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.
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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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.