File Sharing Sites Circle Wagons after Megaupload Arrests

Several file sharing websites have ceased functioning fully in the wake of the MegaUpload take down and arrest of its owners.

FileSonic led the way, removing all file sharing features from the site. Now only the users that made the uploads can access their files, essentially turning the website into a remote backup service and that's it. Attempting to access anything else on the site simply displays the message: "All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally."

The site hasn't officially commented on the change, though it's widely believed to be in response to the legal proceedings plaguing MegaUpload.com and it's owners. The filesharing site, that operated in much the same way as FileSonic, was taken down a few days ago and the owners and employees arrested, charged with promoting copyright infringement, infringing copyright themselves, as well as money laundering and conspiracy to commit racketeering.

While it can be assumed that copyright infringement charges could be brought against Filesonic and similar websites - whether justifiably or not - it's unknown whether the higher ups and staff were involved in anything as nefarious as MegaUpload. With these sorts of websites in the crosshairs of law enforcers, it's not massively surprising that they've begun covering their tracks.

Wired is reporting that while many believe that MegaUpload and similar sites don't do anything particularly wrong - by offering a free service for downloaders and no search facility - it's being claimed that staff deliberately promoted copyright infringed content on other websites, publishing links in order to increase page views and generate more revenue.

Other file sharing sites have also responded. Rapidshare and MediaFire, two entities that offer almost identical services to those that are running for the hills, have released basic statements saying they weren't concerned and wouldn't be making any changes to their services.