April 14, 2012
Judge Orders Negotiations Over Megaupload Data To Continue
Megaupload scored a victory in federal district court on Friday, as the Virginia-based judge in charge of the case ordered the company and the federal government back to the negotiating table to try and resolve a dispute over what should happen to the file-sharing website's servers and the user data they contain.
In the meantime, Timothy B. Lee of Ars Technica reported that Judge Liam O'Grady has decreed the data will continue to be preserved. O'Grady's ruling comes despite complaints from Carpathia Hosting, the former ISP of Megaupload, regarding the financial burden of maintain those servers out-of-pocket now that the website's owner, Kim DotCom, has been unable to maintain payments to the firm.As previously reported by RedOrbit.com's Lee Rannals, Carpathia is hosting millions of gigabytes worth of data for Megaupload at a cost of roughly $9,000 per day.
They have been unable to delete the data due to the ongoing legal action against the file-sharing website, and have filed a court motion to find out what they can do with the 25 petabytes worth of data they continue to host on $1.25 million worth of servers. Furthermore, they have suggested obtaining assistance in paying for maintenance costs, which have topped half a million dollars since Megaupload was shut down back in January.
On Friday, O'Grady said he was "sympathetic" to the company's monetary burdens. However, as Lee reports, at the same time the government told the justice that the hosting firm had earned $35 million from working with Megaupload, and suggested that Carpathia was partially responsible for the actions of Dotcom's website.
However, CNET's Greg Sandoval also reported that O'Grady "seemed dismissive" of government arguments that the information should not be returned to Megaupload. Attorney Ira Rothken attempted to purchase the servers from Carpathia, according to CNET, but was prohibited from doing so by the government.
"It wasn't a big victory but my read of the tea leaves was that the judge is reluctant to make any ruling now that would result in the destruction of the data," Sandoval wrote.
He added that the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) has argued that the majority of the content on the servers belongs to film studios who are members of the organization, and that Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) petitioned the court to install an independent third party that would allow users to download legal content contained on the servers.