When the Megaupload servers were taken down, no one bothered to distinguish legitimate data from data that infringed on the copyright of others. Users who had been using Megaupload as a host for their own files found themselves in a position where they were denied access to their files, even though they were in many cases completely legal. It was even worse for some users who had no access to local backups of the data. With the take down of Megaupload, access to those files was no longer available.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation in cooperation with Carpathia Hosting has started the Mega Retrieval project. The main purpose of the project is to connect affected end-users from the United States with the EFF to assess options.
It is not clear at this point in time if the EFF and its attorneys can aid Megaupload users in the retrieval of files that they have uploaded to the service. Affected users are asked to contact the EFF (an email address is provided on the Mega Retrieval website).
If you believe you are one of these users, are based in the United States, and are looking for legal help to retrieve your data, please email the best contact information for you to the EFF at..
The page notes that users shall not send any details of materials they have uploaded. It is likely that this initial step is needed to assess the number of users who are affected by the Megaupload take down.
Affected users should not get their hopes up to high though, as it is not clear at this point in time if anything can be done to prevent the deletion of all server data.
It may also be difficult for users to come up with additional information if requested. While they may be able to look up their account name, they may have troubles listing the files that they have uploaded to the service.
What's your take on the development?
Update: Five years have passed since Megaupload servers were seized. The situation has not really changed since then. Ars Technica reports that the servers are still kept locked up, and that access to data was not granted to anyone in that time.
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