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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.