MPAA okay with restoring legal Megaupload files

The Motion Picture Association of America responded Tuesday to a motion that requested the return of Megaupload users' files, which have been locked down in the ongoing United States v. Kim Dotcom case, reports TorrentFreak. The MPAA's response asked the Eastern Virginia District Court to prevent the release of illegally downloaded copyrighted material in the event that the court allows users to retrieve their other legal files.

This stance is a reversal of the organization's original statement that objected to a mass retrieval of any files. While the MPAA is now officially comfortable with users retrieving their legal files, the organization still opposes any access to the Megaupload servers by Kim Dotcom and other Megaupload employees or associates.

The original motion to retrieve files was filed by Kyle Goodwin, represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, whose perfectly legal videos of local sporting events are being held in limbo on Megaupload's servers.

"... if the Court is willing to consider allowing access for users such as Mr. Goodwin to allow retrieval of files, it is essential that the mechanism include a procedure that ensures that any materials the users access and copy or download are not files that have been illegally uploaded to their accounts," reads the MPAA's statement.

TorrentFreak points out that releasing the legal files without releasing the illegal files is a logistical nightmare for anyone tasked with such a feat, and suggests that the MPAA's response might be an empty gesture if it knows that returning just the non-infringing files is nearly impossible.

Nevertheless, the MPAA's statement says, "The MPAA Members are sympathetic to legitimate users who may have relied on Megaupload to store their legitimately acquired or created data, although the Megaupload terms of use clearly disclaimed any guarantee of continued access to uploaded materials."

Source: TorrentFreak
Document: Scribd

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15 Comments

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Last time I checked... the MPAA isn't an elected official or member of government that should be making a decision in this case. Judge needs to step up and make a swift and decisive judgement.

MrHumpty said,
How do they know what is and what isn't a legal copy?

They don't. And, in point of fact, it's not illegal to own a copy, only to distribute it. So the whole discussion should be legally moot.

"the organization still opposes any access to the Megaupload servers by Kim Dotcom and other Megaupload employees or associates."

Of course they won't. Those servers contain the evidence they need to build a defence. I want to see some people arrested for perjury and obstruction of justice by the time this ends.

Ad Man Gamer said,
I want to see some people arrested for perjury and obstruction of justice by the time this ends.

Dream on

Title should be "MPAA okay with restoring Megaupload files that they deem legal." Also known as anything that doesn't have a copyright. I see it going one of two ways. A: A Judge rules that all files should go back because it's impossible to verify if someone owns all the music or applications or movies they've uploaded. B: Only people who uploaded files that are not copyrighted will get files back because it's impossible to verify if they own them, so the MPAA will assume they're illegal.

De.Bug said,
Title should be "MPAA okay with restoring Megaupload files that they deem legal." Also known as anything that doesn't have a copyright. I see it going one of two ways. A: A Judge rules that all files should go back because it's impossible to verify if someone owns all the music or applications or movies they've uploaded. B: Only people who uploaded files that are not copyrighted will get files back because it's impossible to verify if they own them, so the MPAA will assume they're illegal.

Only...it's NOT illegal to own the files...only to distribute them. Allowing the users to download their data ONCE would solve all of these problems legally.

^ Innocent until proven guilty. I like it... you make a good point there, has there been any more details on this whole case? It seems like a witch hunt to me...

We have this problem in Government with "Public Records" laws, trying to determine which records are public and which are exempt is a nightmare.

So it works like this in this case.. If John Smith has a ton of mp3's in his Megaupload account, who is required to prove he purchased each and every one of them, does he have to show a bill of sale and payment receipt for each one... then who is going to check all of the software he uploaded and then verify it is currently licensed by him.

Like they said, it's a logical (impossible) nightmare. A judge should rule on this, and when they did they would say it's not up for the person to prove their ownership, it's up for the copyright/license holder of the mp3/software to prove the person doesn't own it. The person has no burden to prove their innocent. Just like a prosecution/defense, it's up to the prosecution to prove it's case, the defense could just sit quietly and never say a word..

xendrome said,
who is required to prove he purchased each and every one of them, does he have to show a bill of sale and payment receipt for each one...

I was just thinking about that this morning. Not in the same case, but rather all these tracks I get for drm free downloads from retail product offers and online offers from such as the indie bundles etc. I have quite a lot of music on my PC now that I have no way of tracking where it came from myself. The only source I have is the copies I 'own' on my PC. Who is to say that I did or didn't pirate them?

But also, as you said, a person should have not to prove themself innocent and that is the reason why the title of this article got me to reply. The MPAA are OK with restoring 'legal' files. Meh, they're all legal at the moment, as no one has been found guilty and no files have been yet to be found illegal. So they're just throwing in the 'legal' bit just to make themselfs happy and worthwhile.

I think the judge should have them for contempt and, throw the entire case out on the clause of scaremongering.

How nice of them to think that they should give back the files that they shouldn't have touched in the first place...

Ruairi! said,
How nice of them to think that they should give back the files that they shouldn't have touched in the first place...

Indeed. Agreeing in advance with the ruling any judge would make shortly is a real win for them. 8P

But seriously, since the site was charged, NOT the individual users, there is no reason not to allow everyone with an account to download their data off the megaupload servers ONCE.

It's NOT the MPAA's call (or Megaupload's for that matter) whether any data is legit or not--unless they are willing to file against each and every user, of course.

Nice try, MPAA lawyers. Tell people they can get their own data back from their own account IF they can prove it's legit.

Downloading the data ONCE would avoid any claims of distribution, which is the only actual point of the law the MPAA can legally leverage.

I doubt a judge will fall for this...

Edited by excalpius, Jun 7 2012, 9:27pm :