Boxopus, the new BitTorrent startup that allows downloading torrents directly into a Dropbox folder, has been banned by the Dropbox itself. Dropbox has suspended the Boxopus service on the account BitTorrent’s piracy stigma, and the fear that any alliance with BitTorrent may rub off its reputation as the successful cloud storage service provider.
Just yesterday we discussed in detail about this new startup, which sounds very interesting. As it allows users to unite Dropbox and BitTorrent to make downloads as easy as 1 click without using even a BitTorrent client, it makes really easy for people to download and access heavy torrent files. As soon as the news of Boxopus surfaced on the Internet, the service’s member count surged to over 50,000. While the service provided by Boxopus is very useful, it is suffering an identity crisis due to being associated with BitTorrent, whose piracy stigma is bothering Dropbox. Therefore, it has banned Boxopus from accessing its API.
As soon as the Boxopus’s surge reached the Dropbox people, they issued an email with following text:
“It’s come to our attention that latest Boxopus features could be perceived as encouraging users to violate copyright using Dropbox. Violating copyright is against our terms of service, so we are terminating your app’s API access. Once your access is revoked, any API calls your app makes will fail.”
And immediately after that, API access was pulled for the Boxopus service. This particularly disappointed the team that engineered this innovative service. Here’s what Boxopus found Alex said,
“This behavior makes it hard to believe that developers are treated fairly and innovation is welcomed at Dropbox. It seems like legit and pre-approved applications may be blocked simply by someone’s will although they act within the scope of company’s terms and international laws. Many people see BitTorrent as a synonym of piracy, however, a lot of interesting legal stuff can be found in BitTorrent networks and this is what Boxopus is made for.”
So, the current situation is that Boxopus is paying a price for being a BitTorrent startup. Despite the fact that it is an innovation and useful service, Boxopus is now looking for another cloud storage partner to be into business.
“This isn’t too surprising,” says SiliconANGLE‘s Kyt Dotson. “Although for two different reasons. First, the given reason is expected because DropBox needs to worry about the media industry coming down on them for potentially being a piracy harbor; but the second reason is that by and large the data on their service is static. If they became part of a torrent seeding service, it might greatly increase the traffic to and from their boxes. This would greatly increase costs.
“On the copyright front, Dropbox can certainly nip this one in the bud by cutting off Boxopus with the piracy concerns (most people will sympathize with them while railing at the MPAA/RIAA) and at the same time protect themselves from future attention from these groups for a little longer. However, it seems to me that even with moves like this, cyberlockers and cloud storage outfits are still in the gun sights of these organizations.”