When users go to MegaUpload.com or Megavideo.com they are greeted with an anti-piracy notice from the FBI that lists the crimes that members of the MegaUpload team are being charged. As intimidating as this may be for many individuals, there are still many others who simply use another file-hosting service for their immediate content needs and completely disregard the stern warnings from the FBI, DOJ & NIPRCC.
A discussion into the legal, ethical and moral ramifications is another story for another day. Instead this article aims to assist the portion of Internet users who see nothing wrong in such file sharing sites and practices. The fact of the matter is that many parts of the world see nothing wrong in sharing intellectual property or copyrighted materials. It is for this reason, anyway, that the following sites not only exist, but are also thriving.
Alternatively, these sites seem to have a limited life expectancy, regardless of their massive user base and daily hits. It is most likely that in a couple years or so of this information being posted that some of these players will have shut down or been run out of the business. So, while the file hosting business is bustling, it is also a hustle, a game that will most likely end in a shoot out of litigation. The life expectancy for these cowboys (or is pirates the more accurate term?) of the wild, wild Internet is a short one. Only time will tell who will survive.
- 4Shared has been cited as having over 2.5 billion monthly page views on its site (which is actually more than MegaUpload had reported). This site makes it super easy to search for content (in fact, one doesn’t even have to login to do a quick search) and users are provided 15GB of free storage. 4Shared is accessible as a web app and on both Symbian, Android and iOS mobile operating systems.
- RapidShare is another giant hosting site with over 10 petabytes of files on its servers (that’s 1,000 terabytes or one quadrillion bytes for those counting). The company is based out of Switzerland and claims to serve millions of people daily. In addition, over 400,000 files are uploaded to the RapidShare servers each day.
- The Pirate Bay offers an honest insight into its business model simply by virtue of its name. The Pirate Bay is a torrent-indexing site, which for all intensive purposes offers the same kind of access to content as the other cyber locker sites listed above. The Pirate Bay is easy to use, and users can quickly search for songs, videos, movies and more simply by visiting the site.
- IceFilms is a site that lists quality DivX TV shows and movies for its users to download. Content from this site is fast to download and the files play in DVD-like quality. There is a little backend setup with this service and it works with RapidShare as a backbone.
There are many other cyber locker, torrent indexes, and meta-search sites out there. Many new ones are popping up daily. In fact, it has been said that the top 5 cyber locker sites (Wupload, DepositFiles, FileServe, MediaFile and PutLocker) receive a whopping 41 billion page views per year (or 5 per every person on the globe). Therefore, it’s apparent that these types of services are not going anywhere, anytime soon.
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