A US judge has called for the preservation of all data on the servers formerly used by file-sharing company Megaupload, which was indicted for internet piracy and shut down in January.
Judge Liam O'Grady has ordered all the interested parties to hold negotiations on who should be responsible for preserving the data, which resides on hundreds of servers owned by digital hosting company Carpathia Hosting.
The issue is contentious since Megaupload argues that the data is needed to help it fight piracy charges, while Hollywood studios claim that it's comprised mainly of illegally copied movies.
The billions of files are owned by as many as 60 million users of the cyberlocker service and, according to lawyers for the users, contain a huge amount of legitimate data stored online by clients for backup, sharing and other legal purposes.
Lawyers for the US Department of Justice and the Motion Picture Association of America objected to the proposal that the servers be given over to the control of Megaupload.