March 19, 2012 at 1:25 PM ET
Despite RapidShare's effortsto control copyrighted material illegally shared through its site, a court inGermany ruled that the Swiss-based cyberlocker "must proactivelyfilter thousands of files uploaded by its users," TorrentFreak reports.
Good luck with that. The Higher Regional Court in Germany wants RapidShareto monitor each and every file uploaded to the site before it can be shared.That's not something that's feasible manually, and the Verge notes, "it's likely that RapidShare will have to develop a software-based solution tofilter content."
It's not the first time RapidShare has been under scrutiny. In 2010, Rapidshare wasnamed on the International Anti-Piracy Caucus’ (IAPC’s) first ever list ofthe worst notorious overseas websites.
Recently, in an effort curb illegal sharing of copywritten material – a practicethat's currently difficult to monitor on most content-sharing sites – RapidShare began limiting its free download speed in February. To avoid the speedchoke, any users who want to share their content with non-paying users cannotuse the site anonymously.
This came after music rights group GEMA andbook publishers De Gruyter and Campus took RapidShare to court inGermany, leading to a verdict celebrated by the German BooksellersAssociation.
"Internet sites can no longer avoid their responsibilities, and profit from copyright infringing uploads of anonymous users,” Alexander Skipis, chief executive of the German Booksellers Association, said in a statement.
UPDATE: "Unlike true lockerservices that are designed to allow individuals to store and access their ownfiles, RapidShare is afile-sharing platform that is a hub for distributing copyrighted music," an RIAA spokesperson told Technolog in an email. "RapidShare is a file-sharing platform that is a hub for distributing copyrighted music. In 2011 alone, we notified RapidShare of nearly 200,000 infringements of music, many of which were repeat notifications for the same recordings."
RapidShare, for its part, says the GBA is celebrating prematurely as thecourt's written verdict has yet to be released. "We consider it as unprofessionalto assess a judgment before the written reasons for the judgment areavailable," RapidShare spokesperson Daniel Raimer told TorrentFreak. "Onlythen you can determine which party can indeed celebrate a verdict as a success."