RapidShare Might Be Rapidly Shutting Down If It Doesn’t Comply With Copyright Law

noah | October 1, 2008 5:00 am

The third-party file-hosting service RapidShare may be sunk thanks to German copyright law and a very stringent judge. RapidShare, which is based in Germany, allows people to share large files with one another without having to sign up for ISPs; over the past year or so, I’ve found myself relying on sites of its ilk for my, uh, “sharing” much more than I have BitTorrent. Which is probably why the German recording industry group GEMA sued the service for copyright infringement.

The people running the service said they were doing everything they could to try and screen out copyrighted materal–but a court in that country said that the site’s administrators needed to be more vigilant about fighting infringements, to the point where the company may be forced to employ people who are in charge of screening each piece of uploaded content manually. So either Rapidshare is going to hire a lot of interns, or it’ll be shutting down under the weight of these requirements, with its founders looking on wistfully as another five services pop up in its wake. (NB: As of now, Vibe music editor Sean Fennessey’s blog named after the service seems to be unaffected. But you never know!)

Court: RapidShare must remove infringing content proactively [Ars Technica]