Innocent bystanders who lost mountains of data, personal files, documents, and more when the popular but illegitimately operated cloud-based site MegaUpload was taken down, may end up being just plain out of luck, at least for a while. The US Deparment of Justice wants to block former user Kyle Goodwin from accessing his high school football videos which he uploaded to the site.
MegaUpload is currently in the middle of a massive litigation ordeal which involves the Motion Picture Association of America, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the US Attorney’s office. But what happens to those who didn’t do anything wrong? Lawyers for the US Attorney say the answer is nothing. In the same way that if you left a video game at a friend’s house on the night that police raided your friend’s house with a warrant, the government does not have a duty to make sure you get your stuff back in before the case is resolved.
“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 government asserted. The MPAA has said it has no objection to legitimate private content being returns to its owners, but the government is saying it may be up to individual users to file their own lawsuits if they want that content back.