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Judge wants MegaUpload user data preserved for time being


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Federal judge tells MPAA, U.S. government and numerous other parties to continue looking for a solution that all can agree on about what should be done with MegaUpload's servers.

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The U.S. Courthouse for the Eastern District of Virginia.

(Credit: Greg Sandoval/CNET)

ALEXANDRIA, Va.,--MegaUpload's lawyers got much of what they asked for today from a federal district court regarding what should be done with the company's servers and user data.

Lawyers representing consumers, MegaUpload, the six major Hollywood studios, the U.S. government and MegaUpload's hosting service were all in court to voice their opinion about what should be done with billions of digital files belonging to maybe as many as 60 million former users of the cyberlocker service. The government shut down the site in January and filed criminal copyright charges against MegaUpload's managers in a case that has generated massive international interest.

Since then, Carpathia Hosting has preserved MegaUpload's servers at the company's own expense but has asked the court for financial relief in the form of a protective order. The parties were in court to determine what should be done with the user data.

Ira Rothken, MegaUpload's lead attorney, asked U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady to send all the parties interested in the data back to the negotiating table to continue looking for a solution they can agree on.

And that's exactly what O'Grady told them to do. What's most important about the judge's decision was that the user data will continue to be preserved.

O'Grady told the parties that unless they wanted to hire their own "special master" to help mediate the talks, then he would send them to a magistrate judge known for his abilities to "bring people to together" and hash out agreements.

More to come

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MegaUpload server data still safe, thanks to the courts

If you are one of the approximately 60 million people who used MegaUpload to store your files, you can breathe a sigh of relief, at least for now. News.com reports that the judge in the MegaUpload case has ordered all the parties involved to work with each other to come up with a solution to preserve the data that has been stored on the now shut down website.

When US law enforcement officials decided to close down MegaUpload on online piracy charges in January, the website's server files were preserved by one of MegaUpload's hosts, Carpathia Hosting. The company has been holding onto the files with its own money and has been asking the judge in the case for some kind of financial help so they can continue to preserve those files.

Today, U.S. District Judge Liam O'Grady agreed that the data should be saved and ruled that MegaUpload, the US government, Carpathia and the Motion Picture Association of America should all get together to come up with a solution that will keep the MegaUpload data safe.

The judge did say that while he was "sympathetic" to Carpathia's financial situation, he added that the company made a lot of money by hosting MegaUpload's servers and could be held liable if the government proves its online piracy case.

MegaUpload's lawyers said they would like to be able to get their server files back in order to prove their case against the government. However, the MPAA has already said it is opposed to this plan and today their lawyers said they are concerned that any copyrighted movies and TV shows on the servers might be redistributed if MegaUpload received their files back.


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