Intellectual Property

Who Owns Cloud Data? MegaUpload Case Raises Questions

In pursuit of the MegaUpload online storage service, U.S. officials have raised concerns about who owes what to owners of the stored data


The U.S. government's effort to prosecute file locker site Megaupload is raising questions about who owns data that is collected from a company's customers and stored with a cloud services provider. Megaupload's storage services customers have not had access to their data since the provider was raided in January and the data became evidence, reports Kevin Fogarty at InformationWeek.

According to U.S. prosecutors who are going after Megaupload for copyright infringement, data owners are unsecured creditors who should be required to sue the provider to get their data back. Law enforcement does not have to return property to customers or victims of illegal services, Fogarty notes, and Megaupload is being treated as an illegal service.

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  1. Fascinating post. Too bad it’s in the Newsfeed section where no one comments. So I’ll go first.

    I’ve stated continuously over years here at Reason that when you upload data to physical servers that you neither own nor control, you no longer own the data.

    Legally, you may own it, but physically, you no longer own it. So always keep that in mind when you keep sensitive or important data on a web-based service, be that email, music, pictures, documents, whatever.

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