MegaUpload was one of the world's largest websites, at least in terms of traffic. It was used by at least several tens of millions of people each month. Having it wiped out from the face of the web should have had a noticeable impact, traffic numbers across the web and the world should have dropped now that all those pesky pirates had their source of illegally shared content cut off.
Common sense and past experience would indicate that pirates won't simply stop downloading if one source becomes unavailable, they just move to other places. This has happened countless times as large file sharing sites, from Napster to Supernova, were shut down.
However, common sense and past experience don't mean much to the MPAA, RIAA and company. They've been going after large websites for years now and the few "victories" they've had never had an impact on piracy.
That said, MegaUpload's shut down along with the arrests of many of its employees sent some shockwaves through the file sharing world. Large file sharing sites, like Filesonic, blocked downloads to anyone but the owner of the files, others stopped their uploader reward programs, others shut down altogether.
It's not just cyberlockers, BTjunkie, the fifth largest BitTorrent website
in the world shut down as well.
All of this surely must have had an impact on file sharing. Analysis
by Deepfield Networks shows that file sharing, at least as cyberlockers are concerned, saw no significant drop in the US following the MegaUpload arrests.
In fact, even as several other sites were affected, people still had plenty of options. The only change is that more files are now coming from hosting facilities outside of the US.
"Well, file sharing has not gone away. It did not even decrease much in North America," the company concluded.
"Mainly, file sharing became staggeringly less efficient. Instead of terabytes of North America MegaUpload traffic going to US servers, most file sharing traffic now comes from Europe over far more expensive transatlantic links," it said.