Storage company Carpathia Hosting claims that storing 25 petabytes of Megaupload data costs it $9000 a day
Carpathia Hosting, one of the companies Megaupload hired for storage, has claimed the upkeep of the cyberlocker’s 25 petabytes of user data is costing it $9000 (£5,700) a day.
In a motion filed at a district court in Virginia, Carpathia requested assistance in determining the data’s fate, either through authorised deletion, a negotiated transfer of server ownership or by allowing the data to be copied by interested parties, including former users.
The company says Megaupload leased 1,103 of its servers, and since the site’s closure in January, all maintenance costs have been dealt with by Carpathia alone. The data were almost deleted in early February due to a lack of payment, but were preserved temporarily by negotiations between associated parties.
Carpathia explained that while it retains the data within its physical servers, it has no access and can therefore not appease users looking to regain files. Additionally, the amount of storage being used up is financially damaging as the servers could be resold or reprovisioned were it not for court orders.
“In the ordinary course of Carpathia’s business, when a customer such as Mega becomes unable to pay its service fees or is otherwise terminated as a customer, Carpathia would delete any data from the servers and then reprovision the servers,” the company said in its motion. “In this case, because several parties have expressed an interest – legal or otherwise – in the preservation of the data residing on the Mega Servers, Carpathia has refrained from reprovisioning them.”
Among the interested parties are Megaupload, which wants the data for its defence and to return files to users, the US government, which objects to the transfer of data from Carpathia to Megaupload, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which aims to return non-infringing files to innocent customers, and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), which wants Carpathia to retain the data to potentially pursue civil claims.
As all the claims to the data are valid, but none will be accepted without complaints from another party, the hosting company has implored for a decision from the district court so it can stop haemorrhaging cash on a daily basis. Carpathia stated the physical value of the hardware is worth $1.25 million (£790,000) and repurposing it could create even more revenue for the company.
Carpathia concluded by suggesting the following resolutions: “This court should enter a protective order that either: (1) requires the parties to the criminal case to take possession of the Mega Servers until the completion of the case, in exchange for reasonable compensation to Carpathia; (2) requires the parties to reimburse Carpathia for the cost of transport and storage of the Mega Servers; or (3) allows Carpathia to delete the data and reprovision the Mega Servers after a brief, but reasonable, period of access for selective copying under an approved procedure.”