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Open Source Downloads An Endangered Species

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With news this week that GitHub is banning storage of any file over 100Mb and discouraging files larger than 50Mb, their retreat from offering download services is complete. It's not a surprising trend; dealing with downloads is unrewarding and costly. Not only is there a big risk of bad actors using download services to conceal malware downloads for their badware activities, but additionally anyone offering downloads is duty-bound to police them at the behest of the music and movie industries or be treated as a target of their paranoid attacks. Policing for both of these -- for malware and for DMCA violations -- is a costly exercise. (Image credit:

As a consequence we've seen a steady retreat from offering downloads, even by those claiming to serve the open source community. First GitHub bowed out of offering the service, claiming that it was "confusing" for the clients.

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