US Court: RapidShare Not Guilty of Copyright Infringement

The popular file-hosting service RapidShare is not guilty of copyright infringement, the United States District Court of California has ruled. The ruling is an important victory for RapidShare, which has been increasingly targeted by the entertainment industries.

rapidshareLast year, adult media company Perfect 10 filed a lawsuit against the leading file-hosting service, RapidShare. Among other claims, Perfect 10’s lawsuit stated that RapidShare was guilty of infringing the copyrights of many of its images.

The California-based company called for a jury trial in the United States to settle the issue. RapidShare responded by requesting that the case be postponed and transferred to Europe and heard under German law. This request was denied last month and the case went ahead in the United States.

This week the District Court of California rejected Perfect 10′s request for a temporary injunction. The Court stated in its ruling that as a file-hosting company, RapidShare cannot be accused of any copyright infringements. The ruling is a significant victory for RapidShare and the case sets an important precedent in the United States.

“The view that RapidShare does not promote any infringements of copyright, unlike other file-hosts, appears to be gradually catching on,” Christian Schmid, founder of RapidShare said.

“It is a milestone for us that this is also happening in the US. We are happy that the court in California has not bought into the odd line of argument put forward by Perfect 10 and we look forward to increasingly emphasize the major difference between RapidShare and illegal share-hosts,” Schmid added.

For Rapidshare this is the second high profile legal victory this month. Earlier, a German Court of Appeal overturned an earlier verdict in the case against the movie rental company Capelight Pictures. In the verdict it stated that RapidShare is not liable for acts of copyright infringement committed by its users.

It is not entirely clear what Schmid means by “illegal share-hosts” in his comment, but we assume that he refers to sites that encourage copyright infringement. The company previously said it would distance itself from other file-hosters that try to win the favor of those users that upload and distribute copyrighted content.

RapidShare itself does all it can to avoid such claims and is hoping to convert pirates into paying customers. Instead of simply removing pages where copyrighted material can be downloaded, RapidShare would like to redirect users to an online store where the same content can be bought legally.

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