When the United States Department of Justice shut down MegaUpload in January, they were doing more than just taking down a suspected file sharing destination. Law enforcement officials hoped to use the move as a scare tactic to deter similar outfits from engaging in what they felt was the same type of behavior.
US authorities have had moderate success thus far as it appears that yet another major file sharing destination is taking the necessary steps to ensure they don’t suffer the same fate as MegaUpload. Rapidshare recently implemented a data cap restriction on downloads that limits the amount of data that can be downloaded from a particular server within a certain time frame.
Those using the free version of Rapidshare will be limited to 1GB worth of downloads of each file per 24 hours. Paying customers will still be capped but at a much more relaxed 30GB limit. It’s worth noting that these restrictions will only be implemented on publically-hosted files. Private transfers from user to user will remain uncapped.
Rapidshare’s decision ultimately means that media pirates will no longer be able to effectively use the service to share with like-minded individuals. It is good news for the company from a legal standpoint as they attempt to protect the service but it’ll no doubt result in a lot of lost traffic and revenue as the pirates take their business elsewhere.
Whether or not they will be able to maintain normal operation without this extra income remains to be seen, however.