MegaUpload's demise has been rather traumatic for the cyberlocker world. Some big sites simply shut down, other disabled third-party downloads, some removed their paid uploads program.Now, it seems that RapidShare, one of the biggest cyberlocker sites and not exactly a favorite of the entertainment industry, is reacting as well.
The site, which has seen an influx in users fleeing the sinking ships, has decided to limit download speeds for free users to a paltry 30 Kbps or so.
Users noticed that downloads were noticeably slower than before and all sorts of theories emerged. It turns out that at least some of them were true, RapidShare is indeed limiting download speeds, TorrentFreak found.
But it's not out of some cash grab to force people to start paying for premium accounts, or, at least, that's what RapidShare claims.
"RapidShare has been faced with a severe increase in free user traffic and unfortunately also in the amount of abuse of our service ever since, suggesting that quite a few copyright infringers have chosen RapidShare as their new hoster of choice for their illegal activities," RapidShare said.
"We have thus decided to take a painful yet effective step: to reduce the download speed for free users. We are confident that this will make RapidShare very unpopular amongst pirates and thus drive the abusive traffic away," it added.
The reasoning is that pirates want stuff for free, not always true, but a good general assumption, and will shy away from paying for RapidShare. What's more, those uploading copyrighted stuff illegally will not want to add their credit cards associated with their RapidShare accounts.
However, RapidShare is giving those uploading original content and files a chance to have the restriction lifted. They have to provide details about the files, where they want to share them and some other info, but free users will then be able to download the files without the new limitation.