Dropbox removes public folder sharing for new users
Reading about this got me a flashback. About one month ago I wrote about how file sharing could move to these cloud based data storage. Of course, people have shared files through them all the time, but considering that ISPs are regulated to block traffic to known torrent servers, it would be possible and probable that file sharing from these cloud storage would increase.
And it seems, that perhaps it already did… or perhaps not. Just recently DropBox announced that Public folder feature will not be available for new users after July 31. Some have made a guess that this has something to do with attempts to prevent illegal file sharing. I am not totally convinced about that.
Currently, old accounts will be able to keep and use Public folder in the usual manner. Besides, DropBox just recently introduced Link-feature, where you get a link for a file in your storage, and you can send this link to anyone. Well, it is not synchronized anymore, but otherwise you can share files normally. And, this has no effect on user-to-user file sharing.
Although it is tempting to assume that DRM monsters are in the business again, my guess is that this is just normal evolution of services. Maybe this Public folder was actually used by so few that they evaluated it as an unnecessary feature while they are streamlining their applications.
This does not mean that DropBox, UbuntuOne, SkyDrive etc. would not find ways to prevent sharing of movies, music and other content under DRM. However, as long as any sharing is done within closed circle of people, files could be encrypted, thus keeping them under radar.