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RapidShare Slows Download Speeds To Drive Away Pirates

During the last week, users who rely on RapidShare?s free service have been complaining of reduced download speeds. Several theories have been circulating, mainly focusing on the file-hoster trying to drive users to take up premium accounts. But according to RapidShare the reason is simple ? to drive pirates away from their service. Fast download speeds are still available for free, but they come at a different kind of cost.

During the wake of the Megaupload raids in January, TorrentFreak continuously monitored the cyberlocker world. We watched file-hosters panic and we watched bewildered users of their services try to find alternatives.

The fallout was fascinating to watch. Some hosters eventually closed down and some changed their policies, but it soon became clear that immediately usable capacity had become much more rare, at least on terms acceptable to users.

Interestingly ? and despite the glaring omission of a cash rewards program ? around warez blogs and release sites we saw an increased interest in RapidShare. Site users asked again and again for uploaders to put material up on the Swiss-based file-hoster.

Then a little over a week ago reports started coming in that users of RapidShare?s free service had experienced dramatic speed drops down to around 30/kbs. Speculation was rife that the company was exploiting the Megaupload closure fallout to drive users to their premium, non-limited products. So we asked RapidShare, and this was their fascinating response.

?On January 19th Megaupload was shut down by the FBI. Shortly thereafter, several other file hosters curbed their services or entirely stopped their operations,? the company told TorrentFreak.

?RapidShare has been faced with a severe increase in free user traffic and unfortunately also in the amount of abuse of our service ever since, suggesting that quite a few copyright infringers have chosen RapidShare as their new hoster of choice for their illegal activities,? the company explained.

?We have thus decided to take a painful yet effective step: to reduce the download speed for free users. We are confident that this will make RapidShare very unpopular amongst pirates and thus drive the abusive traffic away.?

RapidShare says that there is a direct link between free users of file-hosting services and copyright infringement. Those who like to pirate prefer not to pay, the company believes, not least because they want to avoid connecting their personal payment details to a copyright-infringing cyberlocker account.

Now, there will be those who say that however RapidShare dress it up, the company will be aware that the restrictions will drive users to their premium services to get better speeds. But interestingly RapidShare is now offering ways for users to get faster download speeds without paying a dime ? providing those uploading the original files they?re trying to access do some work.

?We knew that through the action taken we would even affect some RapidPro customers, especially those who offer their own files via websites or blogs and heavily depend on a possibility for free users to download their files. Therefore, we have decided to offer those customers a kind of deregulation that allows free users to download their files with the fastest possible speed again,? the company says.

What this means is that uploaders of content will have to provide RapidShare with details on the nature of their account including what type of files they?re sharing, the name of the sites and blogs where the download links are getting posted, and the uploader?s email address and telephone number.

RapidShare adds that by signing up to the scheme, uploaders give the company the right to check their files and websites for illegal activities.

In recent months RapidShare has made substantial efforts to demonstrate it is a responsible file-hoster that takes the law seriously, but this action is perhaps the strongest indication yet that the company wants to disassociate itself from infringing content and a Megaupload-style fate.

Update: Now all free users get a 404 Not Found message.

Source: TorrentFreak

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aka RapidShare tried to get pirates to sign up for their paid service :D

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Still full speed for Premium members, so I'm happy. ;)

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i still get 2mb/sec as premium member so dont really care what they do to free users :)

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I can no longer download from rs freely. It starts initially and then stops within 10secs. I've had similar issues with a couple of other sites as well. Could also be ISP-related for me, but can't say for sure.

Other sites have been doing similar tactics. Some sites give away full speed during off peak "happy hour" times, which are essentially random based on real-time demand for bandwidth. The other thing I have seen a lot more of recently is "the number of free download slots has reached capacity."

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HTTP fails for large Linux ISOs anyway.

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If RapidShare drove away pirates they would probably only have a handful of users left. Attempting to drive them towards buying premium accounts is certainly more likely.

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RapidShare Slows Download Speeds To Drive Away Pirates

During the last week, users who rely on RapidShare?s free service have been complaining of reduced download speeds. Several theories have been circulating, mainly focusing on the file-hoster trying to drive users to take up premium accounts. But according to RapidShare the reason is simple ? to drive pirates away from their service. Fast download speeds are still available for free, but they come at a different kind of cost.

During the wake of the Megaupload raids in January, TorrentFreak continuously monitored the cyberlocker world. We watched file-hosters panic and we watched bewildered users of their services try to find alternatives.

The fallout was fascinating to watch. Some hosters eventually closed down and some changed their policies, but it soon became clear that immediately usable capacity had become much more rare, at least on terms acceptable to users.

Interestingly ? and despite the glaring omission of a cash rewards program ? around warez blogs and release sites we saw an increased interest in RapidShare. Site users asked again and again for uploaders to put material up on the Swiss-based file-hoster.

Then a little over a week ago reports started coming in that users of RapidShare?s free service had experienced dramatic speed drops down to around 30/kbs. Speculation was rife that the company was exploiting the Megaupload closure fallout to drive users to their premium, non-limited products. So we asked RapidShare, and this was their fascinating response.

?On January 19th Megaupload was shut down by the FBI. Shortly thereafter, several other file hosters curbed their services or entirely stopped their operations,? the company told TorrentFreak.

?RapidShare has been faced with a severe increase in free user traffic and unfortunately also in the amount of abuse of our service ever since, suggesting that quite a few copyright infringers have chosen RapidShare as their new hoster of choice for their illegal activities,? the company explained.

?We have thus decided to take a painful yet effective step: to reduce the download speed for free users. We are confident that this will make RapidShare very unpopular amongst pirates and thus drive the abusive traffic away.?

RapidShare says that there is a direct link between free users of file-hosting services and copyright infringement. Those who like to pirate prefer not to pay, the company believes, not least because they want to avoid connecting their personal payment details to a copyright-infringing cyberlocker account.

Now, there will be those who say that however RapidShare dress it up, the company will be aware that the restrictions will drive users to their premium services to get better speeds. But interestingly RapidShare is now offering ways for users to get faster download speeds without paying a dime ? providing those uploading the original files they?re trying to access do some work.

?We knew that through the action taken we would even affect some RapidPro customers, especially those who offer their own files via websites or blogs and heavily depend on a possibility for free users to download their files. Therefore, we have decided to offer those customers a kind of deregulation that allows free users to download their files with the fastest possible speed again,? the company says.

What this means is that uploaders of content will have to provide RapidShare with details on the nature of their account including what type of files they?re sharing, the name of the sites and blogs where the download links are getting posted, and the uploader?s email address and telephone number.

RapidShare adds that by signing up to the scheme, uploaders give the company the right to check their files and websites for illegal activities.

In recent months RapidShare has made substantial efforts to demonstrate it is a responsible file-hoster that takes the law seriously, but this action is perhaps the strongest indication yet that the company wants to disassociate itself from infringing content and a Megaupload-style fate.

Update: Now all free users get a 404 Not Found message.

Source: TorrentFreak

Sorry but I agree with what they are doing people shouldnt be ripping off the music and movie entertainment people.

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I've always felt 10 odd dollars a month was worth it for top speeds and a wide selection at the errmm buffet.

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Pay for rapidshare? lol

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Sorry but I agree with what they are doing people shouldnt be ripping off the music and movie entertainment people.

Yea, because that's all any type of file sharing is ever used for. Never is there even one legitimate file ever hosted on the net.. :rolleyes:

Ignorant fool.

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Dropbox, Minus, Skydrive, Mediafire, there are lots of better alternatives.

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When there was only RS in the market they betrayed all, changed the agreements to profit, eventually lost everyone then back down really smoothly and now they are trying again to fool the world...!

True story bro :)

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Yeah, Rapidshare wants to drive the pirates away. Sure... :laugh:

This is nothing more than "We're on top again so let's be greedy". They've done it before.

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Is it true that most websites similar to this are being blocked in the US primarily because of the take down of Megaupload which originated from the US I believe?

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They're limiting free accounts to make people pay. Their site has always been terrible and I'll miss Megaupload a heck of a lot more.

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Lets be honest people use these sites to download illegal stuff not for legitimate uses..Most people save there stuff on there harddrive and copy there hard drive to make sure they dont lose there stuff.

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