German court orders RapidShare to proactively monitor user uploads

By on March 19, 2012, 4:00 PM

In the wake of recent crackdowns regarding file hosting websites, the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg has ordered RapidShare to proactively monitor user uploads in an attempt to weed out copyrighted content. It’s highly unlikely that the company would be able to do so without the assistance of a software-based solution, as noted by The Verge.

The cases were brought about by music rights group GEMA and book publishers De Gruyter and Campus, says TorrentFreak. The ruling backed up judgments sustained in three lower courts with claims that RapidShare hasn’t done enough to prevent pirated material from being uploaded to their site. RapidShare executives would disagree with that statement, as the company recently implemented a 30Kbps download speed limit for free users 

The verdict is said to contradict an earlier ruling by the highest European court which said cyberlockers can’t proactively filter content as it would be an invasion of privacy for the users involved and effectively hinder the freedom of information.

This brings up a valid point and is one of the reasons I elect not to store any sensitive data off-site. I fully understand their reasoning behind the screening but in the same respect I’m not thrilled with the idea of having strangers viewing everything I upload. After all, who’s to say a disgruntled employee couldn’t cherry pick content from the hundreds of thousands of accounts at his / her disposal?

RapidShare told TorrentFreak that they are unsure if they will appeal the decision.

User Comments: 6

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Guest said:

"as the company recently implemented a 30Kbps download speed limit for free users"

Isn't that just to encourage free users to purchase premium accounts? Btw I have a premium account with Rapidshare and it blows balls compared to MegaUpload. I have a 60mb connection, with MegaUpload I received my max download speed at just 8000KB/s. With RapidShare I receive between 10% and 25% of my maximum download speed which sucks ****.

ikesmasher said:

The internet is going to hell very, very, quickly. anyone else noticed?

not to hell, but you get what im saying.

Guest said:

Don't worry...when one group of dinosaurs died out, the next bigger, badder group rose up. Same goes with bacteria...same goes with technology. When one system gets killed, many more (stronger systems) will rise.

The internet was designed to withstand a nuclear attack on any of it's nodes and be able to continue without interruption, and for this reason alone, sharing technology cannot be stopped. If you can see it, it can be copied. If you can hear it, it can be copied. If you're connected on the internet, it can be shared.

Guest said:

"If you're connected on the internet, it can be shared."

As long as the internet continues to exist (in its current form)...


Aw. I was just starting to like rapidshare. I remember back when they used to make you wait for the downloads :/

TJGeezer said:

Guest said:

"If you're connected on the internet, it can be shared."

As long as the internet continues to exist (in its current form)...

That's pretty well decided already. The U.S., Asian and European power players and the rich people who loosely control them want this horrible expression of independent communication between people clamped down on. They're serious about it, which is why I figure - enjoy the freedom while you can because it won't last.

"In its current form" - that's the key. The "bigger dinosaur" (as someone put it) will be a way to interconnect people without going through choke points. The Tor network seems a good start at decentralized information sharing. I wonder if a similar network of anonymizing proxy servers could be set up, or would be useful in eliminating or obstructing central control over the flow. Because that's what is needed to make the "current form" harder to choke off for political reasons, which usually \translate to "in the service of greed."

You can bet there are some very good minds already working on this problem. Meanwhile, if RapidShare's quite reasonable arguments prevail, it's another start - this one against the dominant form of greed-servicing lawfare that the copyright trolls, among others, are sucking money from. Here's hoping.

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