If you’ve been a long time user of the web and everything that comes with it then you must have used Rapidshare at one point or the other. That was back in the day when the banned Megaupload and the likes of Hotfile, 4Shared and Mediafire were the kings of file sharing online. Long before startups like Dropbox and Box and big corporations like Google, Apple and Microsoft crept to the scene. Sadly, like everything else that has been rendered almost irrelevant by the web’s dynamic nature and its unforgiving users, Rapidshare is going away for good in a month’s time.
Cornered by a mix of complying with law enforcers and turning its back on users by being strongly anti-pirate, the once popular file sharing site is nothing like it was back in the day. However, unlike its contemporaries like Kim Dotcom’s Megaupload (seized forcefully by the FBI and forced offline) and Hotfile (shut down voluntarily after settling over $80 million for copyright violations), it is going under still with some respect intact. Users have until April 31st to transfer any valuable data they still have stashed in Rapidshare’s remote servers before it disappears for good.
The rise of multimedia streaming services has made it easy to access music, movies and TV shows through legal means for customers willing to pay content creators while at the same time decimating the need to stash the same in file sharing sites and cyber lockers all over the web. Anti-piracy measures have also served to alienate sites that were once popular from their clientele as they move to competing services where they can have their way.