April 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM ET
A man who runs an Ohio sports website, and stored video from it on Megaupload's servers, is asking the court to give back his video files, held captive as the U.S. pursues copyright infringement charges against Megaupload.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is representing Kyle Goodwin, who operates OhioSportsNet, a website that reports on high school sports in that state. The EFF is asking the court to unfreeze Goodwin's video files, being held along with the files of other "lawful" Megaupload users, by a Virginia-based company, Carpathia Hosting.
Carpathia Hosting itself filed an emergency motion last month in federal court, seeking help from the federal government for the cost of hosting the data of more than 60 million Megaupload users. The company says it's using more than 1,100 servers to store 25 million gigabytes of data, at a cost of $9,000 a day since January, when authorities shut down Megaupload. Carpathia said at that time it would work with the EFF to try to keep the data, rather than delete it.
The federal government says Megaupload facilitated millions of illegal downloads of films, music and other content, costing copyright holders at least $500 million in lost revenue. Although the site is based in Hong Kong, it was using servers in Virginia for part of its business. The U.S. is also attempting to extradite Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom from New Zealand, where he remains under house arrest.
Carpathia Hosting, in its court request, said it wants an approved procedure in place for customers like Goodwin who want to get their files back before they are deleted. The EFF filed a brief in support of that motion, and is asking the court to expedite the "return of rightful property to Goodwin and other lawful Megaupload users," the organization said in a release.
The EFF says Goodwin stored his video footage on Megaupload's servers "as a backup to his hard drive." After the January shutdown of Megaupload, Goodwin's hard drive crashed, and "he could not get access to any of his own vide files, which he needed to conduct his business."
"Mr. Goodwin has suffered a significant loss to his business, through no fault of his own." said Corynne McSherry, the EFF's intellectual property director. "Megaupload's innocent users deserve an opportunity to get their important data back before it's destroyed forever."