The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has joined forces with Carpathia Hosting in a bid to help innocent users of Megaupload.com get their data back.
The pair have created the MegaRetrieval website through which those that had legitimate legal documents stored through the file-sharing service, as opposed to copyright-infringing content, can contact the EFF to gain advice and help on how to retrieve their files.
"The EFF is troubled that so many lawful users of Megaupload.com had their property taken from them without warning and that the government has taken no steps to help them," said Julie Samuels, Staff Attorney at EFF.
"We think it’s important that these users have their voices heard as this process moves forward."
Megaupload.com was shut down by US authorities for copyright infringement earlier this month after seven employees Limited, including the file-sharing sites' founders; Kim Dotcom, who has previously been known as Kim Schmitz and Kim Tim Jim Vestor, and Mathias Ortmann, were arrested and charged. The US Justice Department claims Megaupload.com has cost copyright holders $500m through illegal file-sharing and had generated $175m in illegal profits.
The website allowed users to post files to the firm's servers. They would then be given a link to the content, which included music, videos and pornography, could be distributed and allow other web users to access the files. Megaupload did not allow web users to search for content and instead relied on those that uploaded the files sharing the link themselves.
Megaupload used third-party firms including Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications Group to host the files. Although Carpathia Hosting has maintained it does not have, and has never had, access to the content on Megaupload’s servers, the firm said it wants to assist lawful users of the Megaupload service by promoting EFF and its non-profit legal services.
“We support the EFF and their efforts to help those users that stored legitimate, non-infringing files with Megaupload retrieve their data," said Brian Winter, Chief Marketing Officer of Carpathia Hosting.
In a letter filed by the US attorney's office in court last week, the third-party firms were told they could begin deleting files on February 2 as the US authorities have copied some but not all of the data as evidence in their case against the file-sharing sites founders.
However, Ira Rothken, lawyer for the file-sharing service, told TorrentFreak today that talks with a number of parties involved have resulted in a two week extension before the data will be deleted.