Despite rights holders already celebrating a legal victory against RapidShare, the full details of the court ruling has revealed some important victories for RapidShare too
With rights holders involved in a lawsuit against RapidShare already crowing about their victory against RapidShare, it then came as a surprise when the court validated RapidShare's business model as legal, with conditions.
Music rights group GEMA and book publishers De Gruyter and Campus sued RapidShare for copyright infringement, and both parties celebrated a victory against RapidShare when the Higher Regional Court of Hamburg confirmed three earlier rulings of a lower court that indicated RapidShare has not done enough to prevent piracy on its networks.
But with the written reasons for the ruling not being released yet, the important details of the decisions were not yet known, and RapidShare chided their opponents for celebrating too early. And it seems RapidShare was right, or at least partially.
With the full details of the ruling now made available, it appears RapidShare had recorded some victories of its own, since the High Court has now "explicitly recognised that RapidShare’s business model is legal", according to a RapidShare press release.
While the High Court did rule that RapidShare needed to do more to prevent pirated uploads, it did not order RapidShare to proactively monitor all file uploads, a decision that would have ran counter to a recent decision by the European Court of Justice that ruled such monitoring was an invasion of privacy.
What it did order is for RapidShare to actively scan web forums and popular websites for links to infringing content store on RapidShare's servers, and remove these files promptly.
However, RapidShare says their most recent anti-piracy policies already comply with the court's order, and they already monitor external websites for infringing content. "That is exactly what RapidShare has already been doing for many years. If the Anti-Abuse 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."
Despite this, RapidShare is still planning to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court. The company says the legal basis for such a decision is "questionable", even if RapidShare is more than willing to implement and continuing operating the required anti-piracy policies on its own accord.