RapidShare was one of the file-sharing sites that survived the anti-piracy actions that brought down the MegaUpload and HotFile. But this will not last very survival: according to a statement issued today (10), the service will terminate its operations on March 31, 2015.
In the recent past, the type sites exploited a very profitable business model: any user could send files to be shared in these services; those who wanted to download faster or downloading various materials simultaneously paid periodic values.
The number of paying users was significant because the prices were not too high and several tactics were used to stimulate the signatures. One was a watch that only allow free downloads after you wait some time – 3 minutes, for example.
While it is still possible to find sites with similar operation, this type of service did not prosper because most of the content available for download was pirated. It did not take long for the authorities to leave the hunting of these companies. It was an operation of which led to the closure of MegaUpload (and helped Kim Dotcom to be famous, but that’s another story).
The services that have survived have adopted stricter policies to prevent distribution of pirated content and thus reduce the risk of problems with the law. This is the case of RapidShare. Apparently the service is closing on its own initiative, not under court proceedings.
The reasons for the decision were not clear, but it is likely that the new conditions of use have made impossible the deal: no illegal files, RapidShare probably seen its paying user base be tiny.
To make matters worse, the popularity of services like onedrive, Google Drive and Dropbox may have hindered the promotion of RapidShare as an option for storing files in the cloud. It’s hard to fight for space in a segment that admits few players.
In closing note displayed on the home of your website, RapidShare asks that current users to back up their files until March 31. After this date, all data stored on company servers will be deleted.