MegaUpload shutdown has similar file-hosting sites worried

By on January 23, 2012, 9:47 AM

With MegaUpload taken out by U.S. authorities after a much-publicized international operation went down last week, and its top executives facing criminal charges, several file-sharing sites are either shutting down part of their services or outright blocking U.S. customers in an effort to limit potential fallout.

Among them is FileSonic, a top 10 player in the file-sharing world with a billion page views a month, which last evening disabled all sharing capabilities, only allowing users to download files from their personal accounts. They also withdrew an affiliate rewards program whereby users could earn money for uploading popular files -- something MegaUpload also did until mid 2011 and was cited as a a flat-out encouragement to piracy in the indictment against them.

Other file-sharing sites, such as FileServe, FileJungle and UploadStation have taken similar measures while the latter two are blocking U.S. IP addresses. Many more, including 4Shared, FilePost, Uploaded.to, have also started deleting infringing files en masse and suspending offending users. 

One of the few file sharing sites keeping its cool is RapidShare. In an interview with Ars Technica the Swiss-based site stated, "file hosting itself is a legitimate business" and thus were "not concerned" with the actions of the US government against MegaUpload. Daniel Raimer, a spokesperson for RapidShare, also pointed out that the MegaUpload raid wasn't about file sharing itself, but the alleged criminal actions of the company's staff. The fact that so many others are now scrambling to dump pirated content is very interesting.




User Comments: 22

Got something to say? Post a comment
Guest said:

Haha! Rapidshare is a Beast & and a Monster

Guest said:

Good thing I'm not American. Only problem is I was a premium member at MegaUpload, so the US now has all my information. However I never uploaded anything, which means I didn't break any laws in my country. However the US will extradite you regardless.

Btw, Techspot. Please write an article about ACTA.

Guest said:

Another one: PCFIPA

I think they're just throwing so many out there that we miss one and it passes. SOPA, PIPA, ACTA, PCFIPA, there's probably more.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

Good thing I'm not American. Only problem is I was a premium member at MegaUpload, so the US now has all my information. However I never uploaded anything, which means I didn't break any laws in my country. However the US will extradite you regardless.

Btw, Techspot. Please write an article about ACTA.

Can't wait to see Copyright suits against US Gov. Or at least I hope there will be, sue them so hard!

Won't happen, oh well...

Guest said:

I'm surprised to see how many people were premium members, didn't it cross your mind that this shady business would come an end...and your credit card info would be in the hands of the cops ?

Seriously.

Chazz said:

Wow, that's pretty amazing. Kudos to Rapidshare for operating a legitimate business. And I think people really need to read the indictment before posting all of this nonsense. Piracy isn't cool.

Guest said:

@chazz: I have read it. Seems to me they're just stacking a load of things which on their own wouldn't be a problem, but sluing them altogether makes a case. However Kim's lawyers will tear their case apart. I'm sure he'll be cleared of all charges. However I doubt MU will return after this.

I was a premium member, however it is legal in my country to download anything you want, as long as you don't distribute it yourself (upload). I didn't brake the law, so why would I be worried about becoming a premium member to a company located in Hong Kong (meaning they aren't breaking any laws there either)?

Think about it. I presume you're American. You follow American laws, why would you worry about breaking Chinese laws? America, the self appointed world police.

Chazz said:

It seems to me that you'd be happy to look the other way because it's the FBI,an American Government force. I really could care less about your condescending views of America at all. What you need to realize is that the American goverment cannot just waltz into another country and police it as if it's their own turf. That is a very hostile act that you'd only see in wartimes.

New Zealand allowed them to get extradited, they cooperated. They obviously feel very different than you do. As do many other government bodies. I have no problem with pirated content being on any of the file sharing sites. I don't feel the burden is on them to examine every one of their millions of files for other's interests. At the same time, if the rightful content owner request it be taken down that is something that they need to do.

I don't care what the American laws are based on that, it's a personal ethics thing for me. It's shady and countries do not like it apparently.

Edit: And believe me, if I'm operating a business in China I would care about their laws. Any legitimate business would, even if the majority of the operation is based elsewhere.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Where there is a need, there is a service. It will happen again even if these current most popular sites shut down.... history has proven itself, and it will again. I just hope that something new transpires from this soon, and that I am around to find it and use its services once again.

File-sharing will not end, like Rapidshare claims, the act of sharing files themselves is not illegal. This is just a service.

I work at a pawn shop now, for example, and people bring in all kind of stolen goods.

Do we care? NO.

Do we deny to buy the items from them? NO.

Do we have their information for the authorities to find them? YES.

Will we release this information? YES.

Does the pawn shop itself get shut down? (DOUBLE CAPS) NO!!!

Chazz said:

trillionsin said:

Where there is a need, there is a service. It will happen again even if these current most popular sites shut down.... history has proven itself, and it will again. I just hope that something new transpires from this soon, and that I am around to find it and use its services once again.

File-sharing will not end, like Rapidshare claims, the act of sharing files themselves is not illegal. This is just a service.

I work at a pawn shop now, for example, and people bring in all kind of stolen goods.

Do we care? NO.

Do we deny to buy the items from them? NO.

Do we have their information for the authorities to find them? YES.

Will we release this information? YES.

Does the pawn shop itself get shut down? (DOUBLE CAPS) NO!!!

I don't understand your points. They are kinda conflicting. As you understand, Rapidshare is still around so what would you be waiting for? File sharing is still here and always will be here.

File sharing and the internet is fundamentally different from pawn shops. When you receive items from people you are assuming it's stolen..from the looks of the individual or any other non conclusive reason. You get confirmation from authorities. But still we can make similar points.

As I said,

-Should these companies go about pruning every file looking for IP theft? NO

-Should they shut down their business because some people upload pirated files? NO

-Do they have information to identify people upon request? No, atleast not accurate or dependable info.

Now here is the fundamental difference. You do what you can to comply with the law by giving up the perps info. The sites should also comply with the law by deleting such info upon request.

-If they do comply, will they get shut down? (DOUBLE CAPS) NO!!!

Go check out Youtube.com for proof of this.

File sharing should never end, but what I gather from your post is that you want a site that will supply pirated material to you by any means necessary. Is that correct?

Guest said:

what a stupid comment above.

if you were the owner, would YOU care if they were stealing from YOUR pawn shop ???

UnknownSky said:

Gah, where will I get all my pronz from now Q~Q

stan4 said:

LOL, let the americans pay for all the stuff, banned from the internet by their government; Let the rest of the world enjoy "free previews" of games, movies and music before buying.

Guest said:

I am supprised that they didn't mention Piratebay.org.

Guest said:

Yup. All that is going to happen is sites will block American IPs. Poker sites for example have already blocked Americans, now file sharing sites have started blocking them too. Once upon a time we were trying to access American-only sites, soon Americans complaining about the "Sorry this page is not available in your country" messages. It's unfortunate but inevitable (assuming ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, or PCFIPA doesn't destroy the internet altogether).

@Americans: It probably wouldn't be a bad idea to start searching for affordable highspeed Canadian or Mexican VPNs right about now.

Mindwraith said:

This is what i've heard, can anyone confirm if this is accurate?

MegaUpload - Closed.

FileServe - Closing does not sell premium.

FileJungle - Deleting files. Locked in the U.S.

UploadStation - Locked in the U.S.

FileSonic - The news is arbitrary (under FBI investigation).

VideoBB - Closed! would disappear soon.

Uploaded - Banned U.S. and the FBI went after the owners who are gone.

FilePost - Deleting all material (so will leave executables, pdfs, txts)

Videoz - closed and locked in the countries affiliated with the USA.

4shared - Deleting files with copyright and waits in line at the FBI.

MediaFire - Called to testify in the next 90 days and it will open doors pro FBI

Guest said:

People always find ways to get round. This will trigger torrent sites I suppose.

Guest said:

Filesharing is religion! (ok only in Sweden) but they will notice when the crusade is coming!

Guest said:

It is high time these "people" get taken down.

I love it when they say: "we're not responsible for content blah blah put lame excuse here".

Guest said:

Yup. All that is going to happen is sites will block American IPs. Poker sites for example have already blocked Americans, now file sharing sites have started blocking them too. Once upon a time we were trying to access American-only sites, soon Americans complaining about the "Sorry this page is not available in your country" messages. It's unfortunate but inevitable (assuming ACTA, SOPA, PIPA, or PCFIPA doesn't destroy the internet altogether).

+1

Through this policy the US will eventually achieve the state censorship which China already have in place through more direct means.

Tomorrow_Rains said:

Anyone want to move to sweden?

Guest said:

The internet is PUBLIC. Sharing is not illegal. Stealing is. If I BUY anything, it is MINE to do as I please. That's why they are trying to make everything a LICENSE when you "buy" anything. The government has everyone scared of the word SHARE, as if it is synonymous with PIRATING. If a site has mp3s for example and someone hacks into their site, then that is stealing. If they distribute it, then of course that is illegal. It was never Bought/OWNED by the thief. But if someone BUYS / OWNS the mp3, then it is MINE to do with as I please. Greedy corporations are just mad at technology, which makes sharing easy. Technicailly one would be breaking their "law" if you loaned the device that had the "copywrited"/licensed property. ABSURD. They can go to hell with their greed and tyranny.

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.