Cloud-Storage Firm Hits Legal Downdraft

     SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – What goes in the cloud may not stay in the cloud: Bitcasa, a cloud-storage service, has been sued for ending its unlimited data storage plan.
     Shawn Romack filed a class action against California-based Bitcasa on Nov. 13, less than a month after the company announced it would end its “Infinite” storage plans.
     Romack, who claims Bitcasa breached its contract, sought, and received, a temporary restraining order to stop Bitcasa from deleting customers’ data.
     U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted the temporary restraining order, enjoining Bitcasa from deleting or impeding access to cloud data until Nov. 20. “Please remember, however,” Alsup wrote on his Nov. 13 order , “that no class has been certified.”
     Romack claims that Bitcasa required Infinite storage customers to either accept a new, more expensive plan by Nov. 15, or to remove all of their data, which would be deleted if customers didn’t accept a new plan.
     “In essence Bitcasa is holding these customers’ data for ransom, requiring them to accept costlier and inferior data storage plans from Bitcasa or risk losing their important data,” the lawsuit states.
     Romack claims the approximately 23-day time frame for customers to act is “inadequate and unreasonable.”
     “Such time frame renders it impracticable, and in many cases impossible, for customers to remove their data from Bitcasa’s systems by the … deadline,” the complaint states.
     Romack says he has 7 to 8 terabytes of data stored on Bitcasa’s systems, and that he has been “working feverishly to try to download as much of his data from Bitcasa’s system … trying to minimize the data he will lose.”
     Romack seeks class certification, restitution and damages for breach of contract, breach of faith, and California Business Code violations.
     He is represented by Michael Sobol with Lieff Cabraser.
     A hearing on the temporary restraining order is set for Nov. 19.

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