updated 06:50 pm EDT, Tue March 27, 2012
Company must now police incoming links
A German court has ruled that file hosting company RapidShare is operating legally in the country, however the government has placed several stipulations on its conclusion. The ruling marks a partial victory for the company, which argued that its file hosting service was operating without breaking the law.
Full details of the ruling contradict the stance taken by music rights group GEMA, which declared victory several weeks ago after the court initially ordered the company to monitor external sites for links to copyrighted files uploaded to RapidShare.
“For the first time the Hamburg Higher Regional Court has followed our line of argument on key points and has conferred legal legitimacy on our service, just as other courts have done over a considerable period of time. This is a significant result for us,” said RapidShare CEO Alexandra Zwingli, according to quotes posted by TorrentFreak.
Despite the court's order requiring the company to monitor third-party sites for infringing content, it is not required to police all files that are uploaded by users. Zwingli suggests the company has already been following such guidelines, identifying and removing content that has been illegally shared from its servers.
The case may not be completely resolved, as RapidShare plans to appeal the decision to Germany's Supreme Court in an attempt to have the website monitoring requirement overturned.