MPAA: Megaupload Users Can Have Their Files Back, But…

Almost half a year has passed since Megaupload's servers were raided by the U.S. Government, and still there is no agreement on how former users can retrieve their files. Previously the authorities and MPAA have objected against such a mass retrieval, but in a filing at the court today the movie industry changed its tone. The MPAA states that users can have their files back as long as access to copyrighted files is blocked.

mpaaIn the wake of the January shutdown of Megaupload, many of the site’s legitimate users complained that their personal files had been lost.

Among these users are many people in the U.S. military who used the site to share pictures and videos with family. Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom previously informed TorrentFreak that least 15,634 soldiers had accounts at Megaupload, between them sharing hundreds of thousands of files.

But as of January those files were rendered inaccessible and attempts by the parties involved to come to a solution have failed miserably.

Last month one of Megaupload’s users, represented by the EFF, filed a motion asking the court to facilitate such a user data retrieval. Today, the MPAA filed a response to this motion in which they appear to be more open to the request.

“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,” MPAA’s lawyers write.

But along with this sympathy comes a caveat. The movie studios don’t want users to have access to copyright-infringing files.

“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.”

In addition, the MPAA doesn’t want any Megaupload people to have access to the servers.

“In no event should any Megaupload defendants or their representatives who have not generally appeared in this proceeding, and who are not subject to the control and supervision of the Court be allowed to access the Mega Servers under such a mechanism designed for the benefit of third-party Megaupload users.”

Previously the MPAA said it was concerned that Megaupload would relaunch in a “foreign jurisdiction” should they regain access to their data.

Considering the above, one has to wonder whether the MPAA is seriously concerned about returning data to Megaupload users. It is practically impossible to separate copyrighted from non-copyrighted files on the servers, and an administrative nightmare in waiting for anyone tasked with enforcing the MPAA’s wishes.

With all the different states and wishes, there appears to be no other solution than for the court to decide what should happen to the data.

Update: Meanwhile in New Zealand…

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