RapidShare publishes responsible practices paper
As the German courts sided mainly with collecting society GEMA in its long-running legal dispute with YouTube on Friday, and with MegaUpload facing those criminal charges within the US, European file-transfer giant RapidShare published a paper last week calling on cloud storage companies to head “above and beyond” to assist copyright owners ensure their digital lockers are usually not used to assist infringement.
While the yankee content industries got all hot and bothered about MegaUpload, in Europe it was more often RapidShare being criticised by the content industries as they became concerned that the expansion of file-transfer and cloud-storage services was providing a brand new digital framework for online-copyright infringement that the music and picture industries’ piracy-trackers weren’t equipped to observe.
In the principle RapidShare has used the usual defences as most of its competitors in such disputes (“we can not be answerable for our customers’ actions”), albeit with some success – it’s probably won as many copyright actions as it’s lost. But with the sensation that 2012 is the year of the copyright clamp down, with the Mega raids, the overall Pirate Bay ruling in Sweden and the mounting legal challenge faced by Grooveshark (and despite the SOPA debacle within the US), Rapidshare seems keen to be seen because the cloud storage installed that does not just piss on copyright law.
In its ‘Responsible Practices For Cloud Storage Services’ document, RapidShare calls on its industry to move beyond the obligations set down in US copyright law (ie the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which offers tech companies more protection than in most other jurisdictions), including monitoring for repeat copyright infringers on their networks and taking action, and ensuring any bonuses offered to uploaders who generate a number of download traffic have done so without infringing any third party’s rights.
Which is all lovely. Though some rights owners remain cautious of RapidShare’s intent, while others were openly critical, either accusing the file-transfer company of paying only lip service to copyright issues, or of explicitly unlikely far enough to tackle problems. The genuine issue remains that RapidShare – like MegaUpload – enables users to make their uploaded content accessible to the entire world, instead of just named friends and associates, which makes the tech firm’s servers a destination point for those on the lookout for free music and film files.
The Recording Industry Association Of America responded thus: “Unfortunately the hot measures announced fall wanting the goal to meaningfully and effectively reduce the large amount of copyright theft occurring on its service”.
Also from CMU…
RapidShare case to visit German Supreme Court
MegaUpload may now be the foremost famous of the file-transfer sites that certain content owners believe to be evil, but let’s not forget Swiss firm RapidShare, which was fighting…
RapidShare wins appeal in Atari copyright case
Online file distribution service RapidShare has won another copyright case within the German courts during which it was accused of doing too little to prevent its file-sharing network from being…
Appeal court says no to RapidShare copyright filters
So, here is interesting. An appeal court in Germany has overturned a prior ruling which said that file-transfer platform RapidShare may well be held responsible for copyright infringement if it didn’t…