With the January 19th arrest of the Megaupload founder Kim DotCom and the seizure of domains by US authorities, the fate of the service’s user data has been called into question. One of Megaupload’s hosting providers, Carpathia, has now issued a statement saying that they have no intention of reprovisioning any of the servers utilized by the service, which will keep the data safe for now.
Apparently the U.S. government has copied some of Megaupload’s data, but they do not have physical access to the storage systems and are still attempting to gain it.
Brian Winter, chief marketing officer at Carpathia, released this statement regarding the data: “Carpathia Hosting has no immediate plans to reprovision some or all of the Megaupload servers. This means that there is no imminent data loss for Megaupload customers. If this situation changes, Carpathia will post a notice at least 7 days in advance of reprovisioning any Megaupload servers at Carpathia.com and MegaRetrieval.com.“
In an on-going saga worthy of a movie script, the US Department of Justice has brought charges of piracy, money laundering, and racketeering against DotCom and six of his employees. Mr DotCom now faces extradition to the United States from his home country of New Zealand, which he is fighting in court.
But what prompted the US government to so aggressively pursue the “Mega” operations? We now know that on top of the Recording Industry Association of America’s (RIAA) lobbying for action to be taken against Megaupload, the Motion Picture Association of America’s (MPAA) was actively involved in the multi-year FBI investigation, providing the government with concrete evidence of Megaupload’s pro-piracy behaviors. MPAA senior vice president Kevin Suh has come out and said that “MegaUpload was at the very top of the piracy pyramid.”
Among the billion-plus visitors utilizing Megaupload, many went to the site to attain copyrighted movies and TV shows illegally. It is guessed that copyright owners have lost more than $500 million in damages due to Megaupload’s operations, although any such numbers provided by the entertainment industry are always suspect.