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MegaUpload's host pleads for cash to preserve user files

Time's up, says Carpathia Hosting, the company that has maintained the 25 million gigabytes of data belonging to MegaUpload since the U.S. government shut the service down for alleged piracy.

Kim DotCom 3 News

The cost of hosting 25 petabytes of data belonging to MegaUpload's users is too much for Carpathia Hosting to support on its own.

Carpathia said in court filings on Tuesday that the company is dedicating 1,100 servers and spending $9,000 a day to maintain MegaUpload's files and needs someone to either fork over some money or allow the company to delete the information, according to a report by the Associated Press.

The data was frozen by the U.S. Department of Justice after issuing an indictment against MegaUpload's operators, including founder Kim DotCom in January. The Justice Department wants to bring DotCom to the United States to stand trial on charges of criminal copyright violations, wire fraud, and racketeering.

Carpathia, which has asked for a hearing to decide what should be done with the data, made a fortune from providing hosting services to MegaUpload's cyberlocker business but now says the cost of maintaining the information has topped $500,000 and is growing every day. Carpathia might have deleted the data a few weeks after DotCom's arrest for nonpayment but the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a technology advocacy group, worked out a deal that bought some time for the files.

According to a copy of the motion Carpathia filed with U.S. District Court in Virginia, the Motion Picture Association of America also wants the data preserved for a potential civil suit against MegaUpload and company leaders. The MPAA and the U.S. government object returning the information to MegaUpload, despite a suggestion that the company needs it to defend itself.

The MPAA said in a statement that it "demanded that Carpathia preserve certain data for possible use in potential civil claims by its member studios against the operators of Megaupload, as well as those intermediaries who contributed to the massive infringement that occurred through Megaupload. We are reviewing Carpathia's recent court filing and will respond as appropriate."

Word of Carpathia's financial struggles comes as a New Zealand court boosted DotCom's monthly living expenses to the equivalent of $48,500 in U.S. currency. The judge there also granted him use of his Mercedes.

The government has asked Carpathia to secure MegaUpload's information until it can decide what should be done with it. All the parties, including EFF, MegaUpload's attorneys and the MPAA continue to negotiate about how to proceed, according to court records.