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Electronic Frontier Foundation

EFF Seeking Information of Legal Users of Megaupload 165

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the caught-in-the-crossfire dept.
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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EFF Seeking Information of Legal Users of Megaupload

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  • by Marble68 (746305) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:27PM (#38893017) Homepage

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

  • by spikestabber (644578) <<spike> <at> <spykes.net>> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:28PM (#38893047) Homepage
    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.
  • by RazzleFrog (537054) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:33PM (#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:I'm confused... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by spikestabber (644578) <<spike> <at> <spykes.net>> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:41PM (#38893237) Homepage
    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.
  • Sounds Like PR Win (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Volvogga (867092) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:48PM (#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.

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

    by spikestabber (644578) <<spike> <at> <spykes.net>> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:51PM (#38893419) Homepage
    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... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Baloroth (2370816) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:56PM (#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.

  • by robot256 (1635039) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:11PM (#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.
  • by Hentes (2461350) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:14PM (#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:I'm confused... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:40PM (#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.

  • by robot256 (1635039) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @04:49PM (#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.

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