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