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Open source downloads are an endangered species

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With recent news 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 terated as a target of their paranoid attacks. Policing for both of these—for malware and for DMCA violations—is a costly exercise.

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. More recently Google followed suit, bringing Google Code Download services to an end. They stated that "downloads have become a source of abuse, with a significant increase in incidents recently." Community reactions to this have been mixed.

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