Digital Legal MegaUpload Timeline

RapidShare case to go to German Supreme Court

By | Published on Thursday 29 March 2012


MegaUpload may now be the most famous of the file-transfer sites that certain content owners believe to be evil, but let’s not forget Swiss firm RapidShare, which has been fighting copyright infringement lawsuits from various corners for some time now, especially in Germany.

As previously reported, different German courts have ruled differently regards the obligations of RapidShare to police the movement of content over its servers. Cases have been brought by the gaming and publishing industries, and in the music space by collecting society GEMA.

A quick scan of the rulings so far suggests RapidShare wins more than it loses in these cases, though some courts have said – and this is the ruling that generally prevails – that the tech firm should do some filtering of copyright material to avoid liability for contributory infringement.

While RapidShare bosses actually reckon they already do enough to combat infringement in order to fulfil that duty, they are nevertheless planning to take their case to Germany’s Supreme Court, to get full clarification of their obligations.

They also seem to reckon that, while they are willing to do some filtering of content to help stop the distribution of unlicensed files, some lower courts have overstated their duty to do so under law. Or something like that.

So, while the Americans try to extradite the MegaUpload possee to face criminal charges in the US, do also look out for a less dramatic and colourful but nevertheless pretty significant hearing in the German courts on what, for many content owners, is now the most important aspect of illegal file-sharing: the misuse of file-transfer platforms.