MPAA & Megaupload Want In On Hearing Over Whether Former User Can Get His Data Back

from the jockeying dept

In the ongoing saga of all of the Megaupload servers that the federal government seized and then handed back to hosting company Carpathia, telling them to effectively destroy them (and with it all sorts of important evidence in the Megaupload case), the judge is considering holding a hearing to dig into some of the questions raised by the case — leading a few motions to be filed. The first, of course is by Kyle Goodwin, represented by the EFF, over his desire to get his data back. The filing also raises significant questions about the entire situation:

… the available record already shows that the government acted (and continues to act) with a callous disregard for third-party property rights in data stored on Megaupload. For example, the government knew Megaupload operated a data storage business, and thus held the property of third parties lawfully using Megaupload’s storage services. The government knew its search and seizure of Megaupload’s assets would deprive such third parties of the ability to access and retrieve their property. In seizing domain names and executing the search warrant at Carpathia, the government took constructive possession of all the third-party owned data it had seized and to which it had prevented (and continues to prevent) access by their owners. The government then “released” the third-party owned data in a manner that deliberately made the data both inaccessible to property owners and subject to government-sanctioned destruction, while at the same time blocking all reasonable efforts to allow access.

These failings are striking given that the government is well familiar with the need to accommodate third-party Fourth Amendment rights through minimization when it executes searches and seizures, especially of electronic material.

Of course, Goodwin isn’t the only one asking the court to pay attention. Megaupload itself pointed out that it should be included in any such hearing, even though it’s technically outside of this part of the dispute. It notes that if the courts order the data retrieval, someone who understands what’s on the servers and how to find the relevant material would be helpful. Furthermore, the company is concerned about how the servers will be handled, since it still believes there’s useful evidence there that the DOJ appears to want to destroy.

Of course, if Megaupload is filing for something, you shouldn’t be surprised to find out that the MPAA is right behind with its own filing, warning that it wants to be sure that the court magically make sure that no infringement occurs if anyone can access their backup data. We’ve heard this story before, but here it goes again.

… any remedy granted should not compound the massive infringing conduct already at issue in this criminal litigation…. Additionally, if it would be helpful to the Court to consider evidence from the MPAA or its members on such issues as the lack of authorization for the reproduction and/or distribution of their works via Megaupload, or the overwhelming amount of infringement of the MPAA members’ copyrighted work on Megaupload, they will of course cooperate.

Of course, the issue right here has nothing to do with the MPAA’s fears about infringement. It’s about getting someone back the legitimate data they have on the servers. Why would the MPAA fight so hard against that?

I would imagine this is going to drag on for a while.

Filed Under:
Companies: megaupload, mpaa

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Comments on “MPAA & Megaupload Want In On Hearing Over Whether Former User Can Get His Data Back”

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60 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

Out of the blue
has no clue
He’s just a troll
who should shut his pie hole
He can’t even read what’s written
By a black widow I wish he’d get bitten

And that’s all I got so far. If anyone would like to add more to that, feel free.

Basically, stfu troll. You didn’t even state a single fact and you have none to back up your completely fabricated assertions about users and a site you know nothing of.

Milton Freewater says:

Re: Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

“You didn’t even state a single fact and you have none to back up your completely fabricated assertions about users and a site you know nothing of.”

His posts have become pure nonsense and he knows it. But how could he resist, given how many responses he gets? He’s like Marilyn Manson putting on eyeliner to shock the squares.

Gothenem (profile) says:

Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

Allowing someone to get back his legally created material which was siezed by the government is not baloney (or bologna).

Many people used Megaupload for perfectly legitimate reasons. As a storage place for their own records, and to distribute their own legally created software. These are all people who were hurt when Megaupload was raided.

Yes, infringing content was placed there. I am not saying that it wasn’t used for infringement, but the innocent should not have to pay for the crimes of the guilty. After all, how would you feel if your car was taken by the police because a similar car three states over was used as a getaway vehicle in a crime. After all, all makes and models of that vehicle are obviously used for criminal enterprise right?

This is the same argument, and then there are shills and trolls like you, who say that it’s ok. No it isn’t.

James Burkhardt (profile) says:

Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

Actually, the arguments here have NOTHING to do with the income megaupload is accused to have gained via allowing piracy. It has everything to do with my backup and distribution copies of various legal programming projects that I had been using Megaupload to store (along with other services, which has minimized my exposure in this case). That is to say legal, non-infringing data which, in possible violation of LE and governmental responsibility to minimize impact to innocent bystanders, has been sized and was designated to be destroyed.

MPAA’s filing asks the court to not ‘Compound the massive infringing conduct…” of Megaupload. I would posit that giving users the ability to request specific files, perhaps after being given access to a directory listing of their stored content, could provide a clear suggestion of who is looking for legitimate, legal data, and who is looking for infringing content. That would really take the wind out of the sails of us pirate apologists, leaving only the sizable infringing content to remain right?

Then again, given the volume of data and files the government probably acted the way it did because there is no quick, efficent way to dump all the non-infringing content. And no way to determine how much of it is infringeing. As indicated by the MPAA itself, who has argued that there is too much content for them to introduce human examination of all potentially infringing content. Then again, supposedly Google has a way to figure it out, right? they should be able to whip up a filter in minutes, and run it for a week and you get the new non-infringing data.

So why can’t I get my old code back?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

The reason MPAA doesn’t have distribution where you can download is simply because they want full control over what a user can and cannot do. If it were possible I’m sure they’d try to limit physical copies to only the person who bought it. Its always come down to how they can control you the best. If the MPAA could I’m sure they’d want movie theaters to be the only possible way to view movies. What its all about on copyright is trying to make things scarce. The other thing is as the world gets more and more connected users like the produce and share making the scarcity even worse for media companies. The silly thing is as the world becomes more and more connected there’s more money to be made so technology advances are in the media industry’s best interest.

Lord Binky says:

Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

Being that fundamentally wrong brings up a good point.

Money Saved Does Not Equal Money Spent.

If I refrain from buying a $30 steak at a 5 star restuarant and instead cook an $8 steak myself, I did not earn $22 dollars. Where would that money even come from? If it worked like that I would be cooking lots of $8 steaks every hour making thousands of dollars a day.

So why would someone who did not spend money on an item, magically create millions of dollars for someone else?

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

not that advertisers want you to understand that: “this X was 18.99, now only 7.99, save 11 dollars!” uh… no. not save 11, spend 8. i would Save that money by NOT spending it… as in, not buying your product. (though one could argue it’s ‘save 11 dollars more than you would have had you bought this previously. hah! take that earlier customers!’ so… yeah.)

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

I remember having a serious argument with someone about this. In the end, I pointed out that they were too distracted by our discussion to purchase literally billions of dollars of stuff. Since I saved them so much money, they should pay me a small commission. 1% sounds reasonable.

anon says:

Re: Re: Sigh. Technical complaint by some idiot alleging "lost his" data".

I believe that sharing of data should be made legal, if anything a “pirate” is not going to go out an buy thousands of movies he has downloaded, although it has been proven he will still buy. Now look at a pirate that has downloaded lets say 500 movies that would cost between 6 to 10 thousand pounds or around 15 000 dollars. Taking into account the fact that this amount is roughly more than half of the standard wage in America, the entertainment industry is trying to say they deserve half of all money ever made in the world.

Way to go looking greedy, but in reality people spend as much as they can when they can , now if you took the full population and the amount they spent on entertainment every year throught the world it would be less than $1 per person. So to compensate them for there work i believe that a legal service that charges a maximum of $5 a year for access should more than compensate the studios for there work, in fact that would not only compensate them it would be giving them,after the profits by he website probably double the money they had made under the old system.

Now i agree that not everyone will want to pay $5 for access to everything ever created, but over time it will become the norm, where more and more people will join and profits will sore. Yes at first it will not make enough as initially you will not have many member’s but over time business will improve, and that is what happens when there is a disruption to a system, as in the case of scribes and printing press.Forget creating a tax as that would funnel the money to those who do not deserve it, and would not give Hollywood any incentive to create new movies.

It might take the likes of Hollywood and there ilk a few years to generate the income they are used to but it will stop the bleeding and start the healing.

Let them survive on the trillions they earn from cinemas and other methods of ripping the customers off, but sharing is something that is not going away and the sooner they start accepting this the sooner they can start improving the future outlook on there content…

Just as a endnote, If they do not stop what they are doing now they could be the threat to Hollywood in the near future to losing total control over any form of media. Where the MPAA will be looked at as a joke when another organisation takes over from them, and where more movies are made outside the system than in it.

Maybe this is where we need to start actually , with creating a new organisation that takes over from the MPAA, an organisation that looks at all movie created and rates it for whatever audience it deserves.

That I think would be a massive step in replacing the MPAA and the real start of removing power from those that are destroying the industry by holding on to the power they have for dear life.

Zos (profile) says:

“Of course, the issue right here has nothing to do with the MPAA’s fears about infringement. It’s about getting someone back the legitimate data they have on the servers. Why would the MPAA fight so hard against that? “

because they will do anything rather than admit that there’s legitimate data on those servers…because then shit starts unravelling, the servers have to be brought back up, and the whole narrative starts to unravel into class action liability suits and countersuits.

Lord Binky says:

Yeah, it totally makes sense for any user to go through a long, painful, draw out process to get your pirated data back which could then be turned around and used again you, instead of just pirating it all again painlessly in a night.

So obviously the MPAA thinks that’s what the user is after, because the user wants to be caught.

This is like bearded lady at a side show screaming about everyone looking at her is a danger to her safety because there is no way they could resist her feminine wiles.

Colin (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I think his point is: assume this guy has illegally downloaded movies or whatever that he’s trying to get back. Why go through all of this shit rather than just illegally download it again? If he’s going through all of this trouble, I think it points to this more likely than not being legitimate data that he wants to retrieve. If this whole thing goes through and it turns out to be some illegal MP3s, why would he do it?

Unless this is a remarkable plant by the MPAA and they’ve loaded this guy’s account with illegal stuff to prove a “Look! Pirate!” point, it doesn’t seem like it’s worth his time unless it’s legit.

Zos (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

it’s a good point, except for the details of the items…. soundtracks used as back ground music for sports streams.

legitimate content, part of his business, but by a strict reading (through the eyes of the lawyers) it means he’s a dirty fucking pirate and all the value is in those songs, which he had no right to use.

Whereas any reasonable person would say ” oh, he put music on as background for the streams, well of course he did, that’s what people do, you idiot”

Milton Freewater says:

More on the case

http://torrentfreak.com/u-s-accuses-megaupload-user-of-storing-pirated-music-121031/

According to the TorrentFreak report, Goodwin is alleged to have partially unauthorized music files as part of his data. Whoops, if true.

What’s more troubling is that he’s also getting some pushback from the US on videos he created that contain music, because they aren’t sure if all of the music on them is properly licensed.

The US team has combed through his data to find any evidence of POTENTIAL infringement – not actual, POTENTIAL – as an excuse to not return it. Their proposal is that he be punished because they don’t know.

GMacGuffin says:

Dear MPAA:

Infringing content — by definition — was made by someone other than the Megaupload user. It’s already out there somewhere else, so infringers don’t need to obtain access to their lockers. And wouldn’t be asking to get at their infringing content in a Federal Criminal case anyway. Friggin Duh! (Oh, but you know that anyway.)

Cue disingenuousity music…

gorehound (profile) says:

Our Government blatantly disregards our own Laws to shut down MU and still they persist.
Of course they won’t stop ! And of course the Damn Fucking MAFIAA stands right behind them cracking a whip.

MAFIAA wants to shut down whatever they can because they ultimately want to control all content and they have no souls when it comes to fairness.

What do you think will happen if SCOTUS Rules in favor of big ripoff book publisher in the big case that can determine if you even own something you buy and you want to sell it used.

FUCK YOU MAFIAA…………..You will never see a dime out of my wallet assholes.

jupiterkansas (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The government could open the box for one month. Let people get their legal stuff. Then close the box again.

All the illegal stuff in that box was out in the open for years before the box is close, and is still out there despite the box being closed, so opening the box for a month will have absolutely no effect on anything except to shame the government.

There was never a justification for closing the box in the first place without adequate warning to the people keeping stuff in the box.

Anonymous Coward says:

In the ongoing saga of all of the Megaupload servers that the federal government seized and then handed back to hosting company Carpathia, telling them to effectively destroy them (and with it all sorts of important evidence in the Megaupload case), the judge is considering holding a hearing to dig into some of the questions raised by the case — leading a few motions to be filed.

Pirate apologist much? Exactly what “important evidence” is the government hiding from Megaupload? NONE. Absolutely, positively NONE. Not even Megaupload’s own lawyer can identify any relevant evidence that’s being withheld. What a fucking joke. If the evidence is so “important,” it would be easily identified.

silverscarcat says:

Re: Re:

“Exactly what “important evidence” is the government hiding from Megaupload? NONE. Absolutely, positively NONE.”

Prove it.

Prove that there’s no important evidence being withheld.

You have to prove it without looking at any files on Megaupload.

“If the evidence is so “important,” it would be easily identified.”

Of course. I’ll just call Charles Xavier to find the answers.

After all, every lawyer team has a psychic on hand to read people’s minds, right?

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Exactly what “important evidence” is the government hiding from Megaupload? NONE. Absolutely, positively NONE.

Why are you so sure of that? It would seem that the contents of what was actually stored on the servers is pretty important in showing substantial legitimate uses of the service.

Not even Megaupload’s own lawyer can identify any relevant evidence that’s being withheld.

Hard to “identify evidence” when the details are all being withheld.

Funny, though, that you’re so sure you know what’s on the servers. Hilarious.

If the evidence is so “important,” it would be easily identified.

Considering they can’t see it, how the hell can they “identify” it?

Also, drop the ad hominems please. It’s really unbecoming.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Why are you so sure of that? It would seem that the contents of what was actually stored on the servers is pretty important in showing substantial legitimate uses of the service.

LMAO! You are only confirming what I said: You can’t identify any relevant evidence that is being withheld. You said there was “all sorts of important evidence” on the servers. You still have not, and cannot, identify what that evidence is

Dotcom himself can’t identify any evidence that he doesn’t have access to. Of course the service can be used for non-infringing purposes. The government has not argued otherwise, nor would they because it’s obviously true.

This is just desperate pirate-apologism.

Hard to “identify evidence” when the details are all being withheld.

Funny, though, that you’re so sure you know what’s on the servers. Hilarious.

What’s on the servers are the files store by the users of the service, some of which are infringing and some of which aren’t. If there was something on there that would help his case, such as an email or a document, then he would say, “I need that evidence!” Not even Dotcom can identify any such evidence.

So, please, Pirate Mike, explain to me EXACTLY what evidence is being withheld. You can’t. Not even Dotcom can. Why? Because there is none.

Considering they can’t see it, how the hell can they “identify” it?

Also, drop the ad hominems please. It’s really unbecoming.

If there was any evidence that could help him, such as emails or documents, he would know about there existence already. Looking at MILLIONS of gigabytes of data stored by the users of the service will not prove anything relevant to the case.

I’ll drop the ad homs the day you man up and actually have a conversation with me where you don’t run away like a little child who knows he got caught.

The fact remains, you said, definitely, that there is in fact “all sorts of important evidence.” I called you out on it. Rather than just admit that you can’t identify even one single piece of important evidence, you keep digging the whole and defending your pirate buddy.

Want me to respect you? Admit that you can’t identify even one piece of important evidence and that your claim to the contrary that such evidence exists and is being withheld was baseless. I know you are incapable of such honesty.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I get you support the early decision of the Supreme Court that there’s no proof that the Govt is doing illegal surveillance so nobody can sue despite the fact that everything (the interpretations, the procedures, the surveillance itself if any) being secret.

Rather telling. I think I’m going to sue you based on some secret evidence I got here that nobody can check. Sounds very fair.

Anonymous Coward says:

i seriously doubt that Goodwin would take a chance of losing his business because of having copyrighted files and i seriously doubt if he would risk going to court to get his data back if he had infringing files either. this is another smoke screen put up by MacBride to try to keep all the balls ups he and the DoJ have made from being exposed.

‘It’s about getting someone back the legitimate data they have on the servers. Why would the MPAA fight so hard against that?’

obviously, because they are shit scared of Mega’s lawyers finding information that is trying to be kept from them, like who ordered the whole fiasco in the first place.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

i seriously doubt that Goodwin would take a chance of losing his business because of having copyrighted files and i seriously doubt if he would risk going to court to get his data back if he had infringing files either.

I also seriously doubt the EFF would have taken Goodwin on as their Litmus test case if there were any signs or indications of impropriety on Goodwin’s part.

Ian says:

The real story

The MPAA isn’t really against people getting their data back, so much as that they want to inflict the maximum amount of damage on every Megaupload user in order to create a chilling effect against relying on online storage lockers. They want to destroy the business model of the industry writ large.

They also don’t want to admit that even one byte of data on Megaupload is non-infringing content.

Expect them to fight like a wounded, cornered animal, because that’s what they are.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The real story

This. Exactly the conclusion I came to. They want to burn the legitimate users as badly as possible to make storage lockers completely toxic to anyone even considering using them for legitimate purposes. They want to use the fear of suddenly losing your data to drive away any non-infringing users, thus guaranteeing that when examined, such services will have little if any non-infringing content.

anon says:

Crazy

I wonder how the court is going to look at this, lol not really. The DOJ seems to have a lot of power to influence the courts decision which is sad as it is just creating more of a mess letting this case drag on and on.

The first thing I want to see the court do is rightfully declare that a persons access to his legally owned material is more important than fishing expeditions.

Secondly
The right to have access to your own material superceeds the right of the DOJ to seize anything in the forfeiture laws in America. If i am visiting a criminal at his home and my car is parked in the driveway it cannot be seized as it is not and never was used for any criminal intent and is not and never has been the property of the accused.

Thirdly

The material that is illegal has to be pointed out to the court and that can be destroyed, it is up to the MPAA to provide proof that any data is illegal and not up to the user to prove that his content is legal or illegal.

And finally, the period that material has been kept from the user that stored legal content should be taken into consideration when giving each and every user compensation for the loss to there data, which was don under the assumption that they had committed a crime.

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