MegaUpload user's access to his legal data contested by DOJ

The US government apparently doesn't want MegaUpload's users to gain access back to the files they have uploaded onto the now shut down file sharing service, even if those files are totally legal and owned by the people who created them. News.com reports that in papers filed by the US Department of Justice on Friday, the government said it would request the judge in this case to deny a request by Kyle Goodwin to gain back access to his video files on the MegaUpload servers.

As we have reported before, Goodwin formed a business, OhioSportsNet, in July 2011. The business centered on Goodwin and others traveling all over the state of Ohio to film high school sports events. The videos were later shown on the company's web site, some of which were streamed in real time, and Goodwin was beginning to make money from his venture.

While Goodwin says he backed up his videos on a personal hard drive, he also subscribed to MegaUpload's premium service to upload the company's videos as well. In mid-January, Goodwin's storage drive failed. However, that was also the time that the US government shut down the MegaUpload site, claiming that the service was engaged in online piracy; Goodwin has been trying to get back his video files ever since.

Earlier this month, the The Motion Picture Association of America said it had no objection to allowing MegaUpload users like Goodwin to regain access to their legally obtained and uploaded files. However, the Justice Department's opinion is that if they allow Goodwin access to his files, it must allow any third party to ask that they gain back their property if a search warrant affects their access.

The filing states:

Mr. Goodwin's proposed solution is to have the government bear the financial cost of restoring his data. even if that means releasing assets of the defendants which are subject to mandatory forfeiture. Twenty-three years ago, the Supreme Court made clear that a criminal defendant does not have a right to use someone else's money to finance his defense.

The DOJ did suggest that Goodwin file a lawsuit against MegaUpload and the site's server host, Carpathia Hosting, as an alternative to retrieving his files.

Source: News.com

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38 Comments

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The real problem the DOJ has with allowing legitimate users to access their data is that it is too much work for them to make the seized equipment operational to the degree that users would be able to retrieve said content. This is pretty typical of our government, anything overly complicated isn't even remotely possible and they don't give two ****s about the citizens of this country. You can't blame the end user for using MegaUpload. Most users aren't tech savvy and just assume that a service that has been running for an extended period of time 'must be legit'. Most cloud services are legit. All cloud services host illegal content. So now what? Who cares... just make sure you fck over the taxpayers who pay for the DOJ to operate. Fck them hard. A revolution is coming... The American Spring.

"Mr. Goodwin's proposed solution is to have the government bear the financial cost of restoring his data. "

This is true only because the government is in possession of the data. This is literally the only way for Mr. Goodwin to have his property restored.

"Twenty-three years ago, the Supreme Court made clear that a criminal defendant does not have a right to use someone else's money to finance his defense."

This is irrelevant. It doesn't matter how many files were stored legally, if MegaUpload broke the law then they broke the law.

"The DOJ did suggest that Goodwin file a lawsuit against MegaUpload"

So the DOJ suggested a frivolous lawsuit as a solution???

Figures. The DOJ is protecting the interests of large companies but is obstructing the law since it's depriving a small business owner legal access to his copyrighted material. It's the DOJ that needs to be sued.

FWIW... The whole thing is the result of an overly political Atty Gen & DOJ acting in part to better the chances for this admin's reelection during a very long campaign season. The DOJ & the Attorney General are currently Very unpopular with ~50% of Americans, to the point there are Congressional Reps who would very much like to impeach the Atty Gen -- most of the current actions at the moment center on Congressional investigations of a failed DOJ program/action titled Fast & Furious. It's reasonable to suspect the DOJ is afraid of a MegaUpload scandal making things worse for them [& this admin] prior to this fall's election, & so want to keep it quiet -- 1) the suggested lawsuit wouldn't reach the courts this year, & 2) anything that makes this admin look tough, like a hard a** is being put on the front page, while the MegaUpload fiasco is little known among the public.

As so much the DOJ does is political theater nowadays, as are some of the actions against them, to me it would make sense that that's the place to take any MegaUpload battle, not some courtroom where things can be kept somewhat hidden. I would expect a media campaign, class action lawsuit, details/stats of legitimate users, together with analysis & details of the DOJ's legal missteps in the MegaUpload affair would find financial backing & ultimately have success getting getting users like Goodwin his private property back.

mikiem said,
FWIW... drivel edited out

No. The US public does not care and does not even know this Megaupload thing is happening.

This is all about the MPAA/RIAA studios having control of US politicians by means of the neverending campaign contribution/fundraising cycle US politics is now perpetually caught up in.

Without public campaign financing, there will never be a way to get the politicians beyond needing corporate money just to be (re)elected and therefore there will never be a way to get them back on the payroll of US citizens.

This is just one visible example of how this corporatism has corrupted every aspect of our government to the detriment of every US consumer and citizen.

excalpius said,

No. The US public does not care and does not even know this Megaupload thing is happening.

This is all about the MPAA/RIAA studios having control of US politicians by means of the neverending campaign contribution/fundraising cycle US politics is now perpetually caught up in.

Without public campaign financing, there will never be a way to get the politicians beyond needing corporate money just to be (re)elected and therefore there will never be a way to get them back on the payroll of US citizens.

This is just one visible example of how this corporatism has corrupted every aspect of our government to the detriment of every US consumer and citizen.


Public campaign financing!? Are you insisting that the same government who would be charged with allocating funds to campaigns are somehow morally superior to private financiers? While I would strongly agree that we need to limit how much influence corporate entities have on politicians to ensure that their influence is no more potent than average Joe, I, as well as most Americans, have a strong distaste for allowing politicians to divvy up campaign funds as they see fit. The whole idea of public campaign financing goes against the foundation that the government rules at the consent of the governed.

well Kim Dotcom knew what he was doing and he should had done some stuff to make sure people didn't upload porn so others could not download it or movies and tv shows etc and other nonlegitimate stuff.

CUBBYJR2005 said,
well Kim Dotcom knew what he was doing and he should had done some stuff to make sure people didn't upload porn so others could not download it or movies and tv shows etc and other nonlegitimate stuff.

But then he wouldn't of made any money

Incredible! The Government caused this mess, and now they won't accept responsibility and give this guy his files back. The arrogance of the government knows no bounds.

I sincerely hope Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, and all the legitimate users out there sue the US government out of existence.

You can't sue the US out of existence, we owe China too much money.
You'd have to deal with them.

simplezz said,
Incredible! The Government caused this mess, and now they won't accept responsibility and give this guy his files back. The arrogance of the government knows no bounds.

I sincerely hope Megaupload, Kim Dotcom, and all the legitimate users out there sue the US government out of existence.

I don't get what the issue is as long as they only allow access to the files by the account holder.

Anyone upping Pirated stuff to MU is only going to be doing it for sharing reasons and it's not like they don't have the original file still. Nobody backs up pirated stuff online as it would be easier just to re-download it.

Unplugged said,
I don't get what the issue is as long as they only allow access to the files by the account holder.

Because every person that comes forward and successfully obtains access to their files legitimises the Megaupload service even further, and consequently, damages the US Gov and MAFIAA's case.

That's a flood gate the corrupt government doesn't want opening.

Guys you misunderstood me I am not saying the ones that did it the right way should not be able to get there stuff back.I am agreeing with what doj said that if they let this guy get his stuff back then they have to let the others ones get it back even the ones that didn't do it the right way because they say hey you let that person do it etc.

Unless there is some law that prevents it, it's the DOJ that he needs to serve the lawsuit against.

It's 100% their fault.

His "backup" failed?
No...his only storage instance failed...he had no physical backup...
You can buy an extra HDD for less than a $100...he couldn't be bothered.

Why would someone use a shady "file locker" like MegaUpload in the first place when plenty of reputable cloud solutions exist?


Why does the DOJ feel the need to punish legitimate users by restricting access to legal content? While I don't agree with how the entire MegaUpload case has been handled thus far I hope both New Zealand and US courts will faithfully execute their powers in accordance with their Constitutions and other applicable documents to ensure due process and fair application of law. I understand the need of applicable law enforcement agencies to sometimes seize property in the course of an investigation, but when has it ever been acceptable to prevent those who have had their legal property seized from reclaiming it?

Edit: Oh yeah! I forgot that the raid on Kim Dotcom was timed coincidentally with the vote on SOPA (which failed). This whole ordeal is just Obama trying to secure election support from the MPAA and RIAA types and to push the button again on civil liberties as he did with the Health Care Reform Act.

Edited by rafter109, Jun 12 2012, 2:09am :

My only issue is this... by trying to enforce copyright laws, they could potentially be breaking them by not giving Goodwin back his videos. If he does indeed do video work for business, those videos could be copyrighted not only by him, but also by his customers.

It's more or less spelled out that the government knows they messed up by taking down everything and don't want to pay to fix it.

Davo said,
It's more or less spelled out that the government knows they messed up by taking down everything and don't want to pay to fix it.

Exactly. This is their mess, they should clean it up, but as is typical with governments, they want to put the onus on others.

Goodwin needs to push this, as it sets a terrible legal precedent. The poster above is right in his anology, the property that is "Yours" should be returned to you, period.

Xionanx said,
Goodwin needs to push this, as it sets a terrible legal precedent. The poster above is right in his anology, the property that is "Yours" should be returned to you, period.

True but DOJ is right what they said if they allow him then they have to allow others it kinda of a catch 50/50 thing.

CUBBYJR2005 said,

True but DOJ is right what they said if they allow him then they have to allow others it kinda of a catch 50/50 thing.

So? What's wrong with allowing everyone who had legal content stored there to get it back?

CUBBYJR2005 said,

True but DOJ is right what they said if they allow him then they have to allow others it kinda of a catch 50/50 thing.


You're the kinda folk that powers those who oppress by "understanding" and supporting their motives or staying shut about them.

GS:mac

I'm not sure exactly how the quote about criminal defendants financing their defense applies to Goodwin. He isn't a defendant in this case, as far as I'm aware. The government seized his property when it seized the assets of Megaupload. This would be similar to a case where the government seized an entire self storage location because it suspected some of the storage units were being used to hide illegal items (drugs, weapons, whatever). Surely in a case like that they would allow the items belonging to innocent parties to be returned as soon as it could be determined that they weren't involved in the illegal activity. How exactly is Goodwin's case different than that?

Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

Maybe he thought MegaUpload would police themselves? Or just the illegal content removed, and the uploaders punished?

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? Personally 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, never ONCE did I consider Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

I kinda agree. But what happens if the same happened to some other cloud company that wasn't documented to hosting illegal stuff, would you be snoozled off? I guess this guy didn't understand that Megaupload mainly hosted illegal files or the potential side effects of these files for the site. Therefore, I'm with him, and its gotta be frustrating to know your legit data is sat on a server, but the law says you can't access it.

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

Maybe he shouldn't use the internet either, since people use that to download illegal stuff?

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

Apparently it doesn't matter if you follow take down requests or that you have tons of legal content. If the government feels you have too much illegal content, you must be raided. Then when you try to give files back to your users, the government says that, since they won't let users have their files, sue Megaupload. I really don't understand what's going through people's minds here.

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

He is not responsible for Megaupload's negligence.

De.Bug said,

Apparently it doesn't matter if you follow take down requests or that you have tons of legal content. If the government feels you have too much illegal content, you must be raided.

If that were the case, then Rapidshare, Hotfile, and many other cyberlockers would have also been raided. No, the difference here is, the MAFIAA (MPAA/RIAA/IFPI), and the companies they represent, disliked Megaupload and saw it as a competitive threat. That's all that's required for the FBI, DOJ, and the rest of the government to take Megaupload down. They are after all in the pockets of the MAFIAA. Just look at SOPA and how many politicians were supporting it.

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

Maybe next time you will have a neuron pass in that space in your head you call brain before posting?

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.
Maybe you will not presume what he knew or didn't know as it has nothing at all to do with whether he should get his data back. FFS, I wish people would get off their high horse as if they get everything right.

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

It's not up to the hosting company to police the users private uploads, only to follow through with any take down notices from copyright holders.

warwagon said,
Maybe next time he will use a service that doesn't let other users provide download links to illegal content? 2 years ago when I was looking for a cloud storage service, I never considered Megaupload, it didn't even seem like a good idea back then.

Normally, I agree with you, Warwagon, but not in this case. He was simply using the service for its advertised intended purpose. I feel the Government needs to get what they need from the servers (They claim to already have, I think) and let the legal data get back to the rifle owners. If nothing else, promise to do so after the case is decided.