Are File Hosting Services Dead Following The Megaupload Case?

February 22, 2012 by  Filed under: Web Hosting 

File hosting services can be a great tool for organizational communications and for peer to peer sharing of personal photos and videos. Until recently one of the premier places where people could engage in this activity was Megaupload, owned by Kim “Dotcom.” With the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s recent bust of Dotcom’s Internet property, many were hailing an end to piracy or at least a serious blow against it. But as those in the know expected, nothing happened. Today, piracy is as prevalent as it was before the bust. It is just being done in another location. The U.S. servers that served as the primary focus of file sharing for the establishment may have been closed down, but one can still find the same illegally shared data on European servers, which are accessible in North America. The best result was a 2 to 3 percent drop in piracy when the bust was made. But a few days later, piracy numbers are at higher levels than they were before. This begs the question: will there be an end to file sharing?

It does not take a rocket scientist to see how futile and wasted law enforcement’s efforts are against piracy. When each action they take results in more theft of intellectual property instead of less, at some point, one has to wonder if movie companies, actors, authors, and rock bands are going to finally wake up and say, “Enough, obscurity is a more important worry than piracy!” The act of taking intellectual property may be illegal, but it is hardly a good measuring stick when it comes to measuring loss of revenue. If it could be proven that pirates would have otherwise paid for the content, then maybe there would be an argument, but no study has ever succeeded in establishing this connection.

What was being touted as a major win for anti-piracy has resulted in yet another black eye, perhaps the biggest so far, for the movement. And maybe this should be the case. File sharing is a valuable commodity if used correctly, and with all the futile noise the creative communities are making, it really could be hurting the usefulness of this tool. Luckily, the act of file sharing will never be illegal. It will always continue, because at its core it is a good thing for the human race, especially the business community.

Now that Megaupload has been shut down, transatlantic links are the new home of piracy. But if you want to continue using file sharing for legitimate purposes, you don’t have to worry. It is an asset and will continue to be one as long as the Internet exists. It’s bigger than any country, industry, or law enforcement agency.

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