Los Angeles – RapidShare and similar online file-hosting
services have overtaken BitTorrent and traditional file-sharing networks in
terms of Web traffic, leading MarkMonitor to declare in a report that they are
now the top sites for downloading pirated content. With over 13 billion annual
visitors, RapidShare was deemed the leading digital piracy website, followed by
fellow file host Megaupload, with 5 billion visitors.
File hosts Hotfile,
4Shared and Mediafire all claim spots in the top 100 most-visited sites
globally — before The Pirate Bay, TorrentFreak noted.
For its part, RapidShare
strongly criticized the report in a statement questioning its methodology.
authors conclude that RapidShare has to be the biggest digital piracy site from
looking at the number of page visits, totally ignoring the fact that millions
of customers use the service for perfectly legitimate purposes,"
RapidShare said, adding that it "reserves the right to take legal
action" against MarkMonitor for defamation.
The Motion Picture Association
of America (MPAA) dubbed the MarkMonitor report a "call to arms" for
U.S. lawmakers to take stronger action to quell piracy.
"The findings in
the MarkMonitor report on online piracy and counterfeiting are a call to arms
for both government and the private sector," the MPAA said.
report demonstrates, a small number of rogue websites are generating
mind-boggling traffic in pirated content."
(PDF: MarkMonitor report)