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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 tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor f . n et> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @01:50PM (#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:I'm confused... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by localman57 (1340533) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:07PM (#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.
  • Romney's opinion? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by basecastula (2556196) <(basecase.fm) (at) (gmail.com)> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:15PM (#38893733)
    So who is going to ask Mitt for his opinion on the case? I'm waiting for that soundbite.
  • by Artraze (600366) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:18PM (#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.

  • by MightyYar (622222) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @02:26PM (#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.

  • by ThatsMyNick (2004126) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @03:21PM (#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?

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