Piracy

Mega Has Suspended 78000 Users Over Copyright Infringement

Written by Bill Toulas
Last updated September 27, 2021

Mega, one of the most popular file-hosting services on the internet right now, has announced that it had suspended 78000 users for reasons of copyright infringement. The platform is currently hosting approximately 63.8 billion files, and during the first nine months of 2019, it has received 317500 takedown notices from rightsholders. Mega’s user suspension system is based on a “three strikes” policy, and thus the 78000 users who have been penalized are repeat violators.

The platform has quickly grown into what it is today partly thanks to the shutdown of other competitors like the MegaUpload, its relatively lax piracy policies, and the safe harbor protections under New Zealand’s Copyright Act. Still, this doesn’t mean that users are free to upload pirated content there. The platform officially promises to take down any content that is reported for infringement within four hours. However, users are uploading stuff at unmanageable rates (about 500 files per second), so many files that are infringing copyrights cannot be marked and taken down within the promised period of time, or at all.

Since 2013 when the platform started, the rate of infringement notices to take-down action remained minuscule. So, Mega officially doesn’t allow the uploading of pirated content, but practically, that’s what the majority of the users are using the service for, so it quickly became impossible to deal with it. After two years of operation, the moderators almost gave up the effort entirely, and only took down approximately 0.0001% of the files in the platform to make a point of support towards their official stance.

mega-takedowns-2019

Source: Torrent Freak

With all that being said, the question that arises is whether the user who uploaded a pirated copy there can find trouble for doing so. Mega retains all user account information even after a full year following its closure by the holder. According to the privacy policy of the platform, all user information including the registrant’s IP address, email address, and activity details are accessible by the platform’s admins. 12 months after the account closure though, this data becomes anonymized using an encryption key that cannot be decrypted by anyone, including Mega. Finally, the platform clarifies that if the New Zealand law authorities or law enforcement from overseas requests user data from them, they will hand them over. Of course, not all requests are approved, but if there are valid grounds for approval the data is shared.

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