Germany: Filtering by keywords is not an obligation for a hosting company
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Deutsch: Deutschland: Hosting-Unternehmen müssen keine Wortfilter einsetzen
The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf decided on 21 July 2010 that RapidShare, as a hosting company, is not guilty of copyright infringement.
RapidShare has faced several cases in court for copyright infringement and in December 2009 lost a case in a local German court to Capelight Pictures movie studio which accused the site of not having taken all reasonable measures to counter the illegal distribution of one of its films.
However, after RapidShare appealed the decision, the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf overturned the 2009 decision. The court ruled that the hosting company had already taken more actions against breaches of copyright on its platform than it was reasonably expected to. After Capelight Pictures had found on Rapidshare eight of its films, it requested their removal which Rapidshare did and also blocked the account of the user having posted them. It also took other measures to prevent a further violation.
The film studio claimed the hosting company could have taken further measures but the Higher Regional Court decided that filtering by key words was not an obligation of the hosting company.
The other measures invoked by Capelight Pictures were rejected as well. A manual control over all files posted on the site was considered impossible as it would impose to the hosting site an unbearable human and financial effort and, at the same time, would bring harm to the users' private life. Blocking all files with the same extension (.rar for instance) would also bring about over-blocking and furthermore, the format says nothing about the content of the file.
"The ruling is a further step in the right direction. The previously common practice of copyright holders (suing) RapidShare on the off-chance there might be something to be gained from it, misunderstanding the realities it is operating within and showing contempt for its business model, will no longer bear fruit. The newest court rulings in Germany and the USA indicate this very clearly,"stated RapidShare lawyer Daniel Raimer.
Christian Schmid, founder and CEO of RapidShare, also commented: "We are also pleased with the ruling because it is connected to a claim for compensation of costs. Copyright holders should therefore think very carefully in future about whether they wouldn't prefer to save themselves some time and above all the expense of suing RapidShare for something for which the company cannot be held liable."
This is the second decision of the kind obtained by RapidShare this year in Germany. The company also won a similar case in May 2010, in the US.
RapidShare Scores Another Win Against Movie Studio (22.07.2010)
RapidShare Wins New Procedure Against Capelight Pictures (22.07.2010) http://www.examiner.comv/p479053~RapidShare_Wins_New_Procedure_Against...
Opposing keyword filtering, RapidShare won a victory in Germany (only in
OLG Düsseldorf decides in favour of Rapidshare (only in German, 23.07.2010)