German owned yet globally popular file hosting site Rapidshare may be heading to the Deadpool after a German court found that it was liable for copyrighted files uploaded to the service.
The German equivalent of the RIAA, GEMA took Rapidshare to court over hosting copyright infringing files and at a court hearing January 23, won. The court found that Rapidshare must take responsibility for infringing files hosted on its service
According to a report at TorrentFreak, the problem with this case (compared to previous cases which simply demanded files be taken down) is that the court went one step further and said that Rapidshare must take preventative action against infringing uploads; essentially meaning that Rapidshare should screen every upload, a hard, if not impossible task, that will “likely end up with a service that’s not worth operating, so they may decide to shut it down completely.”
The case may have wider implications, particularly in terms of offering file hosting services to users in Germany. Other file sharing sites may ban German users, and there’s also a risk that now that there has been a win in Germany, similar groups to the RIAA/ GEMA in other nations may try to get similar rulings.