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Thursday, June 7, 2012

RapidShare Will Continue Legal Fight in Germany

Despite the file-sharing giant’s efforts to prove its willingness to fight piracy, RapidShare is still having a hard time staying out of trouble, with the music rights association GEMA accusing the service of copyright violation.

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GEMA, a music rights outfit, just like BREIN, has been fighting with the file-sharing service on grounds of mass copyright violation. The association claims that RapidShare accounts for more than 160,000,000 stored files, 500,000 new daily uploads, and over 42,000,000 visitors per day, which makes it is one of the largest file-hosting services throughout the globe. RapidShare is accused of allowing its users to illegally acquire data on a large scale, which results in loss to copyright owners.

Despite the fact that RapidShare’s business model was initially declared against the law by a German court, this decision was further overturned by a higher regional court in Hamburg. The file-sharing network was bound to track 3rd party online services and remove any infringing links. This is, by the way, is what the DMCA says. At the time, both parties were pleased with the ruling. The copyright outfit pointed out that the measures enforced by RapidShare had been determined to be insufficient. It was especially insufficient that the service only deleted the infringing data after notification by the rights owners. Actually, the cyberlocker was obligated to implement additional measures to discourage repeated copyright violation.

In response, RapidShare claimed that it had already implemented all the necessary measures to track 3rd party sites. That’s why the cyberlocker has decided to take the battle to Germany’s highest court – it hoped to prevent the local legislation from being passed, which would have made the tracking mandatory.

In the interview to the press, RapidShare explained that its anti-abuse team has been working hard on identifying unauthorized content, which is then immediately removed from their servers. The company is now taking the case to the highest court, because it believes that being obliged to carry out such actions is at least questionable from a legal perspective. This is a sound reason to appeal the ruling and clarify the issue of proactive tracking of third party sites at the highest judicial level.

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