Alright, Feds. You’ve had your fun. You’ve arrested some people you deem bad and seized their Mercedes-Benz collection. Great. So how about turning MegaUpload back on for a quick minute?
The United States Department of Justice seized and shut down MegaUpload yesterday in an impressive (and scary) show of force. The site is effectively nuked, which is bad news bears for its zillions of users. Sure, the site was infamous for hosting illegal files, but it was also one of the best ways to share large files online. The closure leaves users unable to access their files. Those using MegaUpload for legitimate reasons are the real victims.
Don’t think for a minute that MegaUpload was used exclusively for trading of copy-written material. MegaUpload made sharing large files easy. Simply upload a file 2GB or smaller and the service popped-out a unique URL for sharing. Files stayed on MegaUpload servers for 90 days or forever if the user paid for a premium account. But now those files are inaccessible. They’re seemingly gone forever.
Users of course took to Twitter to vent their frustration. Hopefully these users had local copies.
We need to get #Megaupload trending. I'm vehemently against copyright infringement: the files I lost were created & owned by me for my job.— Suzanne Barbieri (@PolarKoala) January 20, 2012
MegaUpload’s fate will hopefully cause many of these users to rethink their sharing and backup methods. It’s not the best practice to hand over your data to a 3rd party for safe keeping. Products like iTwin, Pogoplug and services from Western Digital and Seagate will all allow users to share locally-stored files over the Internet. The files are stored on a local hard drive or flash drives while still allowing remote access. With SOPA and PIPA looming, these devices might see an uptick in sales as file lockers like MegaUpload get shut down.
[image credit: GekaSkr/Shutterstock]