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.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: copyright, germany, liability, storage locker
Companies: rapidshare

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    DarkValkyrie, 5 May 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.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.