A court in Germany has instructed file sharing website RapidShare to find a way to filter pirated content from its servers. This ruling came after a number of parties of interest complained about the site, which allows users to upload and share content for download.
The court indicated that RapidShare has a part to play in the type of files hosted on its servers and may be held liable if users engage in pirating activities.
The file sharing company has come under close scrutiny after MegaUpload was taken down and other similar sites for aiding and abetting piracy. RapidShare, however, has a very different model from MegaUpload with the latter offering cash incentives to users who uploaded high traffic or popular content, which more often than not involved pirated material. RapidShare on the other hand offers users a structured file storage and sharing platform and does not in any way abet piracy.
In fact, only recently, the company reduced anonymous ufile sharing speeds to only 30KBps hoping that people uploading content will be forced to open an account and from there their content may be monitored for illegality.
It has been noted that many pirates prefer anonymous sharing as they would not want to be associated with pirating activities.
This puts the onus on RapidShare and may set precedence for other file storage and sharing sites to play an active role in scanning their servers for pirated content and reducing piracy on their platform in this way.
This will have to take a software-based approach, nonetheless, owing to the sheer volume of content uploaded to the company’s servers.