The number of file sharing sites that have changed their business model, ceased operations or disabled part of their service continues to increase after the Megaupload takedown earlier this year. Sites like FileSonic have disabled all file sharing capabilities, while Uploaded.to blocked visitors from the U.S. from accessing the site. Others, like Uploadbox, shut down completely.
In the beginning of April word got out that the MPAA was targeting additional file hosting sites, which Alfred Perry, vice president for worldwide content protection at Paramount Pictures, called rogue cyberlockers. Among the services mentioned by Perry was the popular file host Wupload, one of the top 1000 sites on the Internet according to Alexa.
Wupload, likely as a consequence of that speech and the Megaupload takedown, have disabled all file sharing capabilities on the website. This basically means that files can only be downloaded by the original uploader, and no one else.
When you look at the sites reach over at Alexa, you will notice that it has dropped 24% in the last seven days, and more than 40% in the last 3 months.
Wupload is on the other hand not the only file hosting and sharing service that has changed its business model recently. Fileserve, a top 300 site according to Alexa, has also disabled sharing capabilities for all accounts after being mentioned by Perry. Users are notified on the website's homepage that users can only download and retrieve files that they have uploaded personally to the file host.
When you look at the reach, you will notice that the site too has lost in the last three months. The seven day reach lists a decline of 9%, while the 3 month reach a decline of nearly 40%.
The sharp decline since January can be attributed in both cases to the closing of the affiliate program. Affiliates were rewarded when they brought new paying customers to the file sharing site. It is likely that we will see further decline in the coming months when users who want to share files flock to the remaining file sharing sites that still allow that to happen.
It is likely that we will see the fallout continue for a while, even though no operator or company has yet been convicted. If you need file sharing capabilities, you are probably better off currently using services such as Dropbox or SkyDrive, as it is unlikely that those will be targeted anytime soon.
What's your take on all of this? Let me know in the comments.
Update: Wupload has closed its doors for good. The website and service is no longer available.
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