RapidShare were previously ordered by the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg to filter all user uploads in order to prevent infringing material from hitting its servers. The ruling was a result of pressure from music conglomerate GEMA. In a reversal of fortune, the court has declared that that RapidShare operates legally in Germany, and that it does not have to filter user uploads.
There is a catch, however. The court says that RapidShare has no obligation to activity monitor user uploads for infringing material, but they do have to keep tabs on external websites that link to copyrighted material on RapidShare, and take it down as necessary.
RapidShare says it will comply with the verdict, saying its similar to the system they already have in place. Speaking about its anti-abuse system, they say that if the team “identifies a download link on such pages which results in a file that has clearly been published illegally being on the company’s servers, the file in question is immediately blocked.”
The company does say that it will appeal the verdict, though. While they have a “strong interest” in maintaining a “clean” service, they believe the ruling is “questionable from a legal perspective.” Other changes RapidShare has made to deter pirates from using its service includes severely limited download speeds for users who don’t hold a premium account.