Pioneering file hosting service RapidShare is shutting down

Pioneering file hosting service RapidShare is shutting down by the end of next month, according to a notice posted on the service’s website that was first reported by Torrrentfreak. The notice reads, in part:

“We strongly recommend all customers to secure their data. After March 31st, 2015 all accounts will no longer be accessible and will be deleted automatically.”

RapidShare was one of the pioneers of so-called one-click file hosting, which essentially allowed users to upload and share files publicly for free. The site was widely used to share copyrighted content, and frequently faced off with rights holders in court.

RapidShare also tried to work with the content industry, striking a partnership with Warner Bros in 2009 with plans to redirect users looking for unlicensed content to a legal download store. To appease rights holders, and to escape the fate of Megaupload, RapidShare introduced a number of measures to discourage infringement, including strict limits on how often files could be shared and tools that helped rights holders to automate take-downs.

But partnerships with Hollywood and music labels never came through, and anti-piracy measures decimated RapidShare’s user base. In early 2013, the company laid off most of its staff, and it already looked like the end was near. Later that year, RapidShare tried one more time to reinvent itself as a competitor to Dropbox and other cloud storage vendors. In the end, that may have been too little, too late.

France: Google may have to censor for piracy after all

France’s Supreme Court has set aside a critical piracy ruling won by Google in 2011, leaving the door open to the search giant being forced to censor some of its autocomplete listings to prevent copyright infringement and piracy.

MegaUpload and the end of a pirate cottage industry

One of the key accusations against MegaUpload is that the site knowingly paid users who uploaded infringing content. MegaUpload did pioneer affiliate programs for cloud hosters, and others quickly copied the strategy, leading to a pirate cottage industry. But these days are now over.

MegaUpload case proves we don’t need SOPA or PIPA

Not only were the authorities able to shut down MegaUpload and arrest its founders without either SOPA or PIPA, but the facts of the case raise even more red flags about what the government would be able to do to similar services under those proposed laws.

RapidShare nixes plans for movie download store

Paid movie downloads won’t be coming to RapidShare any time soon: The file host has abandoned its plans to launch a download store with Hollywood fare. But fear not: RapidShare competitor MegaUpload is apparently working on a commercial movie download venture of its own.

RapidShare Starts Selling Games. Are Movies Next?

The controversial file hoster RapidShare has taken a first step towards entering the digital content business: The company launched a download store for video games last week, and it is promising its end users to enable the sale of any kind of file soon.

Will the MPAA Target RapidShare, Megaupload or Dropbox?

Hollywood has set its sight on file hosters like Hotfile.com, which was sued this week by the MPAA’s member studios. Many of the legal arguments made against Hotfile could also easily be applied to RapidShare, Megaupload and even cloud-based backup and file synching services like Dropbox.