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Arash (the CTO) asked me to, in a really civil way. So I decided to respect his wish and take down the repository.

Myself, I really regarded dropship as a nice feature. As Dropbox had implemented the great idea of putting all humanity's data in one big hash-addressable vat, sharing is a logical extension. If you would cache the popular blocks locally (dropbox already does this in a way with LAN P2P), global data distribution would be pretty much a solved problem.

Obviously, this affects legal and illegal files in the same way. It's really a shame that people are still so obsessed with the illegal applications, that they become blinded to how useful this is for legal ones.

Did he give any rationale for his request?


Yes, as I kind of hinted at in my post, the main reason is that they don't want the stigma that is associated with file sharing.

Even though there is a lot of (social) legal sharing going on between users, the focus is always on illegal sharing. He has a point there, though I think it's a pity.

IMO it's not even that suited to piracy, as the deduplication means that they can find everyone that has a file! Torrents are way better for that.

The principles of dropship could be used for sharing photos, videos, public datasets, git-like source control, or even as building block for wiki-like distributed databases. The possibilities are endless when every file can be called up with just its hash.


There is a way around this. Charge the person sharing the file a certain amount of money after a certain bandwidth (rather than the person downloading the file). This would virtually prevent large scale piracy without preventing many other usages.


I've been sending TV shows to friends privately since I started using dropbox. Never seen a takedown. As long as they don't get a dmca, I doubt they care.

If they did how hard would it be to pad media files with some salt to break hashing anyways? Not hard at all...


I've been doing the same, but on a very small scale. Mostly sending a funny episode of some show to a group of friends or occasionally sending a movie to my folks. I don't doubt that if I was mass distributing these files it would attract attention.

Also, wouldn't breaking the hash nullify one of the ostensible advantages of this method (the de-dupe of the stored files)? If the goal is solving global file distribution, making each copy of every originally-identical file unique - and therefore requiring n times the storage - isn't a viable solution.


I think that's a very poor business choice by Arash. Third party developers need freedom.


They don't want their brand associated with piracy. According to the developer, they have resolved the issue in a civil way. I don't see a problem here.


Think of all the bandwidth charges Dropbox would be incurring if this took off. They'd have to make the service more expensive for everyone.


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