RapidShare: It Ain't The Hosting, It's The Linking
from the quick,-look-over-there! dept
The latest thing, though, seems particularly silly. At a conference, the company's Chief Legal Officer, Daniel Raimer, appears to be throwing links sites under the bus by claiming that they're the real problem, and storage sites shouldn't be lumped in with linking sites.
The thing is, both kinds of sites have both legal and illegal purposes, and it's silly and counterproductive for one kind to blame the other kind. Storage sites have perfectly reasonable uses, and RapidShare has been bending over backwards to be a good player in that space. But a user-generated site that includes links to content also can have perfectly legitimate and legal uses, and it seems particularly silly to assume otherwise. From a legal standpoint, both kinds of sites should have reasonable protections against infringement (though that doesn't always appear to be true once things get to court). But, even then, storage sites probably even have less of a reasonable claim under copyright law, because actual copies (reproduction rights) and distribution could potentially be attributed to them (though, clearly, they have reasonable claims of safe harbors). With links sites, they neither store nor transmit the content, and it's difficult to see how they infringe on any of the key rights associated with copyright, even outside of the basic safe harbors.