The ramifcations of the MegaUpload shutdown continue to be felt as Filesonic disables file sharing and its reward programme
Filesonic, one of the Internet’s most popular file sharing sites, has announced that it is disabling its sharing functionality and discontinuing its affiliates programme.
The news comes just three days after the US Department of Justice shutdown MegaUpload last week, arresting many of its key employees.
More than coincidence
Users now only have access to their own files, meaning that hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of links on the Internet are now redundant for the time being, according to Torrent Freak.
The decision to end Filesonic’s rewards programme means that uploaders to the site no longer receive money when people download their files. This is not much of an issue in some ways, since other users are no longer able to download files, but it hasn’t been disclosed whether or not affiliates will be able to receive the reward money sitting in their accounts.
Filesonic has not provided an official explanation, but after what happened to MegaUpload last week, it would be surprising if it was a coincidence. Filesonic appears to be based in Hong Kong, where local authorities assisted the US government in shutting down MegaUpload and seizing its assets there.
Last month, FileSonic announced that it had partnered with Vobile, a provider of content identification services, to check uploads for copyright infringement before they were publicly available, although there is no indication that this system was ever implemented.
TorrentFreak notes that the shutdown of MegaUpload looks like a “game changer”.
“This combination of news all adds up to a pretty big deal,” it commented. “Filesonic isn’t just some also-ran in the world of cyberlockers. The site is among the top 10 file-sharing sites on the Internet, with a quarter billion page views a month.”
Filesonic was one of the sites targeted by Google’s campaign of silent censorship which saw the search giant voluntarily block file sharing sites from its results. Research conducted last year found that 43 well-managed digital piracy sites gained over 53 billion visits per year, while the Motion Picture Association has requested that a number of UK ISPs prevent their users from accessing the file-sharing site Newzbin2.
However copyright holders shouldn’t expect any help from the Swiss government, which has ruled that downloading should remain legal as downloaders eventually spend the money they save on new entertainment products.