Cham, Switzerland – A court in Germany has overturned a
lower court’s order that free file-hosting service Rapidshare must install a
keyword filter to block the sharing of copyrighted media. The lower court
issued a preliminary injunction against Rapidshare last year, after film
distributor Capelight Pictures sued the site when copies of its
"Insomnia" and "Inside a Skinhead" movies were made
available for download from the service.

The lower court ordered Rapidshare to
filter words such as "insomnia" and "skinhead," but in
April the court ruled against such a filter because of the potential for possible
wrong hits.

The Higher Regional Court of Dusseldorf has now additionally ruled
out a more advanced filter that used full film titles — noting that this could
wrongfully remove users’ private copies of the films, which are permitted under
German law.

The court also said Rapidshare is not obligated to pursue those who
distribute links to unauthorized files hosted on it service.

"The ruling
is a further step in the right direction," said Daniel Raimer, attorney
for Rapidshare.

"The previously common practice of copyright holders to
sue RapidShare on the off-chance there might be something to be gained from it,
misunderstanding the realities it is operating within and showing contempt for
its business model, will no longer bear fruit.

"The newest court rulings in
Germany and the USA indicate this very clearly."


Related Links:
(Ars Technica)