Another day, another awful legal ruling about file sharing. This time, coming out of Germany. A German court has told file hosting company Rapid Share that it needs to proactively screen and monitor all content hosted on its site
and remove any infringing files. The company already
uses a hash method to screen out infringing files its been alerted to and
employs six people who monitor for infringement, but the court has said that's not enough. Specifically, it notes (correctly) that an uploader need only change a file slightly to avoid the hash filter -- but then somehow makes the leap to suggesting that this becomes Rapid Share's liability. It's yet another case where judges seem to not understand where liability should lie. It should be common sense that liability lies with the user who's doing the actual infringing, rather than the platform provider -- but it seems to get mixed up way too often. Of course, in the grand scheme of things, this will have almost no impact as people will simply migrate to other sites instead.