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RapidShare Fighting Piracy By Slowing Download Speeds

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the because-piracy-only-goes-fast dept.

Piracy 154

An anonymous reader writes "File hosting sites have been under increased pressure since the shutdown of Megaupload — both from law enforcement and from the sudden influx of new users. RapidShare, already dealing with a reputation as a facilitator of piracy, has now instituted a policy they hope will drive pirates away: download speed caps for its free service. According to TorrentFreak, 'RapidShare says that there is a direct link between free users of file-hosting services and copyright infringement. Those who like to pirate prefer not to pay, the company believes, not least because they want to avoid connecting their personal payment details to a copyright-infringing cyberlocker account. Now, there will be those who say that however RapidShare dress it up, the company will be aware that the restrictions will drive users to their premium services to get better speeds. But interestingly RapidShare is now offering ways for users to get faster download speeds without paying a dime — providing those uploading the original files they’re trying to access do some work.'"

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still fast enough (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149489)

for a frosty piss

Re:still fast enough (2, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149879)

Sorry, no.

Alternative career for RapidShare execs (2, Insightful)

Compaqt (1758360) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149497)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tightrope_walking [wikipedia.org]

Seems like they have experience.

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149683)

This so much. Holy hell, are they insane?
They are doing an even worse thing than Megaupload are!
Pirates are paying to pirate, as opposed to the few original uploaders being paid to upload with MU.
Admittedly a lot won't even bother since it will ID them with bank accounts, but doing anything with that is just as hard as doing stuff with IPs anyway, so it'd not matter.

Not only that, they are punishing those who use the service for the odd file that is actually legit and not pirated content, or breaking any copyright laws at all.

They have balls bigger than elephants. Hope the lion doesn't decide to feast when everyone goes to bed.

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150853)

Why would it "ID" them when you can buy a prepaid card at Walmart with nothing but cash? I have a neighbor downstairs that calls himself Inga and puts down German barmaid just for the hell of it since all he uses is those cards, nobody cares dude. I bet with the kind that uses Rapidshare you'll find a lot of Krustys, some Forrest Gumps, and even some gimps.

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151001)

I thought this was the case too. So I went and bought a $100 card from Walmart. But when I went to use it, I had to activate it. In order to activate the card, I had to disclose all; including a SSN. Now I didn't even bother with trying to fuck with the system and give it completely bogus information (I wanted to use that $100 after all), but it did not provide any anonymity what-so-ever. I might risk it for $10 though.

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39151465)

Mine was stolen right after I bought it. Who knows who the bastard was that used it? Always a work around

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39152495)

this isn't true. i've activated and used many so-called "red dot" cards without having to provide any SSN or having to prove the name/address/ect i was asked to provide wasnt fraudulent. i did however have to give them a real address to ship the actual card (i could use the number alone online) to a real address though.

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (1)

jwijnands (2313022) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151443)

The world uses rapidshare. That includes plenty of countries without walmart and without prepaid cards.

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151441)

They're flagging to the community "we want to go out of business"

They're basically saying "uploaders get full speed, free users do not". Which basically means: "help us grow our network with your efforts, but dont' ask us to do anything to actually help you."

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149769)

RapidShare is in Switzerland. Unless their execs travel to New Zealand, they have nothing to fear.

Re:Alternative career for RapidShare execs (1)

shoehornjob (1632387) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149941)

LM FAO shame I used all my mod points.

nominal payment (3, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149501)

I wonder then if requiring all users to pay a 10c charge would stop piracy completely for site such as this.

Re:nominal payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149553)

Nope. That's still orders of magnitude cheaper than e.g. iTunes for a whole album, so there would be some cheapskates who would find it first, think "man, this is cheap", and not search farther for the free ones.

Re:nominal payment (3, Interesting)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149621)

But then their payment information is connected to piracy in a verifiable way, which would scare most of them off due to possible legal problems.

Re:nominal payment (2)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150623)

The only thing is, it's not the downloaders who are the infringers, it's those who uploaded the file to begin with and in the EU, that's the key difference. It's still legal to download files and at $0.10 I'd be quite willing to download any album I'm interested in as that would be far cheaper then Amazon/iTunes or any other Legitimate vendor because I don't give a rats ass if the label looses money or not. It's their fault for not providing things in a format I'm willing to pay for at a price I'm willing to pay - Tennent of a Free Market Economy and Capitalism.

Re:nominal payment (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151037)

I don't give a rats ass if the label looses money or not. It's their fault for not providing things in a format I'm willing to pay for at a price I'm willing to pay.

Not sure if serious

Re:nominal payment (3, Funny)

JudgeFurious (455868) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151271)

Apart from the "loosing" I kind of see what he's saying. You constantly hear that it's the content owners right to charge whatever they want for the content and that's true but the reality of the situation is that nothing has value greater than what people are willing to pay for it. Someone may believe that their "whatever" is worth $12 but if nobody is willing to give them that then they're just mistaken. Most of the pirates (downloaders, not uploaders) I know (myself included) pay for their accounts without any concern for anonymity. They pay for the account for faster download speeds and the ability to download multiple parts at one time. I use iTunes as well and don't mind paying for what I want there but I buy songs, not albumes. Episodes, not seasons. Movies, when they're on sale. That I'm willing to pay something to download a file (albeit from someone other than the rightful owner or at a discounted price from a legitimate source) says that there is a price that the public is willing to pay. I just don't think that the content owners/creators are too excited at the new price point. They better adjust though because it's not going away.

Re:nominal payment (5, Insightful)

shish (588640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149583)

I'd still rather pay 10c for a fast and simple criminal service that treats me with respect than pay $20 for a legitimate fiddly DVD that treats me like a criminal... (also this [theoatmeal.com] )

Re:nominal payment (1)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149651)

where are these mythical $20 DVD's?

most are under $10 and some blu ray's have broken that barrier as well

Re:nominal payment (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149811)

where are these mythical $20 DVD's?

Here. [amazon.com] Pick one.

Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (4, Interesting)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150275)

...you'll find a whole bunch of stuff well under $20. Two of the most popular releases from 2010 - The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Two-Disc Special Edition) [amazon.com] is $7.78 for the two-disc set and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 [amazon.com] is $4.99. (In fact, it was that price even before December - I bought it as a Christmas present.) New releases are going to be more expensive - you can't blame a for-profit industry from trying to make a bit more money from those people who've gotta have stuff now and are willing to pay a premium instead of waiting six months, can you?

I know people love to whine about how over-priced movies are, and how that justifies your piracy, but seriously, these are two block busters from 2010 for the price of a McDonald's meal. What's it going to take to stop you pirating this stuff?

As I commented in a previous story [slashdot.org] , people are bringing this on themselves, and also ruining the internet for the innocent bystanders like me.

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (1, Offtopic)

P-niiice (1703362) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150483)

HOLY SWEET JESUS my 43-year-old black ass can get The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Two-Disc Special Edition) for under ten bucks? OMG I'M SO ALL OVER THAT. FUCK PIRACY, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (Two-Disc Special Edition) for under ten bucks is a game changer.

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39151321)

Inside every black man in his 40s is an moderately overweight and physically unremarkable woman screaming to get out so she can rush to the shop to buy a Twilight DVD.

By the way, here's something else for less than 20$

http://www.amazon.com/My-Little-Pony-Friendship-Magic/dp/B0063FGF14/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1330112681&sr=8-2 [amazon.com]

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (1)

alreaud (2529304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39152067)

Naw, he just likes white meat...;-)

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150613)

you can't blame a for-profit industry from trying to make a bit more money from those people who've gotta have stuff now and are willing to pay a premium instead of waiting six months, can you?

I know people love to whine about how over-priced movies are, and how that justifies your piracy, but seriously, these are two block busters from 2010 for the price of a McDonald's meal. What's it going to take to stop you pirating this stuff?

Right now? Well, a meal is probably more important to most people in this economy than lining the pockets of profiteers out to make money off of others.

Soooo....

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (4, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150787)

As I commented in a previous story [slashdot.org], people are bringing this on themselves, and also ruining the internet for the innocent bystanders like me.

I guess it is perspective - I feel like people willing to feed the RIAA/MPAA infinite copyright machine are ruining the internet for innocent bystanders like me.

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (2)

b0bby (201198) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150803)

What's it going to take to stop you pirating this stuff?

A DRM free download at around that price. I don't want any more plastic discs hanging around, and I started buying mp3s when Amazon started selling them DRM free. If I could buy a nice mkv file of Harry Potter for $3-5 I'd do it, and so would a lot of other people. But a DRM locked copy from itunes costs $10-15, at least twice the cost of the DVD!

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (2)

Anthony Mouse (1927662) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151385)

I know people love to whine about how over-priced movies are, and how that justifies your piracy, but seriously, these are two block busters from 2010 for the price of a McDonald's meal. What's it going to take to stop you pirating this stuff?

I don't actually "pirate stuff" hardly at all, but do you want the real answer?

The first thing to understand is that different people turn to piracy for different reasons. The one you're ostensibly arguing against is this one. [theoatmeal.com] And that is the reason why your argument fails: The problem is not "DVDs should be $10." The problem is that a legitimate copy of a sufficiently recent show or movie is not available. Not for $10, not for $20, not for $50. And by the time it is available on DVD, $20 is no longer an attractive price because you've already seen the content (one way or another) and it frequently isn't worth $20 to buy something old that you've already seen.

But there is an implicit assumption in your argument that bears pointing out: Even if you improve the attractiveness of legitimate offerings, that will never "stop" piracy, because people turn to piracy for different reasons. What it will do is increase revenues, because you do convert the subset of pirates who turn to piracy because of a lack of attractive legitimate offerings, in exactly the same way that iTunes did for music and substantially reduced music piracy.

But it won't stop people who turn to piracy for reasons other than lack of legitimate availability. There is a large subset of pirates who do it because they consider "fuck the MPAA" to be a public service. If you want to convert those people, you have to adopt a strategy that targets them -- like the MPAA publicly (and in actual fact) abandoning its lobbying campaign to enact legislation and treaties that support DRM and impinge civil liberties.

Re:Of, if you DON'T pick just new releases... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39152091)

these are two block busters from 2010 for the price of a McDonald's meal.

The most I ever spend at McDonald's is $2.16. Burrito with biscuits and gravy, McDouble with value fry, or occasionally the Mac Wrap ($1.83).

Beverage? I'm not paying a buck fifty for a paper cup full of carbonated sugar water.

I rarely pay $20 for DVDs, either.

However, I will pay $15 at D'Arcy's for corned beef, cabbage, and potatos with a couple of pints of Giunesses. I think it's hilarious that some people eat that expensively at McDonald's, substituting Coke (two cents to for McDonals' to make) for Guiness.

As I commented in a previous story, people are bringing this on themselves, and also ruining the internet for the innocent bystanders like me.

No, if there were no piracy whatever they'd come up with some other bogus "reason." Remember Rany Valenti's "the VCR is to the movie industry what Jack the Ripper was to women." But the VCR made them tons of cash. The internet could as well, if they weren't both retarded and greedy.

Re:nominal payment (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149825)

where are these mythical $20 DVD's?

most are under $10 and some blu ray's have broken that barrier as well

Hush, child, our entire narrative depends on outlandish hyperbole.

Re:nominal payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149889)

You must be watching total garbage, the last DVD I got for that price wasn't worth watching. The last anime blu-ray I got from Japan was excellent and cost 5500yen.

Re:nominal payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150015)

You must be watching total garbage

The last anime blu-ray I got from Japan was excellent

Mod +1 Funny please, my points expired yesterday.

Re:nominal payment (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149891)

I'd still rather pay 10c for a fast and simple criminal service that treats me with respect than pay $10 for a legitimate fiddly DVD that treats me like a criminal.

Re:nominal payment (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149903)

Those "mythical" $20 DVD's are what nearly any move that isn't at least a couple of years old costs retail. "Most are under $10" only applies to used and bargian-bin sales. But you already knew that.

Vault business model (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149975)

Instead of selling four copies of a Walt Disney Pictures film at $5 each to capture the long tail, Buena Vista would rather sell one copy at $20 and keep the film unavailable for years at a time to prop up demand.

Re:nominal payment (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150103)

walmart? most new movies are 20 as well as all disney movies

Re:nominal payment (1)

shish (588640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150749)

TBH I don't have much experience buying DVDs; the only ones I've looked for recently have been the Invader Zim boxed set - Amazon has it for ~£250 (~$400) imported, and I've never even seen a copy in the UK :-|

Re:nominal payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150797)

That's not the point. He just said an illegal service is worth 10 cents to him.. and a legal DVD is worth $20 (maybe a little less than). He likes legal DVDs so much that he's even ok with them treating him like a criminal (his words not mine).

If they're actually just $10.. that's just icing on the cake.

Re:nominal payment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150277)

So not only do they get to be raided, prosecuted, and imprisoned by the government.. but you're willing to give them a whole 10 cents! Wow.. who says crime doesn't pay.

Re:nominal payment (1, Informative)

Reapy (688651) | more than 2 years ago | (#39152269)

That comic is stupid. People need to stop making up stupid excuses.

OMG I have to get HBO to watch HBO series from HBO who payed millions to produce said show?!?! SHOCKING!! So hard to add HBO to your cable and watch via HBO GO or on demand. Yeah, pricy too, I mean, I've never heard of getting 3 months FREE of HBO when you sign up. Get hbo, watch show on demand, cancel hbo. How is this hard if you want to go legit? This is not "CHANGING YOUR ENTIRE CABLE PACKAGE!!!!!!!one one!!".

No DVD's to buy? Wait. They'll get there.

If you want it now, immediately, torrent it, but don't make up stupid excuses like it's too hard to get legit. The people that want tv and movies streaming via their computer are still in the minority. Most people want to watch TV on their big screen set, not a small monitor in a computer chair. Most people don't have spare computers sitting in their home theator to get the picture up on it in the first place.

It's getting there... but the user base is not in place yet for a company to fully commit to it. If you have some moral quandary about watching the show (is it a crime if you go over a friends house who has hbo to watch it? ) via another means, wait for the legitimate delivery source to be open to you.

Making things happen legally and on a massive scale is a hell of a lot more involved than some dude ripping the show as it airs and throwing it up online in a torrent. Just the fact HBO GO exists is testament to companies understanding that streaming ondemand services are something people want.

I want crusader kings 2, but not at full price. I don't want to shaft paradox by pirating it, so I'll wait for an inevitable steam sale and buy it then. Not that hard.

Re:nominal payment (1)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39152275)

I'd still rather pay 10c for a fast and simple criminal service that treats me with respect

Right. Because stealing stuff shows immense levels of respect to the distributors and artists.

I'm showing my age, I know, but I still believe two wrongs don't make a right.

Re:nominal payment (1)

Verunks (1000826) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150147)

I wonder then if requiring all users to pay a 10c charge would stop piracy completely for site such as this.

actually most pirates that use sites like rapidshare are premium users, why do you think a lot of people cried when megaupload was closed also the free download speed is already below 200k most of the times, there is no point in using them if they are gonna be slower than torrent

Re:nominal payment (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151075)

There's also something called premium link generators. Go to some third party site (the Premium Link Generator), paste in the RapidShare URL, and it gives you another link which will link to the premium download.

TANSTAFFL (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149545)

I'm surprised it took this long.

It would be nice if they had a "tiered" throttling system, something like:

The first 1MB to any IP address in a 1-hour period gets throttled to a medium speed, say, 100KB/sec, and the rest gets throttled more. Throttle anything over 10MB per hour to painfully slow speeds.

This way, people just grabbing one small (under 1MB) file in a 1-hour period don't suffer too much.

I do like the plan they have to avoid throttling though.

Re:TANSTAFFL (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150163)

The first 1MB to any IP address in a 1-hour period gets throttled to a medium speed, say, 100KB/sec, and the rest gets throttled more. Throttle anything over 10MB per hour to painfully slow speeds.

This way, people just grabbing one small (under 1MB) file in a 1-hour period don't suffer too much.

I've had people send me legit RapidShare links to stuff like data files and such. Explaining to my boss that I'd need to pay $1 or whatever the daily fee is to download this file from the customer just because it happened to be 100MB isn't really an option. (Perhaps it's a Linux kernel tarball they're sending me for their product).

Or I can charge the day it took to download to the project. Most bosses would prefer I did that than try to authorize paying for faster downloads.

And yes, a lot of companies do it in lieu of having other mechanisms of providing the file for downloads.

Re:TANSTAFFL (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150323)

Even throttled way down an under 1MB file isn't going to take that long to download. The extra speed for .2 seconds would be worthless.

Re:TANSTAFFL (2)

davidwr (791652) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151013)

1MB unthrottled: How fast are the Intertubes today? Probably 3 seconds for most users.

1MB at 100KB/sec = 10 seconds. That 7 seconds is enough to be annoying but not painful.

1MB at 30Kbits/sec (less than 4 KB/sec) as RapidShare is doing now = 4-5 minutes. 4-5 minutes per MB is painful, or perhaps nostalgic.

Re:TANSTAFFL (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151613)

Yeah but who doesn't have 4-5 minutes? Do what you are talking about to 10MB files and you may have something. Waiting 45 minutes for a 10MB file to download really would be annoying. But 4-5 minutes I can spare almost always. But then again, I started out at 300 baud, so everything seems quick now in comparison...

eDonkey (2)

Dave Whiteside (2055370) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149551)

has died then has it - I thought this was where all the kids get their dodgy stuff from ?

Re:eDonkey (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149977)

Dave, it's guys like you that make the Interweb the negative "wild west" that it is, a place where children are raped on a regular basis. Yes, people like you. You should be ASHAMED, but of course you are not. You a re filthy nasty pervert, and you know it.

Dave, I know who you are, and I know where you live, and I have a key to your office.

I'm just telling you so you'll be aware that I read your email and have access to your safe.

Just sayin!

Re:eDonkey (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150145)

10 years ago maybe, when I was a kid...but nowaday? hell no...the only people on eDonkey are eJackasses

Just like everyone else (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39149557)

So, they're now doing what most of their competitors have been doing for years. This is certainly newsworthy.

Cause if there's one thing non-pirate users want (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149593)

...its slower speeds. This should in no way chase away legitimate users leaving only the pirates who dont care if their copy of photoshop takes half a day to download while they're at work.

Re:Cause if there's one thing non-pirate users wan (3, Insightful)

djnforce9 (1481137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149695)

Yes. Rapidshare is only driving away the "impatient" pirates. They are delaying the inevitable because ultimately, the works is still just as pirated regardless of how long it took to obtain.

My guess is that they are either secretly hoping to boost premium sales (they would NOT get away with throttling paying customers) or to do "something" in order to prevent Megaupload's fate from repeating with them.

It's basically marketing BS. (4, Insightful)

makomk (752139) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149967)

At a guess, this is just marketing BS being used to disguise an attempt to get more paid users. Rapidshare have form in this area - they rebranded themselves the "Anti-Waiting Company" at the same time as increasing the amount of time free users have to wait for downloads and increasing their premium prices.

Re:Cause if there's one thing non-pirate users wan (3, Insightful)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150771)

They can put whatever positive, law-cooperating spin on it that they want, but the real reason is simply that Rapidshare no longer has any competition to drive up their free download speeds.

Their single largest competitor (Megaupload) just dropped off the map and all their other competitors have either blocked the US or dropped any free support whatsoever.

Re:Cause if there's one thing non-pirate users wan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39151961)

Wait, what? No, just no. up.to, netload, depositfiles, bayfiles, bitshare, turbobit, shareflare, fileserve (yes, really, there's still plenty of fileserve/wupload links for stuff like tv shows if you know where to look), filefactory, etc.

It wasn't bad enough already? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149663)

Wow, this on top of how shitty Rapidshare already was? At this point they could only make it worse by forcing you to enter a CAPTCHA presented in the form of one of those "stare to see the letters" puzzles, shown right in the middle of goatse's anus.

Why people ever used services like Rapidshare and Megaupload, I'll never understand.

Re:It wasn't bad enough already? (1)

shaffer.william (2216108) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149741)

JDownloader makes it more than tolerable For legal purposes. Of course.

How I've used mediafire (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150025)

Say I'm working on a computer program and I want to send copies to my beta testers. I'd upload a copy to mediafire and give only my beta testers the URL. Or say I shot a video and I want to share it with family members, but I don't want to post it publicly on YouTube because the video might contain some copyrighted music that happened to be playing where I shot it.

won't people just lie? (4, Insightful)

apcullen (2504324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149671)

Seems like rapidshare is doing some CYA here. If you want better speeds, all you have to do is supply them with some cantact info-- fake will likely do-- and some information about the files being shared-- again fake will likely do. This way if they get raided, they can say "I didn't know that was a TV episode, they told me it was home videos".

Re:won't people just lie? (1)

meerling (1487879) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150541)

Exactly! Fake info to all their fields. Of course, someone will scream PIRATE if they notice the fakes, but I've seen a ton of people working with stuff that's not pirated (ore even piratable) that only put in fake info if it's something that serves no other pupose than 'identifying' them.

Go through any registration database for a product that doesn't give something useful or desirable to the user for registering. If you do, you will find tons of entries Like Guy Anyman, 1234 My Street, Yourtown USA 98765
These people aren't doing it to avoid prosecution, they are doing it because they are pissed at the company demanding personal information for no reason (in their opinion) other than greed or nosiness.

On the other hand, the ones that do that when dealing with a paid service over the phone (or web) are complete morons and paranoid douche-bags. There are legal issues with that, but I think you'd want to talk to a lawyer to sort those out.

Anonymous payments (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149721)

"Those who like to pirate prefer not to pay, the company believes, not least because they want to avoid connecting their personal payment details to a copyright-infringing cyberlocker account.

Except for those methods of payment that don't force you to give out any personal details at all?

Re:Anonymous payments (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149809)

So you're going to pay RapidShare in cash or bitcoins?

Re:Anonymous payments (3, Insightful)

king neckbeard (1801738) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149939)

or a prepaid credit card that can be picked up just about anywhere.

Re:Anonymous payments (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149965)

Some pre-paid credit cards can be bought over-the-counter and don't have your address on them.

If you pay them in cash I don't think the

Re:Anonymous payments (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150873)

I've been able to find at least three companies in my country that allow you to pay for a Rapidshare account by handing out a printed ticket with a transaction number and the corresponding cash amount to the lady at the counter of your local sports betting company. (This company has been allowing various other companies to use their betting terminals for the payments for online services, it's cheaper for everyone involved and useful for the occasional payer.) The only thing anyone could find out is where the amount for account XYZ has been paid, but that's about it.

Simple solution (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149725)

You're caught pirating and they block your IP.

Re:Simple solution (2)

jandrese (485) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149849)

Blocking by IP doesn't work so well if your customers have dynamic IP addresses. People on PPPoE (still quite common) can get a new IP address anytime they want. It's a bit harder for DHCP users, but still only takes a couple of hours typically.

Re:Simple solution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150023)

Uhm..DHCP is what gives you those dynamic addresses, it is, after all, the Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Some of them will give static addresses based on the MAC address - if you just change the MAC address on your gateway device & reboot, you'll get a new IP in minutes, not hours.

Associating an (IP, time) pair to a customer (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150071)

Which is why ISPs in a growing number of countries are required by law to log the last few weeks of their PPPoE or DHCP leases.

Re:Associating an (IP, time) pair to a customer (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150591)

Well yes but I believe this they are talking about rapidshare banning the users on it's service caught pirating, not sending the FBI to their doorstep or getting them booted from the internet. Longterm you can't expect the ISPs to update rapidshare every time someones IP changes.

Re:Simple solution (1)

chrissfoot (2290640) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149885)

Unfortunately, they would also block the ip of anyone else in your organisation or possibly just the next guy who gets the dynamic IP you were using!

Re:Simple solution (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150551)

It's not going to stop all Pirating, and they can place a time limit on how long the IP address gets blocked. It's just an easy measure to discourage some pirating, and I think it's better than trying to cap the bandwidth on the free usage. This method is used a lot to prevent people from over using web services.

the direct link (5, Insightful)

muuh-gnu (894733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149739)

> there is a direct link between free users of file-hosting services and copyright infringement.

There is also a direct link between internet users and copyright infringement. There is also a direct link between prople exchanging information and copyright infringement. And so on.

Copyright is for-profit censorship. As soon as you have two people exchanging information, be it on the net, by pendrives, even exchanging books, as soon as you cut out the middlemen, it will probably be some kind of infringement.

The problem with this, what they call infringement is _normal human behavior_ that shouldnt be infringement in the first place. As soon as people get together, they exchange information. Declaring parts of this information exchange somebody elses "property" and trying to censor it by basically spying on every information exchange between two people, is censorship straight from the darkest surveillance state nightmares. The worst case scanario. It is basically north korea, but not with respect to "political information" but with respect to "proprietary information". Censorship is censorship, whatever paltry excuse you can come up with for it.

Re:the direct link (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149839)

There is a direct link between eating High Fructose Corn Syrup and Murder.

Every Murderer in the USA consumed HFCS at one point in his or her life.

Re:the direct link (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150535)

You misunderstand the point of copyright.

Before the invention of the printing press, creators had some level of assurance that their works would not be widely copied by unauthorized parties by virtue of the fact that copying was so tedious and error prone, that the sheer difficulties involved in making a copy kept unauthorized copies from being problematic for creators.

After the printing press was developed, things shifted somewhat. Creators still wanted the exclusivity that they formerly had, and would be inclined to self-censor, only releasing portions of their works, or distributing only to very small groups of people so that they could retain the control they formerly enjoyed. The concept of copyright was developed so that creators could publish widely, and continue have some assurance that their works would not be copied without authorization, whikle society as a whole could be enriched by the ongoing publication of new works.

So ultimately, copyright was created as an incentive to publish. Period. Nothing more. Nothing less. It may also allow the holder to generate a profit if their work is sufficiently in demand, but this is more of a consequence of the way the exclusivity that copyright offers affects supply and demand in a capitalistic society.

The incentive to publish is important because with an ongoing influx of new published works, society gets to benefit from them, becoming a culturally rich and diverse civilization.

It's worth noting that even most people who currently release their works for free still actively choose to *not* put their works into public domain - clearly the concept of the exclusivity that copyright offers is important to creators, even today.

Do away with copyright, and we will return to the days shortly after the invention of the printing press and prior to the invention of copyright, where most of the good creators will tend to self-censor, and not release their works publicly at all. The general public's only alternatives for content would be stuff that was funded by philanthropists or the government, which would not be terribly likely to have a diverse range of topics, or will simply face an eternal deluge of public-domain cat videos on Youtube, and otherwise advertisement-laden content.

Re:the direct link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39151975)

prior to the printing press, recorded words in the forms of books were very expensive to obtain because of the time and effort it would take to copy. The increased effort to copy these works was balanced by a great reward in that you copied a very expensive book.

After the printing press it became much cheaper to copy books and other works, but the reward was also greatly reduced. You would be copying books that could be purchased for far less money than prior to the printing press. The printing press massively reduced the incentive to copy other's works, but made it far easier to do so.

Copyright was created to help ensure steady profits from a published work, which indirectly makes it an incentive to publish. It is censoring of information for financial gain. I'm actually okay with that system, it seems fair that an author gets compensated for their creation, I don't like the ever extending length of copyrights. You should get a fair amount of time to profit and then it's public domain.

Re:the direct link (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#39152673)

Copyright was created to help ensure steady profits from a published work

This is incorrect. Copyright was created to give people incentive to publish in the first place, so that society could benefit from a continual influx of new published works.

Sadly, this is not what many people think of copyright today.

Re:the direct link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150687)

Censorship is censorship, whatever paltry excuse you can come up with for it.

Censorship is a serious curtailment of a fundamental freedom: the freedom of expression. Don't dilute the word's meaning by conflating it with the measures used to prevent people sharing copies of whatever blockbuster CGI-fest is on at the cinema.

We're fighting piracy, honest! (3, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149789)

Has anyone in the history of the world ever paid for a RapidShare account to use it for downloading non-pirated content?

These guys are no different than the ones who offered newsgroup access for X amount per month (and by the way, here are all these great tools for managing large binary downloads should you happen to need them).

Rapidshare's business model has always been about making the free download option as obnoxious as humanly possible. "Pay us money and you can download this random file which may or may not be copyrighted at full speed instead of playing capcha games and waiting all day for your file to download and then have it stall at 98%" This is nothing new or unexpected.

âoeRapidShare 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,â the company explained.

IANAL, but that seems like a refreshing admission of legal liability for being willful accessories to copyright infringement.

Dropbox too (1, Funny)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150091)

Has anyone in the history of the world ever paid for a RapidShare account to use it for downloading non-pirated content?

Has anyone in the history of Dropbox, one of RapidShare's competitors, ever paid for a Dropbox account [dropbox.com] ?

Yes, people pay for Dropbox and happily (1)

Fencepost (107992) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151375)

Dropbox has good clients for multiple systems, is simple to set up and use, requires basically no administration. It wins out over some of its competitors (SugarSync, I'm talking about you) because it actually has a solid Linux client along with the Windows, Mac, Android, iPhone/iPad and Blackberry (and browser-based access). I think their pricing for the individual accounts is high (or at least I think they'd do well with a $5/20GB plan rather than the current low-end of $10/50), but I can understand their current setting. The Dropbox for Teams page you link to has a 1TB 5-user account for $800/year ($160/user or under $15/user/month for 200GB per user), with all the tools available for a regular Dropbox account. That's not bad at all.

Sure, *I* and likely most readers here could set up remote access to storage if we wanted to, but is it worth it? I have a buddy who seems to have an allergy to paying for things when he can do them cheaper, but I feel that "you can do it yourself free!" falls apart because A) "free" is only free if my time has no value, in which case there are probably other things I'd rather be doing with my "free" time and/or B) I'm going to enjoy going through the setup and inevitable tweaking over time. I'm not rolling in dough, but I'm willing to pay people to do things that I could choose to do myself just as my customers are willing to pay me to do things that they could learn to do themselves (or hire an in-house IT person for).

I've built software in the past that had a price tag over $50k when installed and configured by field people, and I questioned it at first because I looked at what our software did and thought "our customers have IT departments and could build this for less than we're charging." That may be true, but they *weren't* doing it, and what we were doing had an ROI that generally was in single-digit MONTHS even with our price point. Paying for services is a lot like that - what do you need to invest to do it yourself, how much will it cost to buy it, what's the ROI, is it worth it.

Re:We're fighting piracy, honest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150151)

Do you know what "willful" means?

"Knowingly", sure. Willfully, no.

Re:We're fighting piracy, honest! (2)

Xtifr (1323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150703)

Do you know what "willful" means? The first definition is "said or done on purpose; deliberate". Which fits perfectly with PP's usage. You're probably thinking of the second definition ("obstinately bent on having one's own way"), but that's not the only, or even the most common, meaning.

It's really funny (bordering on ironic) how many self-appointed "grammar nazis" are completely ignorant of polysemy, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of common English nouns and verbs display it. It's even funnier how many self-appointed grammar nazis can't be arsed to pick up a dictionary or reputable usage guide.

Re:We're fighting piracy, honest! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39152459)

Dumbass, I know what the word means, I know that it's obvious he meant what you reference as "the first definition" (FYI, Merriam-Webster [merriam-webster.com] has the same 2 senses, but lists them in the opposite order, so don't be so sure which is "the most common"), and I know that it's inaccurate to apply it there in either sense!

They never admitted they "on purpose" or "deliberate[ly]" facilitated piracy. They called the piracy "abuse", and they did admit they noticed it, and are now taking measures purporting to stop it -- there is nothing in that "refreshing admission" to indicate direct or oblique intent.

Re:We're fighting piracy, honest! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150711)

I've never had a paid Rapidshare account. However, the free (and paid too, I imagine) service was very useful to sidestep email limits. Frequently at the cellular dealer I used to work, customers would have more than 10-25MB of pictures and other things on their phone - and I would bundle it into a .zip and Rapidshare it off to them - email not being an option.

MAFIAA doesn't care (3, Insightful)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39149905)

Why does RapidShare think this will give them cover over piracy? The MAFIAA doesn't care; they're happy to burn down the Internet to protect their business.

The MAFIAA also don't really care about piracy, despite all their noise about it. Their goal is to maintain high prices and the business model that they know and control. Piracy is just a means to manipulate the publics attitude and justify the use of extreme measures by the government. Which for RapidShare means that they can't win unless they become part of the establishment ... but Hollywood needs enemies to fight more then allies to share the wealth with.

It's the Gopher Effect. (1)

sixtyeight (844265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151047)

Remind me to send Hollywood a thank-you note for herding internet users over to the encrypted areas of the internet in droves. Because of them, encrypted networks will mainstream and thrive - and develop new services - rather than die from neglect.

In that sense at least, perhaps corporate America is right. Greed is good!

Re:MAFIAA doesn't care (5, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151473)

Bimbo Newton Crosby this is about control, especially to the RIAA. The future is video channels on the web and tours booked for a percentage instead of the frankly assraping and "Hollywood Accounting" that the record companies have been pulling and this scares the crap out of them. My oldest and his college buddies never listen to the radio, its all tube channels and internet streaming which gives unsigned and unknowns the same chance as everyone else to be heard and this scares the living hell out of them. Ultimately the MAFIAA want to turn the net into the home shopping network so they can go back to being the gatekeepers of exclusive content but frankly even film making with Machinima is getting damned good.

Anybody see "Escape from city 17"? Frankly it was more exciting than the last 3 Hollywood boomfests IMHO and that was made on a shoestring budget. Hell one of the more interesting movies I've seen in awhile practically had a zero budget, wish i knew the name. maybe if I describe it somebody will chime in, it was about a party for a friend that was moving off and as the story progressed you found out the reason the guy was moving was because he was actually over 10,000 years old and had to leave before it got too obvious he didn't age.

this is what scares the MAFIAA, that they won't be able to leech off of artists anymore like how they are screwing many 70s artists like Cheap trick by giving them NOTHING for digital sales, basically saying since it didn't exist when they signed in the 70s tough shit, or how Meatloaf went bankrupt fighting the studios who cliamed Bat out Of Hell I, the album with the record for longest stay in the top 200, actually didn't make a dime. Living close to Memphis I've seen kids sign and hand over an album the studios DIDN'T PAY SHIT FOR only to have the album sell 300,000 copies and get handed a BILL by the studios for "promotion expenses". The sooner that whole cabal DIAF the better.

Less Competition (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150221)

With MegaUpload out of the way, they're just trying to pickup more paying customers.

Re:Less Competition (1)

ibutsu (2528336) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151279)

It is actually exactly that, they are not implementing any "new" policy at rapidshare. This actually sounds nearly identical to the system they used up until megaupload started getting very popular and they dropped the wait times and stopped throttling free users.

Slower downloads will stop piracy? (1)

Kindgott (165758) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150325)

Back in the late 90s, I knew people who would leave their modems connected overnight on a dedicated line, with a download manager running, just to be sure they got the latest copy of whatever it was they were after.

Slowing up your downloads is just going to make people take longer to grab something, or they'll busily try to find a way to circumvent your "protection." Or, they'll move on to some other service or method, partially collapsing your business model.

Bandwith limitation trick Rapidshare bypass (1)

bigbangnet (1108411) | more than 2 years ago | (#39150559)

You can get around the bandwidth limitations by using a service called Grandleech. Copy the URL from the download from Rapidshare. Tthen head over to www.grandleech.com, paste the link there, press download and have fun.

www.grandleech.com

You insens1tive clod? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150619)

to this. For It's best to try users of BSD/OS. A OS. Now BSDI is There are only Sales and so on, with the work, or disappearing up its the last night of FrreBSD is already

The game's over (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39150695)

All these companies will fall one after another and the only people in the game will the arrogant Google assholes with their privacy invading Google Drive product.

Heh (2)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151495)

And in other news, the MPAA is fighting piracy by releasing movies that aren't worth copying, thus destroying piracy at the source.

is there a legitimate use case for rapidshare? (1)

csumpi (2258986) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151639)

Somehow this article suggests that there are legitimate uses for services like rapidshare. What legally owned digital files would anyone want to share on the internet where the best service to use is rapidshare? Help me out here.

Always slow for me (1)

Teknikal69 (1769274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39151977)

I always found rapidshare way to slow to be usable and that's on the very rare occasion I got it to work. They never seemed able to recognise my ISP's transparent proxys that everyone was forced through so where basicly treating the entire ISP as one computer and limiting downloads on that basis.
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