It’s been noticeably slower for free users of RapidShare’s online storage service to download files in the last week, according to TorrentFreak. Why? The company says it’s a direct result of rival Megaupload’s shutdown in January. “RapidShare 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,” the company says. “We have thus decided to take a painful yet effective step: to reduce the download speed for free users. We are confident that this will make RapidShare very unpopular amongst pirates and thus drive the abusive traffic away.” Interesting. RapidShare used to be regularly cited alongside Megaupload as a piracy villain by the entertainment industries, but in recent times has been trying to improve its reputation.

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