updated 07:20 pm EDT, Wed March 21, 2012
Studio group denies that it will sue users
The Motion Picture Association of America has reportedly asked server host Carpathia to retain Megaupload user data. The trade group is attempting to ensure that the data can be used for civil lawsuits, as the government recently gave Carpathia permission to clear the data—totaling 25 petabytes—from its servers.
The move has fueled speculation that MPAA attorneys may be attempting to build a case against individual users, however the organization has told Wired that it is only considering the possibility of litigation against Megaupload itself "or various intermediaries involved in Megaupload's operation."
The MPAA is asking Carpathia to preserve all information related to the content that was uploaded to Megaupload, downloaded from the servers, "and the Megaupload users who uploaded or downloaded those files."
Carpathia is said to be spending $9,000 each day to preserve the data, while Megaupload claims it cannot pay the server host until the government unfreezes at least part of its assets. The file sharing company is also fighting for the data to be retained for its own criminal defense against charges of copyright infringement and racketeering, among others. Separately, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has argued in favor of keeping the data to prevent legitimate users from losing content.
The data retention conflict may be resolved next month at a hearing.