No safe harbor for RapidShare in copyright infringement case
File-sharing service RapidShare has been dealt a blow by a German court and faces severe penalties if it fails to take appropriate measures against the uploading of copyrighted content by its users. The DÃƒÂ¼sseldorf Regional Court ruled against RapidShare last week in a case brought on by the German version of the RIAA, GEMA. GEMA hailed the decision as a huge victory, and concluded that RapidShare could face shutdown if it’s unable to comply.
RapidShare has long argued that it can’t be held responsible for what its users upload to the site. But the court disagreed, saying that the site must take responsibility for copyright infringement, even when the material in question was uploaded by its members. “This decision marks a milestone in the fight against illegal usage of our repertoire,” said GEMA CEO Dr. Harald Heker in a statement. “It sends out a clear signal that any services, which derive financial benefit from unlawful uses of our works, will have to take extensive measures to protect the rights owners and cannot simply evade liability by referring to the action of individual users. With this landmark decision, the way has been paved for instituting proceedings against other similar services.”
Full story: arstechnica.com