Dusseldorf, Germany – An appeals court in Germany has
ruled that file-hosting service RapidShare cannot be expected to filter the
uploading of copyrighted content by users without restricting "fair
use" laws, NewTeeVee reported.

Several previous lower court rulings had
found the opposite, and ordered the company to proactively block certain
content uploads.

In February, a German court ordered the site to proactively
block the upload of copyrighted textbooks, while in June another German court
ordered the site to proactively block uploads of some 5,000 songs.

The German
appeals court found that "most people utilize RapidShare for legal use
cases," and noted the company does not publish an index or provide a
search function on its service, relying instead on users to choose whether or
not to publicize the URL where they have uploaded content.

German law also
allows copying of media for back-up — as well as sharing between close
acquaintances — meaning a filter placed on RapidShare uploads would prevent
this local "fair use" right.


Related Links:
(German court ruling)
(DMW previous coverage)
(DMW previous coverage)