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Megaupload user asks for his perfectly legal videos back


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The Electronic Frontier Foundation filed a brief on behalf of an Ohio man in a federal court case brought by the United States against Kim Dotcom, founder and owner of the file-sharing locker Megaupload. The brief requested that Kyle Goodwin, and users like him, be allowed access to the files they had stored on the currently shuttered site.

Goodwin is a local high school sports reporter and the sole proprietor of the company OhioSportsNet, who stored his video footage on Megaupload.com as a backup to his video library on his hard drive. He had paid €79.99 (about $107) for a two-year premium membership. Just days before the government seized the site, Goodwin's hard drive crashed. The brief states that his lost videos include footage to make highlight reels for parents to send to their children's prospective colleges, and an unfinished full-length documentary about the Strongsville girls soccer team’s season.

While there is no way of telling how many Megaupload users like Goodwin stored legal files on the site, he is one of millions of users who can no longer access any of the information they stored there.

When the Feds shut down the file-sharing locker earlier this year, they seized more than 1,000 servers that Megaupload was leasing from hosting company Carpathia, including 525 servers in Virginia alone. Government authorities have been using the servers in the investigation of Dotcom and his company. Earlier this week, Carpathia announced that the 25 petabytes of Megaupload data stored on its servers have been costing the company $9,000 a day, and Megaupload has no way of paying its bills with its assets frozen.

According to the EFF, authorities told Carpathia that after it was done examining the servers and had copied portions of the data, the hosting company could delete the files and re-purpose its servers. Carpathia noted in a statement last week that it would like to allow Megaupload users to recover their data, but has struggled to find a way to do so.

"Despite our best efforts, the parties have been unable to work out a voluntary solution that meets the concerns of all the various parties who have claimed an interest in Megaupload’s data," Brian Winter, Chief Marketing Officer of Carpathia Hosting wrote. "As a result, Carpathia has filed a motion in federal court seeking the court’s guidance on how to proceed in resolving this matter." A hearing concerning this matter is set for next month.

The interests of Goodwin brought by the EFF represent the concerns of the millions of users who now can't access their data. “Mr. Goodwin files this brief in support of Carpathia’s Motion for Protective Order and requests that the Court implement a procedure to expedite the return of his rightful property, as well as the property of others similarly situated, stored on Megaupload’s servers,” the court document read, “The government itself created the problem of an overbroad seizure by utilizing a method that predictably encompasses innocent property.”

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