Intellectual Property

Electronic Property Rights at Stake in Megaupload Case

Do you really own your stuff?


There's more at stake in the Megaupload case than the freedom of founder Kim Dotcom and his indicted file-sharing associates.

The privacy and property rights of its 60 million users are also in jeopardy, as well as the privacy and property rights of anyone who stores data in the cloud, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is representing one of Megaupload's users in a lawsuit against the government that could set a precedent for cloud users in general. A hearing on the issue in Virginia federal court is expected to be set any day.

The problem lies in the fact that there is currently no clear process for owners to retrieve property that federal prosecutors effectively seized when they shuttered the file-sharing and cyberlocker service last January over issues of alleged copyright infringement.