When Dropbox announced its “get link” file-sharing feature a couple of months back, a number of tech news outlets, including this one, were quick to report on it. Some of these reports, though, focused more on how the feature could make Dropbox popular among Internet pirates. The cloud storage service responded by saying it employs “a number of measures to ensure that our sharing feature is not misused.” If anyone still had any doubts over its intentions, the company laid them to rest on Monday when it blocked (read: killed) Boxopus, a service for downloading torrent files directly to Dropbox, from accessing its API owing to piracy concerns.
While this decision underlines its firm resolve against copyright infringement, the ban on Boxopus has surprised many, including Boxopus founder Alex, as initially Dropbox seemed to have no problem with it.“Once the alpha version was approved we were pretty sure that Dropbox was okay with it, so we put our efforts into optimizing the service. It took us 3 months to finish the product with a team of 5 people, which was a $30,000 USD investment,” Boxopus founder Alex told TorrentFreak.
This is what the Dropbox team told Boxopus about its decision to ban the nascent service from accessing its API: “It’s come to our attention that latest Boxopus features could be perceived as encouraging users to violate copyright using Dropbox… We recommend removing Dropbox integration from Boxopus.”
Boxopus founder maintains that the app fully complied with DMCA and Dropbox’s own Terms of Service. However, he isn’t ready to give up yet and is currently holding talks with other cloud storage services in the hope of replacing Dropbox.
What do you think of Dropbox allowing the app at first, only for the permission to be revoked a few months later?