Megaupload, the popular file sharing service taken down earlier this year, wasn’t utilized only for piracy purposes, many users relying on the site to store their personal files. However, it turns out that US authorities didn’t care about them when they asked for warrants to seize the Megaupload files.
According to TorrentFreak, one of the individuals who used Megaupload for nothing but legitimate purposes has asked a court to return his files. During this case, a judge has approved the unsealing of search warrants to allow the plaintiff’s attorneys to see on what grounds that data was taken by authorities.
The unsealed documents are redacted, so there’s not much information in them but, apparently, the warrants and the warrant applications don’t mention legitimate users at all.
Kim Dotcom, the founder of Megaupload, who’s now preparing to set up a similar service called Mega, told TorrentFreak that almost half of the files stored on the file sharing website were never downloaded, which means that they were uploaded by customers who simply wanted to store their data in the cloud.
Furthermore, some of the accusations made against Megaupload are formulated in a way that could be utilized against other file sharing websites as well, including YouTube.
For instance, an FBI agent revealed in the warrant application that he was able to upload, download and view copyrighted videos.
Dotcom claims that there are also other unfounded accusations against Megaupload. For example, the Department of Justice argued that when it responded to DMCA notices, the service didn’t delete the actual files that infringed copyright, but instead it only removed the links to them.
However, this is common practice, because by removing all the files that contain certain content, the service provider could delete the one actually owned by the rights holder.