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Rapidshare Beats Perfect 10, for Now, in US Court

Rapidshare Beats Perfect 10, for Now, in US Court

Rules that as a file-hosting company it cannot be accused of copyright infringement. Comes on the heels of its recent victory in a German courtroom which ruled in a similar fashion.

Chalk up another win for the German-owned file-hosting site Rapidshare, this time in a US courtroom. For the District Court of the Southern District of California threw out an application for a temporary injunction against the site that was submitted by the adult entertainment company, Perfect 10.

“Yet another company has failed in its attempt to discredit and have the business model of the leading global one-click-filehost, RapidShare AG, declared illegal, the company says in a press release.”

Perfect 10 had argued that for a monthly fee RapidShare was basically offering offers its customers access to any copyright protected work they wanted, which in turn represents “unfair competition” for “honest providers” such as Perfect 10, as the latter are unable to compete with a service of this nature.

Perfect 10 had hoped to somehow prevent its pictures from being distributed via RapidShare, a fruitless endeavor that harkens back to its ill-fated fight against Google back in 2008. It had tried to to prevent the search engine giant from indexing its copyrighted photos posted on unauthorized websites, then making and delivering thumbnail images of those photos in its search results.

In this case the court ruled that as a file-hosting company, RapidShare cannot be accused of copyright infringement, only its users can. It also took Perfect 10 to task for failing to name a single location where its copyright protected content could be found on the site.

“The view that RapidShare does not promote any infringements of copyright, unlike other file-hosts, appears to be gradually catching on,” said Christian Schmid, founder of RapidShare. “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 emphasize the major difference between RapidShare and illegal share-hosts’.”

Just a few weeks ago, Rapidshare won a similar case in a long-running appeal of an earlier court decision in a German courtroom. The plaintiffs had demanded that it proactively remove copyrighted material and also prevent users from uploading it as well. However, the judge ruled that links to copyrighted files are not made public, and it’s the user themselves who make the conscious decision to make them available to others in violation of copyright law. Hence, Rapidshare does not distribute copyrighted material, its users do.

The US judge seemed to agree.

“In passing this decision, the Californian Court has accepted the same line of argument, which underpinned the recent landmark decision of the Higher Regional Court in Dusseldorf in the appeal against Capelight Pictures’,” said RapidShare’s attorney, Daniel Raimer.

So it would seems much to the dismay of copyright holders Rapidshare will be sticking around for a while.

Stay tuned.

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Jared Moya
I've been interested in P2P since the early, high-flying days of Napster and KaZaA. I believe that analog copyright laws are ill-suited to the digital age, and that art and culture shouldn't be subject to the whims of international entertainment industry conglomerates. Twitter | Google Plus


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