by Mike Masnick
Wed, Jun 24th 2009 4:00pm
Last year, the German music collection society GEMA sued Rapidshare claiming that the company had to filter out any infringing content. Of course, this makes little to no practical sense. Rapidshare is a platform that users use to share content. Rapidshare itself has no way of knowing whether the content is infringing or not, and any liability should be on the users, not the platform. But... courts don't always understand such things, and so a German court has now ruled that Rapidshare must stop certain songs from being distributed. GEMA, of course, is thrilled, noting that this means the copyright holders are "no longer required to perform the ongoing and complex checks." But, it means that Rapidshare not only has to perform ongoing and complex checks, it has to do so without having any information on what's legit or not. What if musicians want to share their music that way? What if the use is fair use? RapidShare appears ready to appeal, noting that appeals courts on these issues have been much more reasonable, so they're hopeful that the decision is reversed or greatly limited.
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