German Court Now Rules That RapidShare Is Not Liable For Infringement By Users

from the reason-amongst-the-insanity? dept

RapidShare, the digital file locker service, has come under fire a lot lately by the entertainment industry as the latest in a long line of online services that are used for unauthorized file sharing. There have been a bunch of lawsuits in Germany over the site, and a series of rulings against the company, including orders that it proactively monitor content being hosted on the site, that it magically know which songs are infringing and which are authorized, and that it block the upload of certain files or have its staff face jailtime.

However, it seems that in at least one of these cases, the appeals court has come to its sense and realized that RapidShare is not liable for the content that its users store via the service. The court noted that RapidShare was acting well within the law, and that the measures demanded by various copyright holders (and ordered by some previous court rulings) made little sense:
Filtering based on keywords is not effective since that would result in many false positives, the Court noted. Likewise, manually reviewing uploaded content is not deemed feasible because RapidShare does not have the manpower to do this.

Another suggestion, banning file formats such as RARs, was also tossed out since this file type says little about whether a file is copyrighted or not. RAR is simply a format used to compress data, regardless of the copyrighted status of the files, the court explained.
It's not clear whether or not this will actually have much impact on some of those other lawsuits, but it's still nice to see at least one sensible ruling.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2010 @ 8:02pm

    "RAR is simply a format used to compress data, regardless of the copyrighted status of the files, the court explained. "

    Amazing, a court actually knowing enough about tech to know more than just how to turn on a computer. This is great.

     

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      Hephaestus (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 6:38am

      Re:

      "Amazing, a court actually knowing enough about tech to know more than just how to turn on a computer. This is great."

      German court ... nuff said

       

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        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 7:57am

        Re: Re:

        What do you mean, Germany's laws are in many ways worse than the U.S.

        They only recently removed the music tax against anyone who made their own CC music and gave it away for free on the Internet (at least according to a blog commenter on Techdirt who claims to be from Germany), the music tax going to one of those collection societies.

         

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    barney rumble, May 5th, 2010 @ 12:20am

    you use rars?

    well for myself i use other stuff that can compress and has better security for the files.

    some custom apps of course....and no i don't feel like sharing no more. :P

     

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      chris (profile), May 5th, 2010 @ 1:32pm

      Re: you use rars?

      well for myself i use other stuff that can compress and has better security for the files.

      it's a scene thing, not a technology thing. the warez scene has used rars for so long that that's what everyone expects.

       

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      identicon
      bob, May 6th, 2010 @ 7:23am

      Re: you use rars?

      Nener nener nener I am so much better than you because I use a secret file compression utility, nener, nener nener.

       

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 8:29am

    a MUSIC TAX on CC Music

    holy crap please tell me you're kidding!

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 5th, 2010 @ 10:51am

    Sky still blue...News at 11

    Another tech company thinks it deserves all of the benefits and none of the responsibility?

    What a surprise.

    Rapidshare would fold up faster than a hospital bed if it could no longer make millions of dollars facilitating piracy.

     

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    identicon
    DarkValkyrie, May 5th, 2010 @ 2:16pm

    Never been impressed with Rapidshare

    When I did use them to get and upload batches of pictures, their servers stopped and resumed my uploads and downloads constantly. But, it is encouraging to see a court somewhere in the world is really looking deeply at the core issues and responsibilites behind the act of infringement.

     

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