Court Rules RapidShare Must Eliminate Infringing Content More Efficiently

After getting sued by a German copyright holding organization called GEMA, file sharing service RapidShare has argued it was doing everything it could to remove copyrighted material from its site.

Nevertheless, a German court has ruled that RapidShare's efforts to fight piracy are lacking. The Hamburg district court's decision states that RapidShare must take action against infringing content the moment copyright holders make the company aware it, a ruling that is largely indicative of the United States DMCA.

In addition to quickly taking down copyrighted content, Rapidshare also has to "proactively check content before publishing it."

RapidShare employs a MD5 filter to prevent the upload of previously removed content, but the court's ruling says infringers need only to alter a few bytes of a file in order to evade the filter.

RapidShare says it has six full time employees focusing on the removal of illicit content and argues that it's impossible to remain in business if it has to monitor every file that comes their way.