It has been a while since we wrote anything about piracy, because we never thought that it would reach to the state as it is today without any intervention. Today, you can almost be sure that many digital products can be downloaded via the few file sharing sites. Lets face it, this is a fact, there is no way to deny this.

The file sharing sites are busy removing links of pirated stuff everyday due to complaints. This includes ebooks, videos, softwares, music, pictures (that is where you find pictures for romance scams), and graphics. Anything that is sold in digital format can be downloaded at a fixed monthly subscription fee – to the file hosting company, and not the original vendor.

We were checking out for plugins that can be used for one of our web scripts. The results from Google return tonnes of “Nulled” scripts instead. Ironically, the search results of the good guys are mixed with tonnes of results from the “bad” guys who posted links on blogs, bulletin boards, etc.

Next, we turn to Alexa.com, which shows the following popularity ranking as of Jan 17, 2010:

Rapidshare.com – Rank 26, leads the pack as the world’s number one, only 3 position behind eBay.com, or 4 position behind Bing.com

Rapidshare Ranking

Then there are Mediafire in 63rd position, Megaupload in 65th position and hotfile in 95th position.

Notwithstanding the fact that these sites are also used to share non-proprietary files, we can assume that it would not have reached the popularity today if not for the pirated stuff. Anybody can basically pay about $30 – $40 for a monthly account, and start downloading digital stuff from links posted in thousands of sites. If you need evidence, just go to Google and type:

“rapidshare.com xxxxxxx” – replace xxxxxxx with the name of any digital products.

What’s more, there are talks of ways to go around the paid subscription, but we will not go into that.

On the other hand, one of the main risks of using pirated software remains – virus, malware, trojan horse, etc. We have wrote an article about “How to Prevent Hacking of your PC”, however, there is no guarantee that an anti-virus software can detect and remove virus 100%. How often have we received complaints from friends and colleagues that “My PC is down!”, “Its getting slower and slower”, “I am getting this pop-up screen everytime I…”, “My browser is behaving strange lately…”. You asked for it.

And there are also videos on Youtube educating people on how to use these sites. Some quotes “file hosting is not illegal, its what’s hosted that matters”.