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Department of Justice to Megaupload Users: ‘You Should Have Read the Terms of Service’

Dept. of Justice on
Dept. of Justice

If you’re one of the multitudes of Megaupload users who can’t access their files anymore, the Department of Justice has three messages for you: “They’re gone for good,” “you should have read the terms and conditions” and “tough luck.”

Digital Trends reports that a Dept. of Justice spokesperson told them, “ expressly informed users through its Frequently Asked Questions (‘FAQs’) and its Terms of Service that users have no proprietary interest in any of the files on Megaupload’s servers, they assume the full risk of complete loss or unavailability of their data, and that Megaupload can terminate site operations without prior notice.” The jist of that? Megaupload warned users that files could be lost and holds no liability to save them — and neither does the government.

What many users don’t realize is that many of their files were erased way before the Dept. of Justice shut the site down. If an uploaded file to the “cyber locker” wasn’t downloaded for an extended period of time, it was erased. Exceptions were made for paid premium users.

What made Megaupload different from Cloud services? According the Dept. of Justice, Megaupload’s entire business model was based on pirating copyrighted materials. While Megaupload denies the piracy claims, they admitted that they “provide shipping services to pirates.”

While they’re probably not alone in that respect, the Dept. of Justice says it was Megaupload’s knowledge of the piracy that was the problem. “Mega was targeted because the investigation revealed that its ownership allegedly had knowledge of the infringing content, took steps to conceal that content, and rewarded those who uploaded infringing content,” the Dept. of Justice spokesperson said, “among other things.”

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