RapidShare, the popular file-sharing service that has helped people download movies, music and many other files will be shutdown next month, by choice. The site has informed its users to secure their data before it gets deleted on March 31, 2015.
Swiss-based RapidShare, founded in 2002, was one of the first and most popular one-click file hosting services on the internet. In 2010, it was rated one of the top 50 most-used sites on the internet. Like most sites of this nature, the popularity came with a price. RapidShare was frequently used by people to share copyright-infringing material with just a direct download. The site made enemies with the entertainment companies and got into lot of troubles on various occasions.
RapidShare fought many legal battles with the entertainment companies seeking to hold the company liable for the actions of its users, and on top of it the site was called by the US Government as a ‘notorious market.’ It was also ordered by British courts to conduct surveillance on users and report illegal sharing.
With much anticipation to clear up its image, the company made tremendous efforts to co-operate with copyright holders and limit copyright infringements. Also, the company tried to rebrand itself as a cloud storage service and adopted most restrictive sharing policies.
The anti-piracy measures seemed to work, but it resulted in drastic fall in the RapidShare’s visitors numbers. The dwindling revenues eventually ended up in laying off most of its staff in 2013. In 2014, it stopped offering free service, effectively giving itself a death sentence. When there were so many ways to share content without paying, there was no way RapidShare could survive.
Two days ago, the company marked its final chapter in the controversial history. The company has announced complete closure of the business at the end of March 2015. Further details on the planned shutdown of the company is not yet disclosed. It is assumed that RapidShare cannot sustain in the industry with its small number of users it has today.