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Piracy The Courts

RapidShare Threatens Suit Over Piracy Allegations 183

Hugh Pickens writes "PC Magazine reports that RapidShare, named as a contributor to digital piracy by a MarkMonitor report, has threatened to sue for defamation. 'This defamation of RapidShare as a digital piracy site is absurd and we reserve the right to take legal action against MarkMonitor,' says RapidShare in a statement. 'RapidShare is a legitimate company that offers its customers fast, simple and secure storage and management of large amounts of data via our servers.' MarkMonitor, a Web site that specializes in 'enterprise brand protection,' says in their study that the most-trafficked domains engaged in digital piracy included three sites —,, and — that combined yielded 21 billion pageviews per year. RapidShare acknowledged that copyrighted files do get uploaded to its site, however 'these users are in the absolute minority compared with those who use our services to pursue perfectly legitimate interests.' RapidShare says that it does not open and view the files of its users, and contains no search function so that other users may look for content."
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RapidShare Threatens Suit Over Piracy Allegations

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  • by Kneo24 ( 688412 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:46AM (#34859460)
    Just in my own personal experience, I've never seen Rapidshare used for legal means. I've never heard of anyone using it for legal means. I'm not saying that it can't happen or doesn't happen, but I really do wonder how much of their business is business done without breaking copyright laws. Furthermore, if they never open up the files put on their servers, how the hell would they know whether there's copyright infringement going on in the first place? You can't claim for absolute certainty that your core business doesn't rely on law breakers when you don't monitor what your customers are doing. You have to view data somewhere at some point to have a reasonable conclusion.
  • by Haedrian ( 1676506 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:51AM (#34859486)

    Everything can be used for "Piracy".

    Before we had tapes, then Floppies, then CDs, then P2P and websites...

    I can send illegal files by email, by handing them over on a thumb drive...

    Its easier if we just add "Everything" to the list of Piracy and let it be done.

  • Re:Understandable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:52AM (#34859492)
    Plus it wouldn't work. Soon it'd be full of encrypted RARs of filenames like aiegflaeaergfaer.rar, or possibly sales_reports.rar... no way anyone could tell what they are unless they are a member of the private forum where the link and decryption password are posted.
  • Missing the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ProbablyJoe ( 1914672 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @07:07AM (#34859600)

    Sure, RapidShare is used a lot for copyrighted material, but it's not as if it's their doing. On the contrary, they seem to make a lot of effort to remove copyrighted material - at least a lot of the links I see are deleted. Whether or not this is them specifically searching for it, or it being reported, I have no idea.

    What next? FTP is used for uploading copyrighted material too. What an evil protocol.

    Slashdot loves car analogies right? Clearly cars that can drive over the speed limit are also to blame for speeding.

  • by CitizenCain ( 1209428 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @07:34AM (#34859732)

    If all of that stuff is so stagnant, why are you bothered about the copyright lease being so long? Look for cheap or free indie media.

    You're missing the point of that adage. The mosquitoes don't stay in the stagnant pool of water once they've bred. They fly off and bite anyone they can find.

    Likewise, absurd lease lengths on copyrights don't just effect the works the protect, but impact the entire media realm. Why bother funding new, creative media when you get the copyright on Mickey Mouse extended for another 90 years and keep milking that cow? Or, for that matter, why bother creating anything at all, when you can become a patent troll and makes tens of millions of dollars by suing other people for bothering to create something. (And so on.)

  • by EnsilZah ( 575600 ) <.EnsilZah. .at.> on Thursday January 13, 2011 @08:18AM (#34859944)

    I guess their data is just out of date.
    Maybe a year ago you could have seen a lot of traffic on Rapidshare, but slow speeds, low filesize limits and long wait times have made Rapidshare go the way of MySpace.
    Now you have a completely different set of players, there's Hotfile, Fileserve, Netload, Filesonic, Depositfiles, and a whole bunch of others.
    If you go to a site that posts such links you'd be hard pressed to find one Rapidshare link in fifty.

    And I bet the **AAs are just about getting ready to do something about Rapidshare.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @08:35AM (#34860032)
    Here are a few Rapidshare search engines.
    Look towards the bottom at "Recent searches" how many of those look legal to you? (in case you're still under any delusions about whats hosted on rapidshare some of the titles are definitely NSFW)

    I fully support file sharing and the downfall of copyright law, but lets not lie to ourselves please.
  • by Kilrah_il ( 1692978 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @08:52AM (#34860144)

    This is called selection bias. People who use RS for legitimate use, share the links with the intended recipient only. The files are not searched by anonymous people throughout the web on these sites. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't search [] for "Presentation for 2011 shareholder meeting.pps".
    You are using sites that are used by people who d/l illegal files to show that RS is used for illegal d/l. If you look into Toyota's site, you would see that most of the searches on that site are for cars made by Toyota. Ergo, most people drive Toyota!

  • Re:Understandable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by delinear ( 991444 ) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @09:12AM (#34860268)
    Your explanation fails the idiot test. As icebraining said - firstly Youtube have full access to the unencrypted data, it's relatively trivial to run some algorithm to compare it to a stored video/audio stream and you know what format the file is in to begin with. Rapidshare not only have the issue that users could just encrypt their files, but even unencrypted they'd need a reliable method to compare vastly more types of files. That's both technically complicated and incredibly costly. The alternative is that the people with a vested interest in preventing the sharing of illegal materials (the rights holders) do the police work and RS remove it when asked and... oh, wouldn't you know, that's what they already do. It's a much better situation, RIAA admittedly have to invest a little in chasing the content down, but compared to the millions they tell us in court this is costing them, it's a drop in the ocean to have some student checking download sites, meanwhile the rest of us get to use hosting sites for legitimate purposes without them being crushed by an unfair financial burden.

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