– 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.


Related Links:

(DMW previous coverage)


  1. People have been password-protecting uploaded archives for many years anyway. There is no way they can prevent that. Even pictures may contain encrypted archives… The only barely efficient way they could filter that is opening and deeply inspecting all content uploaded for format compliance and unexpected additionnal data, and banning all encrypted content.

    And even then, there would still be steganography. If i was RapidShare, i would simply stop operating