RapidShare wins new procedure against Capelight Pictures

MUMBAI: RapidShare AG has won an additional appeal procedure against the film distributor Capelight Pictures.

RapidShare had appealed against a preliminary injunction of the Düsseldorf Regional Court from the previous year. The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf has now reversed this preliminary injunction.

The object of the dispute was the issue of whether RapidShare had undertaken all reasonable measures to counter the illegal dissemination of the film Inside a Skinhead, which is distributed by Capelight Pictures in Germany. The Court has confirmed this. In April 2010, in another appeal procedure against Capelight Pictures, RapidShare had already been validated in its claim that as a file hoster it was already taking more action against breaches of copyright on its platform than need reasonably be expected of it.

In the procedure that was ruled upon in April 2010 by the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf, it was stressed that a particularity of the case lay in the fact that the film titles consisted of descriptive terms taken from the English language, such as Insomnia or The Fall, so that the use of a word filter was excluded due to the high number of possible wrong hits. In the procedure that has now been ruled upon, the file name again contained the full film title, which however, unlike in the procedure previously ruled upon, did not solely consist of descriptive terms.

The Court acknowledged that in this case as well, the use of a word filter could not be expected, as this would hinder the lawful saving of private copies. The saving of works that are protected by copyright under their clear work title is admissible for private copies by German law, so that a word filter would also lead to the deletion of lawful private copies. Regarding the issue of whether RapidShare has the possibility and therefore the obligation of preventing a dissemination of download links through the collection of links, the Court answered in the negative.

Daniel Raimer, the lawyer who represented RapidShare during the proceedings, states: "The ruling is a further step in the right direction. The previously common practice of copyright holders to sue RapidShare on the off-chance there might be something to be gained from it, misunderstanding the realities it is operating within and showing contempt for its business model, will no longer bear fruit. The newest court rulings in Germany and the USA indicate this very clearly."

RapidShare founder and CEO Christian Schmid says: "We are also pleased with the ruling because it is connected to a claim for compensation of costs. Copyright holders should therefore think very carefully in future about whether they wouldn’t prefer to save themselves some time and above all the expense of suing RapidShare for something for which the company cannot be held liable."