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RapidShare avoids takedown, but must become watchdog for 'external' violations

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A new decision from Germany reportedly rules that RapidShare doesn't have to monitor user uploads for copyrighted materials, and that it operates legally in the country.

RapidShare Logo
RapidShare Logo

Not long ago, a higher regional court in Germany reportedly ruled that file-sharing site RapidShare would need to proactively monitor user uploads for copyrighted material — but in an apparent change of heart, that no longer appears to be the case. TorrentFreak reports that the German court has determined that RapidShare operates legally in the country, and that it has no obligation to monitor user uploads.

Instead, its responsibility lies with monitoring external sites that link to copyrighted materials. The court ruled that RapidShare must make these files inaccessible. And while the file-sharing site doesn't appear to have a problem with this in theory — CEO Alexandra Zwingli explained that this "is exactly what RapidShare has already been doing for many years" — it is still appealing the decision, moving the case to the German Supreme Court. According to Zwingli, while the site is happy to monitor external sites, it feels that being forced to do so by the court is "questionable from a legal perspective."