Megaupload's Aftershocks Hit FileSonic

Rhett Pardon

HONG KONG — FileSonic, which disabled file sharing between users following the takedown of Megaupload for alleged copyright infringement violations, may be the first of many cyberlocker sites to pull access.

"The aftershocks of Megaupload are being felt very quickly," PornGuardian's Dominic Ford told XBIZ. "Other file-sharing sites are removing sharing capabilities, removing their affiliate payout model and banning U.S. IP addresses. 

"We are all watching this very closely to see where the rats are running, now that the ship is sinking." 

FileSonic late Sunday started running a message on the front page of its website saying: "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally."

FileSonic ran an almost identical service to Megaupload's and paid $25 per 1,000 downloads. That affiliate program has since closed.

Ford said that the most important development surrounding the Megaupload and FileSonic news is the removal of the affiliate programs, "which generated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the larger pirates."

"Without these payouts, pirates who were doing it for the money are not sure what to do now. Pirates who were just trying to 'stick it to the man,' however, will probably go back to usenet, torrents and other pre-filesharing site methods of distribution.  Or a new business model will emerge that will keep all the pirates in business."

Prior to FileSonic's disablement of cyberlockers, customers could enroll for free, but it was only a 30-day trial. For those 30 days they could upload 10 GB of throttled content.

Customers could also enroll in the paid program for $9 a month, which would remove the throttling and allow customers to upload unlimited files 5 GB or smaller.

FileSonic, with offices in Hong Kong and the U.K., claims to have a "zero tolerance" policy for copyright infringement, according to its site, and says it will promptly respond to complaints made under the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act.   

FileSonic last month said it is using Vobile's vCloud9 product to examine uploaded content to see if material under copyright protection is being illegally stored.