I've been an Astraweb subscriber for nearly a decade, but I just now starting to notice this. Unfortunately this will become more and more prevalent, and I have no idea why media companies has ignored Usenet copyright issue for this long. Astraweb seems to be responding to DMCA take-down notices pretty quick (UFC stuffs won't last a day) and if (when) other media conglomerates start piling on the take-down notices, there won't be a reason to subscribe.
Yea, yea...Usenet can be use for legal means, but who are we kidding? The vast majority of people subscribing to Usenet are for downloading copyright materials. We can rationalize it any way we want ("why can't I download TV shows that I can watch free over the air anyway...blah...blah"), but the fact of the matter is it's still illegal...in America anyway.
For me personally, this will likely be my last month with Astraweb. I don't blame for taking down stuffs because, as others has already mentioned, they have to if they want to stay in business. However, the reasons I subscribe to Usenet service are convenient and speed. Stuffs get posted pretty fast after release, but I don't want to have to get right away or missed it forever. That reminded me too much of the old days of Usenet when retention was very limited - if you don't get it quick, you don't get it at at. Speaking of retention, what's the point of years of it, if it can be DMCA'd away?
I'll missed the reliable download speed of Usenet, but I've been using torrent lately, and it's not that bad and it'll only get better as global upload speed improves. Plus, it's free.
TL;DR: Only UFC and games be maybe getting DMCA'd so far, but eventually it'll spread to other materials. Image link not allowed for unregistered users