updated 06:00 pm EDT, Fri March 16, 2012
Ruling covers both music and book downloads
A German appeals court has ruled that RapidShare musit monitor the traffic being uploaded by its user to look for and try to stop pirated content. The ruling upholds three lower court decisions against the storage and sharing service. In each case, the company was told to do more to prevent any violation of any copyrights.
The initial case dates back to 2009, when GEMA, a German organization representing that country's composers, vocalists, and music publishers, asked the courts to keep RapidShare from making 5,000 of GEMA's members' songs available for download. The court sided with the recording artists. RapidShare lost two subsequent appeals.
RapidShare already had taken steps to comply with the courts. In an effort to dissuade piracy, it had quietly limited the download speeds of its free service to 30Kbps. The fact that it was doing so only came to light in the aftermath of the recent forced closure of the US file downloading and sharing site MegaUpload by US Federal authorities.
The German high court's decision was not limited to music. It also ordered RapidShare to proactively monitor content and block uploads of copyrighted textbooks. RapidShare has not indicated whether or not it will appeal the latest court ruling. [via Wired]