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Monday, January 30, 2012

MegaUpload Users Will Sue American Government

MegaUpload users who legally stored their information on the cyberlocker are going to sue the government of the United States for theft of their information. Last week, the US Department of Justice switched off servers of the website at the request of the entertainment industry, while cutting off millions of legitimate users from their backed-up data.

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It seems that the Department of Justice had been told that MegaUpload was only being used by pirates to distribute unauthorized material and for some reason they forgot that it might actually be used legitimately. Multiple media reports confirm that those users all over the world are now fuming that the government of the United States didn’t warn them to take their content off the website before they closed it down, so they might have a point.

Ironically enough, the legal campaign has been organized by the Pirates of Catalonia, cooperating with Pirate Parties International. They published a message on their website, saying that the widespread damage caused by the sudden shutdown of MegaUpload was really unjustified and entirely disproportionate to the aim intended. The Pirates of Catalonia have created a form where the site users were able to register their complaints. They are going to facilitate submission of complaints against the American authorities in as many countries throughout the globe as possible, in order to ensure a positive and just result.

Thus far, it is unclear what kind of legal action the outfit is able to take. In fact, the only specific statutes the Pirates of Catalonia mentioned were Articles 197 and 198 in the Spanish law responsible for governing the misappropriation of personal information. Today the outfit is claming that it is only investigating the potential breaches of legislation.

On the other hand, there is something that might stop the Pirates of Catalonia from being successful. The matter is that MegaUpload’s terms of service mentioned that users storing personal information on the website did so at their own risk. On the one hand, that might have protected the cyberlocker from being sued, but on the other hand, it could at the same time be used by the Department of Justice to point out that legitimate users should have backed up anyway. 

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