March 23, 2012
Data Hosting Firm Tired Of Holding MegaUpload’s Burden
Lee Rannals for RedOrbit.com
The firm holding millions of gigabytes worth of data for MegaUpload is sitting in limbo, waiting for a court decision on what to do with the 25 petaflops of data.
Carpathia was chosen by MegaUpload before it was shut down to handle its 25 petabytes of data, which cost the firm about $9,000 a day to maintain on its servers.
The amount of data sitting on Carpathia's servers is enough for about 332 years of high definition television shows, or enough space to hold the data of over 1.5 million base-model iPhones.
Now, MegaUpload is shut down, and Carpathia is left in limbo with $1.25 million of servers being loaded down with data that it cannot delete because of the ongoing legal battle.
Carpathia filed a court motion to find out what it can do with the data that was left behind when MegaUpload was raided and shut down on January 20.
The hosting firm suggests getting help paying for the $9,000 per day maintenance, which has cost about $567,000 since MegaUpload was shutdown, or start a program to give back data to former users.
This is just another step in a whirlwind of legal disputes that have erupted since the raid earlier this year.
The U.S. government arrested CEO Kim Dotcom, Chief Technology Officer Mathias Ortmann, head of programming Bram van der Kolk and chief marketing officer Finn Batato after the employees were indicted. MegaUpload's head of business development Sven Echternach and head of the development software division Andrus Nomm still remain at large.
Founder Dotcom was granted bail in February by a New Zealand court, but was put under house arrest. The court said that he would not likely have the means to flee because his funds have been seized.
Dotcom is restricted on how far he can travel, and the Ministry of Justice judge ordered that no helicopters will be allowed to fly over or land on the property. The fear for the U.S. government is that he flee to Germany, which is a place he would be safe from being extradited.
The Department of Justice has been trying to extradite Dotcom and three other MegaUpload employees to the U.S. to stand trial for copyright infringement violation, racketeering and money laundering.
The defendants' lawyers claim the men are innocent, and also said the charges against them are not enough to extradite Dotcom from New Zealand.
U.S. officials claim that MegaUpload has cost copyright owners and songwriters over $500 million in damages by facilitating millions of illegal downloads.
The FBI has seized over $50 million in assets, including severs and 18 domain names that made up the file-sharing site's network.
Despite the many allegations, Dotcom said earlier this month that he is confident he will beat the charges brought on by the Justice Department and FBI.
“It´s kinda like weapon of mass destructions in Iraq, you know? If you want to go after someone and you have a political goal you will say whatever it takes,” Dotcom said during an interview with local TV station 3news Campbell Live in New Zealand.
“These are fabrications and lies. There are a hundred other companies out there that offer the same service like us. Why has not something happened to them?” he said, adding that there was no way the U.S. could win the landmark online piracy case."
The founder of the file-sharing site is not the only one who saw no wrong in his doing, hacktivist group Anonymous reacted in its traditional ways once MegaUpload was shutdown.
Anonymous claimed responsibility for taking down the U.S. Department of Justice's website, along with websites of Universal Music Group, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) and the U.S. Copyright Office and the Utah Chiefs of Police Association.
The hacktivist group even posted the logo for MegaUpload.com on the Utah Chiefs of Police Association site.
Now, after months of drama being played out and allegations and charges have piled up, Carpathia is tired of being jerked around by the court.
News broke at the end of January that data from the file-sharing site was going to be deleted as early as February 2. However, Groundhog's Day has come and gone and the 25 petaflops worth of data still remains on Carpathia's servers.
CNET reported January 31 that Ira Rothken, MegaUpload´s attorney, said data on the servers would be safe from being deleted "for at least two weeks."
Rothken was not lying, as "at least two weeks" has turned into eight weeks and another $504,000 out of the hosting firm's pocket.
MegaUpload is unable to pay the hosting fees because all services and assets of the company has been frozen.
Customers of the file sharing site say they have media collections, family photos and other legitimate information stored on the servers, and they hope they are able to retrieve it.
Carpathia told Slashgear in a statement back in January that it did not have access to the content on MegaUpload servers, and has no mechanism for returning any content to customers.
If data was to be erased, it could hurt MegaUpload's ability to defend itself in court hearings.
Carpathia is thousands of dollars in the hole, and has over a million dollars in servers being taken up by the case.
The company said in a statement that one solution would be to briefly restore the MegaUpload site and allow its users to retrieve their data. It also said that it would like someone else to take control of the data or pay to help keep the information intact.
Both the U.S. government and the Motion Picture Association of America said they would not take custody of the data. The government is willing to let the data be deleted, but MPAA, as well as MegaUpload, claim keeping the data is crucial to their case.
"Requiring a third-party like Carpathia to bear the costs of preservation of 25 petabytes – a historically and mind-bogglingly large amount of data – is unduly burdensome," the hosting firm said in its court filing on Tuesday.
Carpathia said in the filing that there is "simply no basis for the contention that every single document on every single Mega Server is relevant to Defendants' defense."