The year has begun with some severe action being taken against major file hosting service and torrent sites. The most affected have been sites such as Megaupload, which have been shut down and the owners arrested. Many other services since then have chosen to take a cautious stand by either shutting down their services completely or changing their policies. The Pirate Bay for example, chose to stop hosting torrents on the site and move to only Magnet links. While they claimed it was to lower bandwidth requirements, many say it may actually be to prevent trouble from the industry and law enforcement agencies. It now appears Rapidshare is making some tweaks to do the same thing.

Strict moves to combat piracy

Strict moves to combat piracy

Rapidshare spoke with Torrentfreak about some of these changes. Rapidshare has now decided to lower the download speeds of users to a lot lower than it usually has been. Rapidshare claims that ever since Megaupload was shut down, traffic and request demands to Rapidshare have increased tremendously. They feel that quite a few copyright infringers have chosen Rapidshare as a haven for such activities. Rapidshare hopes that such restrictions will drive away illegal activities. Of course, RapidPro customers have the option to make their content available to free users at higher speeds, but that means providing RapidShare with some details of the files being hosted. Such users would have to inform RapidShare of the type of files, their site name, e-mail address and phone numbers.

These steps should surely give RapidShare more control over the kind of content that is uploaded to their service. It also shows that RapidShare is taking serious steps to ensure they don’t get into trouble with the law. RapidShare is one of the world’s most used file hosting services and has been around for close to a decade now. If the authorities plan on targetting any more file sharing services, Rapidshare most likely would be the next on the list. Loyal users of the service may not like the new rules and there’s bound to be some backlash or loss of traffic in the future.

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