Megaupload Bust Causes Cyberlocker Panic

No longer will we be able to host a large file somewhere for free and have someone else download it.

Actually, it’s not quite so dire, but it’s true that a number of major file hosts have either shut down, closed part of their service, or changed the way they operate. It’s not the first time that file-sharing tools have received a shock to the system, though, and this little contraction is less the end of an era and more a winnowing of the herd. That’s a good thing.

A few sites have been tracking the changes and shutdowns. At Fileserve and Filesonic you can only download items you’ve uploaded yourself. Sites like Filejungle, 4shared, and Uploadstation are deleting premium accounts and affiliate programs. Uploaded.to has banned all US IP addresses. And the list goes on. There are dozens, some taking more serious actions than others. TorrentFreak has been keeping track, and the ever-zealous commenters there are full of information as well.

Services that have operated more cautiously from the beginning, things like Yousendit and Mediafire, aren’t feeling the heat. The restrictions they’ve placed on their service, and their more rigorous attention to enforcing copyright infringement, means that they can go on as they have done for years. It’s sites that have built a model with sharing as the currency that are spooked. That just means that this model is done for. It was never going to last forever. Neither did Napster.

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