U.S. Accuses Megaupload User of Storing Pirated Music

From TorrentFreak:

By seizing the servers of Megaupload, the U.S. Government also confiscated the personal belongings of many innocent users. One entrepreneur has asked the court to return his data but this request is meeting resistance from the authorities. The U.S. Government points out that the Megaupload user in question may not technically be the owner of his uploaded files. In addition they accuse him of hosting pirated copies of popular music.

Ever since the raids in January, the fate of Megaupload users’ personal files has remained uncertain.

After initial negotiations over a voluntary return of user data failed, professional sports reporter and Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin lost patience and decided to take action.

Earlier this month the court granted Goodwin a hearing and yesterday the various parties submitted their opinions on what form the hearing should take.

Mr. Goodwin’s attorneys and those of Megaupload suggested an extensive hearing. Among other things they want Government employees, including FBI agents, to be questioned under oath about several aspects of the data seizures.

The U.S authorities on the other hand want to limit the hearing to the issue of whether Mr. Goodwin actually owns the data he wants returned. This question should be answered first, the Government states, as this would “avoid a fishing expedition into a pending criminal prosecution.”

United States Attorney Neil MacBride explained to the court that Mr. Goodwin might not be the legal owner of the data he seeks to retrieve. On the one hand the agreement between Megaupload and its users could limit ownership claims, but even if Goodwin can legally own the data, it may be infringing.

“Based on the government’s review of Mr. Goodwin’s website, ohiosportsnet.tv, the list of files uploaded by a Megaupload user using the account name ‘ohiosportsnet’ and the MD5 hash values of those files, it is not clear that Mr. Goodwin or his company owns the rights to all the data that he uploaded to Megaupload,” MacBride writes.

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