It seems hard these days to find a file-sharing service that isn't in some way affected by the recent events happening around the world to sites like MegaUpload and The Pirate Bay. There's always Tribler, the file-sharing service that claims to make torrents obsolete. There may be a service on the net, however, that would make them all look paltry in comparison.
TorrentFreak is reporting that a file-sharing application called RetroShare has been booming in the aftermath of the MegaUpload take down. We reported that the MegaUpload take down did not affect piracy in any way. While the study at that point said those affected move to other file locker services, the new research suggests that more people moved to services like Tribler and RetroShare.
RetroShare is a file-sharing application that prides itself on being completely anonymous. For users to even start sharing files, they have to exchange PGP certificates with only those they trust. The transfer is encrypted using OpenSSL, while files from strangers must go through a trusted source. It sounds like the ultimate file-sharing heaven and it apparently is.
DrBob, the founder of RetroShare, told TorrentFreak that the software has been around since 2006, but it was only recently that he began to see large jumps in usage. He says that downloads tripled on the network in January during the SOPA protest, and that it double again in February when other file sharing services cut back on their services in the wake of the MegaUpload takedown.
DrBob laid out what RetroShare is all about:
“RetroShare is about creating a private space on the Internet. A social collaboration network where you can share anything you want. A space that is free from the prying eyes of governments, corporations and advertisers. This is vitally important as our freedom on the Internet is under increasing threat.RetroShare is free from censorship: like Facebook banning ‘obscene’ breast-feeding photographs. A network that allows you to use any pseudonym, without insisting on knowing your real name. A network where you will not face the threat of jail, or being banned from entry into a country for an innocent tweet.”
Examples like these show that file-sharing is going nowhere and is never going to die. Instead of attacking services or users, content holders need to attack the core problem - their business model. Give users a reason to buy your product and they will. If not, services like RetroShare are going to keep on expanding and growing.