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Government Piracy The Courts United States Your Rights Online

US Gov't Wants Megaupload Users To Pay For Their Data 203

angry tapir writes "U.S. federal prosecutors are fine with Megaupload users recovering their data — as long as they pay for it. The government's position was explained in a court filing on Friday concerning one of the many interesting side issues that has emerged from the shutdown of Megaupload, formerly one of the most highly trafficked file-sharing sites. Prosecutors were responding to a motion filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in late March on behalf of Kyle Goodwin, an Ohio-based sports reporter who used Megaupload legitimately for storing videos. The government argues that it only copied part of the Megaupload data and the physical servers were never seized. Megaupload's 1,103 servers — which hold upwards of 28 petabytes of data — are still held by Carpathia Hosting. Goodwin's options, prosecutors said, are either pay — or sue — Carpathia, or sue Megaupload."
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US Gov't Wants Megaupload Users To Pay For Their Data

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  • by gl4ss ( 559668 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @05:32AM (#40306595) Homepage Journal

    but would carpathia give data to anyone who paid? doubt that. how would they even know how to get the data. are they even allowed to access the data? doubt that too.

    seems like just washing of hands - amazingly fucked up investigation though. next they'll try to argue that they never did any legal action?? (which is actually true, "haha"). it's increasingly evident that the fbi tactic was that they assumed dotcom would settle for some prison time right away(thus not needing evidence or due process).

  • Re:Or... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @06:44AM (#40306893)

    So you are saying that in the U.S., courts are not independent? I always thought that to be a cornerstone of democratic systems.

  • TOS Says NO! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by beaverdownunder ( 1822050 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:15AM (#40306997)

    As this [] article notes, "the MPAA expressed sympathy towards legitimate users who may have lost access to original content or data that was obtained legally, although they also point out that Megaupload's terms of service offered no guarantee of the safety or accessibility of uploaded data."

    The fact is, Megaupload offered NO guarantee any data stored on its servers would be accessible at any given point in the future, if at all. Whether its servers were destroyed by an act of God, or the US government makes no difference -- there was never any contract between Megaupload and its users to safeguard their data, and as a result its users were not deprived of anything tangible when that data was taken offline.

    It's kind of like sticking your stuff in a locker at a swimming pool or a gym -- they put up big signs saying they're not responsible for your stuff. Of course, you would never store anything valuable in a locker room, now would you? This sort of 'rejection of liability' flows on -- if the government turns up, takes over the building for some reason or another, and throws you out, they're not responsible for your stuff either. You're just SOL.

    A locker in a gym is not the same as a safety deposit box in a bank vault. To argue that they are is just plain silly, and if you tried it in court, I imagine a judge would laugh at you. Your argument would be swiftly defeated by a rebuttal of simple common sense.

    So although it's fun to rant about 'suing the gubbermint', such a pointless exercise would never lead anywhere, and the government knows that. By pointing out that you could recover your data through Megaupload's hosting provider, they're really just being 'nice'. They owe you nothing.

  • by rhook ( 943951 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:29AM (#40307077)

    This is like arguing that the government can seize your car from the garage and dismantle it into thousands of parts, but that they haven't deprived you of your property, because you are free to hire a mechanic (at great cost) to put it all back together again.

    This actually happens all the time. Happened to a friend of mine more than once even. So long as the police were acting in "good faith" you have no legal recourse.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @07:34AM (#40307103)

    ... the FBI tactic was that they assumed dotcom would settle for some prison time ...

    This is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for the FBI. Those US cop shows aren't far from the truth. Get someone on a minor crime, then threaten to charge him with a serious crime, requiring a long trial and much longer imprisonment. A plea bargain from the defendant makes the FBI look good and prevents the judicial system suffering massive court-room costs.

    Unfortunately for the FBI, New Zealand didn't have any evidence of an actual (physical damages) crime.

  • by webheaded ( 997188 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2012 @10:37AM (#40308835) Homepage
    Yes, because it is reasonable for everyone to be as paranoid as you and keep 18 backups of their data. I mean silly me, I only have a hard drive with my shit in addition to the original place the data is. I must be stupid. Or you know...I'm just being realistic. What you only have 5 different backups? What kind of dumb ass only keeps 5 backups of data? I chiseled mine into the concrete foundations of my house and can read back the data at any time by typing in all the machine code. What are you using? Some shitty tape backups? What a bunch of stupid toys.

1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.