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Megaupload Users May Have Their Data Deleted

(Paul Davison (L), Kim Dotcom’s defence lawyer, speaks to the media outside North Shore District Court on January 25, 2012 in Auckland, New Zealand. Kim Dotcom, the founder of file the file sharing site, Megaupload was arrested on piracy charges at his multimillion dollar mansion on January 20 whilst celebrating his 38th birthday.)

Photo by Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Prosecutors have a message for Megaupload users: upload not, lest your uploads be deleted.

Less than two weeks after law enforcement brought the file sharing company’s founder and others into custody on copyright-infringement charges, prosecutors in the case say data stored by users could be deleted.

Megaupload’s lawyer received a letter from the U.S. Attorney’s office suggesting 50 million users, who have been unable to access data since the company was raided earlier this month, could have their files scrubbed. The attorney hopes to reach a deal, in part because the company plans to use some of that very same data in its defense against piracy charges.

But Megaupload’s funds have also been frozen, making it hard to also pay data storage companies like Carpathia Hosting. That means users could lose legitimate files by Thursday. One possible upside: This is the ultimate “the dog ate my homework” excuse.