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Filesonic Removes Ability To Share Files 412

Posted by samzenpus
from the closing-shop dept.
Ihmhi writes "In the wake of the Megaupload takedown, Filesonic has elected to take preventative measures against a similar fate. The front page and all files now carry the following message: 'All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally.' Whether or not this will actually deter the U.S. government from taking action remains to be seen."
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Filesonic Removes Ability To Share Files

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:01AM (#38788255)

    Filesonic becomes useless.

    • by Kenja (541830) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:00AM (#38788565)
      More or less. Just canceled my account. Whole point was to be able to send people files too large for email.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:16AM (#38788653)

      >Filesonic becomes useless.

      Internet within US jurisdiction becomes a little more useless.

      FTFY

      You know that piracy isn't bothered by what the US does to it's own Internet businesses, right?

      • by cpu6502 (1960974)

        >>>You know that piracy isn't bothered by what the US does to it's own Internet businesses, right?

        You know that U.S. juris diction applies to almost the entire world, right? The megaupload persons were all foreigners on foreign land, but still landed in jail.

    • by Moru74 (1376087) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:03AM (#38788821)

      This hunting file-sharers is meaningless, they will just switch over to encryption and other distributed forms of transfer like i2p2.de for example. Encrypted anonymizer written in Java so it runs on all platforms.

      The side-effect is that real criminals will also benefit from this development and use the same means to communicate. Great, the pirate hunt will make it impossible to catch real terrorists. Is this really worth it?

      • by Xest (935314) on Monday January 23, 2012 @04:21AM (#38789273)

        It's worse than that, attacks on file sharing actually outright aid criminals in other ways too.

        If people can't download films and music on the internet anymore, they aren't going to go to their local HMV or whatever and pay £14 for a CD, then some will just get copies from their friends, but others will just go down the local market and pay £3 to a dodgy dealer like people used to before the internet. This genuinely, directly puts money into the hands of organised crime- some of which is tied back to terrorism (both Taliban/al Qaeda sympathisers, and the Tamil Tigers got a lot of funding doing this sort of thing in the UK and other Western countries), rather than the bunk claims that file sharing somehow profits organised crime.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126)

          It screws legitimate artists too. For most bands the biggest problem is getting heard in the first place, because if no-one knows about you then you are not going to sell many CDs or get many people come to your gigs. Cyberlocker websites were ideal for distributing music legally. Sure there is Bittorrent but it needs client software, megaupload.com just needs a browser.

          So the music labels are doing a good job of clawing back ownership of distribution and marketing channels.

          • by jedidiah (1196)

            There have been entire new genres and musical movements that only ever got anywhere because of "piracy". There are a number of highly visible and very wealthy "artists" that owe their current net worth to various forms of "piracy".

            Yes. Obscurity is far more harmful to an artist even if the artist in question forgets this fact once they become non-obscure.

  • Next (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:02AM (#38788257)

    US government requires written permission for moving files on your desktop.

  • The sharing scene for the music I listen to mainly transitioned from P2P networks or Bittorrent sites to indexes of Megaupload/Rapidshare/whatever uploads. The advantages cited were the inability to track IPs and more dependability since one didn't have to wait around for seeders. These recent developments might be enough to send people back to Bittorrent, especially as legal challenges have not sufficed to bring down The Pirate Bay, let alone some of the (IMHO more useful) lesser known torrent communities.

    If things go back to Bittorrent, remember that the community depends to a degree on you, so please seed.

    • I do believe this sounds about right. I'll seed what I can :)
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Huh?

      When did things ever go away from torrents? Demonoid is still alive. Despite prior threats, TPB is still going strong. And the private tracker community has absolutely exploded over the past few years (though they'll leave your ass in the dust if you drop below a certain sharing ratio).

      So what am I missing? Was there some global Megaupload revolution I wasn't aware of? Because all I've ever seen from lame ass websites like that was "OMG you exceeded your daily quota, give us money to continue! We promis

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        When did things ever go away from torrents?

        Three years ago or more.

        Demonoid is still alive.

        If you're looking for classical music and jazz, as well as .iso files (full DVDs) of films instead of low-quality transcoded files, Demonoid's selection is extremely poor compared to certain websites that link to Rapidshare et al.

        • When did things ever go away from torrents?

          Three years ago or more.

          Now the interesting thing with that timeline is that it was directly influenced by the MPAA/RIAA's lawsuits - services such as MegaUpload effectively masked the identities of copyright infringers, shielding them from such suits. If this does swing back to BitTorrent, those infringers are going to once again become visible. Does this mean we'll see the RIAA/MPAA step up their civil lawsuits once more, since they'll be able to catch more peop

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      What if someone combined TOR with P2P? People who owned the file could not be identified because they'd be obfuscated through like X nodes. People who were generous could mark themselves as portals where people could send data through. Sure it isn't impossible for ISPs to get records across short hops of a few people, but if it got complex and multinational, it might be impossible to track. I think especially if you forced hops across the world so ISP records couldn't be lifted, it'd make it very diffic
    • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:40AM (#38788477) Homepage
      This sort of comment is part of the problem, not the solution. Breaking the law simply because one isn't going go through the effort to pay for something optional like music is not helpful. It isn't noble. And it is exactly the sort of thing that makes nasty things like SOPA and the like get momentum. And as a result now, websites like Filesonic, which has perfectly legal and legitimate uses are now running into trouble. By all means, help those of us who care about civil liberties fight against draconian laws that would damage the Internet, and by all means join us in our attempts to make copyright laws marginally sane. But don't think that you are doing anything helpful when you make posts like the above.
      • And it is exactly the sort of thing that makes nasty things like SOPA and the like get momentum.

        SOPA gets momentum from those who corporate groups who lobby the government for it. Putting the blame on /. opinions is misdirection at best.

        • by Brett Buck (811747) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:11AM (#38788845)

          It's not a slashdot opinion - it's the idea that you can take something from someone else who spent some money producing it for sale, and instead get it for free. And then claiming it's somehow your right, or somehow noble to do it.

          • by SchMoops (2019810) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:20AM (#38788875) Homepage

            It's no less arbitrary that those of us who create content (and I'm one of them) claim it's somehow our right to profit from it.

            Take a look at this blog post by Jonathan Coulton. I can't think of any way I could agree more:
            http://www.jonathancoulton.com/2012/01/21/megaupload/ [jonathancoulton.com]

            • From your link:

              [Tim O'Reilly] points out that he and a lot of other content creators have been happily coexisting with piracy all this time, and I’m certainly one of them. Make good stuff, then make it easy for people to buy it. There’s your anti-piracy plan. The big content companies are TERRIBLE at doing both of these things, so it’s no wonder they’re not doing so well in the current environment. And right now everyone’s fighting to control distribution channels, which is why I can’t watch Star Wars on Netflix or iTunes. It’s fine if you want to have that fight, but don’t yell and scream about how you’re losing business to piracy when your stuff isn’t even available in the box I have on top of my TV. A lot of us have figured out how to do this.

              (Emphasis mine.)

              Always knew he was a good guy.

          • by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday January 23, 2012 @04:06AM (#38789211) Journal
            Morality aside, since everything on the net is copyright by default it IS my right to download and keep anything I can find (obvious exception is pedo-candy). AFAIK downloading (leech style) is not illegal in any western country, it's uploading that's the problem.

            Seems to me that over the last 10yrs or so the MAFIAA have been very successfully in their campaign to convince people (including way too many slashdotters), that downloading is illegal. From a moral POV, I would really like to see the authorities take them to task over what amounts to a seriously fraudulent advertising campaign. A just punishment would be to fine them twice what they spent on the campaign and give it to a court appointed executor to spend on correcting the misinformation....one can dream, right?
            • by alexhs (877055) on Monday January 23, 2012 @06:54AM (#38789909) Homepage Journal

              AFAIK downloading (leech style) is not illegal in any western country

              Well, I can't tell for other countries, but the law about that recently (2011-12-20) changed in France (if that's western enough for you).
              For those interested and that can read French, it's article L122-5 [legifrance.gouv.fr] of Code de la propriété intellectuelle, modified by law 2011-1898. There is no decree for that law yet.

              Before, the author couldn't oppose "copies or reproductions strictly reserved for private use". Now, the author can't oppose "copies or reproductions made from a lawful source and strictly reserved for private use".

              This happened shortly after (2011-10-04) the Court of Justice of the European Union reaffirmed that the receiver was not infringing in a case about satellite video streaming. (I have not the source from the CJEU, but from a law firm [poulmairejacob.com] (in French)).

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Theaetetus (590071)

              AFAIK downloading (leech style) is not illegal in any western country, it's uploading that's the problem.

              Yeah, you'd be wrong. Copyright infringement includes distribution - e.g. "uploading" as you note. However, it also includes copying - e.g. "downloading". Under US law, downloading material under copyright without permission is illegal.

              That said, you're close... The RIAA/MPAA never go after downloaders because (a) if they also have a legitimate purchased copy, they can make a colorable argument for fair use format shifting; (b) unlike distributors, leechers can legitimately make the argument that damages f

          • by Pieroxy (222434)

            It's not a slashdot opinion - it's the idea that you can take something from someone else who spent some money producing it for sale, and instead get it for free. And then claiming it's somehow your right, or somehow noble to do it.

            But you can. You can and you always will be able to. That's the problem with data and the internet - once you get your hands on data, you can share it. And invariably, you will.

            And no, there is NOTHING anyone can do about it. It has ALWAYS been so, it's no news either. Back in the days however you could only transfer cheaply what your memory could contain. No real threat except for headline news which spread faster than the newspaper can be delivered. The internet gave us the means to transmit terabytes qui

      • by muuh-gnu (894733) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:49AM (#38788949)

        > Breaking the law simply because

        For a law to be fair and just, it has to be accepted by a significant share of the population, i.e. it has to be democratically supported. When laws are simply forced from the top down by a few stake holders and then massively enforced against the population like in pre-democratic feudal middle ages, breaking a unjust law you can not democratically change is a fucking rebellion. A law does not automatically gain legitimacy just by being a "law", otherwise nobody would ever rebelled against feudalism. Feudalism also had "laws". Libya also had "laws" and you know how it ended. A law just being called a law means nothing.

        A law gains legitimacy by the process how it is passed. It gains legitimacy by whether it is widely accepted as law. This crazy IP shit is neither. It was decided behind closed doors, by a few greedy sick fucks, and is then applied to millions with the sole intent to extract money from them and everybody knows this. Copyright in its todays form is as undemocratic and illegitimate as a law can get.

        > help those of us who care about civil liberties fight against draconian laws

        Come on, you fucking dont do anything. You dont attempt anything, you never ever accomplished anything. You know that you have no chance in hell to change this, so whats your plan? How are you gonna get big money out of and democracy into copyright legislation? How exactly do you "fight"?

        > join us in our attempts to make copyright laws marginally sane

        All you seemingly do is going around telling people not to break "the law", so basically youre part of the problem. You sound like big content, "dont break it, its the law, breaking it will make things worse for you". How is simply bowing down, obeying and not breaking an exploitive, undemocratic and unjust law going to automatically make the law more sane?

        • by JasterBobaMereel (1102861) on Monday January 23, 2012 @03:55AM (#38789169)

          ...and the majority of us did not vote for the current USA laws, because we don't live in the USA

          MegaUpload - a Hong Kong Based company, shut down by the USA, and the directors arrested in New Zealand ...for infringing on US copyright laws?!

      • by jez9999 (618189) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:54AM (#38788957) Homepage Journal

        This sort of comment is part of the problem, not the solution. Breaking the law simply because one isn't going go through the effort to pay for something optional like music is not helpful. It isn't noble.

        When you have a political system as unbelievably corrupt as the one in Washington D.C. right now, which passes laws for the copyright cartel to extend copyright indefinitely, I have to say that I think civil disobedience against copyright law is justified. The average citizen has NO power to do a damn thing about the law, and nowhere near enough money to buy their politicians back (not that that's how it should work).

        It's all very well saying you should reform copyright the legal way, but be realistic: when is that going to happen? Is that ever going to happen? In the meantime, why should people put up with a law that the majority would disagree with if they really knew much about it and which we think is utterly unjustifiable, and a complete perversion of copyright's original intention?

      • by Galestar (1473827) on Monday January 23, 2012 @03:06AM (#38788999)
        There are 2 ways to stop MAFIAA/RIAA:
        1. Everyone stops pirating - they stop bribing politicians because there is no longer a need.
        2. Everyone pirates - they lose all of their revenue and eventually die.

        Personally I prefer the 2nd option.
        • by SuricouRaven (1897204) on Monday January 23, 2012 @07:28AM (#38790067)
          1. Everyone stops pirating, they keep trying to expand copyright protection for other reasons. For one, I imagine that they would absolutly love it if they could get rid of the first sale doctrine and close down all those second-hand CD and DVD sales that undercut their own prices. The shift to digital distribution is the perfect chance for that - if you buy a 'licence' rather than a physical product, you have no right to sell it on to someone else. Lobbying for term extensions would also continue, as many influencial copyright holders have very valuable and old works. Micky Mouse is the most famous, but over in Europe music labels were the big lobbiers to protect their ownership of the Beatles and many of the influencial rock-and-roll bands. Then there is the issue of grey market imports - plenty of distributors would like to turn that grey market black

          I'd rather option 2. I'm quite willing to sacrifice the big-budget movie if that is what it takes to defend free speech and access to unrestricted computing technology.
      • by metacell (523607)

        Breaking the law simply because one isn't going go through the effort to pay for something optional like music is not helpful.

        It is, if you seed.

      • by kruhft (323362)
        I am an indepedent musician and I publish my works on Pirate Bay: http://piratebay.org/user/kruhft [piratebay.org]

        It's not all about illegal downloading.

    • It's a fairly inevitable back and forth development, as the increasing popularity of BitTorrent gives investigators an incentive to track and drives up the risk, after which streaming sites become more popular, leading to take-down efforts targeted at those, making people go back to BitTorrent again.

      It's a question of risk evaluation. BitTorrent almost always works, but leaves you personally open for legal attacks. Streaming sites can be used with relative anonymity but go down easily.

    • by Kalriath (849904) on Monday January 23, 2012 @02:25AM (#38788881)

      Seeding is becoming incredibly dangerous in countries where the US has too much influence - take a look, for example, at New Zealand's Copyright (Infringing File Sharing) Amendment Act 2008. A law pretty much written by the US Government (read MPAA and RIAA) which essentially makes it so that once the relevant sections kick in, Warner Music or Disney can get you banned from the internet for six months because they claim to have detected you uploading files over Bittorrent - and the burden of proof is on you, the defendant, not them the accuser. And we both know that the reason the US government pushes laws like this overseas is so that they can weaken the domestic opposition. So while you say "please seed", some people are simply not in a position to.

  • by kyrio (1091003) <slashdot&lurkmore,com> on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:10AM (#38788293) Homepage
    This is the new thing. Make a shit ton of money from customers (advertisers, publishers), and after you've hit your goal, close down and never pay anyone or refund any of the advertising money. Etology (of etology.com) did the same thing about 5 months ago - stole advertisers money and essentially stole money that publishers were owed (for displaying their ads). Megaupload cut off their affiliate program and didn't pay anyone out some time ago. Rapidshare.com went through 5 different version of billing and affiliate methods a couple of years ago - in the end, screwing everyone in the same way rapidshare.de did a year or two earlier. The only company that I've dealt with that has actually paid out what they owed, after cutting off their affiliate program, was Wupload.
    • MediaFire doesn't have such a paid affiliate program AFAIK; they seem less guilty of obnoxious behavior in general.

  • Two down... (Score:5, Informative)

    by enoz (1181117) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:33AM (#38788433)

    Megaupload is being taken for a ride in the Party Van and Filesonic has chosen self obliteration, though there is no shortage of competing services. On first glance Wikipedia lists 70+ [wikipedia.org] of the most popular file hosting services.

  • by D,Petkow (793457) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:34AM (#38788437) Homepage
    Some curiosity:In Bulgaria and also most other eastern European countries there used to be a funny practice amongst ISP's:Each internet provider used to have a NAS/LAN server, accessible only to subscribers/customers, loaded with warez, pr0n and movies, in a catalog type of way, year by year. This was way back in 1999- 2005. So You basically see what your monthly fee is, now much Mbps you get up/down, and also what kind of "bonus" warez this particular ISP has to offer, lol! I almost canot believe this was the de facto standard for many years! After some time the laws got changed and the ISPs were forced to quit this practice. But then torrents came in place. So what i am thinking is - we have at least a dozen trackers that are registered/hosted in Switzerland, Netherlands and other locations, like offshore islands or that Transnistria in Russia, where our local Bulgarian/EU laws do not apply. The servers/trackers themselves are configured to answer to requests only from Bulgarian peering IP addresses. So basically those servers remain unseen for the rest of the internet, including authorities, unless you use a Bulgarian proxy. My humble guess is that this kind of "localized" trackers will never go away, also i know for a fact that in Russia they have the same private trackers, DC hubs, and other p2p based ways of sharing warez. Just my 2 cents on this subject - i don't really care about the Filesharing hosts like MegaUpload, WUpload, Hotfile, RapidShare and so on, because they want money, because they have their pages bloated with ads and because of the crappy CAPTCHAs. Yeah.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:57AM (#38788547)

      Some curiosity:In Bulgaria and also most other eastern European countries there used to be a funny practice amongst ISP's:Each internet provider used to have a NAS/LAN server, accessible only to subscribers/customers, loaded with warez, pr0n and movies, in a catalog type of way, year by year.

      Same in Romania. We also already enjoyed fiber to the door years ago. Whatever film you wanted to watch some evening, you could download it in just a couple of minutes. It was this experience especially that really made me feel that the US had lost its edge in tech. Before emigrating to Eastern Europe, I was living in a major US metropolitan area but stuck with bad cable or DSL options that throttled the hell out of connections, as well as the fear of P2P lawsuits.

  • Voices echo up suburban stairs - "Mommy I will be a little late with your stories tonight"
  • Jacob Appelbaum spoke about self-censorship at his keynote at LCA2012.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMN2360LM_U [youtube.com]

    In this case, its a company choosing to censor themselves so the government doesnt have to.

    • by sqrt(2) (786011)

      Self-censorship isn't an acceptable alternative to no censorship at all.

      • Which was Jacob's point; where there is surveillance, there will be censorship, even if it is not explicit. He called it "an emergent phenomenon of surveillance". Hence the importance of resistance to surveillance.

  • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:47AM (#38788507) Journal

    ...to the rest of the world: we don't want your business. We don't want any tech companies to set up here. We're going to make this the most hostile nation to internet and technology start ups by bullying anyone who dares defy our notion of imaginary property.

    • by schnell (163007)

      We don't want your business. We don't want any tech companies to set up here.

      I applaud your sentiment since SOPA/PIPA etc. are stupid. But your comment is not reflective of reality. Google is based in the USA. So is Apple. So is Intel. So is Cisco. So is Facebook. So is Microsoft. So is Oracle. So is Red Hat. So is Qualcomm. So is Yahoo!. The list goes on and on.

      There are a lot of good arguments against the current US Intellectual Property/patent policies, but "tech companies won't exist in the US" is not one of them.

    • by artor3 (1344997)

      Internet and technology startups rely on intellectual property rights. If you just invented a new widget, you'd much rather do business in the US (with all its flaws) than in some anarcho-libertarian utopia with no intellectual property rights, because in that "utopia" some big megacorp would just come along, take your idea, and mass produce it at a lower price than you can afford to compete at. Thanks for all your hard work, now get back in the unemployment line.

      The only thing that makes less sense than

  • by decora (1710862) on Monday January 23, 2012 @12:57AM (#38788545) Journal

    and all the other sites that are just massive abuses of the 'good faith' idea.

    its one thing to be a neutral admin. but lets compare youtube and wikipedia for a moment.

    on wikipedia, if you see copyright violations, you can take them down yourself. or, you can report them to a specialized group on wiki that actually cares about removing copyrighted content that was uploaded without permission of the copyright holder. they also have a system to verify whether or not works have been granted permission, and whether they are in public domain, by a large amount of research done with licensing and legal systems around the world.

    now, lets take youtube. its full of people just uploading music albums and putting a still photo as their 'video'. now, the only person who can ever report that as a copyright vio is the artist themselves. nevermind you could probably listen to their music for free on bandcamp or something. . . youtube is not going to provide a link to bandcamp. youtube just does not give a shit.

    • by war4peace (1628283) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:43AM (#38788751)

      Youtube also has checks in place to figure out whether the soundtrack matches a copyrighted one. Of course, it's relatively easy to fool (change tone a bit or alter the soundtrack just a tiny fraction), but unaltered songs get automatically silenced. I know because I tried uploading a World of Tanks Clan Parade video I made which had "Diesel Power" by Prodigy as soundtrack. As soon as the upload finished, I received a notification that the soundtrack was copyrighted and bang, movie with no sound.

      Interestingly, the same algorythm they use made me stop uploading Audiosurf captures; Audiosurf is a game allowing you to "race" a track uniquely generated from a song you choose. After ending up with a few nice captures which were muted, I said screw it and stopped.

  • I have noticed since the crack down more and more people have been taking NAS boxes to LAN parties and sharing files. The reality is I find it easier now to get stuff now than before (download 20 gig per hour on a decent LAN). People will always share stuff especially if they know someone who cant afford it. When I was in college in the 80's we used create our own mix tapes and share them all the time. I did buy music but only stuff I liked and the rest I got was just filler that I deleted after 6 months.
  • by mister_playboy (1474163) on Monday January 23, 2012 @01:19AM (#38788669)

    FileSonic was one of the hosts most beloved by for-profit autoposters, who spam links everywhere they can to rack up rewards payouts for lots of downloads, all while ignoring forum rules and drowning out people who actually want to share with other community members.

    I'm not sad to see some of the for-profit whores exit the file sharing scene. Good riddance.

  • Made it difficult (Score:4, Insightful)

    by AzN_DJ (950218) on Monday January 23, 2012 @05:20AM (#38789453)
    From the other side of the world, it is appalling how copyright law likes to screw everything over the entire globe.

    Here in Australia, there is only one main source of multimedia online - iTunes. And it has a limited selection compared to the US version, and massive markups. What costs you guys 99c-$1.69 costs us $1.69-$2.19 (AUD and USD are practically at parity)
    Amazon doesn't work outside the US.
    Google Music doesn't work outside the US.
    Zune only started in Australia recently - but there are DRM restrictions.

    Also, with TV episodes, there is a large delay between US availability and AU availability. At least months difference, and it is still overpriced and DRM locked on iTunes. We can't access iTunes US without a credit card. We aren't allowed to pay for it basically. So what is the easier option? Just download it.

    Another common example among friends of mine:
    We all love k-pop. But we can't get Korean music in Australian music stores. We can't buy it online from iTunes. We can't set up an account for iTunes Korea. We can't order the CDs online either. So what is the obvious solution? Download it.

    As long as the Music/TV/Movie industry make it extremely difficult to pay, there will be a large amount of people who pirate around the world because they aren't given the option to pay for it easily. However if paying for music was easier than downloading, there would be more people paying for music.

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