Prosecution Asks Megaupload Users To Buy Back Their Data

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US court tells Kyle Goodwin he can get his videos, but the state will not pay for retrieving them

Kile Goodwin, one of countless customers who lost access to their files when popular cyber-locker Megaupload was closed by the US Department of Justice, was yesterday told he can get his data back, if he is willing to pay for it.

According to prosecutors, getting access to the files was never the issue. But since identifying, copying and retrieving data would be an expensive process, it suggested the unfortunate sports reporter from Ohio should pay these costs himself.

Mega rip-off

Megaupload was at one time the 13th biggest website on the Internet. It was closed down in January as part of a multinational co-operative move against online intellectual property rights infringement. The founder Kim Dotcom and three of his employees were taken into custody by New Zealand police.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) submitted a motion on behalf of Goodwin in late March. It argued that the website was used to store legitimate videos shot by Goodwin himself, made even more precious by the fact that his hard drive crashed.

Meanwhile, Carpathia Hosting, one of the companies Megaupload used to store customer files, has claimed the upkeep of the cyberlocker’s 25 petabytes of user data on 1,103 servers is costing it $9000 (£5,700) a day.

“Access is not the issue — if it was, Mr. Goodwin could simply hire a forensic expert to retrieve what he claims is his property and reimburse Carpathia for its associated costs,” said the response to the EFF motion, reported by PC Advisor.

“The issue is that the process of identifying, copying, and returning Mr. Goodwin’s data will be inordinately expensive, and Mr. Goodwin wants the government, or Megaupload, or Carpathia, or anyone other than himself, to bear the cost.”

US federal prosecutors suggested that Megaupload or Carpathia could be sued for breach of contract, in order to recover the losses associated with retrieval of data.

Last week, Megaupload lawyers had accused the FBI of “illegally” copying digital evidence to build a case against the founder of the company Kim Dotcom and his employees.

The trial of Dotcom and the site’s management team is due to start on 6 August.

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