Filesonic gets scared, closes file-sharing service

Following the recent US government takedown of MegaUpload for allegedly facilitating copyright infringement, amongst other claims, popular file-sharing website Filesonic has now disabled its file-sharing functionality. The only thing that users of the site can do now is access the files that they personally have uploaded, leaving the site as less of a file-sharing service and more of a personal storage bank.

The message on the Filesonic homepage reads:

All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally.

TorrentFreak also reports that shortly before the closure of file-sharing on Filesonic, the site ended its rewards program that saw uploaders earn money when users download their files. As this was a potential issue in the MegaUpload case, it’s clear that the owners of Filesonic do not want to end up in a messy legal dispute over conspiracy to infringe copyright, despite not releasing an official statement.

The effective closure of Filesonic will affect hundreds of thousands of users worldwide, with all links to hosted files no longer functioning. The site is also one of the top-10 file-sharing websites on the internet with over 250 million pageviews per month, according to TorrentFreak. Their decision to disable sharing functionality will certainly affect these statistics and annoy many, many frequent users of the service.

It’s certainly clear that the sudden and unexpected closure of MegaUpload has sent ripples through the file-sharing community, serving as a warning that the United States government has the means and capabilities, even without SOPA and PIPA, to shutdown websites and track down owners that are living overseas. With Filesonic now effectively gone, which website will be the next to fall?

Thanks to Max, Mark and Sonic for tips via the forums

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This reminds me of when I was at a swap meet years ago, and there was a police raid on the guys selling bootlegged movies. Doesn't take them long to pack up their table and run. Doesn't matter, they'll be back the next week ready to go again.

"... serving as a warning that the United States government has the means and capabilities, even without SOPA and PIPA, to shutdown websites and track down owners that are living overseas. "

SOPA & PIPA are irrelevant in this case -- in a nutshell they'd just censor what sites people in the US could easily view. AFAIK the Megaupload seizures are not really all that different than if authorities shut down a DVD bootlegging or pirating operation where they'd make fake retail video DVDs, or a factory making fake Gucci handbags, or the fake Apple stores in China. It took a lot more people & made a much bigger splash in the news because the take was so much higher. AS far as any US *reach* goes, AFAIK it's just a matter of whatever treaties are in place -- neither NZ nor Hong Kong had to even allow any US feds in their country. They didn't *have* to carry out any of the seizures, arrests etc... Many (most?) countries do try to control things like smuggling & counterfeiting because at the very least that cuts the amount of money the gov receives in taxes/fees -- I think US authorities might have used an approach along those lines.

Sub expired last week, glad I hadnt renewed yet. At this point I think signing up for more than a month of any service sharing service is a risky proposition for those dollars.

knew this was comming, they introduced some kind of scanning technology which would detect potentially pirated files (even compressed) a few weeks back. Only losing a week of a membership that I wasn't going to renew. Think I'll use RS for free while someone comes up with a new plan.

I have a filesonic premium account that expires in march, wonder if i can cancel and get a partial refund. My fileserve premium account still works, but have to wonder how long that will last.

The most popular file locker sites are:

1. filesonic
2. fileserve
3. megaupload
4. rapidshare

Expect these to all be down or not sharing soon.

NyaR said,
I have lifetime filesonic have not had it for more than 1 year...

That was a dumb decision. The web likes to switch file hosts every so often. I bought a year of rapidshare and that was good. Then I bought another year but only got 6 months out of it before HotFile became the next big thing. Bought a year on that and then nine months later Filesonic became the big thing. I got that for a year and now 8 months later it's basically useless.

DKAngel said,
just watching all these start to block access to people form the usa

+1...i say the isps outside USA block all of USA traffic and let us live our life...that way USA can fight amongst each other

trini18 said,

+1...i say the isps outside USA block all of USA traffic and let us live our life...that way USA can fight amongst each other

Just get your stuff hosted in some African country Whig does not cooperate with the American gvt e.g Zimbabwe and Mugabe and you will be good for a few years to make enough money to go legit.

I hope filesonic will be back again. What's happening to the Internet landscape? Too much content is disappearing day by day!

FileSonic and Wupload are the same owners, so expect to see Wu to go down soon IMO.
Fileserve, Filejungle, Uploadstation, videobb, videozer = all the same owners.

lflashl said,
will dropbox do the same. i can share out files with the public link. i use this all the time with my family for photos.

Dropbox is ok because files have to be associated with an account and they actively discourage piracy.

lflashl said,
will dropbox do the same. i can share out files with the public link. i use this all the time with my family for photos.

The main difference here is that Dropbox doesn't have a rewards system that encourages people to upload files in order to make money from the downloads. Plus, it's use for piracy is much, much smaller compared to these larger file sharing sites, so I think Dropbox will be safe.

dagamer34 said,

Dropbox is ok because files have to be associated with an account and they actively discourage piracy.

no... I don't believe the RIAA sees the difference... they've had some rumblings over dropbox and after this the site became way to expensive to pay for so went back to their free service. I just see one massive class action lawsuit coming there'll certainly cost the RIAA more than they claim to have lost.