April 16, 2012 | By Julie Samuels

Court Orders Megaupload Parties to Come Up with a Plan

On Friday, EFF went to court to argue that innocent Megaupload customers like Kyle Goodwin should be able to get their lost files back. We were particularly concerned because the government, which had originally seized the files and still apparently holds all of Megaupload's financial assets, had argued that it had no obligation to make sure the files of innocent Megaupload users were returned and, in fact, believed that they could be destroyed.

The good news is that the court ordered all the parties – Megaupload, EFF, Carpathia (the service provider), the MPAA, and the government – to work together to devise a plan that protects everyone’s interests. The court plainly did not adopt the government's troubling view and ultimately everyone else in the hearing, including the MPAA, seemed to agree that destruction of the files would be problematic (you can read more about the hearing here and here).

Of course, the situation poses some big logistical hurdles. First, there is a huge amount of data here – more than 25 petabytes. Second, the parties have diverging views on what should be done even if they agree on preserving the data. Who should store the data? Where should it be stored? And of course, who will pay for that storage and any plan to allow users to retrieve their files?

But we are encouraged by the seeming consensus that it’s only right that innocent users like Mr. Goodwin get their property back. We'll continue to do our best to make sure that happens.


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