Costs to Third Parties in Battle over Online Copyright Infringement
After file sharing (or “cyberlocker”) website Megaupload was taken down by law enforcement on January 19, 2012, the companies charged with storing data relevant to the case have begun to complain about the costs of letting their servers sit unused. In fact, Carpathia Hosting has petitioned the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia for emergency protection from the “undue expense and burden” of maintaining the data, claiming $9,000 a day in storage costs and lost profits.
Carpathia isn’t the only one complaining about the files being taken offline; owners of non-infringing data on the same servers are unable to access their own content. “Cyberlocker” websites are estimated to account for about 7% of all Internet traffic and Megaupload was one of the biggest, so while the Justice Department determined that it needed to be shut down, there are lingering questions about what to do while the case is pending. Who should pay for upkeep of the information? Who should be tasked with determining what data from those servers can be made available? Considering the size of the seized data alone (25 million gigabytes, or about “50 Libraries of Congress“), these questions leave a lot of money, and a lot of information, hanging in the balance.
And for good measure, here’s the Department of Justice statement on the case.