Megaupload case triggers online storage site Filesonic to disable file sharing

Megaupload case triggers online storage site Filesonic to disable file sharing

The take down of Megaupload by the US government has produced its first chain reaction, as online storage service Filesonic voluntarily disabled file sharing between its users today.

A banner on the company website 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.”

According to Reuters, Filesonic has listed offices in the UK and Hong Kong, and it remains unclear whether it has a location in the US, and is thus making the move to avoid prosecution there.

Unlike Megaupload, which was open about its role sharing music without charge, Filesonic bills itself as a Dropbox-style “unlimited storage company”. While its primary function is to store files which can be accessed from another machine at a later date, it’s file sharing feature meant that it could be also allow users to share content between each other, as Megaupload did.

It remains to be seen whether other firms will follow Filesonic’s lead. While disabling a feature which is just part of a service, as it did, is one thing, the repercussions of such a move are company-ending for dedicated file sharing services on the Web.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) called its decision to shut down and prosecutive Megaupload “one of the largest criminal copyright cases ever”, and it seems like to start a spate of similar action against other companies that operate in the file sharing space.

Megaupload is reported to have taken revenues of’ more than $500 million away from the entertainment industry, and proof of the site’s success can be found on the list of luxurious cars, gadgets and other items that were seized from the Megaupload members that have been charged.

The file sharing firm is readying itself for a legal fight after dropping legal action that it was taking against Universal Music, after the publisher was upset that the file sharer had used a number of its recording artists for a promotional video arrange by rapper Swizz Beatz. Despite rumours, Beatz is not part of the police investigation because it has emerged that he is not CEO of the company.

Despite all the drama, Megaupload appears to be readying itself for a new launch outside of the US and its laws.

[Image courtesy of Dmitriy Shironosov /]

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