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German Court Levies More Fines Against Rapidshare For Continued Violation Of U.S. Publishers' Copyrights

HAMBURG, Germany, Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a decision handed down on July 25 by the Regional Court of Hamburg, Rapidshare AG and its principal were found to be in continued violation of the Court's previous order requiring Rapidshare to cease making available through its file sharing service numerous copyright-protected titles of six publishers, resulting in additional fines of 160,000 Euros, along with an assessment of costs. In a previous order dated May 31, 2010, the Court imposed a fine of 150,000 Euros against Rapidshare for illegal hosting of 148 collective works from six publishers, including Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group, LLC a subsidiary of Macmillan; Cengage Learning Inc.; Elsevier Inc; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; and Pearson Education, Inc.  

The German court declared in its latest decision that Rapidshare "...continued to culpably violate the prohibition order issued by the Chamber and specified in the operative provisions of this resolution.  Between July 16, 2010 and July 18, 2010, 100 of the total of 148 works in dispute were fully accessible via the service on www.rapidshare.de.  In 34 cases, individual works were stored and accessible several times, so that a total of 134 links were found to files containing the works in dispute."  

Further, in addressing the required changes imposed by the previous prohibition order, the Court determined that Rapidshare did not "...implement continuous measures to prevent the works in dispute from once more being made publicly accessible… [including] the application of a word filter which checks the file name during the uploading of files onto the servers of [Rapidshare] with regard to whether it contains the author, the title, the ISBN number or the publisher... Should the implementation of a word filter for the uploading of files to the servers of [Rapidshare] actually not be technically feasible, [Rapidshare] would have to change the hardware and software used to a different system which allows the implementation of such a word filter."  In addition to the utilization of the word filter, the Court further held that Rapidshare is "obligated to search the known relevant external links libraries" for the infringing postings and to remove any such infringing files discovered.  

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