File-Sharing Sites More Skittish About Piracy

MediaFireThe file-sharing world has grown skittish since Megaupload was closed by the FBI and its founder, Kim Dotcom, was arrested in New Zealand.

Mediafire, for instance, used the voice of CEO Derek Labian to announce the site can’t be seized because its business is legitimate–not based on piracy.

We don’t have a business built on copyright infringement. Like many other cloud-based sharing services like and Dropbox, we’re a legitimate business targeting professionals. Megaupload was making a ridiculous amount of money with a ridiculously bad service. We frankly don’t see ourselves in the same space.

Of course, just because Labian says the site isn’t pirating doesn’t mean it can’t be charged with copyright infringement. With a simple Google search for a song title and “mediafire,” you can easily find and download–free–content from the site.

Still, Labian says that “if people are pirating on our service, we don’t want those people to use it.” Google indexes Mediafire links only when they’re shared using a third-party website. When it’s notified that a file is infringing the copyright rules, mediafire removes it. That’s why mediafire has good relations with Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the FBI.

One site, Uploaded, is restricting access to U.S. users in an effort to distance itself from American jurisdiction. But many more are changing their approach: Filesonic disabled file-sharing and now only allows users to access those they previously uploaded. Others that have taken action: Fileserve, VideoBB, VideoZer, Filejungle, FilePost, Uploadstation, UploadBox, 4shared. It’s likely that more will change or disable their functions.

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