Fear of government spooks will shut down filesharing sites

Data storage sites are pulling their file-sharing services over fears that the government will arrest them.

FileSonic, FileServe and Uploaded.to have abruptly cut off the sharing of movies, games and other software just days after the US Justice Department closed down Megaupload.

It seems that the sites are terrified of being stuck in jail like those who ran Megaupload.

According to AP, cyberlockers enable users to easily upload, store and share large files on a server in the internet cloud. This includes movies, music, gaming applications, software tools, and multimedia presentations .

But the problem is that cyberlocker companies can’t really come up with a good way to stop pirates using the service.

However there could equally be a business case for the Movie and Music industry to want such sites disconnected FileSonic began to establish formal distribution agreements with artists which would have shut out the big labels while giving artists more cash.

However these contracts would be frozen if the authorities were to pursue copyright-infringement actions against FileSonic.

FileSonic was based in the UK, and appears to have been doing its best to kill off illegal files. In December, FileSonic began scanning user uploads in an effort to stop copyrighted material from going on the site.

What is a little alarming is that action is not being taken because the sites feared a civil lawsuit, but because Big Content are using the FBI and police as their weapons of choice.

If a CEO of a storage site is arrested, he could be in jail for ages while extradition hearings, and the final case is heard in court. If he or she is extradited to the US then they will face a kangaroo court charged with genocide, money laundering, drugs trafficking and expected to cop a plea down to a less charge of “looking at a copper in a funny way” for which they will get ten years inside.

Either way, Big Content effectively has been given police powers to enforce its flagging business model. While that would be OK if the US only attempted to enforce its corporate laws on its own oppressed citizens, but it seems keen to try the same tricks in foreign parts.

If it wanted, it could list the IP addresses of every filesharer in the UK and demand that they are extradited to the US for sentencing.  If there are a million filesharers in the UK then that is a million people who would have to be processed.