The Swiss file hosting service Rapidshare recently announced they were closing their doors, or rather website, on March 31st. The site was initially founded in 2002 by Christian Schmid under German domain .de before a second site, Rapidshare.com was started. Among the 50 most popular websites in 2010, Rapidshare suffered a spate of lawsuits by the owners of the illegally hosted data, including the leak of Metallica’s Death Magnetic. The company revised its approach to the B2B market, but the site saw a significant drop in revenue which led to a layoff of 45 on May 2013.
Towards the end of February 2014, a source in PCTipp.ch reported that Rapidshare sent an ultimatum to all but one employee — resign or be fired. The last employee will likely facilitate Rapidshare as it closes, answering phones, providing tech support, and managing the last accounts.
Despite increasing their prices for paid services by roughly 150% — with free users download capacity and speed severely limited, the once popular file sharing giant was forced to throw in the towel. The Rapidshare website states that the active service will cease on March 31, 2015. The site also informs customers that extensions of Standard Plus and Premium accounts will be possible until February 28 of this year. Rapidshare strongly recommends that all customers secure their data before the site closes, as after March 31 all accounts will no longer be accessible and deleted automatically. If any customers have any questions they’re advised to send them an email to support.
Like many file sharing sites in the early 2000’s, Rapidshare was often used by people sharing pirated material, and unfortunately received many legal injunctions from companies for copyright infringement. They made admirable attempts to cooperate with copyright holders, eventually implementing comprehensive anti-piracy measures. While they worked to great effect, this probably cost the company their standing as one of the most popular websites, and ultimately lead to their shutdown.
If you liked this article, wish to comment or want to remain up to date with game news and the like, follow us on Twitter.