Germany – A
German court has ordered free file-hosting site RapidShare to proactively block
uploads of copyrighted textbooks, TorrentFreak reported.
The service was sued
in February by textbook publishers including Macmillan, Elsevier, McGraw-Hill
and Pearson, and a court in Hamburg ruled earlier this month that RapidShare must
monitor uploads and ensure that 148 titles are not made available to its users.
Failure to comply with the court ruling could result in $339,000 in fines, and
jail time for executives.
"This ruling is an important step forward. Not
only does it affirm that file-sharing copyrighted content without permission is
against the law, but it attaches a hefty financial punishment to the host, in
this case Rapidshare, for noncompliance," said Tom Allen, CEO of the
Association of American Publishers.
Last year, a German court similarly ordered
Rapidshare to proactively filter media whose copyrights were controlled by
German rightsholder organization GEMA.
(DMW previous coverage)