Like many of the doomed sharing sites before it, the US Department of Justice has officially shut down Sharebeast, as well as AlbumJams.com, one of its sister sites. Initial reports indicate that the site contained an excess of 100,000 illegal files, the RIAA calling it the largest illegal sharing site for music based in the United States. It’s been a long time in coming for the US Department of Justice, an entity that hasn’t taken action against a file-sharing site this large since the dissolution of MegaUpload in 2012. Carey Sherman, the Chairman and CEO of the RIAA, unsurprisingly called the move “a huge win for the music community.” In an interview with Creative Intelligentsia in 2014, Sherman mentioned “takedown tools for bulk takedowns” utilized by the company. Following ShareBeast, other sites based in the United States will now be forced to evaluate their own potential legality issues or risk feeling the teeth that Sherman’s statements ended up having. Users familiar with the site’s URL will now find an official statement from the US Department of Justice sprawling across their screens.
Not only did this site and its affiliates harbor illegal files, but also had a reputation for leaking songs and albums, particularly in the pop/hip hop genre. Just this past May, a user connected with one of the offending sites leaked Kanye West’s latest album Swish. In addition, other new tracks by artists including A$AP Rocky, Drake, Lil Wayne, and Big Sean have been subject to unauthorized duplication and distribution for months on end, according to Tech Times. It was only a matter of time before the over 200,000 likes on ShareBeast’s public Facebook page garnered attention from authorities, the page itself not having posted since April 2014.