Los Angeles – A federal court
in California
ruled this week that file-hosting service RapidShare is not violating the
copyrights of an adult entertainment purveyor. The company was sued last year by
Perfect 10, which said that Germany-based RapidShare violated its copyrights
when it allowed users to upload its copyrighted adult images to RapidShare,
where they could then be downloaded by third parties.

Ars Technica notes that
U.S. District Judge Marilyn L. Huff said in her ruling that Perfect 10 failed
to show sufficient evidence of either direct copyright infringement or

"The view that RapidShare does not promote any infringements
of copyright, unlike other file-hosts, appears to be gradually catching
on," RapidShare founder Christian Schmid said in a statement.

"It is
a milestone for us that this is also happening in the US. We are
happy that the court in California
has not bought into the odd line of argument put forward by Perfect 10 and we
look forward to increasingly emphasise the major difference between RapidShare
and illegal share-hosts."

A German court ruled earlier this month that,
since RapidShare does not provide a search index or listing of files available
on its site, it cannot be held liable for copyright infringement.


Related Links:

(Ars Technica)


  1. The case filings In Perfect 10 v Rapidshare are public government records and can be obtained through Pacer. The case number and file docket for the denial of the temporary injunction are as follows:Case 3:09-cv-02596-H -WMC Document 71 Filed 05/18/10. I will not upload the entire case here, as Justia and others will have it posted shortly, but I will say, this is definitely not a slam dunk victory to make illegal file hosting legal. While, they found that as to the evidence on the record that Rapidshare was not committing direct infringement, the court also noted that on the record, there was evidence of indirect (third party) infringement going on. The court, however, was not going to go to a finding of “Contributory” infringement because Perfect 10 had not “yet” met its burden to show that Rapidshare knew or should have known “where” the infringing files were on its servers. Perfect 10 gave Rapidshare enough information to know the files were there, just not “where” they were. That situation is likely to change later in this case if Rapidshare doesn’t do more to prevent illegal file uploads.

    On page 7 of the opinion, it clearly stated: “Direct infringement by third parties is occurring. Defendants do not dispute Plaintiff’s ownership of at least some of the copyrighted works at issue in Plaintiff’s motion. (Doc. No. 26 at 19.) Additionally, Plaintiff has demonstrated that its copyrighted images were uploaded onto RapidShare’s servers and are available for download. (Zada Decl. ¶¶ 6-7.) RapidShare users who uploaded Plaintiff’s copyrighted images to the server violated Plaintiff’s distribution rights and any RapidShare users who may have download files containing Plaintiff’s copyrighted images violated Plaintiff’s reproduction rights. See Napster, 239 F.3d at 1014.”

    So, what you have here is a clear indication by the District court that 3rd party infringement is happening with the file sharing giant. The court is also giving a clear indication, however, that it doesn’t just jump to conclusions that are not presented by the evidence.

    New media,a broad term used to encompass digital use of traditional media such as film, images, music, spoken and written word, with the computer, will find its place in this fast paced technology, computer-enabled consumer world. My prediction is that companies like the DECE (Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem) consortium and Disney-Apple Keychest “Digital Rights Storage Locker” technology will soon win the day. But they had better get this figured out soon or the courts will at some point have to figure it out for them by giving companies like rapidshare the green light to go ahead with their illegal downloading sytems.