Did You Clean Out Your Locker?: Yahoo Shuts Its Online Storage Service

Yahoo! is closing its online storage service Briefcase. According to CNET the service started about ten years ago. Now Yahoo! is telling customers that they have until March 30 to “to retrieve or delete their documents.” As some of you know, I have been writing about who owns material stored online. My piece, Property, Persona, and Preservation, argues that the creator of such material owns the work and that storage services do not. That being said, an online storage company should be able to provide a healthy amount of notice and then close its service as Yahoo! is doing here. The one thing that makes me wonder what Yahoo! is thinking is the word “delete.” Would Yahoo! claim that failure to retrieve or delete material means that Yahoo! owns the work? It might. Would the work stay around forever at Yahoo!? I doubt that. I think the best practice for Yahoo! is to encourage people to retrieve and delete their material and then state that after X date, all material will be deleted.

On a business note, Briefcase offered 30MB and Yahoo!’s statement about the closing–“usage has been significantly declining over the years, as users outgrew the need for Yahoo Briefcase and turned to offerings with much more storage and enhanced sharing capabilities,”–seems to support the move. Yet, the article also stated that Microsoft’s SkyDrive offers 25GB and the Google (yes the Google) is close to offering a similar product called GDrive regarding which the file text claims “provides reliable storage for all of your files, including photos, music and documents [and] allows you to access your files from anywhere, any time and from any device – be it from your desktop, web browser or mobile phone.” So why hasn’t Yahoo! offered a free upgrade? Is the Briefcase brand that weak (or non-existent)?

Put differently, if cloud computing, or as I call it, technologically mediated and stored creation persists as the way we create, why is Yahoo! moving away from this area? In addition, regardless of Yahoo!’s change, Microsoft and Google are pushing for this approach. That is part of why I wrote Property, Persona, and Preservation. A huge amount of our work continues to be outside our control. There are some great benefits to that change, but some serious problems with it too. The paper tries to look at how these changes affect access to knowledge and how we understand ownership of creations. If we don’t pay attention, we may find we lost our work because we forgot to clean out our locker or that someone cleaned it out for us.

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2 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    FilesAnywhere.com has been the one to beat – since 1999. FA is perfect for storing, editing, and sharing files anywhere. For all user types from home users to professionals, small teams and large groups. Unlike Yahoo Briefcase, FA has been getting bigger and better every year.

    FA operates at 100% uptime. Here is a cloud storage service that has been reliable, stable and fast, for nearly a decade, probably longer than any other web-based file service out there.

    FA also has more online file features than any other site. Web file access, scheduled backup, folder sync for Windows and Mac, Windows Server backup, IPhone/mobile access, MS Outlook integration, Facebook, etc.

    Here’s a feature checklist from Filesanywhere.com:

    • Access Files Anywhere, Directly Edit Files Online

    • Share Files, Folders, Photos, Streaming Video/MP3

    • Share files of Unlimited Size directly from Outlook

    • Map Network Drive with WebFolder (WebDAV)

    • Automatic Backup and Local/Remote Folder Sync

    • Receive Files using Dropbox Links

    • View All Kinds of Documents and Pictures Online

    • Stream AVI, MOV, MPG, MP4 and other Videos

    • Supports Windows, Mac, IPhone, Mobile Phones

    • High-Performance Windows Service Backup

    • Search by File Content, Define Custom MetaData

    • SSL, Secure FTP, HTTPS WebDAV, Blowfish

    • Add SubAccounts to Create Workgroups/Teams

    • Version History with Checkin-Checkout

    • Email Notifications with Shared Folder Actions

    • Private Sites with Branding for Businesses

    You can setup (and keep) a free account on FA and start using cloud storage right now:

    https://secure.filesanywhere.com/UserNew.asp?FREEACCT=Y

    Enjoy

    -Tim

  2. Tim says:

    YAHOO BRIEFCASE USERS:

    FilesAnywhere.com has been the online file storage leader since 1999. FA is perfect for storing, editing and sharing files, operating at 100% uptime. Reliable, stable and fast, for nearly a decade. 10 years of improvement and hardened performance.

    FA has more features than all the others:

    • Access, Directly Edit Files Online

    • Share Files, Folders, Photos, Video/MP3

    • Share files of Unlimited Size directly from Outlook

    • WebDAV Network Drive Mapping

    • Automatic Backup and Folder Sync

    • Receive Files using Dropbox Links

    • View All Kinds of Documents and Pictures Online

    • Stream Videos and Music Online

    • Supports Windows, Mac, IPhone, Mobile

    • Search Content, Define Custom MetaData

    • SSL, Secure FTP, HTTPS WebDAV, Blowfish

    • Add SubAccounts to Create Workgroups/Teams

    • Version History with Checkin-Checkout

    • Email Notifications, Shared Folder Actions

    • Private Sites for Businesses

    Free account signup:

    https://secure.filesanywhere.com

    Enjoy

    Tim