The Washington Post

FileSonic cuts file-sharing after Megaupload case

Kim Schmitz, also known as "Kim Dotcom", escorted by a policeman as he appears in an Auckland district court in New Zealand on January 20, 2012. Schmitz, alleged by US authorities to be involved in one of the largest cases of copyright theft ever, was denied bail with three other men, police said. US authorities are seeking their extradition to the United States AFP PHOTO/ TV3 (STR/AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

In the wake of the U.S. government’s shutdown of the file-sharing site Megaupload, another file-sharing and storage service has decided to make the “sharing” part of its service a thing of the past.

FileSonic — a cloud locker that grants users 10 GB of free storage for 30 days — didn’t mention Megaupload in a statement on its Web site that announced the changes over the weekend. But it was clear that the company is worried about its users sharing things they shouldn’t.

“All sharing functionality on FileSonic is now disabled. Our service can only be used to upload and retrieve files that you have uploaded personally,” says a red banner on the site’s main page.

Web services that allow customers to share and upload files should be spooked, Eric Goldman, a professor of intellectual property law at Santa Clara University told The Washington Post’s Cecilia Kang on Friday. “They will wonder if they have done anything different from Megaupload, and does that mean the Feds will come through their door,” he said.

For it’s part, FileSonic has changed the slogans and description of its service on its main page, though clicking through for more information on its premium plan does pull up a logo with the tag­line, “Upload. Store. Download. Share. We don’t believe in limits.”

FileSonic did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

On Monday, the Associated Press reported that Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom (who officially changed his last name from Schmitz) said that he is innocent and is not a flight risk at a hearing in New Zealand. A judge is expected to rule this week on whether Dotcom will be granted bail, the report said.

Related stories:

Megaupload’s Kim Dotcom tells New Zealand court he’s innocent

Megaupload shutdown raises new Internet-sharing fears

Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom denies piracy; New Zealand judge to rule on bail

Post Opinions: Megaupload shows online copyright protection is needed

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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