After Megaupload takedown similar file sharing `cyberlockers` decide to lock things up
After the file sharing site Megaupload was shuttered last week by the US Government and its employees arrested last week under accusations of piracy by the U.S. Department of Justice similar file sharing sites have decided to turn off the sharing features that made them so popular.
Digital locker services FileSonic, FileServe, and others have stopped allowing users to share the files they upload with others in order to keep them out of the possible backlash from the closure of Megaupload. The “cyberlockers" provided by these companies allow people to upload files that can be shared or downloaded by others. Normally the files are available for a limited period of time but premium customers do have the option for their files to stay online permanently.
The limited amount of time that the uploaded files are available is what leads copyright infringers and pirates to use these "cyberlockers," as they can move files around without the need for a physical storage space.
Currently Filesonic states on its website that, “All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally,” meaning you can no longer download any file you didn’t personally add to the service.
Some of the popularity of these file sharing sites were the perks. Most offered some type of affiliate program where the file sharer would earn money for getting other people to download the files that you upload to the site. While this would be good for a website to earn some extra cash in lieu of hosting the files themselves this, this ultimately lead to pirates getting paid to share illegal content with as may people as possible.
As with the ability to share files most sites have also removed their affiliate programs in efforts to show that they are valiantly fighting internet piracy in efforts to avoid the same fate as Megaupload.
Othersites instead of changing their core function have blocked all U.S. IP addresses, which essentially blocks all U.S. users from visiting or using the site, while others simply are standing firm saying they don`t incentivize file sharing thus keeping piracy low.
Until we see what becomes of this latest battle in the war on file sharing, no site may be safe. While the most average user may be unaware of what these sites are, they were among the most popular/trafficked sites in the world. According to Alexa, FileServe has a global ranking of 132 and FileSonic has a global ranking of 166. These rankings show that the file sharing either legally or illegally is one of the more popular things to do on the internet.