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Old 02-24-2010, 10:27 AM   #1
Steven Lyle Jordan
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Textbook Publishers Win Court Ruling Against RapidShare

From the Chronicle of Higher Education: A German court, chosen for its friendliness to publishers and copyright law in the past, was the scene of a decision against RapidShare, considered one of the primary sources of pirated texts worldwide.

They have been ordered to make more of an effort to screen for pirated material and keep it off their site, or face fines of 250,000 euros or up to 2 years jail time, per instance, of discovering a pirated book on their site.

Quote:
Officials for RapidShare, which is based in Switzerland, could not be reached on Tuesday. In the past, the company has argued that it quickly takes down any copyrighted material that users post to the service once officials become aware of it, and that it follows all legal requirements regarding copyright.

The ruling said the company must go further: "It is not only necessary to promptly block access to the specific file, but rather to also take precautions going beyond this in order to prevent to the largest possible extent the occurrence of further similar infringements."
The publishers involved were: Bedford, Freeman & Worth; Cengage Learning; Elsevier; the McGraw-Hill Companies; Pearson; and John Wiley & Sons.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:35 AM   #2
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No big surprise. No different that Youtube having to screen for people uploading copyrighted videos and make an effort to keep them off the site.

File sharing sites have to bear some responsibility in keeping illegal content off their services. Especially something like Rapidshare where they have the conflict of interest of getting money from heavy users who need the paid account, and thus have incentive to look the other way from piracy when it's paid users.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:49 AM   #3
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I wonder how they can actually prevent users uploading books...
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:54 AM   #4
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They can't. All they can do is have people monitor uploaded files and make some effort at finding illegal files, taking them down and IP ban the user who uploaded them to make it harder for them to sign back up under a new name etc.

But since they have a pay service--who knows how much effort they'll put into it as they're making money off of pirates.....unlike a totally free service like Youtube that has little to lose by banning users, taking down files etc.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:18 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
But since they have a pay service--who knows how much effort they'll put into it as they're making money off of pirates
I must admit I find it difficult to imagine any reason to pay rapidshare's fees other than piracy, given that intermittent use is free. I suppose RS must have a variety of hypothetical scenarios they can use to justify legitimacy, but I can't think of any myself.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:25 AM   #6
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Yeah, that's the real rub/conflict of interest for them.

Most legit users just use it intermittently when they need to get big file back and forth to colleagues etc. I use it or megaupload a few times a year when getting big data files back and forth to colleagues when working on a research project etc., but I've never remotely had any need to pay for it.

I'm sure there are some who do that kind of stuff more often and pay for the service, but I do expect most of it is people paying to pirate stuff. Thus the site has a real conflict of interest in being expected to go aggressively after pirates when the pirates are probably their main source of revenue.
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Old 02-24-2010, 06:52 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dmaul1114 View Post
No big surprise. No different that Youtube having to screen for people uploading copyrighted videos and make an effort to keep them off the site.
They already do. In fact, they already do more than Youtube.

What, you think this doesn't affect every single UGC site? Ha. German and Italian users are going to see an awful lot of blocked sites because of their government's idiocy over the next few months. There's a coherent European policy being formed on the principle of "no third party liability" which will sort this out, longer term.

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Old 02-24-2010, 07:19 PM   #8
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"Study Finds Massive Online Book Piracy": Attributor found three million downloads from four sites that provide download data—4shared.com, scribd.com, wattpad.com, and docstoc.com—and estimated that those four account for about one-third of online piracy. (The site with the greatest amount of piracy was rapidshare.com).
Wee. I love BiG FiGuReS and Big Words.

Last edited by zerospinboson; 02-24-2010 at 07:25 PM.
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