Three years ago now, EFF’s client Kyle Goodwin, a sports videographer, asked the court to allow him to retrieve the files he stored in an account on the cloud storage site Megaupload. When the government seized Megaupload’s assets and servers in January 2012, Mr. Goodwin lost access to video files containing months of his professional work. Today, EFF filed a brief on behalf of Mr. Goodwin asking, once again, for the return of the files.
We originally asked the court for help back in 2012. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia took briefing, and even held a hearing. Unfortunately, since that time not much has happened. The U.S. government has continued pursuing a criminal case and a civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and its owners, but the data stored by millions of Megaupload customers, including material like Mr. Goodwin’s sports videos that had nothing to do with the alleged copyright infringement that Megaupload is accused of, languished in a warehouse on hundreds of servers owned by Carpathia Hosting, Megaupload’s former contractor.
Recently, however, a new company took control of Carpathia. This new company, QTS Realty Trust, took the opportunity to remind the court that it’s still paying to store and preserve the servers that it can’t dispose of. EFF and the firm of Williams Mullen, on behalf of Mr. Goodwin, took this opportunity to remind the court that Mr. Goodwin, and those like him, still need to get their files back.
Kyle Goodwin, and others like him, did nothing but legitimately use a cloud storage service to house legal files. In Kyle’s case, it was business files, but many others lost access to personal and private information as well. We believe the time has come for those folks to get their data back. We hope the court agrees.