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How RapidShare Plans To Avoid MegaUpload's Fate 97

Posted by samzenpus
from the easy-now dept.
concealment writes "On November 27, RapidShare will start putting a tight cap on outbound downloads for its free users. Paid members will still have 30 gigabytes in outbound downloads per day, but everybody else will be capped at one gigabyte. The change is expected to further deter pirates from using RapidShare to distribute copyright material on a large scale."
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How RapidShare Plans To Avoid MegaUpload's Fate

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:17PM (#42029363)

    Why would this reduce piracy more than it would reduce legitimate uses?

    • by kontos (560271) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:23PM (#42029461)
      Probably wont, but it is win/win. They can "do something" about the pirates, and get a bump in revenue from the few pirates that will pay for an account to get around the restrictions.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not exactly. Read this move carefully:

        In the future RapidShare will use a classic hosting model which means that not only the storage space but also the traffic created will be paid solely by the owner of the file. The prices will not change. With RapidPro you automatically have unlimited traffic for your own downloads of your files and the downloads by your contacts. Additionally you have 30 GB public traffic per day. The recipients of your files have no download limitations whatsoever regardless of if they have RapidPro, a free account or no account at all! [rapidshare.com]

        They're really limiting the total downloads of a file by people who aren't in your contacts list. So really you need to pay for an account and get other uploaders to add you to their contact list, otherwise you'll still get snocked trying to download other's files when they reach the daily cap.

      • by crazyjj (2598719) *

        I'm pretty sure the MPAA/RIAA expect more than a token effort. This won't stop them from having their government agents kick down your door.

        • I doubt very much that this will raise Rapidshare's revenue significantly. Nor do I think it will decrease "illegal" downloads significantly. You're just going to see less of them be HD (750MB rather than 1.5GB).

          Of course, in the meantime we have this "6 strikes" plan that the ISPs have put together, which has been much delayed, and which they have seriously screwed up at least once. (Turns out their "independent" expert who signed off on the technology was formerly a lobbyist for Big Content, so now the
    • Conjecture on my part, but when you pay for an account, you give them some information, so that they can get their money. To a non-infringing free downloader, the cap is an inconvenience, and some fraction of them will be willing to pay to make it go away. To a copyright-infringing free downloader, paying to remove the cap requires them to identify, and possibly incriminate, themselves, so it's more of an obstacle.

      This explanation is incomplete, of course, since presumably the uploader is also on the hook f

      • by leromarinvit (1462031) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:33PM (#42029593)

        This explanation is incomplete, of course, since presumably the uploader is also on the hook for copyright violation, and you have to register an account to upload anything (I think), but there are few uploaders and many downloaders, so the explanation above could still work on average.

        Who registers accounts with real personal data?

        This post brought to you by Mr. Jesus Christ, Downing Street 10, Washington DC, Russia.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Who registers accounts with real personal data?

          This post brought to you by Mr. Jesus Christ, Downing Street 10, Washington DC, Russia.

          One who needs some manner by which they can pay for that which they're registering. Did you miss the part about paying for more upload space/bandwidth, or do you seriously think RapidShare will accept payments via throwing a plain manila envelope full of unmarked bills off a bridge at 2am?

          This post brought to you by leromarinvit, Slashdot user #1462031.

          • prepaid credit card purchased with cash

            • Not paranoid enough (Score:5, Informative)

              by poity (465672) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:39PM (#42031139)

              Since they can probably:
              1. Locate the retail card reseller from the account number
              2. Cross-reference security video with receipt time stamp
              3. Look up your license plate number or enhance your face

              So make sure you walk or ride your bike, and maybe wear a fake mustache. In the future, all mustachioed cyclists will be suspected of piracy.

          • by pla (258480) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:10PM (#42030063) Journal
            One who needs some manner by which they can pay for that which they're registering.

            Prepaid VISA cards FTW - No one online gets my "real" contact info unless I need something physically shipped to me - And even then, I almost always have it shipped to my work address c/o my phone extension - Technically enough to ID me with two court orders (merchant and my employer), but good luck otherwise.


            Did you miss the part about paying for more upload space/bandwidth, or do you seriously think RapidShare will accept payments via throwing a plain manila envelope full of unmarked bills off a bridge at 2am?

            You do realize this conversation involves a company that used to (maybe they still do, haven't looked in years) accept payments through some sketchy Russian "bill it to your phone via SMS" processor, right?
          • Allow me to repeat what Lister king has already said:

            PREPAID CREDIT CARD PURCHASED WITH CASH

            It works.

          • Well, Rapidshare accepts PayPal, so that's at least one level of removal. If someone wanted to find out who that RS account belongs to, they'd have to go for IP address from RS, then go to the relevant ISP to get the customer details (good luck with that in most countries), or go to PayPal to get the c/card details of the payment. Not sure what PayPal's policy is on that - hopefully would require an actual subpoena (good luck with that).

        • by Frosty Piss (770223) * on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:50PM (#42029809)

          Who registers accounts with real personal data?

          I *always* do, it's a matter of principle.

          I know what you're thinking - YES, high school (and Jr. High for that matter) was a bitch for me, what with "Hey PISS this and PISS that..."

          All I can say is that it made me a better person with thicker skin. This helped when I joined the military - Recruit PISS, Airman PISS, and finally, Sgt PISS...

          But I used the GI Bill to get ahead, and all you asshats can now call me Professor PISS, if you want t decent grade. To my cook and maid and gardener, I'm Mr. PISS.

          But my friends just call me Frosty P...

          And I *NEVER* misrepresent my bona fides on line. Never.

          • Yes, I also always use my real information when registering on websites. Like you said, it's a matter of principle.
        • by alexhs (877055)

          This post brought to you by Mr. Jesus Christ, Downing Street 10, Washington DC, Russia.

          Well, actually brought from Austria, and I'm sure eBay could tell us your real name and address :)
          We might even know where you're bicycling once you will actually use that komoot account :)

          • Right - but I wouldn't use the same name for Rapidshare if I were to create an account there, at least for any shady business. I think you can even find my real name from my usual nickname if you look hard enough, I don't particularly care about that.

            Don't get your hopes up about komoot, I tried to use the Android app as a bicycle satnav, but it didn't work too well. OpenRouteService (with OsmAnd) is much better. :-)

        • by lsulfate (1667537)
          Jesus, I think I know you. Is there a Libby in your past? Did Felix fly around your kitchen? If so, it's me, Green Lantern. Directly reachable at tothrowaway at gmail.
      • by Synerg1y (2169962)
        Woops I downloaded asdf.zip [AES 256-bit encrypted] from a link on [random site] using RS, I'm sorry I didn't know it was a copy of the latest bond movie judge.
      • by lgw (121541)

        To a copyright-infringing free downloader, paying to remove the cap requires them to identify, and possibly incriminate, themselves, so it's more of an obstacle.

        Is downloading somehow copyright-infringing now? That would make little sense, but then sense and copyright parted ways long ago.

        • by Shagg (99693)

          Of course it makes no sense, but that doesn't stop some people from falling for the RIAA/MPAA FUD.

      • The flaw in your theory, is that no one has been convicted of DOWNLOADING stuff like this, to my knowledge. It's the people who SHARE that get raped by RIAA and their ilk. All of those huge settlement cases we've read about involved UPLOADING. So many people fail to understand that torrents and other P2P clients upload and download at the same time, unless you dick around in the settings.

    • by bfandreas (603438) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:03PM (#42029981)
      It might be a money grab. But riddle me this, holy Antisharkspray.
      Legit services will do this to you:

      Steam will cut you off of your sizeable and paid for and possibly extensive games library simply for moving into another region.
      Amazon will cut you off of your whole Kindle library simply for moving into another region.

      This is not even for real but only contractual law since publishing rights still honour the outmoded notion of country borders.
      Would you accept if you were to move to Europe to forfeit everything you ever bought on Kindle, Steam, or any other sevice?

      Copyright stuff has moved beyond the usual 100 years after creator's death + Disney shenanigans into the crazy realm of publishing rights into however the world got carved up into publishing rights areas.

      I for one have deDRMed my whole Kindle-bought Batman collection just in case I might want to move away and if I put it onto Rapidshare just to protect my investment then it shouldn't be viewed as outlawnessnessitude but a failure of copyright law. Took me a whole weekend. Which in turn made me realise I spend too much on Batman.
      Also, Batman.
      Copyrightpublisherlaw shouldn't stand a chance of a snowball in hell but it instead thrives like The Penguin in Nomansland. How come?
      Comply?
      COMPLY!

      Sorry, try as I might, the pirates offer the better service.

      While I deDRMed my Batman collection I went on search for my favourite childhood radio show. Amazon had an offer for the first 4 shows of 40. The second episode cost 30€ from "affiliiates". Nada, zip, zilch for the next 36 episodes. So I went for another online shop. Same misery, less cutthroat. 36 episodes not published. And even if they were, it still would have been 10€ per episode. Pay 400€ for stuff I recorded from radio to tape as a kid? I could afford that but guess who took to Teh Mighty Internets to torrent that stuff from kids who managed to have backups of their old tapes? Worse even still, the originals got lost and they tried to restore it from amateurs who still had recordings in their attic.


      Current copyright reality is worse than the fire in the Library of Alexandria. Copy that floppy and shoot a lawyer.

      I beg of you, just because somebody carved up the world into publishing areas and only stuff that will offer short term yield will get archived(read: put into the back catalogue) copy the hell out of that stuff. Future generations will thank you.
      • by jovius (974690) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:32PM (#42030309)

        Incidentally by the way, at the modern Library of Alexandria resides the mirror of the Internet Archive.

        You are not alone in commenting about the service. Valve's Gabe Newell has said "In general, we think there is a fundamental misconception about piracy. Piracy is almost always a service problem and not a pricing problem."

      • by Solandri (704621) on Monday November 19, 2012 @05:54PM (#42032173)

        Steam will cut you off of your sizeable and paid for and possibly extensive games library simply for moving into another region.
        Amazon will cut you off of your whole Kindle library simply for moving into another region.

        It gets worse than that. I was on vacation in Germany last month, and had a couple extra hours to kill at the hotel one night. So I fired up my Amazon Prime account to watch some movies on Amazon instant video. Not authorized in the area. Same with Netflix and Hulu.

        I had to run an SSH proxy through one of my web hosting servers to trick these services into thinking I was still in the U.S., but very few people know how to and have the resources to do that. This whole anachronistic distribution and publishing rights by region has got to die. I try to be a legit customer, paying for my movies and music. But if this is what's going to happen, I'm ripping everything I buy and making my own copies regardless of what silly laws they get passed. If I can't bypass the DRM, I'm downloading the pirated version of my legitimately bought media.

        • Yep, and then there's free-to-air TV. If I want to watch Batman Begins or whatever with NO ADS, I can either record it from the TV - which is perfectly legal - or I can download it and watch it - which is somehow illegal, even though it's exactly the same thing.

      • by mug funky (910186)

        i concur, having worked tirelessly to restore a beloved series that had it's masters destroyed decades ago in a fit of lack-of-foresight. bootleggers are all we have sometimes. people who have the courage to, when presented with a reel of film and instructed to burn it, will keep the reel and say "it's burnt".

        btw, it wasn't Doctor Who.

      • by mgcarley (735176)

        Legit services will do this to you:

        Steam will cut you off of your sizeable and paid for and possibly extensive games library simply for moving into another region.
        Amazon will cut you off of your whole Kindle library simply for moving into another region.

        You forgot Apple.

        Otherwise I'm in full agreement - this is why I keep "spare" copies of everything I buy digitally and/or will probably support Mega when it comes out.

        I have 3 bloody Apple accounts right now that I've used in 3 different countries I've lived in over the last few years. As a result I get emails from Apple in 3 languages about the same 3 shitty (but pretty) products every time there's a new release. (Yes, I have a reason to keep those coming in).

        Happy to compensate artists - and yes, even pub

    • by Kergan (780543)

      Why would this reduce piracy more than it would reduce legitimate uses?

      It probably won't make the slightest difference to either group. Legitimate users are likely to pay anyway. And savvier kids have been streaming video and music, or using peer to peer, for a long time. Not all do, as evidenced by megaupload's downfall, but they're quick learners when it comes to downloading stuff on the web.

  • Or does this seem like a way to punish free users and play a victim card at the same time.

    "It's not us doing it to try and force people into paid plans. It's... um... pirates?"
  • look, if I could go with limited caps( AND CENSORING) why the fuck would I be putting it on rapidshare in the first place ?

    sounds to me that even dropbox has the drop-kick on rapidshare now(I always thought that rapidshares waiting system for free downloads looked and felt like shit too - by the way if you've already removed the fucking file don't fucking show those wait dialogs to users, it just pisses them off).

  • by aglider (2435074) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:18PM (#42029381) Homepage
    30GB/day is really ridiculous for a paid service, unless there's some other larger plan. I mean, legal downloads ... Just imagine a 100 MB application/movie being downloaded 300 times a day ... it's either a toy or something it won't interest anyone.
  • Who cares? (Score:5, Funny)

    by leromarinvit (1462031) on Monday November 19, 2012 @02:23PM (#42029451)

    Please wait 1 minute to read this comment.

    • by TubeSteak (669689)

      JDownloader is the program I use to automate downloading from filehosts.
      You still have to type in the CAPTCHA (if required), but everything else happens automagically.

      Mipony and Orbit Downloader are also legit.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    So their site WON''T be useful for those extreme large patch and legit f2p game install downloads anymore.
    Got it. Ignore rapidshare.

    Plus if i see an ad for them ever i'll just hosts file block their entire site. And nothing of value will be lost.

    kimdotcom might be a scumbag criminal... but he's about the only one on the side of the internet.
    Everyone else will cut and run.

  • It sounds to me like this is designed to prevent people from downloading HD-quality movies. In the old days, you could click, wait your sixty seconds and then start the download, and a half-hour later have your movie.

    I guess their policy of policing music blogs is assumed to take care of the music piracy.

    Either way, as the article pointed out, these changes are to keep the regulators happy, more than they are designed to actually curb piracy.

    For example, a blogspot music blog that uses a URL redirector shou

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I have never, ever met someone who uses Rapidshare extensively for piracy who wasn't a paying customer. It's mostly useless if you don't pay.

    I admit, I don't understand this at all.

    • I'm surprised that RS has any momentum left. The original "Rapids" debacle was what, three years ago? Why would anyone still bother to pay for their service after all that has happened since then?

      It's has already been the case for some time that you never RS links at the two web hotspots beloved of for-profit uploaders... personal blogs and forums that allow anonymous browsing. RS is apparently content to kick out all the pirates and get by with a fraction of their former traffic.

  • "The change is expected to further deter non-paying pirates from using RapidShare to distribute copyright material on a large scale."

    FTFY.

    • FTFY.

      Does this stand for "follow the [expletive] yen"? The idea is that payment requires handing over personally identifying information that could incriminate a habitual infringer.

      • by Kergan (780543)

        FTFY.

        Does this stand for "follow the [expletive] yen"? The idea is that payment requires handing over personally identifying information that could incriminate a habitual infringer.

        Or, it'll merely lead to hapless citizens whose ID and credit card details were stolen.

    • There would be an easier way to do that: reintroduce the kitty captcha for non-paying users.

  • was not determined by the number of pirates it supported. Megaupload failed because it did not have a system in place to hand kickbacks to the cartels (the RIAA and MPAA respectively.)
    rapidshare needs to create a system by which they pay the protection racket. if not, expect a few busted windows and broken signs.
    kims model differs substantially in that not only does he refuse to pay blood money, he has decided to flat-out intrude on the cartels stamping ground with his own digital content distribution
  • by TheSkepticalOptimist (898384) on Monday November 19, 2012 @03:08PM (#42030045)

    If I come across content that is served by Rapidshare, I don't bother getting it because its usually not worth the effort to try and get something off that POS service.

    Seriously, BitTorrent is more then adequate to share both legit and illegal content without BS pay walls and content throttling. Why anybody uses RapidShare or MegaUpload to share content in this day and age speaks to a group of ex-geeks that were relevant back in the early 90's but haven't learned or done anything new since then. its like people that share files using RAR to break them into a thousand pieces because of old Usenet group limitations, absolutely no point to do that in this day an age of broadband and torrent services.

    RapidShare and other file download services are like AOL where the last few remnants of old-school geeks and vapid Luddites still believe they need some kind of portal to access web content at a time when torrent and cloud services has become the most prevalent way to share any content.

    • by Cito (1725214)

      Yea personally I use newsgroups (My local telco VDSL service still offers free newsgroup access with up to 5 simultaneous downloads at once), I use torrents, kat.ph/thepiratebay.se/h33t.com or other private/pseudo-private sites.

      And for some smaller stuff like ebooks, some latest and greatest apps that haven't hit torrent yet, I can find them on Tor darknet on a .onion site usually a day or 2 before they wind up on the mass torrent sites.

      newsgroups also have some rare shit you wont get on torrents like on de

    • Third world and not-so-third world countries have crappy ISPs that block torrents, or similar P2P stuff.
      A few years ago, in Argentina, several ISPs did this, and rapidshare/megaupload gained a lot of users. Nowdays, no ISP blocks p2p (except in small towns perhaps), but users are still used to file sharing sites, and huge communities have grown around them.

    • I'm under the impression that Rapidshare has the advantage of limited legal liability over Bittorrent, as downloading has not been prosecuted, only uploading.

  • ...since charges of piracy are so ridiculously inflated. If you download the discography of your favorite musician, that's usually under 1GB and can contain hundreds of songs. Each one of those violations could come down on RapidShare's head. So just one user using one day's worth of bandwidth is enough "piracy" to end RapidShare.
  • Last time I used Rapidshare as a free user the download was throttled to some absurdly slow rate (5-10kbps IIRC). Also, you were limited to 1 download at a time and there was a 30 minute window between downloads. Downloading a gigabyte in a day over that kind of connection should be rewarded, not punished. Someone had to work really hard to get those bits.
  • The change is expected to further deter everyone from using RapidShare.

  • Another question is how far their revenue will drop from now on. Sure, the chance of being sued is likely to be reduced, but so is the probability of their actual user base shrinking - including paying customers.

    Looking the other way on what was rather commonly known as a piracy haven might have been a great deal more profitable than the company realizes (or, perhaps, simply more than they fear). Once the content's no longer there neither will users.
  • Won't save them (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hentes (2461350) on Monday November 19, 2012 @04:45PM (#42031207)

    The example of Megaupload showed that you don't actually have to be convicted. An accusation is enough to ruin a business.

  • by jonwil (467024) on Monday November 19, 2012 @08:49PM (#42034433)

    What I want to see is a site similar to Rapidshare or Megaupload or MediaFire that uses client-side encryption (even the actual name of the file would be part of the opaque blob). Heck, build a system (presumably using a cypher that is designed to be good with random seeking in the file if such a cypher exists) that can play videos in the client (where the video player would take the key as input and decrypt on the fly). So like YouTube except that the hosting provider never sees the content and is unable to pre-screen it.

    So without the key all you get is some kind of ID for the file (just start at 0 or 1 and keep going up) and an opaque AES encrypted blob.

    Harder for the media companies to send take-down notices (as they would be unable to use their regular automated system and would have to have a human manually find the decryption key for the content in whichever blog post, forum post or other location the link itself was found in.

  • I am rather opposed to the idea that there even is such a thing as "intellectual property", with one exception: commercial and competitive use without payment: that seems unwise for all of us in the long run (I HATE fairness it's a devil theory, but. Not being reciprocal in important i.e. Survival or business related matters-that violates whatever - common sense, the Golden Rule, the Commandment, The US Constitution, and/or whatever few actually legitimate statutes as may exist).

    2 GB/day might be better; ma

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