FileSonic taken offline in piracy clampdown

04/09/2012

FileSonic has become the latest cyberlocker service to go offline, following a renewed clampdown on internet piracy. The service used to be one of the most popular file-sharing sites, but had restricted its members' ability to access other's uploads after the Megaupload arrests.

FileSonic's closure adds to a list of other file-sharing sites that have been shut down or restricted over recent months.

They include BitTorrent tracker Demonoid going offline; UKNova removing its torrent links; the closure of Surfthechannel.com and imprisonment of its owner; and court orders forcing ISPs (internet service providers) to block access to The Pirate Bay and Newzbin.

FileSonic’s shut down follows the closure of Oron, another file-sharing site. Both services were being sued by a pornography company.

Miami-based Flava Works had accused the two products of profiting from piracy and acting to "induce and assist" their members to infringe copyrighted materials.

FileSonic's logo used to boast it was "the world's best file-sharing site" and at its peak was in the top 10 most visited services of its kind.

Google's Transparency Report shows the search giant alone had received requests to remove more than 151,000 search result links to alleged pirated material hosted by FileSonic since May 2011.

Warner Bros, NBC Universal, Microsoft and the BPI - which represents UK music publishers - were among those to have sent in complaints.

Flava Works filed its lawsuit in July complaining about FileSonic's "reward program" which paid users if their uploads proved popular with its premium-rate members.

By that point FileSonic had already discontinued the scheme. It took the action shortly after the US seized its rival Megaupload's equipment in January.

It also added a notice to its home page saying: "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally."

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