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.

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


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 May 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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