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Web Host Carpathia May Have to Delete Megaupload Data, Asks Federal Government to Pay Bill

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Web hosting company Carpathia Hosting, which continues to host Megaupload’s frozen content even after the file-sharing website was shut down, is asking for the US government’s help to pay its unpaid bills.

Carpathia filed an emergency motion with the US Federal Court in the state of Virginia asking the US government to either pay for the hosting of Megaupload’s files, transfer the data to another data center, or delete it after allowing users to reclaim their seized files.

This is certainly a difficult position for any hosting company to find itself in, as Carpathia is unable to perform any action on its own as it may eventually lead to lawsuits with those parties with an interest in the frozen data, such as the MPAA.

Carpathia says it is spending $9,000 a day to host the Megaupload data, which totals to more than half a million since Megaupload’s shut down.

In a session at last week’s World Hosting Days, Internet lawyer David Snead discussed the Megaupload indictment and how web hosting companies should use it as a lesson in how the US government handles copyright cases.

When it was in full swing, Megaupload.com accounted for four percent of the total traffic on the Internet, with 66 million registered users and one billion visitors.

At the end of January, soon after Megaupload was shut down, Carpathia threatened to wipe all of the frozen files since it was paying for the hosting services out of its own pocket.

However, Carpathia and Megaupload’s lawyers eventually reached an agreement where Carpathia would continue hosting the data on a temporary basis. At the same time, Carpathia was working with the EFF to help legitimate Megaupload users recover their files.

“While Carpathia has never had access to the data on Megaupload servers and has had no mechanism for returning that data to Megaupload users, we have been attempting over many weeks to resolve this matter to the satisfaction of all parties involved, in a manner that would allow for Megaupload users to be in a position to ultimately recover their data,” said Brian Winter, Carpathia’s chief marketing officer. “Despite our best efforts, the parties have been unable to work out a voluntary solution that meets the concerns of all the various parties who have claimed an interest in Megaupload’s data. As a result, Carpathia has filed a motion in Federal Court seeking the court’s guidance on how to proceed in resolving this matter.”

Meanwhile, Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is still under house arrest in New Zealand. US prosecutors want him extradited to face charges of racketeering by facilitating millions of illegal downloads.

Talk Back: Do you currently have any content hosted on Megaupload that you could potentially lose if it gets deleted? Do you think the US government should compensate Carpathia for the unpaid bills? If you were in Carpathia’s position, what would you do? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author

Justin Lee has been a staff analyst with theWHIR since 2004. He writes about a range of web hosting and IT-related issues facing the industry on the WHIR website, as well the print version of the WHIR magazine. Follow him on Twitter @Justin_theWHIR.

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  1. Raymond Jennings

    Most likely someone will ddos and hack into carpathia as a convenient way to make the data simply disappear. It worked well enough for demonoid.

    Reply