Lumfile.com file locker and their dirty secrets

Lumfile is yet another relatively new file locker which appeared in the market during spring 2012 to fill the void after several large file lockers of the time (such as filesonic and filejungle) shut down their affiliate program shortly after the infamous Megaupload raid. Lumfile is from the same breed of new file lockers as Ryushare which we investigated in our previous article, they’re similar in many regards including that Lumfile owners are from Vietnam too. Similar to Ryushare, Lumfile rushed to become one of the new destinations for the massive piracy/warez traffic which was looking for a new home in the aftermaths of the Megaupload raid, and they proved to be quite successful at it.

Lumfile traffic is quickly growing and they’re firmly on the path to become one of the biggest players in the copyright infringement “business” – but let’s not jump to conclusions about the nature of this site and run our standard set of investigation checks first.

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Ryushare.com – pretty much classic illegal file locker

Ryushare.com is the relatively new file host, one of the new breed which started to appear shortly after the infamous Megaupload raid which resulted in several popular file lockers of the time (such as filesonic and fileserve) shutting down their affiliate programs out of fear of being prosecuted. That was a huge blow to piracy, but the effect didn’t last long. High demand from warez uploaders for paying filehosts was still there, and to satisfy it new hosts appeared almost immediately – their common characteristics were that all of them were run by non-US and most of them by non-EU residents too, who thought they’re safely out of reach for the US justice. Ryushare is one of such hosts, their owners are Vietnamese.

Ever since they first appeared on the market Ryushare traffic kept growing, by now they’re one of the most popular file lockers in the world, firmly in the top 10. What attracts their millions of users? Let’s run our usual set of checks.

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Extabit.com file locker – one of the worst

Extabit.com is one of the largest illegal file hosts out there, harboring totally absurd amounts of stolen copyrighted materials uploaded by hordes of their “hardworking” affiliates, who receive commission from each premium membership sold. Even in their design they’re incredibly blatant about what their site really is about – you can see movies, music, pictures, software and also CDs/DVDs all symbolically flying to users’ computer screens.

What kind of movies and music is it? What kinds of other digital goods are getting uploaded to Extabit for their premium account holders to download? Are we talking about legitimate copyright holders uploading their own works, or is something different going on there? Of course there’s something very different going on there, but let’s just run our usual set of checks to investigate what kind of service we have there with Extabit.

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WJunction.com – a place where illegal file lockers and warez uploaders meet together

WJunction stands for W(arez)Junction, this site was designed as a place for warez webmasters to get together and to discuss various issues related to their “business” such as dodging DMCAs, finding “bulletproof” hosts (hosts which ignore DMCAs from copyright holders), and, most importantly, discussing file lockers since they’re the main tool for piracy/warez sites to monetize their traffic. In case you don’t know what does the word “warez” mean, here’s the definition for you from Wikipedia.

Warez refers primarily to copyrighted works distributed without fees or royalties, and may be traded, in general violation of copyright law.

Wjunction is not the only site of its kind, but it is the biggest. And of course file lockers didn’t miss the opportunity to address their best target audience – there is the whole section at WJunction called “Filehosts official support” where illegal file lockers run promo threads and provide “official support” to those warez uploaders who need it. Check the screenshot below, if you’re familiar with the piracy/warez scene the names of those file lockers who run promo/support thread at WJunction and recruit new illegal uploaders there will all be very well known to you.

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Rapidshare.com: the mother of all file lockers. Part 5

The amount of evidence which has been collected during our research clearly suggests that copyright infringement is Rapidshare’s core business. Using various tactics they make it sure that they have plenty of copyrighted materials posted at their servers, to entice web surfers into buying premium memberships which allow for faster downloads. While Rapidshare officials make all sort of claims about their company’s epic struggle with copyright infringements, our study reveals that something directly opposite of that is true – Rapidshare is one of world’s largest depositories of the illegally “shared” copyrighted materials, and selling fast download access to these huge library of copyrighted works is what drives Rapidshare’s premium membership sales. All of their public statements are nothing but a smokescreen to cover what it is their real core business – which is, indeed, copyright infringement.

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Rapidshare.com: the mother of all file lockers. Part 4

Rapidshare’s affiliate program which rewarded uploaders based on the amount of downloads of their files has been officially disconnected in 2010, but prior to that it existed for many years and provided incentives to upload copyrighted files to Rapidshare servers. And even after their affiliate program was officially disconnected Rapidshare kept rewarding uploaders using other options, such as the recently introduced scheme where uploaders would get rewarded with the so called “rapids”. “Rapids” are the Rapidshare’s inner currency which can buy some services from Rapidshare such as faster download speeds, and it can also be transferred between the users.

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Rapidshare.com: the mother of all file lockers. Part 3

It is hard to say what Rapidshare’s policy against repeat infringers is, because their TOS is vague on the subject. It is mentioned that Rapidshare can terminate repeat uploaders of the “illegal” files, but what constitutes an “illegal” file is anyone’s guess. Copyright infringement as an offence is not specifically mentioned, probably on purpose. Because the results of this policy against repeat copyright infringers are nowhere to be found at piracy/warez sites site that are still offering absurd amounts of copyrighted works for downloads through Rapidshare.

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