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Rapidshare Comments on Latest Legal Battle with Perfect 10

from – A CALIFORNIA COURT has rejected copyright infringement claims against Rapidshare made by a US pornography website and the German file-hosting company has criticised a US Congressional caucus for calling it a ‘pirate’.

Just as US Congressmen started slinging mud Rapidshare saw the temporary injunction against it that had been obtained by the adult entertainment company Perfect 10 kicked out of court.

Perfect 10 had requested the injunction to stop Rapidshare from hosting and distributing adult content. Perfect 10 complained that Rapidshare’s file-hosting was illegal and said that Rapidshare was engaged in unfair competition with its fee-based service.

The INQUIRER reported earlier last week that Rapidshare was named as one of six top offending sites by the US Congressional International Anti-Piracy (sic) Caucus “2010 International Piracy (sic) Watch List”.

“It is outrageous that a caucus of the United States Congress connects our website to piracy. [This] demonstrate[s] that the Recording Industry Association of America and the U.S. Congress lack knowledge of our operations,” Christian Schmid [pictured], Rapidshare’s founder said.

“Our company caters to our users’ legitimate interests. This has been acknowledged by two recent court rulings in Germany and by the Southern California district court.”

In the California case, the court said Rapidshare’s free hosting did not represent copyright infringement of media files owned by Perfect 10, which charges punters a small monthly fee for access to its content. When asked to provide evidence of infringement, Perfect 10 couldn’t.

“We are extremely pleased at this groundbreaking decision,” said Rapidshare’s attorney, Daniel Raimer. “In passing this decision, the Californian Court has accepted the same line of argument, which underpinned the recent landmark decision of the Higher Regional Court in Dusseldorf in the appeal against Capelight Pictures.”

Another injunction against Rapidshare was rejected at the Dusseldorf hearing. In that case, Rapidshare had been temporarily banned for a while from file-hosting content from Capelight Pictures.

With this court victory Rapidshare joins The Pirate Bay this week in winning much needed breathing space to continue providing their respective services.

from – Ah, Perfect 10. The adult content company has spent the last decade or so engaged in one copyright lawsuit after another, accusing pretty much every search engine out there of copyright infringement for hosting thumbnails of images that others uploaded.

It has lost repeatedly. And yet, it keeps on suing. At some point, you have to wonder if its legal budget might have been better spent on, I don’t know, actually innovating and giving people a reason to buy. It looks like yet another of its legal theories isn’t working out so well in court. paperbag was the first of a few of you to send in the news that the district court in California’s Southern District has refused to grant an injunction against Rapidshare, suggesting that, as a mere file locker, Rapidshare would not be liable for the infringement done by its users.

Amusingly, the ruling came out just a day before a bunch of US politicians tagged Rapidshare as one of the worst copyright offenders out there, and suggested sanctions should be made against Germany for not stopping Rapidshare. Funny, then, that a US court also doesn’t seem to think Rapidshare is breaking copyright law…

Of course, this was just the ruling over the request for a preliminary injunction. TorrentFreak’s headline jumps the gun a bit in saying a court found Rapidshare “not guilty” for infringement. It sounds like we haven’t quite reached that stage yet. This was just a request for an injunction before the actual case goes to trial.

That said, at this point, I can’t find a copy of the actual ruling, and the only information to go off of is Rapidshare’s own press release, which states “The court rejected the application in its entirety. In its ruling, the court stated that as a file-hosting company, RapidShare cannot be accused of any infringements of copyrights.”

That sounds like the court said Rapidshare qualified for DMCA safe harbors, but without the full ruling, we don’t know for sure — and it’s entirely possible that Rapidshare is exaggerating the ruling.

If anyone has access to the actual ruling, and are willing to share it, it could be interesting (and potentially relevant to other ongoing cases, such as the Viacom v. YouTube case). Once I’ve seen a copy I’ll either update this post or post again, if the details warrant a separate post.


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