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Rapidshare Ordered To Filter Content 161

A Cow writes "TorrentFreak reports that the Regional Court in Hamburg, Germany, has ruled that file-hosting service Rapidshare must proactively filter certain content. Music industry outfit GEMA asked the court to ban Rapidshare from making 5,000 tracks from its catalogue available on the Internet." Reader biabia brings an update to a related case in Italy involving four Google executives. The issue in that situation revolves around Google's response time in taking down a video that was deemed to be a privacy violation. Google is worried that a verdict against them could lead to mandatory pre-screening of all public videos that are uploaded onto their websites. Those proceedings have now been postponed until late September.
Update: 6/24 at 17:45 GMT by SS: The article originally reported that Rapidshare was fined $34 million. No such fine has been imposed — $34 million was the estimated value of the tracks hosted on Rapidshare.
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Rapidshare Ordered To Filter Content

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  • As much as I have come to strongly dislike Rapidshare's glitches (saying something is downloading when it isn't, sometimes up to a day after a download has finished or been disrupterd for example), this is horseshit. Filtering doesn't work anyways.
  • Imbeciles! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jack2000 (1178961) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:18PM (#28454913)
    Judges really have no clue of how internet hosting works, do they?
    • Re:Imbeciles! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:35PM (#28455245)

      No, they're applying laws that were written before copying and distribution of intellectual work became an integral part of our lives. If anything, blame idiotic politicians. Once we have laws that make sense, we can move to blaming judges. I'm not holding my breath.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        No you DO blame judges because they are only supposed to apply law based on the orginal intent of it when it was written. That means that these judges are idiots or activists; rewriting law how they see it should apply to cases that law has not been written for. Judges don't have to and are not supposed to only take dictionary meanings of written law and apply it, so it is their fault just as much as the idiot politicians and lawyers... basically anyone with a law degree is at fault.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Timosch (1212482)
          If that was true, judges would have to apply the First Amendment only to messages transferred on horseback or directly, but not through the internet. Judges apply law as it is written, at least as long as it is clear.
          • Where in the constitution does it say that my first amendment rights are limited? It doesn't but your first amendment rights are limited. e.g. you cannot yell FIRE in a movie theater unless there is actually a fire.

            It is the responsibility of the Judicial branch to follow the intent of the law.

    • by nurb432 (527695)

      I think its that they know how it works, but must make judgments in the matter to 'enforce' the IP, even if they know its a lost cause. Otherwise the rights of IP go out the window.

      Sort of like if you don't defend your copyrights, you lose them.

  • I'm surprised it took this long.

    It should be just a matter of months before shit hits the fan with all the other ones.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Zedrick (764028)
      And I don't get who they got so populair in the first place. I mean, in 1999 - on a 56k modem - I guess it was OK to download warez from websites, but today? Why would anyone choose that over Bittorrent or the thing that should not be mentioned (but starts with a "U")?
      • Re:Surprised (Score:4, Insightful)

        by 1u3hr (530656) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:29PM (#28455135)
        Why would anyone choose that over Bittorrent

        Because with BT anyone can see who (or which IP) is downloading what. People have been busted for using BT, not for RS as far as I know.

      • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:31PM (#28455169)
        What begins with a 'U'? Is it fun? Is it like fishing? Last time I went fishing I was able to get a lot of stuff because I used a net.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Killer Orca (1373645)
          Speaking of fishing I am just learning to fish, anyone with useful how-to links would be greatly appreciated, and yes I have used the google.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:51PM (#28456557)

            *looks at username*
            *looks at post*


          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Astraweb's deal for $11/month + NZBMatrix/TVNZB and I get stuff maxing out my cable connection.

            They have quite a bit of older stuff. I spent my first day going through NZBMatrix looking through OLD movies, opening the IMDB link and DLing everything over 7. Quite a few comedies from the 30s-70s with 7.9-8s that looked good.

          • Speaking of fishing I am just learning to fish, anyone with useful how-to links would be greatly appreciated, and yes I have used the google.

            Get an e-mail address like

            Send a zillion messages saying "Our records indicate your account information contains an error please click here [] and reenter your information."

            Make a sort-of realistic looking copy of the site at your chosen URL.

            Oh, wait, you meant fishing, not phishing. Sorry.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Zedrick (764028)
          It's a bit like fishing. Can be hard to get a good catch and you have to know where to look, but it's easier if you use something like that indexes the fish.
        • by smitty97 (995791) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:30PM (#28456231)
          First rule of using a net: You don't talk about using a net
          • by tepples (727027)

            First rule of using a net: You don't talk about using a net

            Then how else am I supposed to catch bugs in Animal Crossing series?

        • The thing about fishing with nets is that they put regulations on them. For example you can't use gill nets. Some places they ban them altogether.
      • Some of us simply can't use torrent services because of the ISP we use. Admittedly, last week, torrents started working, but there's no way I'm downloading anything illegal through torrents because ISP's track what you're downloading and then rage. HTTP downloads through Rapidshare/Megaupload/etc, not so much. Plus, I have to share if I want to torrent. I'm not a communist, so I don't share.
        • Re:Surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Dotren (1449427) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:01PM (#28455775)

          I wish I could remember where I read this (maybe one of NYCL's blog posts) but it seems not one court case has been brought regarding illegal downloads via bittorrent. So far, everything has been through the Gnutella and related networks.

          For the ISP problem, with most bittorrent clients you can turn on variable levels of encryption. In Vuze (formerly Azureus) for example, you can have no encryption (default) all the way up to making sure you never connect to any peers or seeds that are not also using the same level of encryption.

          For that matter, I've wondered lately why encryption isn't turned on by default in most clients after installation. Of course I realize that it may be a performance issue but I've never seen any numbers on the resources used when requiring encryption versus not.

          • I think encryption might be a legal issue.
            Some countries don't let people encrypt shit.

            • by wagnerrp (1305589)
              Without extensive analysis, there is no way to tell something is encrypted, versus someone just dumped /dev/rand onto the internet. Of course that assumed you're in a country where the onus is on the prosecution.
              • You can tell what it is very easily.
                Just connect to the same tracker yourself.

                We still know who's sending data, to who, on what ports, etc.

                Just log on to the tracker, download shit you own the copyright to, list yourself as a seed, and then sue the shit out of anyone trying to get shit from you.

                It's harder than getting morans who use limewire, sure, but it's not rocket science. The encryption is not a security feature (since we know that the RIAA/MPAA/etc. never need actual proof), it's more of a FUCK YOU

                • by wagnerrp (1305589)

                  Just log on to the tracker, download shit you own the copyright to, list yourself as a seed, and then sue the shit out of anyone trying to get shit from you.

                  If you they don't actually upload anything to you, or upload garbage data, you've done nothing wrong. Remember, this is an all-or-nothing thing. You can't get hit with 'Intent to Infringe Copyrights'. If you download a file named as the latest Transformers, and you just end up with another gig of gay porn, Dreamworks has no legal basis to come after you.

                  If they do upload the actual content to you, they're the copyright owner, and they have intentionally given you the content. Once again, you're in th

                  • They connect, become a seed, and anyone who sent them that data (to become a seed) is guilty.

                    They have the file that you sent (parts of) and they know it isn't gay porn.

                    As a seed, they can monitor and get a list of IPs, and they can go after people specifically.

                    Anything they send out as a seed doesn't matter. They're the copyright holder and they have the right to make available. But they can easily show that others were sending to you, as well, and that you were sending to others.

                    Fire up another client a

          • HBO monitors torrents and sends cease and desist letters. A buddy of mine has quite a collection of them :)

            With torrents (and similar), the swarm (rather than individual people) are redistributing. There are seeders, obviously, with a share ratio > 1, but many peers will only upload a small portion of the file and may never upload the entire file. Can the RIAA successfully sue someone for redistributing 20% of a song?

            • Can the RIAA successfully sue someone for redistributing 20% of a song?

              It would have to be tested in court, and the result would depend on how well the councils for both sides presented their cases and the predisposition of the judge. If each peer uploads only a small fraction, then this would technically meet one of the requirements for fair use, but would fail the others. They would probably win, but it would be expensive. Better to wait until they've got all of the easy targets out of the way before going after the difficult ones.

              Note, however, that in the RIAA trials

            • Re:Surprised (Score:5, Interesting)

              by Dotren (1449427) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:49PM (#28456517)

              HBO monitors torrents and sends cease and desist letters. A buddy of mine has quite a collection of them :)

              I haven't dug into this yet but I've been curious.. is it possible to get a list of clients without actually connecting to the tracker and sharing the material yourself? I've never tried to access a tracker directly to see what information you can get from it and I know that every bittorrent client I've tried so far seems to disconnect you from seeds and peers when you "stop" a torrent download. It would be interesting to see what methods the companies use to get the information on torrrents to send out those letters as it is hardly in their interest to share their own content, even in small bits, to discover who is connecting.

              With torrents (and similar), the swarm (rather than individual people) are redistributing. There are seeders, obviously, with a share ratio > 1, but many peers will only upload a small portion of the file and may never upload the entire file. Can the RIAA successfully sue someone for redistributing 20% of a song?

              Common sense would tell me no, or even if they can, that they'd only be able to sue for a fraction of the song's value. However, we all know this whole thing with the RIAA, MPAA, and copyright has little to do with common sense and the money they are suing for is massive compared to the value of the song anyways.

              • by Kjella (173770)

                I haven't dug into this yet but I've been curious.. is it possible to get a list of clients without actually connecting to the tracker and sharing the material yourself?

                Yes. That's how every client with 0% start out....

                Can the RIAA successfully sue someone for redistributing 20% of a song?

                1. They did just win a case (Jammie Thomas) where they definitively proved 0%. It was purely argued from the file's existance in the shared folder.
                2. Even if that was not the case, there are only two classes - fair use and infringing. Once you've past whatever percentage could possibly be argued to be fair use (which may or may not be 0% in context), just like you couldn't quote 20% of the book. Oh yeah, and infringing is a 750$/infringement minimum.

                • by Dotren (1449427)

                  Yes. That's how every client with 0% start out....

                  Yes, true, but the moment you have even one piece of that file you're also sharing. I'm wondering if it is possible to stop or pause a torrent at absolute 0% (no pieces downloaded yet) and still retrieve useful data identifying data about the seeds and peers. I'm not currently sitting at a computer where I can test this unfortunately.

                  • Re:Surprised (Score:5, Informative)

                    by Zerth (26112) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @04:33PM (#28459145)

                    Yes, you can. I rewrote a torrent client that neither downloaded nor uploaded data. Just polled the tracker for information on connected users, the same as the various torrent indexes use to gather data on # clients, avg completion, etc.

                    It also made itself known as a client, so that other users would ask it for pieces, but that was just to gather statistics on how well a torrent spread across the swarm. You could write a client that none of the other clients would know about(ie, never told the tracker "hey, I'm participating", just asked who was participating).

                    Most anti-"known bad users" features rely on the investigator's client contacting you to see if you are really sharing(not just on the tracker list). If they didn't have to prove you were actually sharing something, they could just snarf the list from the tracker and no-one else would even know.

                    But then it would be trivial to spoof IPs onto the tracker and they'd be getting in even more trouble for falsely prosecuting little old ladies and printers.

                  • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

                    by larry bagina (561269)

                    Bittorrent [], simplified:

                    • torrent file contains tracker and file information (sha1 for verification)
                    • client connects to tracker (http/https)
                    • tracker sends list of peers (up to 50, randomly selected)
                    • client connects to peers, determines what pieces peers have
                    • client uploads/downloads

                    So it would be straightforward to have a custom client poll the tracker for peers and then connect to determine if they have the full file or not. If they do, you can download entirely from them (they won't request any chunks

                  • With a standard client? I'm not really sure. I think that some of the companies used modified BT clients that don't send the *real* data...they send packets of random data. When you first connect, other users begin to offer small amounts of starting data, so that you can become a productive member of the swarm as soon as possible. Anyone that connects under those circumstances could get their IP logged and get in trouble.
                  • This can be answered without any specific knowledge of the protocol. In order to start downloading that first piece, you have to know where to direct the request. That means you need information (an IP address and port) for at least one peer before the first block can be downloaded.

                    In practice BT makes no attempt to hide connection information from other peers. Transport encryption is only used to limit third-party observation and filtering, e.g. by an ISP. The trackers will happily hand out every peer's IP

      • or the thing that should not be mentioned (but starts with a "U")?

        Pssst. How come we're not mentioning the thing that start with a "U"? O_o I mean, it's not like they'll kill us for saying U

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        "...Why would anyone choose that over Bittorrent..."

        Unless something is extremely popular on Bittorrent and/or has a lot of seeders, it can take days to download. And in cases of lack of seeds, not downloadable at all.

      • by hairyfeet (841228)

        Well, I can say that for me it is a nice place to get more off the wall stuff, like the XP driver DVD that I am currently downloading. There is a whole bunch of stuff on places like Rapidshare that isn't really copyrighted, it was just put together by some guy in some backwoods place where bandwidth is a concern. For example the above DVD was put on by some guy in the middle of nowhere but is nice to have because it contains not only the usual drivers but just about every piece of hardware out there that ha

    • Re:Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mastadex (576985) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:22PM (#28454991)

      Once you start hitting the Obvious Targets - RapidShare, MegaUpload, etc - the content will be pushed further underground such as Torrent websites. This is the same thing that we saw with ThePirateBay when it was under fire. Mininova and other websites took over as the leading Torrent hubs.

      Trying to silence the masses is impossible.

      • Of course shit will just go elsewhere. But there are real people making real money off of direct download sites' copyright infringement.

        Those people will be fucked.

        And the bay is still the king.

      • Re:Surprised (Score:5, Informative)

        by Taagehornet (984739) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:32PM (#28456261)

        Mininova and other websites took over as the leading Torrent hubs.

        Just to correct an all too common misunderstanding, Mininova really cannot be compared to The Pirate Bay.

        Mininova is nothing more than an index []. Mininova does not operate a tracker []. The majority (if not all) of the torrent files found at Mininova would be pretty useless if the Pirate Bay servers weren't around to do the heavy lifting.

        The torrent network really isn't as decentralized as most people seem to think; torrent traffic would take a major hit if the servers at TPB were shut down least for a while.

        • by Kjella (173770)

          The torrent network really isn't as decentralized as most people seem to think; torrent traffic would take a major hit if the servers at TPB were shut down least for a while.

          It's always easier if there's one place to find everything, kinda like Napster was. But setting up a million little torrent trackers is more than possible - I mean, before torrents there were tons of DC++ hubs and whatever. It's like the big "win" they claimed after TPB was convicted and traffic dropped 30% - we'll we're basicly back on same ever increasing curve we were three months ago now. It's laughable.

      • Trying to silence the masses is impossible.

        It's just my opinion that casting this as a freedom issue is to diminish the concept.

        The underlying reality is that millions of people are obtaining things they have no right to. Most are doing it because they want it for free. Some may do it as a principled statement or as a protest of civil disobedience against the draconian *AA's but most don't.

        Freedom is the right to say what you want to say and do what you want to do so long as it has *some* ethical justification. Downloading stuff isn't that.

        I don't k

        • Re:Surprised (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Omestes (471991) < minus poet> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @03:19PM (#28457867) Homepage Journal

          Freedom is the right to say what you want to say and do what you want to do so long as it has *some* ethical justification. Downloading stuff isn't that.

          I could probably come up with some ethical justification for anything, no matter how heinous, and I'm sure some large percentage of the population actually believes their ethical justifications for strange things.

          I personally have nothing against piracy anymore. I used to have some qualms, but I worked them out. A significant percentage of people still pay, and will continue to pay for crap. Its really hard to say that this ratio will change, since most pirates are young and tech savvy, and piracy is about as easy as it can get (give me 5 minutes, I'll find you a free copy of ANYTHING you want) right now. Distributing media is still VERY profitable, even with piracy.

          Until the various industries move into the digitial age, piracy will be around at roughly the same level it is at now. By "move into the digital age" I mean COMPETE with the various mediums that allow piracy. Before we say that it is impossible to compete with free, I'd like to point to services such as Hulu, iTunes, and Amazon, as well as concerts, and self-distribution. How much money did Trent Reznor make off of his various free (in every sense) offering? A ton, buy adding priced options that contains value-added features that can't be pirated. Sure small artists can't do this as well, but, small artists are also the ones who make the least amount of cash from giant labels, and thus are hurt the least by piracy (and probably gain the most, since the name of the game at that size is to grow a fan base).

          I owe nothing to record labels. It is not my job to support their business model, or give them money when I don't have to.

        • I think the freedom argument is because it's not possible to stop downloading without massively infringing on people's legitimate, ethical freedoms. In short, you can't effectively stop individuals downloading copyrighted materials they have no rights to without monitoring them 24/7. Nobody is suggesting that yet -- the closest is automated filters which people just work around. But that's the end game, and any move made towards that is alarming to many people.

          Even in the case of things like Rapidshare, the

        • by skeeto (1138903)
          I do have the right to copy whatever published data I want. You have it backwards in that no one has the right to stop me.
      • by initialE (758110)

        People use these sites because they either don't want to or can't seed the stuff 24/7. A few of the manga translation groups don't even have an IRC channel to hang out on, they just use a blogger site and rapidshare account to publish their material.

    • Finally (Score:4, Interesting)

      by mister_playboy (1474163) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:23PM (#28454999)

      Indeed! The torrent sites have been getting all the flak, but direct download sites seem like the low hanging fruit to go after.

      The only reason to pay for their services is to access copyrighted material... that seems like monetizing copyright infringement to me.

      I'd like to see Google get caught up in this, because they have more than enough money to defend themselves.

    • It should be just a matter of months before shit hits the fan with all the other ones.

      Good luck finding a way to stop all those file hosting sites, its getting to be a large business and would most likely just get more small setups if the "big" ones where taken down.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by monkeyboythom (796957)

      You mean there's more than porn on RS?

  • by realcoolguy425 (587426) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:22PM (#28454983)
    Hell I'd go out of my way to protect everything and anything if there was a reasonable time before it fell into public domain. I keep thinking about this issue a lot, I think the solution needs to involve the copyright owner paying in money, very very small sums for the first few years, but leading to much larger sums as time moves forward. Hopefully until they opt to just let it fall into public domain because they have already made a profit on their works. (Anyone else sick of the current Mickey Mouse copyright laws we have now?)

    Anyway, maybe something like years 1-4 $100 years 5-8 $1000 years 8-10 $40000 then we could just say something 1 million per year for every year there after. So either way, the work will benefit the general public (as was the original intention of copyright law). If the work is so wildly successful it will raise money. If the work isn't that great, it gets put into public domain sooner, so it can be built upon. Anyway, maybe I'm crazy, I don't like to see this kind of over-regulation of thought anyway. However if we WERE going to provide the protections that copyright holders want, I would greatly prefer a system based on this.

    • by JustinOpinion (1246824) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:34PM (#28456291)
      I'm very much in favor of copyright reform, including shorter terms.

      But, while interesting, the "tax copyrights" idea brings in a new set of problems. Like many regulatory systems, it can end up favoring the big players (big business, rich people, etc.) because they are usually best able to game any system you devise (because they have the money and lawyers necessary to "work the system").

      The system you describe would restore some balance in the competition between medium and large corporate copyright holders. It is self-correcting: only truly valuable copyrights are maintained, and the rest are freed to the public. But in this system, small players (small businesses, individual creators, struggling artists) are marginalized. For instance the vast majority of amateurs wouldn't bother to (or, really, be able to) register. This means that their creativity would be fair game for massive companies to use as they will. Some content may be so trivial that it doesn't matter. But there is a huge middle ground where the creator won't really be able to pay the fees (because they are not big and powerful enough to monetize it), but it would be grossly unfair to then let big companies monetize the works (even though other big companies could compete by also monetizing it).

      There would be innumerable blog posts, essays, photographs, music samples, and so on... that would be unprotected. Again as a copyright reformist I actually think laxer protections are often a good thing. But in the "tax copyright" system the problem is that it becomes asymmetric: the big players can maintain their control but the littler players cannot. The notion of an artist maintaining some measure of artistic integrity, even for a short while, will be gone... unless the artist aggressively monetizes their work so as to pay for the fees (which, in many cases, would result in another kind of "loss of integrity" for the artist).

      One can then go back and further tweak the rules (exceptions based on size of work, estimated value, artistic vs. commercial intent, etc.). But adding more and more rules often continues to favor the big players, who have the time to mine the laws for loopholes, argue their cases in court, and lobby for legal tweaks. Meanwhile the little players are left utterly confused by the labyrinthine laws (as is currently the case). My point here is only that these issues are actually quite delicate, and we have to be rather careful with what new system we put in place. Every system will have drawbacks. We need to make sure that the new drawbacks are not worse than the old.

      In that vein, I think a more gradual reform is safer. It is also, pragmatically, much more likely to be doable.
      • 5 years and then it goes into public domain. no loopholes, no exceptions, no greedy lobbyists.

        oh, and outlaw lobbyists....
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Grishnakh (216268)

        I don't see the problem. If Disney wants to keep Steamboat Willy under copyright, they should have to pay, say, $100 million/year to do that. This doesn't favor the rich, because probably no rich person is alive who could have created something valuable back then (if there is one alive, he's probably in a nursing home on a respirator about to die, and won't care about copyrights).

        The original copyright term in this country, 13 years, was plenty. We need to return to that. If you, an individual artist, c

      • by blackest_k (761565) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @06:06PM (#28460283) Homepage Journal

        There is one problem with public domain and that is it's near free and in competition with current works.

        Imagine a world where copyright ends after 30 years. So now anything 1979 or earlier can be legally downloaded watched read or listened to. Thats a pretty good cache of media, Led Zepplin hendrix the beatles the stones to name a few, most if not all of asimovs books, a huge catalogue of film Star wars would be PD (i think that was 77)
        The great escape, the italian job, and many many others.

        Now don't get me wrong for me I would love it, and there is more than enough available to mean i'd never have to spend a single cent on media again. Thats what today's content makers would have to compete with or would they?
        because even with silly length copyright laws I still rarely buy up to date media

        maybe current media will have to be supported largely by the young, pretty much as it is anyway.

  • But How? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Voyager529 (1363959) <<voyager529> <at> <>> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:22PM (#28454987)
    What is the viable solution to this? If they solely delete known instances of the data in question, they will be uploaded again in no time. If they add a keyword-based filter, then it'll just become like Napster in its dying days where files are intentionally misnamed enough to skirt the filters, or given random names entirely and linked to elsewhere. If they do hashing, uploaders will use RAR/passworded RAR/encrypted RAR archives. It's a cat-and-mouse game that becomes the prime example as to why, in one of the few glimmers of common sense in the DMCA, services like Rapidshare are exempt from getting brought to court for hosting copyrighted content, as long as they take it down if asked by the copyright holder. Hosting the files is the job of Rapidshare. Policing them isn't.
    • Re:But How? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Rysc (136391) * <> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:19PM (#28456055) Homepage Journal

      We already know exactly how this will go. RS already bans certain types of 'objectionable' porn, so such material is routinely uploaded as password protected RARs. The intended audience does not report it, so it remains up.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        I think I know what you're thinking of, but I've seen music, movies, games, warez and tons of shit uploaded there password protected already. I guess it'll just kill what little "public" scene is on rapidshare.

    • It's a very interesting problem. There is basically no way for copyright holders to find content being shared illegally on RS unless they find a link somewhere to the file.

      RS has no index, so how are copyright holders supposed to notify them of copyrighted material?

      This is slightly unrelated but there is an awfully large amount of child pornography on RapidShare. I was a moderator at an image board website with a porn board and every single day there would be multiple posts linking to child pornography on

    • They'll pay ISP's to ban the people who participate, or get some law passed that requires ISP's to ban the people who participate. And if they're in the United States, there ISP monopolies will ensure they only have to make a few payments to shut down every option.
  • Good (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Let the politicians and courts screw up the internet so bad that nothing but flash ads and porn are left, then we can can all use darknets. out of site out of mind.

  • fuck (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    As long as they keep the ebooks which you really can't find anywhere else...that's the only reason I use Rapidshare. It's a goldmine of history books, some of them out of print but not out of copyright. In any case, via AvaxHome and Filestube it's saved me a lot of trips to the local university libraries.

  • How to filter? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EvilToiletPaper (1226390) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @12:24PM (#28455031)
    For a typical rapidshare download, the files are names something weird, fragmented into multiple tars/rars and they're mostly password protected. The user gets all this info from the site that provides the links. The rapidshare servers themselves seem oblivious to the content of the files.

    How will rapidshare enforce filtering? crack passwords for every rar, open the content, view it, check it against existing copyright works? I doubt if filtering will deter any illegal file-sharing on rapidshare at all.
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The only way I can see Rapidshare counteracting this is to deny downloads of anything that appears encrypted, so if someone uploads a RAR file or a data blob that doesn't correspond to a known format, it would be automatically removed.

      However, it wouldn't be hard at all to get around this by attaching a header onto an encrypted blob and telling people to just cut off the first x bytes off the front of the file.

      • by jack2000 (1178961)
        Here is a system check the referer to the dl page, use spider to harvest all strings from page, try every password till you unlock the archive. I know this an arms race, this method can be circumvented very easy and the nature of this arms race the policing force can't win.
      • Re:How to filter? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Rysc (136391) * <> on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:21PM (#28456091) Homepage Journal

        The accepted way to do this is with JPEG + RAR. rar files with a garbage header are valid, jpegs with garbage at the end are valid. You simply rar your data, make a simple jpeg, cat simple.jpg data.rar > innocent.jpg and then upload.

        • by tepples (727027)

          jpegs with garbage at the end are valid.

          JPEGs with more data after the End Of Image tag than before it are valid but suspicious.

  • Which Rapidshare? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Would this be or ? They are significantly different.

  • 1) Encrypt content in whatever manner seems suitable (TrueCrypt, password protect RAR, etc.)
    2) Link to second download on same site, with textfile containing password.
    3) ???
    4) Profit!

  • Considering all I have ever managed to download from them is the same damned Rick Astley video.... MAN I hate that song... never gonna gi---

  • For the gain of an industry, not bigger than that of the industry of toilet seats or brushes, Internet utilities and places are forced to do, what is the job of the police and government, and additionally censor things.

    Well, luckily, according to their own calculations, the RIAA has only 5-7 years more to live. :)

    On another note, I am a bit happy that Rapidshare will be killed. It was a horrible step backward from modern systems like Gnutella. In terms of modernity, Rapidshare was here:
    Rapidshare, FTP, alt.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by melikamp (631205)
      BT is better than Gnutella, imho. The search happens on a website, which can also provide feedback (boards) and some form of authentication. Here [], for example, you can see little green and purple skulls indicating that the torrent was uploaded by a "trusted" person, whatever that means. Decentralized for the sake of decentralized is nice on paper, but the actual result is often significantly less efficient than a more structured platform. Freenet & Gnutella vs. torrents, YACY vs. Google, etc.
    • I was under the impression that eDonkey and Gnutella were in the same group/protocol, also I have never heard of WinMX/NY and have yet to actually get to a darknet.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by steelcaress (1389111)
      I don't care if it was positively stone-age. It was the fastest thing I'd used in forever. All of those other systems you mentioned ran slowly or not at all on my rigs. If I paid a pittance I could download scads of stuff, with no waiting. It didn't matter what my router was set to, how many seeds or peers there were, or whether I was sharing, or even what client I was using. Unlike the darknets (like DirectConnect) there was no idiot moderator who banned you if he didn't like you or didn't understand
    • by Grishnakh (216268)

      Sorry, but when you change your metric to performance, then RapidShare beats just about all of those. A single, fast server generally gives you much better download speeds than any P2P application. The only exception is BitTorrent, IFF you're downloading something that's extremely popular (meaning it's also very new). P2P applications like eDonkey and the like generally have horrid performance, because you're fighting for bandwidth from some guy who's sharing something over his slow cable-modem connectio

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @01:10PM (#28455957)

    "No such fine has been imposed â" $34 million was the estimated value of the tracks hosted on Rapidshare."

    Amazing, this figure means that there are only at most about four hundred illegally uploaded American tracks []. That's not even noteworthy. ;-) *hides*

  • I often wonder when governments of small markets (state/providence/prefecture or national) if smaller companies like Rapidshare who aren't competing on the level of MS or Google ever consider simply blocking access to that region that has laws/rulings that challenge the profitability of their business model. As much as it seems anti-thetical for a "world wide web" it seems from a business perspective a real option.

    Even more so, how would you do it to satisfy the court... block by IP, geotraceroute, TLD, a
  • >>$34 million was the estimated value of the tracks hosted on Rapidshare.

    $1.92million / 24 songs, that's $80,000 per song...

    $34million / $80,000 = 425 songs.

    I thought rapidshare had a much more diverse collection of music than that.
  • Music industry outfit GEMA asked the court to ban Rapidshare from making 5,000 tracks from its catalogue available on the Internet.

    thank god....when i read the headline i was afraid this might affect my ability to download porn.

    on a more serious note, can we please get a court to force restaurants to stop playing '80s music as well?

  • Safe deposit boxes (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk (75490) on Wednesday June 24, 2009 @03:09PM (#28457739) Homepage

    If I put a CD into a safe deposit box, and I share the key with people - and they go to the box, copy the CD, then put the CD back... is the bank liable?

  • That 34 million is, of course, street value of the goods--after they've been "cut" with powdered sugar and strychnine, to a purity less than 10% of the original.

Just about every computer on the market today runs Unix, except the Mac (and nobody cares about it). -- Bill Joy 6/21/85