After the parties involved in the Megaupload case failed on multiple occasions to negotiate some way to relinquish legitimate and legal data to Megaupload users left in the lurch, a Federal judge has agreed to hold a hearing on the matter. The one caveat is that the parties involved must come up with a format and the judge has not set a definitive date. Still it's forward motion in a situation that has been stalled by trade groups like the MPAA and the U.S. government.
The fight is over data sitting on 1103 servers at Carpathia Hosting in the United States, which legal users do not have access to. Extended negotiations – ordered several times by Judge Liam O’Grady – between Megaupload’s legal team, the Department of Justice and other parties have failed, though many point the finger at the MPAA – who say the machines contain pirated movies, TV shows and music.
In May Ohio-based business man Kyle Goodwin, a former Megaupload user who lost access to his personal videos, filed a motion with the help of the EFF asking the courts to find a solution for Megaupload users who were not breaking any copyright laws.
Judge O’Grady ordered the original parties back to the table to negotiate. In July they began negotiations but they stalled and ultimately failed to produce a solution by September. The EFF continued to put more pressure on Judge O’Grady. This did cause some forward motion on the issue.
"The Court stated today that it will hold a hearing to find out the details about Mr. Goodwin’s property – where it is, what happened when the government denied him access to it, and whether and how he can get it back," says EFF attorney Julie Samuels.
"We are glad that Mr. Goodwin will finally get to make his case in court and we look forward to helping the judge fashion a procedure to make all of Megaupload’s consumers whole again by granting them access to what is legally theirs," Samuels added.
Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothken says the hearing is an opportunity for the company to call U.S. officials to testify.
"Megaupload will be filing papers with the court to specially intervene," he said, "considering that it is only the Internet service provider that, under applicable privacy laws, is the only party that can access the data and coordinate return to consumers."