Hey, don't people use cars as getaway cars ... let's shut down Ford and GM while we're at it!

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (2, Funny)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448815)

let's shut down Ford and GM while we're at it

Don't worry, Detroit execs are already busy mismanaging them out of existence themselves anyway.

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (3, Funny)

sjwt (161428) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448853)

"Don't worry, Detroit execs are already busy mismanaging themselves into another bailout anyway."

TFTFY

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (5, Insightful)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448861)

The best alternative would have been to appoint a legal guardian, to ensure the legal elements of the business can continue whilst the court case is carried out. What has happened flies in the face of one of the most important elements of justice, innocent until proven guilty. Elements of the US government have completely abandoned this principle from torturing suspects (guilty upon accusation and subject to punitive physical and psychological abuse, at the hands of mentally disturbed individuals seeking promotions and passing performance measures, all without recourse to the courts and false confessions to end the torture being treated a valid evidence) to confiscation of assets to actively prevent paying for a legal defence.

A bunch of out of control wankers, with no real appreciation of the law and justice, just their own ego of being judge, jury and execution. A closed chorus, cheering each other on in their legal abuses, gloating over the power they misuse and it all falls apart when it finally goes through the courts, unless of course they can force a confession and guilty plea out of people, via extended psychological torture.

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450037)

elements? what elements? It's the entire bloody damn gubbermint and their corporate cronies. You are guilty until proven innocent unless and only unless you're one of our paid congress critters.

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449303)

What percentage of post office users are using the USPS for illegal activities ( 90%?).

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450163)

What percentage of post office users are using the USPS for spam activities (90%?).

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (0)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449427)

What about shutting down the US Postal Service because of all the illegal activity that enables?

OK, we get it. You like sites that give you access to ripped-off material. It's a shame you're such a chicken that you won't just come right out and say that's what you're about.

Regardless, please work on your analogies. You're not doing your agenda any good by trying to compare a postal service that has a long history of criminally prosecuting people who mis-use it with a business set up expressly to profit from aggregious copyright infringement. A business that expressly wooed pirates (and paid them to rip things off, making rather a show of doing so). That you can't grasp the difference between a common carrier that aggressively pursues criminal mis-use and an operation set up and run expressly to encourage and profit from crime is ... never mind. You know the difference, and you're being a disengenuous twit about it.

Hey, don't people use cars as getaway cars ... let's shut down Ford and GM while we're at it!

Would you like to point to a GM marketing campaign and reward program aimed at making sure their products are used in bank robberies, and which gets a piece of loot whenever a criminal uses a Chevy? Please, do. Or better yet, please just stop with the completely insincere outrage. It's utterly transparent.

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449707)

You know the difference, and you're being a disengenuous twit about it.

Or maybe he was just ignorant about it? Before reading about it on Slashdot I had no idea they were actively encouraging piracy by paying uploaders of popular files. Before that, I had no clue what was different about megaupload and any other hosting service like rapidshare or dropbox. However, due to my ignorance on the subject, I decided I wouldn't take sides and start angry arguments about something I did not had the faintest clue about. Sadly that's not how most people think before posting.

Re:Shutdown E V E R Y T H I N G! (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450355)

HIgh percentage? Citation needed.

The major purpose of such sites has always been warez and porn. That's why there are so many links to them passed 'round the net.

No one here believes otherwise but many pretend it.
 

It's simple: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448813)

rm -rf /

Solved.

Send the servers to Gitmo! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448855)

You know it makes sense!

Not THEIR data (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448867)

Not a single Megaupload user has come forward and claimed the data in their account is their data. Even the YouTube stuff was cloned from YouTube without consent, and anyone with their data uploaded for distribution on Megalupload also has their own copy.

So this statement: "in a manner that would allow for Megaupload users to be in a position to ultimately recover their data" ....imagines a demand that isn't there.

Also the hoster does have access to that data, they run the physical servers, the servers where public facing, they may not have the password to the admin accounts, but they certainly do have access to all the public web accessible data.

Re:Not THEIR data (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448885)

Not a single Megaupload user has come forward and claimed the data in their account is their data.

Obligatory [citation needed].

Millions of users and you say not even one has tried?

Ask the EFF? (4, Informative)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448917)

The EFF helped set up an effort for U.S. users of MegaUpload to get their data back. They should have some information on how many requests they've gotten.

http://www.megaretrieval.com/ [megaretrieval.com]

"Carpathia Hosting has created the website www.MegaRetrieval.com to help lawful users in the United States work with EFF to investigate their options for retrieving their legitimate, non-infringing files from Megaupload."

Re:Ask the EFF? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449373)

Fantastic! Finally I will be able to finish all my illegal downloads queue.

Re:Not THEIR data (3, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449925)

Ironically, the DOJ itself uses MegaUpload.

Re:Not THEIR data (5, Informative)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448893)

How about this article, which lists multiple users making the claim you say doesn't exist by name: http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2012/01/megaupload-wasnt-just-for-pirates-angry-users-out-of-luck-for-now.ars [arstechnica.com]

Your claim is fucking ridiculous. There are 25 PB of data. It's nearly impossible for there not to be significant amounts of legitimate data on there.

Lets go through that link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39448977)

I said this: Either: 1) They are not asking for their data, or 2) They had copies, or 3) It was pirated

So going through your article:
Reader Mark Ellul tells us "I used my account for online storage and backups" it was backup, so he's a 2).

"daveIT" in the Ars forums said he paid for the premium service for increased speed, and used it to collaborate with a friend in Alaska on music tracks. He's a 2 or a 3.

"Another reader tells us in the forums that "I'm an Android phone enthusiast, and Megaupload was one of the best ways to distribute custom ROMs and other Android mods." He's a 2) or a 3).

"Massimiliano Fanciulli tells Ars "I've used Megaupload for distributing betas of my app Sleepy " He *was* a 2) now a nothing.

"Professional musician Suzanne Barbieri "e-mailed us to note that she used Megaupload to store and share music in part because most of her projects "are too large for something like YouSendIt.", another 2).

"One reader admits to having used Megaupload "for both legal and iffy purposes,", he's a 3).

"Vancouver resident Geoff Luk says he volunteered to take photos and videos at the 2010 Winter Olympics and used Megaupload to store files that were 4GB in size.....Luk says he has everything backed up locally". Another 2).

So where's the 1) s?

It's fund to make straw men and break them down, but really access to this data isn't a problem, you just file and the FBI can get it for you.

Re:Lets go through that link (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449045)

One, you are assuming that using the service for illegal purposes means you aren't using it for legal purposes, and only 2 of the 2)s had clearly stated they had copies.

Again, just from the sake of probability, it's batshit insane to claim that out of the 25 PB of data, none of it was both legal and the only extant copy accessible to the uploader.

It's fund to make straw men and break them down, but really access to this data isn't a problem, you just file and the FBI can get it for you.

I doubt the FBI would actually comply, and even if they did, I would be wary of contacting the FBI even if I were completely innocent. It's like talking to cops, only much worse.

Nature of computers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449145)

"you are assuming that using the service for illegal purposes means you aren't using it for legal purposes"

Change the "legal and iffy" guy to be a 2 or a 3, but he's still not a 1). The reason I doubt his story is because he made a vague anon claim, but you are free to believe it, but he's still not a 1).

"it's batshit insane to claim that out of the 25 PB of data, none of it was both legal and the only extant copy accessible to the uploader."

If I upload a file, the action of uploading *copies* the file. So it's not batshit insane, its inherent that a copy is made in the upload. This is backed up by the lack of requests from people to get their one and only copy of data back from Megaupload's server.

Seriously do you think anyone would upload the one and only copy of some important data to a company that may well have been bankrupt the next day anyway, or had a server crash, or any number of things? You'd be batshit nuts to do that. What if the copy you uploaded was corrupt on the server?

I think its a bargaining ploy with Carpathia Hosting.

Re:Nature of computers (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449301)

You missed the part about being the only extant copy. No, there were no instances where MU had the only copy ever. People accidentally delete files. Hard drives crash. Data gets corrupted. Thus, the other copies not on MU could feasibly now be extinct.

Seriously do you think anyone would upload the one and only copy of some important data to a company that may well have been bankrupt the next day anyway, or had a server crash, or any number of things? You'd be batshit nuts to do that. What if the copy you uploaded was corrupt on the server?

Yes, you'd have to be an idiot to leave important data in 'the cloud.' However, most people ARE idiots.

This is backed up by the lack of requests from people to get their one and only copy of data back from Megaupload's server.

Where are you documenting this lack of requests? There isn't a clear party to ask that can actually do anything, and if there was, there could very well be users who don't know who that party is.

Re:Nature of computers (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449675)

Seriously do you think anyone would upload the one and only copy of some important data to a company that may well have been bankrupt the next day anyway, or had a server crash, or any number of things? You'd be batshit nuts to do that. What if the copy you uploaded was corrupt on the server?

I believe they call that cloud computing ;p

Ok, couldn't resist. I do totally agree with you. It seems most of the legitimate users centered around moving huge files to other people .. not "getting them off their hard drive".

The only thing I can see is if people were using it for archives or old data .. but I imagine that makes up a very small percentage.. the same percentage that regularily loses data in harddrive crashes / other failures every day. Given megauploads sketchy reputation, if you were relying on it for archiving important data with no backups you controlled.. I figure you've just learnt a valuable lesson about managing data.

Re:Lets go through that link (1)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449179)

Again, just from the sake of probability, it's batshit insane to claim that out of the 25 PB of data, none of it was both legal and the only extant copy accessible to the uploader.

When you do any business with any company, there are risks involved. Your storage provider could just go bankrupt. The storage facility could be wiped out by a meteor. The storage provider could be accused of doing something illegal and there might be consequences affecting you. That's your risk. In the case of megaupload.com, the third risk should have looked quite high.

Re:Lets go through that link (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449281)

No, it shouldn't have, other than expecting the MPAA/RIAA to be consistently batshit crazy, but that's a risk associated with pretty much the whole internet.

Re:Lets go through that link (1)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449365)

Your point 2 is fallacious - it's like saying "It's okay I jacked his car, he's got another one"
Anyone with any sense backs up in multiple locations but you cannot rely on that. Your stance is victim blaming and plays straight into the hands people who are misusing the law to prop up a failing business model.

That's not the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449451)

"It's okay I jacked his car, he's got another one"

No that's not the same. In you scenario, he has two cars, Car A, Car B, I took Car A, he went from 2 cars to 1 car. In your scenario he lost the cost of one car.

In the actual thing that happened, he has N copies of the same file and the cost of making N+1 copies is zero. So the difference between N and N+1 is zero. He has lost nothing.

"hands people who are misusing the law to prop up a failing business model"

You should really read the indictment:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/78786408/Mega-Indictment

Re:That's not the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449859)

In the actual thing that happened, he has N copies of the same file and the cost of making N+1 copies is zero. So the difference between N and N+1 is zero. He has lost nothing.

In the actual thing that happened, MegaUpload had N copies of some files and the cost of making N+1 copies is zero. So the difference between N and N+1 is zero. The copyright holders lost nothing.

Woops, doesn`t work anymore?

Re:That's not the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450229)

"the difference between N and N+1 is zero. The copyright holders lost nothing."

The difference in *costs* between N and N+1 copies is zero. However the loss to a copyright holder loss is a loss of revenue, its of little comfort that they didn't have to also pay for the copy the pirate made.

Re:Not THEIR data (1)

KonoWatakushi (910213) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449077)

Your claim is fucking ridiculous. There are 25 PB of data. It's nearly impossible for there not to be significant amounts of legitimate data on there.

Moreover, unless you are using MAFIAA math to calculate "damages", it is absolutely certain that shutting down the site has caused far more damage to legitimate users. It is outrageous that the US government is being used as a tool for private industry at the people's expense, and without any consideration for collateral damage.

Though, the US government is increasingly engaged in morally outrageous acts these days, so it isn't that surprising.

Re:Not THEIR data (1)

dalias (1978986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449621)

Back in the day on IRC, we had a mythical unit of storage called a "pedobyte". It was defined (to vary over time) as the minimum quantity of data such that the probability of containing a certain type of illegal data reached 100%, and was used to ridicule channel members with overly large collections.

Re:Not THEIR data (2)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450223)

Not only that, Megaupload links pop up in all sorts of places. For example, I was looking at Linux drivers for various USB TV tuners, and it turns out that one of the ones I was looking at had a vendor-supplied driver for Linux that was helpfully linked on the LinuxTV wiki and apparently only available from Megaupload.

Re:Not THEIR data (1)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448913)

Where were they public facing?

They just want immunity (3, Interesting)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448879)

They are afraid that the case against "Kim Dotcom" implodes and he sues (which, given the circumstances is not unlikely). It will be interesting to see the outcome of this. Kim Dotcom certainly has the funds and is willing to fight this to the end.

Re:They just want immunity (1)

lxs (131946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449403)

I don't know. His assets are frozen. The poor guy is down to a measly $70000 per month for himself his pregnant wife his nursemaid and his butler.
He is the 99%

Re:They just want immunity (1)

rainer_d (115765) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449555)

Yeah, but the freeze may be lifted completely (due to a formal error).

Personally, I wouldn't invest a cent in any of his ventures - but too often already has the music and motion-picture industry used false allegations to shut down innocents.
"Innocent until proven guilty" was once worth something (although not in this century, I admit).

Re:They just want immunity (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449453)

I agree the whole seizing thing is outrageous and frightening corporate inside power demonstration, but please, do not turn that crook into a freedom hero.

a priori (2)

Blackajack (1856892) | more than 2 years ago | (#39448929)

Any previous judgements about similar cases where the goods are physical?
Say, rent lockers or 3rd party warehouses that hold possible contraband/illicitly appropriated/counterfeited materiel in such quantities that it cannot be moved without extraordinary expense?

Re:a priori (4, Informative)

ray-auch (454705) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449173)

It's definitely happened before with physical goods in the UK, not sure about US, probbaly wouldn't be much different. One take on it is here (make sure you read down to the second half):

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1222777/The-raid-rocked-Met-Why-gun-drugs-op-6-717-safety-deposit-boxes-cost-taxpayer-fortune.html [dailymail.co.uk]

Essentially a bunch of innocent people had to spend a lot of money on legal action to get their stuff back. Not all succeeded. Of those that did, mostly we don't know because to get their compensation they had to sign gag orders - can't have people talking about the law f**king up now can we....

Search warrant stated 90% of use was illegal... later estimates reckon 10% or less.

Re:a priori (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449325)

I don't disbelieve you in this case, but seriously, don't link to the daily mail as a source to back you up. It's about as trustworthy as the guy at the bus stop who tells you that he's an astronaut.

Re:a priori (1)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450391)

It looks like the Daily Mail actually did proper journalism there for once. There's some more recent BBC coverage [bbc.co.uk] of the same raid though, if that helps.

The cloud, where your data turns to vapour (2)

gweihir (88907) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449055)

I think this is actually a good thing, better find out now than later. Together with the recent outages at the Amazon and MS clouds, this shows that the cloud is really a chancy thing to depend on.

Re:The cloud, where your data turns to vapour (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449467)

Which is why we should try to protect people who use it. A lot of internet communities are built on free beer services, and that is a good thing because they enrich us and otherwise wouldn't exist.

Meh (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449139)

If I did legitimate banking business with an offshore bank I would still expect my funds to dry up and disappear one day because it's a fucking illegal bank. Yes, there is non-infringing use, but these sites exist on the back of illegal uploads. If it can be shown that they make a significant percentage of their income on obviously illegal transfers then it's hard to see the logic (legally, that is) of permitting them to continue to do business. And it's also hard to see the logic of expecting your files to continue to be available when you're storing them with someone known for their access to files to which people aren't supposed to have access.

Re:Meh (2, Interesting)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449247)

Are you seriously implying that any entity operating "on foreign soil" is by definition doing something illegal?

Re:Meh (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449443)

Are you seriously implying that any entity operating "on foreign soil" is by definition doing something illegal?

Not only that but Un-American too

Re:Meh (3, Interesting)

phayes (202222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449449)

By the same yardstick, if the bank holding your mortgage has been used to transfer drug money the USG can seize all it's accounts & kick you out of your home while proceedings are undergoing against the bank officers that were abetting the drug runners?

No. Hell NO!

I never used Mega* directly (got some stuff from friends who did though) as I always assumed that something would come along to squash it However, locking the legit users out amounts to illegal seizure in my book.

Re:Meh (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450629)

No, because your bank is insured and has to operate by certain laws. Even if they don't, you have plausible deniability because they are required to operate by those laws. The offshore banks are operating without those laws, and therefore you don't have any assurances that they are even supposed to behave themselves.

Re:Meh (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450155)

it's a fucking illegal...If it can be shown

Logical.

expecting your files to continue to be available when you're storing them with someone known for their access to files to which people aren't supposed to have access.

Logical.

Both indicate that Megaupload was a great place to store your files if you can assume a just application of law. Of course under a fascist axis of power it does turn out to be a bad idea. Best to store all your important data with the NSA.

They should have just reused/returned the servers (2)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449141)

They are going to be told that they must keep the servers - just in case it is needed in some court trial in 2-3 years time, and no they can't claim from law_enforcement/courts/... they must pay for it themselves - tough.

If they had just wiped the machines because their customer had not paid their bills they would have been given a slap on the wrist, now if they do they will be in breach of a court order.

Re:They should have just reused/returned the serve (2)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449235)

They could also just not pay and they aren't the ones wiping it then, if I understood the original article correctly. If they stop paying the hosting fees, the data will no longer be available.

Re:They should have just reused/returned the serve (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449705)

They could also just not pay and they aren't the ones wiping it then, if I understood the original article correctly. If they stop paying the hosting fees, the data will no longer be available.

After RTFA, I am just more confused. Carpathia Hosting is the hosting company, so who are they paying "hosting fees" to? My best guess is they were talking about opportunity costs, they can't sell hosting to paying customers while their capacity is held by the nonpaying Megaupload.

Re:They should have just reused/returned the serve (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450027)

More importantly, the FBI wants the data so they can go on the biggest digital fishing expedition ever. I expect they'll go after anyone whose account has versions of files protected by any of the major antipiracy "agencies".

Returning data to users (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39449335)

Would u like ur copy of Breaking.Wind.2011.bdrip.x264.-DIMENSION.mkv and TBBT.S04E04.Hot.Troll.Derivation.HDrip.xvid.-LOL.avi back?

The gov or copyright holders should pay for it (2)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449375)

The hosting company has done nothing wrong. They shouldn't be punished to keep all that data going. If the government wants to punish Megaupload, that's fine, but pay the hosting fees, so you don't end up bankrupting an innocent party while you take months if not years to sort this out.

Re:The gov or copyright holders should pay for it (1)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449739)

Generally agree.

Though I have to say, unless they had their heads in the sand.. they _had_ to know what they were hosting, what was going on, and the possible (even likely) legal repercussions. I generally don't like the precident of service providers having to police their users .. but given the current legal climate, providing service to this kind of site was an obvious risk.

Re:The gov or copyright holders should pay for it (1)

lindoran (1190189) | more than 2 years ago | (#39449847)

we need to be very careful in recommending this, it sets a dangerous precedent that could in the near and foreseeable future cause repercussions that end up in the long run screwing the internet. Allowing tax money or even private funds to be used for this could open the floodgates for SOPA advocates to say "hay look what happened here, Here's a large monetary cost to not regulating this ... don't you want to make sure this doesn't happen again?"

Why should the landlord have to pay the costs of (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39450481)

Why should the landlord have to pay the costs of holding stuff waiting for a court case to work though the courts?

Usual beurocratic bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450485)

Fuck this planet. Everyone mass suicide.

start a new company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39450549)

couldn't they do things the american way. start a new company. have that company buy that part of the current business. that company goes bankrupt in a month. stuff is wiped. old company buys assets back.

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