MPAA demands user data stored from Megaupload Servers to be retained

MPAA vs MegaUploadWe’ve all been following the story behind Megaupload’s shutdown in January of the current year, and the lawsuits followed through by the MPAA. Recently, Hollywood has requested a judge to keep all the information that has been stored by the website, which would equal to the data of about 66.6 million users.

Megaupload has all the data stored in the servers that are hosted by a company called Carpathia Hosting, Inc. The MPAA is asking for the hosting company to retain the entire information, which mounts up to be about 25 petabytes. All of this was uploaded by the users who had accounts with Megaupload. Such request came in after the new court filing conducted by the MPAA, which have stated that the data in the servers is linked to the copyright violations carried out by the site.

Moreover, the Motion Picture Association of America has declared that they want to be in possession – or at least have access – to the data, since they may be carrying out a lawsuit against Megaupload and other parties. This has raised the concern that Megaupload users may be affected by this, but the MPAA VP has stated that they won’t go after the users.

He added that there may be serious litigation pursued against the site and other intermediaries, but he didn’t specify what type of intermediaries, just those that were linked to the overall operation of the site. He particularly refused to give names of those that may be included in the lawsuit.

The MPAA has released a clear statement of what they want exactly from Carpathia. They have stated that they need the hosting company to maintain all the data associated with Megaupload that is currently in their servers. This includes a wide variety of files, such as those that had been directly uploaded by users and stored/downloaded from the site. The MPAA’s lawyer issued this document at the end of January and Carpathia included it to the legal filing this current week.

Nevertheless, Carpathia is incurring in expenses that go up to $9,000 a day just to keep the data in their servers and have continually requested the authorities to help them get rid of the burden. The hearing has been appointed for April and the federal authorities stated that they stored just part of the info. They have also declared that Carpathia may get rid of the 25 million GB they are storing.

On the other hand, Megaupload has been trying to get the authorities to release some of the money they have seized, in order to pay Carpathia for hosting. They also have interest in maintaining the information because they plan to use it in court for their defense, and hopefully return it to their users in the future.

According to the government, Megaupload violation of copyrights goes up to about $500 million in total. This includes movies that were uploaded on the site, at times even before they were released in the theater.

Howard Gantman, VP, repeated that they are not going after the users because it was Megaupload who made it easier for them to commit copyright infringement. The info included in this lawsuit is quite similar to the one that was used by MGM in their lawsuit against Grokster.

It’s interesting to note that the site was not headquartered within the USA, and they have stated that they complied with DMCA orders despite the fact that they didn’t have to.


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