Feeds

Files aren’t property, says US government

New twist in Megaupload case a threat to all clouds, claims EFF

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

While serial self-publicist Kim Dotcom was re-igniting the submarine cable debate in New Zealand, the Electronic Frontiers Foundation's (EFF's) case trying to recover files on behalf of a former Megaupload user Kyle Goodwin took a new twist.

The EFF has been in court trying to gain access to the servers seized by the Feds last year, when the Megaupload saga began. Access to the servers, they have argued, is necessary to help establish Goodwin’s case that his files should be returned.

In a filing that the EFF says should “terrify” users of any cloud service, the government is arguing that Goodwin’s property rights aren’t sufficient to demand access to the servers.

The government arguments are that Goodwin cannot demonstrate any “ownership” over the servers, since he merely paid for a service. Moreover, while conceding that Goodwin might have the right to assert his copyright, that is “not sufficient to establish that he has an ownership interest in the property that is the subject of his motion – the copies of his data, if any, which remain on Carpathia’s servers”.

The EFF also said that “the government … reviewed the content” of Goodwin’s files in what it says is an attempt to “shift focus to Mr. Goodwin, trying to distract both the press and the court from the government’s failure to take any steps … to protect the property rights of third parties either before a warrant was executed or afterward”.

However, it’s the government’s argument about property rights over files that The Register finds intriguing. While it seems to have the capacity, as stated by the EFF, to chill the cloud computing market, it’s an interpretation of intellectual property rights that would also be unwelcome in Hollywood. Content owners would hardly welcome a determination that the existence of a copy of data isn’t necessarily sufficient to establish ownership rights over that data. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.