File-storage sites like Megaupload, Sendspace, and Rapidshare are the “sharing” tool of choice for those people who don’t feel like throttling their computer’s memory with a BitTorrent client; according to PC World, RapidShare and Megaupload “account for 9 percent of all Internet traffic in the Middle East and 4 percent in Germany,” and traffic to both of those sites has especially gone up over the past year.
I’ve been wondering for a while when third-party hosting services would start feeling the heat that has been turned up on other file-sharing sites–obviously, they do have legit purposes (particularly for those Gmail-deficient people whose e-mail clients choke on larger attachments), but it would seem to me that they’ve simply been outnumbered, particularly with the rise of leak blog/.rar blog culture and the fact that some of these sites charge for “premium” access, which allows people to suck down files faster and more often. All the third-party-hosting sites will take down files if they get cease and desists from copyright owners, but how much longer are those owners going to want to engage in the “we’ll only let you do this until it becomes really noticeable” charade? With BitTorrent trackers falling one by one and media attention–including poorly written, vague articles that pile together leak blogs and those that clear all their MP3s first–it only seems like a matter of time before those sites–particularly those hosted in the States–start getting takedown notices. (Good thing I never put down my credit card info with RapidShare, I guess.)