After staving off the inevitable for as long as it could, pioneering one-click file-hosting service RapidShare has announced it will shut down shop next month.
RapidShare got its start way back in 2002, quickly becoming one of the top destinations for hosting files on the Internet. Like many of its peers, RapidShare was often used to host copyrighted material – a fact that landed the site in legal trouble on numerous occasions.
In its defense, RapidShare bent over backwards to appease copyright holders and law enforcement officials. In 2012, the German court ordered the site to proactively monitor its users’ uploads and later that year, the site implemented data cap restrictions in an effort to avoid MegaUpload’s fate.
The company even tried to rebrand itself as a cloud storage provider but in the end, its efforts came up short. In 2013, RapidShare cut its workforce by 75 percent before ditching its free service a year later. Given the extremely competitive cloud storage market, it’s no wonder the company is unable to continue business.
A notice on RapidShare’s website says it will cease active service on March 31, 2015. After that date, all accounts will no longer be accessible and all associated data will automatically be deleted. Those with data stored on RapidShare are urged to remove it before the deadline.