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In the wake of the FBI's takedown of Megaupload, FileSonic, a popular cyberlocker site, has disabled its "sharing" feature.
FileSonic users are now only able to download files they personally uploaded.
And it seems that other sites may soon follow. Another cyberlocker site, FileServe, has also recently taken down its sharing services, as Ars Technica reports. Yet the recent crackdown on Megaupload has some critics wondering about the future of file sharing.
Megaupload was shuttered on charges that the company's executives engaged in a so-called "Mega Conspiracy." The Justice Department said the company was essentially a "worldwide criminal organization whose members engaged in criminal copyright infringement and money laundering on a massive scale."
The DOJ's accusations were leveled in a scathing 72-page indictment.
Whether or not the claim will be successful in court remains to be seen. Some experts seem troubled by the takedown.
After all, the DMCA safe harbor provisions give websites immunity so long as they comply with certain provisions. These include requirements that the site take down infringing content promptly. That's how YouTube managed to prevail against Viacom's copyright infringement suit .
Part of the DOJ's argument is that Megaupload did not take down files even after copyright holders alerted them.
The DOJ also claims the company encouraged piracy by paying users who uploaded infringing material.
This is partially why some cyberlocker sites felt safe even after the Mega-shakedown. RapidShare told Ars Technica they were unconcerned because file sharing is a legitimate business. The company even has a designated DMCA agent to respond to takedown requests.
But it seems that in a post-Megaupload world, FileSonic and FileServe are unwilling to take any chances. The rest of the file-sharing community may also be on edge.
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