Mediafire now profiting from copyright infringing downloads, sort of

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 3, 2013

Life is not easy if you are running a web hosting service that users from all over the world can use to host files on. While you certainly get your fair share of users who upload private files to the servers, or files that they make available to a limited audience, others use cloud hosting services like Mediafire to spread copyright infringing files.

Most file hosts react to these downloads when they receive DMCA requests to take down those files. Recently, file hosting sites have started to become pro-active. Mega for instance runs scripts to automatically invalidate links it finds on sharing sites. According to Mega, this is done to protect the privacy of its users.

Mediafire, another popular file hosting website, recently began to become pro-active as well. The site scans its public downloads for copyright infringing materials and if it finds any, makes them either unavailable or replaces the public download with a buy it now button that leads to online shopping sites like Amazon.

mediafire buy it now amazon screenshot

What's interesting in this regard is that Mediafire adds a company referrer code to each buy it now offer to earn money whenever users of its service buy media on supported shopping sites.  While public users can't download files anymore that have been identified by Mediafire as copyright infringing - using fingerprinting technology - the owner of the file can as the files remain available for the original uploader.

The new method of handling public download links could be lucrative for Mediafire as part of the user base may be inclined to buy the song, album or movie - if available - out of sheer frustration or not knowing where to get it elsewhere. It needs to be noted that users may run into the same old "not available in your country" message when they try to purchase media this way.

The message - by it now - indicates that the album is available but that is not always the case.

What seems certain though is that file hosting services will become more pro-active in order to protect their business from being sued or persecuted by rights organizations. (Via)


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  1. Anonymous said on February 10, 2023 at 6:39 pm

    The fuck Mediafire? It blocked This file for me?
    Thats a completely legal setup file for IE 8 for Windows Xp

  2. James said on February 8, 2013 at 1:27 pm

    Good on MediaFire, though removing access to legit files, and legitimately saved files is bad.

    MegaDownload got taken down because they were supposedly providing access to files after receiving take-down notices, via different URL’s. The logic was that, because the same file was being accessed after the take-down notice was issued, that MegaUpload was ignoring the notices.

    It was not made plain whether it was the was the same FILE, or just the same SONG / video / program. AFAIK, only pictures, music and videos are regularly stamped with individually identifiable data. Though there is no technological reason that the same cannot be done to both data and executable’s also.

  3. ilev said on February 4, 2013 at 9:27 am

    According to TorrentFreaks, Mega is removing legal files citing bogus DMCA requests.

    In recent days thousands of files have been removed from Kim Dotcom’s Mega, some based on bogus (DMCA) takedown notices. In some cases it takes just minutes before Mega disables access to users’ files, claiming they’ve received a takedown notice from a copyright holder. Ironically, Mega also removed access to Kim Dotcom’s own music. The big question is whether there’s a rogue copyright holder on the loose, or if Mega is actively policing the Internet….

  4. James said on February 4, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I feel like piratebay now, lets download adele

  5. Richard Steven Hack said on February 4, 2013 at 2:15 am

    While the media hosts continue to try to placate copyright holders, it’s mostly ineffective.

    When I download something, I frequently get a “file no longer available” message when I use a link from one site. But when I use a link from another site or even a different link from the same site, I usually get the file.

    It’s playing “whack-a-mole” and it doesn’t work because numerous people can upload and do so repeatedly over time whereas the media sites can’t run their scripts continuously on every download site. And their scripts are mostly ineffective in the first place since they rely on either file names or file “signatures” which can vary.

    Nice try, media industry – but you’re doomed.

    1. Wizzer King said on February 4, 2013 at 8:10 am

      Another “trick” is to use 7zip encryption and put the password in the title,

      1. Teiji said on February 4, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        Doesn’t Mediafire has a lame phrase in its ToS that prevents the use of password archive?

  6. kevin said on February 4, 2013 at 2:32 am

    to bad Everyone has found a way to bypass this problem.

  7. said on February 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Nice step by mediafire !!

    1. kevin said on February 4, 2013 at 2:12 pm


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