Some file-sharing sites drop the sharing

Jan 25, 2012 By Byron Acohido and Scott Martin

Caution is spreading among popular file-sharing services known for letting users circulate pirated Hollywood content.

FileSonic, FileServe and Uploaded.to have abruptly cut off the sharing of movies, games and other software just days after the closed down Megaupload, the largest such site.

"It looks like the chilling effect has already started," says Dennis Fisher, editor in chief of security blog Threatpost. "Maybe one of the reasons the U.S. government is going after companies alleged to be hosting infringing content is to serve as a deterrent for others engaging in similar activity."

FBI and officials do not discuss ongoing investigations.

File-sharing services, also referred to as cyberlockers, enable users to easily upload, store and share large files on a server in the . This includes movies, music, gaming applications, software tools, multimedia presentations and the like.

But cyberlocker companies have not come up with a good way to consistently stop copyright infringement. "As soon as you let users trade files back and forth, you really don't have much control," says Wade Williamson, senior security analyst at firewall supplier Palo Alto Networks.

The motion-picture industry, for one, has been pushing U.S. regulators to enforce copyrights with respect to film content showing up in cyberlockers.

One recent measure of how widespread the problem is comes from Palo Alto Network's recent analysis of the at 1,636 companies, with more than 4 million employees, in the second half of 2011.

The analysis found employees at six in 10 companies used Megaupload to download large content files. Overall, 25 percent of corporate traffic to and from cyberlockers came from Megaupload, which specialized in entertainment content. Some 22 percent came from Dropbox, a workplace productivity and collaboration service, followed by 15 percent from MediaFire, another entertainment-oriented service. The next three most-active cyberlockers in corporate settings were entertainment-oriented: FileSonic, 4shared and FilesTube.

FileSonic is noteworthy because it has recently begun to establish formal distribution agreements with artists. Those contracts could be frozen if the authorities were to pursue actions against FileSonic.

FileSonic couldn't be reached for comment.

"They appear to be able to deliver files in an above-board way," says Williamson. "In shutting down the ability of their users to trade files back and forth, they may be moving to protect their flank."

FileSonic, based in the U.K., posted a message on its website: "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally."

Last December, FileSonic began scanning user uploads in an effort to stop copyrighted material from going on the site.

Meanwhile, Derek Labian, co-founder and CEO of Shenandoah, Texas-based MediaFire, says what's happened with Megaupload is "concerning" but won't stop MediaFire from continuing business as usual. MediaFire has 25 million account users.

"We're a U.S.-based company and follow U.S. law. It's pretty much that simple for us," says Labian. FileSonic's move to disable certain downloads is "pretty drastic," he says.

It is troubling that legitimate digital storage services should feel compelled to monitor their users, says intellectual property director Corynne McSherry of the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation. "In terms of privacy, that should be a concern," she says.

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User comments : 21

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Lurker2358
3.7 / 5 (9) Jan 25, 2012
People are stupid.

You can imbed music or video files inside custom maps for video games, and it's 100% un-traceable, because it's both compressed and encrypted by default.

Not that I've ever done it, just saying.
kochevnik
1.3 / 5 (15) Jan 25, 2012
People are lazy but may do it in droves once someone writes an app for that. The situation is artificial at the moment. Even connecting a few programs across a few sockets is plain nasty, when you start to handle real life situations. Trillions? The cost would be unimaginable. Connecting computers is so difficult that software and services to do this is a multi-billion dollar business. It's another software crisis, but not openly discussed. Only the largest, richest firms can afford to create connected applications. There is a cloud, but it's proprietary. Our data, our knowledge is disappearing from our personal computers into clouds that we cannot access, cannot compete with. Who owns our social networks?

The irony is we live in a connected world. Code has to be chatty, sociable, well-connected. Code has to run like the human brain, trillions of individual neurons firing off messages to each other, a massively parallel network with no central control, no single point of failure.
Deathclock
3.4 / 5 (15) Jan 25, 2012
Great, so now because some people abuse a legitimate service the legitimate and useful service is going to disappear because of the irrational and misguided persecution by the feds as instructed by their masters... the giant media conglomerates.

The longer I live the less respect I have for my home country. I am sure America was once great, but that time is quickly passing.
kochevnik
1.4 / 5 (11) Jan 25, 2012
Great, so now because some people abuse a legitimate service the legitimate and useful service is going to disappear...
You missed the point. The future of code looks like the human brain, because the endpoints of every network are, at some level, human brains. Far from IP hurdles, information sharing will be the very principle upon which networks will be built. Any protocol banned will simply be replaced by thousands of others. Seamlessly and in real time.
Deathclock
2.5 / 5 (8) Jan 25, 2012
I wasn't responding to you but the article itself... I didn't read your post, sorry.
Anda
3.9 / 5 (11) Jan 25, 2012
Don't be sorry, kochevnik's the one who's missing your point.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2012
Don't be sorry, kochevnik's the one who's missing your point.
How's that? Not myopic enough for you? Ability to envision the road ahead making you mad? Not my fault your network model sucks.

And it's no accident that the future of code looks like the human brain, because the endpoints of every network are, at some level, human brains.
I was making an inference from the 1 rating you gave my post. Are pessimistic capricorns taking over physorg in 2012 or what?
Deathclock
2.1 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2012
Don't be sorry, kochevnik's the one who's missing your point.
How's that? Not myopic enough for you? Ability to envision the road ahead making you mad? Not my fault your network model sucks.


The fact that things might ultimately work out for the best does not excuse the injustices that occur in the mean time.
kochevnik
1.6 / 5 (7) Jan 25, 2012
Don't be sorry, kochevnik's the one who's missing your point.
How's that? Not myopic enough for you? Ability to envision the road ahead making you mad? Not my fault your network model sucks.


The fact that things might ultimately work out for the best does not excuse the injustices that occur in the mean time.
Nah the future is already here. The public is usually a decade behind. I'm string up devices like xmas trees right now. Homo security is like a gnat on the information superhighway. Hell networks will probably leave nation states behind in the dust. Connectivity can't be stopped on a physical level. All matter is made of standing waves, half of which are reflections from the entire universe. Everything is fundamentally networked and has to be to even exist as matter. What's amazing is how separation and isolation arise from entanglement in the classical physics world, because that is definitely not the case at the quantum levels.
Telekinetic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2012
Hey Kochevnik-
I need a favor: Can you find out what's going on with Vladimir Skulachev's SkQ1 mitochondrial supplement? He's connected to Moscow University. I want to know when and where I can get it. Now that would be some global connectivity if you could do that.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (3) Jan 25, 2012
Hey Kochevnik-I need a favor: Can you find out what's going on with Vladimir Skulachev's SkQ1 mitochondrial supplement? He's connected to Moscow University. I want to know when and where I can get it. Now that would be some global connectivity if you could do that.
Oh MSU I used to live by there. Bought veggies at the metro from the shady easterners back in the day. You can contact him yourself at http://www.fbb.ms...ch.html. You can send from Russia by FedEX they handle customs for you. Or maybe one of his friends can bring some on a shuttle flight since usually their bags are near empty flying out.
Telekinetic
3.8 / 5 (4) Jan 25, 2012
Kochevnik;
Thanks, but the link is dead. Ain't that a kick in the xopa.
MediocreSmoke
5 / 5 (1) Jan 25, 2012
I am the internet, hear me roar.
pibaw
1.5 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2012
Kochevnik;
Thanks, but the link is dead. Ain't that a kick in the xopa.

The link is not dead: there's an excess dot at the end of the line. Simply remove it and press enter.
Telekinetic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 25, 2012
Thanks Pibaw:
Worked like a charm.
tommytalks77
2.5 / 5 (4) Jan 26, 2012
I said this before and here it goes again:
Anonymous should take down the Amazon site or the iTunes Store, you know, instead of taking down the government sites that nobody really cares.
That should be a lot more effective in protest the censorship the media tycoons are trying to inforce on the rest of us.
And I am a professional musician, an artist, I make a living from my music and I support a totally free internet because that is good for the real artists and we should not fall victim of the propaganda created by the traditional media trying to sell the lie that the braking of copyrights issue also hurts the artists!
Telekinetic
3 / 5 (2) Jan 26, 2012
Speaking of iTunes, there's an indicting article in the N.Y. Times today about Apple's outsourced slave factories in China. The factories blow up, killing and injuring workers, who are also exposed to toxic chemicals while polishing iPod screens. The warm and fuzzy Apple is nothing but an exploiter and benefactor of human misery. "In China, the Human Costs That are Built Into an iPad"- N.Y. Times 1/26/12. Read the article on your iPad.
I_Dont_Have_A_Name
not rated yet Jan 28, 2012
@Tommytalk77
Let me explain to you the methodology of "anonymous".
First and for most, most "members" are between ages 15 and 23.
Very few (if any) have any true "HACKING" abilities.
The capacity that Anonymous functions at is that of a high schooler with google.

Step 1) Attempt hack with Command Prompt.
Step 2) Attempt further infiltration by using the 'ping' method, generally in a pathetic attempt to obtain the "IP address" of their target.
Step 3) Realize that they have absolutley no idea what the hell they are doing, and get frustrated.
Step 4) Cry on the forums for justice and post Guy Fawks mask.
Step 4a) Wait for an older hacker to give out the IP address (Not secret info if you know even the raw bones of the internet)
Step 5) Launch a DDOS (look it up) attack
Step 6) Take down the page CLIENT SIDE ONLY!
Step 7) Claim eternal victory and brag for hours until low level media bloodsuckers publish it.

That's about it. That's why they don't hit the bigboys.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2012
Don't be sorry, kochevnik's the one who's missing your point.
Actually, I had an extra point on the end. Hardly missing.
kaasinees
3.7 / 5 (3) Jan 28, 2012
Speaking of iTunes, there's an indicting article in the N.Y. Times today about Apple's outsourced slave factories in China. The factories blow up, killing and injuring workers, who are also exposed to toxic chemicals while polishing iPod screens. The warm and fuzzy Apple is nothing but an exploiter and benefactor of human misery. "In China, the Human Costs That are Built Into an iPad"- N.Y. Times 1/26/12. Read the article on your iPad.

Hmm might have been an agreement between USA and China for population control.
kochevnik
1 / 5 (1) Jan 28, 2012
NOT COMFORTABLE: Michael O'Leary, the MPAA's number two guy, admitted the MPAA (and the rest of "old" Hollywood) simply "is not comfortable with" the internet.

Hollyhood Reporter:
The MPAA's O'Leary concedes that the industry was out-manned and outgunned in cyberspace. He says the MPAA "is [undergoing] a process of education, a process of getting a much, much greater presence in the online environment. This was a fight on a platform we're not at this point comfortable with, and we were going up against an opponent that controls that platform."