Megaupload’s Legal Users Won’t Suffer for Kim Dotcom’s Sins Just Yet

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Dotcom. Photo: null/Youtube

After the U.S. government seized the file-sharing service Megaupload.com and arrested its eccentric founder Kim Dotcom (among others), there was fear from the company's users that their trust in the "cyberlocker" might come back to bite them in the ass. Along with pirating music and movies, the service was used for legal "cloud computing," in which the rightful owners of information hosted it via Megaupload. But with the company's funds frozen, its server bills are not being paid, and all of that data, both illegal and not, could be deleted. But it's not happening yet!

"The hosting companies have been gracious enough to provide additional time so we can work out some kind of arrangement with the government," Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken told CNET today. Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications, both based in the United States, are giving Megaupload at least two weeks to try to sort things out.

Hoping to help is the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has criticized the government for shutting down the site "without warning." Along with Carpathia, the EFF has set up megaretrieval.com in an attempt to solve users' issues. "Although Carpathia does not have, and has never had, access to the content on Megaupload's servers, the hosting provider wants to assist lawful users of the Megaupload service by promoting EFF and its non-profit legal services," the hosting company said in a statement. Their attorney added, "EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them."

The U.S., meanwhile, is attempting to extradite Dotcom and six others on charges that they cost copyright owners more than $500 million, earning $175 million in "criminal proceeds."