RapidShare Ordered To Prevent Users From Uploading Certain Books… Or Face Fines And Jailtime

from the misplaced-blame dept

Having already been told by a German court that it needs to magically know what songs infringe and which do not, file storage locker site RapidShare was already facing some difficult legal issues in that country. And now that company faces another problem. It’s been ordered by a German court to figure out a way to proactively block the upload of 148 titles. Of course, the company can try to do some fingerprinting, but there are always ways around things like that — and that creates a huge problem for RapidShare. Because if one of its users figures out how to upload one of these books, RapidShare takes the blame — in the form of $339,000 fine and 2 years of jailtime for execs for each instance that a forbidden work gets through. In what world does it make sense to hold the execs of a company criminally liable for something done by the users of the site?

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Companies: rapidshare

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Comments on “RapidShare Ordered To Prevent Users From Uploading Certain Books… Or Face Fines And Jailtime”

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45 Comments
Grammah Correction Specialist says:

Here’s more errorz that need fixing:

1.)”needs to magically know” is a split infinitive. Consider replacing it with “must magically know.”
2.) “its users figure” has a subject conflict with verb “figures.” Replace “its” with “their.”
3.) “in the form of” is wordy. Why not shorten it to “as”?
4.) Also, be sure to spell out numbers less than or equal to ten. You didn’t spell out “two”.

For grammah tips, tricks, help, and training, please visit mai Facebook group-
http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#/pages/Taylorsville-UT/Daily-Grammar/36339933998

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Split infinitive: normal English grammar. Failing to split it emphasizes the adjective. Splitting emphasizes the noun (or possibly nothing at all)

subject conflict: the users are doing the figuring. users is plural. company is a single entity with no gender, therefore its is correct for ownership(and is an adjective for the noun ‘users’ in this case anyway). That said, i believe ‘their’ is acceptable also, as a company is made up of many people.

‘in the form of’, ‘as’, i wish i could remember what the rule is covering this, but ‘in the form of’ is actually preferable. more worrying is the missing ‘a’ after this phrase and before the number.

generally one does spell out numbers ten or less, however measurements (such as grams, pounds, liters, etc) are often written as numerals regardless. years, not so much… that said, consistency and clarity are more important in this matter than whatever rule someone dug up out of a book somewhere. (especially considering that the most influential such book in the USA is, apparently, not only badly wrong but often contradicts it’s rules in the explaination or examples for the rule in question)

on a distinctly more on topic note: i know NZ is weird, but seriously, what is With Europe? in some ways it’s stranger to me than japan is, which is quite the achievement.

of course, the USA’s no better, so meh *shrugs*

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

What? I hope you aren’t trying to argue that the executives should be held liable for what their users do? Seriously, if you are this is a terrible analogy.

A: Hitler actively encouraged his citizens to act the way they did. The executives are not doing so. Yes, webservers, guns, cars, etc… can all be used for illegal purposes but there is a difference between selling a car and telling those who buy it to use it to crash into buildings.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: rs.de

The problem is that the limited liability is only intended to protect corporate leaders who intentionally do something wrong (ie: when Ford knowingly cut costs with their pinto knowing that it might be dangerous), it’s not designed to apply to corporations that do nothing wrong (ie: Google execs who got jailed for no good reason). The corporate veil is a scam.

We as a society value IP privileges and their enforcement more than we value human life (as long as that human life is not within the top one percent that is, in terms of wealth).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: rs.de

rapidshare.de has announced that all it’s servers will shut down as of march 1..

Which I believe is what the judge actually wanted anyway.

A game that judges sometimes play is to give a you a choice between two alternative actions:
1. Something that would be impossible for you to do.
2. Whatever it is that the judge actually wants you to do.
Then, when you of course choose action number two, the judge can (rather dishonestly) claim “I didn’t make them do that, it was their own choice!”

In this case the judge obviously wanted RapidShare shut down and he’s getting what he wanted.

Anonymous Coward says:

The true reason behind these cruel and unusual punishments to entities that do nothing wrong is to make the Internet look like everything outside the Internet, to stop people from sharing books released under a CC license. This is a another example of how copyright only hinders the progress. Because of copyright companies are afraid to allow people to freely host CC books in fear of facing ridiculous punishments for doing absolutely nothing wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Now if only Google could afford to cease operations in Italy, we’d see if these sorts of responses could wake the judiciary up.”

if google or other high profile companies were to do such a thing it could massivley backfire by making it look like they’re running away from justice/above he law. its better to stay and fight and if you loose find a moraly corupt politician to change some laws for you.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Law

> it could massivley backfire by making it look like they’re running
> away from justice/above he law

Not sure how that would work. It’s just Google saying, “Hey, if that’s what you want from us, if that’s what your law requires, then we can’t do business with you.” Happens all the time in industries around the world.

You’re saying that if I own a company, I *have* to do business in Italy or I’ll appear to be above the law? Nonsense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

its better to stay and fight and if you loose find a moraly corupt politician to change some laws for you.

Read the story above: Rapid share did stay and fight (they went to court). And they lost.

As to buying politicians, I don’t know about Germany, but in the US they tend to go to the highest bidder. Do you think RapidShare could outbid the copyright industry? Really?

Flakey says:

Leave the country

If I were head of Goggle or RS, the first thing would be leave the country, the second to block the IP block of the country in its entirety.

It’s all great and good to say stay and fight. If you were the head of either would you, facing jail time and fine?

We all know blocking a country’s IP range isn’t going to prevent people in those areas from accessing.

It would have the effect of having the people ask, “WTF”, from their governments.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Leave the country

> It’s all great and good to say stay and fight. If you were the head
> of either would you, facing jail time and fine?

They’re not really facing prison. So long as the Google execs stay out of Italy, they’ll be just fine. There’s no way the U.S. is going to start extraditing it’s top-level business executives over nonsense like this.

Brian (profile) says:

Behind the scenes

I mean I have a feeling there are palms being greased behind the scenes and this is all just a way to try and force the website to shut down completely. There is no possible way they can figure out an fool proof plan to begin with aside shutting down completely or having some multimillion dollar operation in which all files are uploaded, individually reviewed, and approved.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Just as many millions are the car dealerships make facilitating bank robberies, road maintainers make facilitating hit’n’runs, phone companies make facilitating fraud, email providers facilitating scams, gun dealers make facilitating murder, pharmacies make facilitating suicide and overdose, and the copyright industry makes facilitating stupidity like yours.

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