RapidShare needs to check every file for copyright infringement

By EDRi · October 8, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

A Hamburg court in Germany has ruled that the free file-hosting service
RapidShare.de is not doing enough to combat piracy, so they should check
content for copyright infringement before it is made available on the
Internet .

The decision was given in the legal conflict between RapidShare and GEMA, a
German copyright collective organisation, that has been going fro some
years. RapidShare already has a system in place to check against the
uploading of already deleted material. The system is based on a MD5 Hash
filter, but it was not considered enough by the court because any file can
be changed with just a few bytes in order to bypass the filter.

Not even the fact that the company has six employees working full time to
remove infringing content was enough for the court that claimed that
RapidShare has to “pro actively check content before publishing it” if there
had been similar infringements in the past. They also have the obligation
to log the IP addresses of alleged infringers.

The judge also ruled that Rapidshare cannot argue that it is impossible to
stay in business if it would have to check every single file: “A business
model that doesn’t use common methods of prevention cannot claim the
protection of the law.”

The decision will be impossible to implement in the case of the password
protected archives that can’t be checked for copyright infringement. Also,
the case could have limited effects to the Internet free file-hosting, since
RapidShare has its main office in Switzerland and there are other
free-hosting services available in almost every corner of the world.

Hamburg decision on RapidShare.de (only in German, 2.07.2008)

Court: Rapidshare has to check all uploads for copyright infringement

Rapidshare Loses in Court – Must Proactively Remove Copyrighted Content

EDRi-gram: RapidShare sues German rights holder association (9.05.2007)