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Rapidshare Ordered To Filter Content

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the hope-you-like-busywork dept.

Media 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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161 comments

Fucking bastards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28454843)

Here's to the hope that they'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes.

Re:Fucking bastards... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28458499)

Yeah! Yeah, revolution is what we need! How dare They stop us from doing whatever We want! All the time! We should line up those greedy bastards against the wall and shoot them all!

Grow up a bit, eh? The fact that you're quite likely some whiny overprivileged kid in the suburbs who thinks his "rights" have been violated isn't cause for revolution.

*sigh* (1)

Travelsonic (870859) | more than 5 years ago | (#28454895)

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.

Re:*sigh* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28454935)

Indeed. Throw the stuff in a password protected archive or a TrueCrypt volume and problem solved.

Imbeciles! (5, Insightful)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28454913)

Judges really have no clue of how internet hosting works, do they?

Re:Imbeciles! (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Imbeciles! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455393)

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:Imbeciles! (1, Interesting)

Timosch (1212482) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456289)

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.

Surprised (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28454917)

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:Surprised (2, Interesting)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28454967)

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 (3, Insightful)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456915)

Over here in Switzerland it's not illegal to download stuff. As soon as you start uploading, you cross the law. That's a good reason to go for ddls.

Re:Surprised (4, Funny)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Surprised (3, Interesting)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456047)

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.

Re:Surprised (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456557)

*looks at username*
*looks at post*

Bwhahahaha!

Re:Surprised (2, Interesting)

0100010001010011 (652467) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456623)

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.

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456895)

You cant't beat Usenetserver.com right now. $10 a month as long as you stay signed up. $13.34 normally 3 months at a time.

    Unlimited Downloads
    Encrypted 256bit SSL Access
    99%+ Completion
    303 Days Binary Retention
    Global Search
    20 Concurrent Connections
    Dynamic Route Selector
    Referral Credits
    24/7 Support & Live Chat

They are also spooling to 400 days!

Also, that concurrent connections is per IP. You can share your account with your friends and everyone can connect with 20 connections simultaneously.

http://www.usenetserver.com

Re:Surprised (2, Interesting)

Zedrick (764028) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456139)

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 nzbmatrix.com that indexes the fish.

Re:Surprised (3, Funny)

smitty97 (995791) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456231)

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

Re:Surprised (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456863)

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?

Re:Surprised (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456849)

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.

Re:Surprised (1)

bobmarleypeople (1077639) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455295)

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 (5, Interesting)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Surprised (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455987)

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

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456057)

The encryption won't help you stop the RIAA. The data has to be decrypted on the other end in order to be useful. The encryption is meant to make the traffic more difficult for ISPs to traffic shape.

Re:Surprised (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456293)

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?

Re:Surprised (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456447)

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 to date, they have not proved redistribution occurred at all. They have merely showed that the files were made available and therefore it is probable that they were distributed. If they used this strategy in a BitTorrent case, the defendant's lawyer could enter logs as evidence showing that they only uploaded some small fraction of the song, however this would require admitting to copyright infringement and defending it as fair use (remember that fair use is copyright infringement, it's just a kind specifically allowed by the law) and so is not a strategy most lawyers would be eager to pursue.

Re:Surprised (4, Interesting)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456639)

Now now, there you go applying "common sense" to something that has never used it from day 1.

Re:Surprised (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457789)

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.

Re:Surprised (1)

Dotren (1449427) | more than 5 years ago | (#28458337)

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 (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455313)

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:Surprised (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456803)

Bittorrent is often slow due to crappy seeds and tons of leeches. Rapidshare always gives me my full 1200 KB/s... and my ISP does throttling on torrents, but not on HTTP...

Re:Surprised (3, Informative)

Not The Real Me (538784) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457937)

"...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.

Re:Surprised (5, Insightful)

Mastadex (576985) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Surprised (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455967)

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 (4, Informative)

Taagehornet (984739) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 [wikipedia.org] . Mininova does not operate a tracker [wikipedia.org] . 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 ...at least for a while.

Re:Surprised (1)

florescent_beige (608235) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457091)

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 know how representative /. is of general IT community opinion but the vibes around here say "downloading can't be stopped and anyone who doesn't like it is stupid." That has to change.

Re:Surprised (4, Insightful)

Omestes (471991) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457867)

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.

Finally (3, Interesting)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Surprised (1)

bertoelcon (1557907) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455033)

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:Surprised (2, Funny)

monkeyboythom (796957) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455905)

You mean there's more than porn on RS?

Re:Surprised (1)

compro01 (777531) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456697)

Most porn is also copyrighted material.

eeah. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28454955)

This is rubbish. Rapidshare is teh best place to leech my 1337 warez. :(

The value of the tracks was $34 million (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28454969)

http://torrentfreak.com/court-orders-rapidshare-to-proactively-filter-content-090624/ [torrentfreak.com]

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. The court estimated the value of the tracks at $34 million.

Re:The value of the tracks was $34 million (1)

LuvlyOvipositor (1578009) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455067)

A bit low if you go by the calculations of the US courts: 24 songs == $1.8 million.

Re:The value of the tracks was $34 million (1)

Kabuthunk (972557) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456243)

That's exactly what I was thinking. If recent court cases are any indication, that would imply that Rapidshare had about 453 songs on it in total. Seems... a touch on the low side.

Re:The value of the tracks was $34 million (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457017)

So each music track, which you can estimate, generously, as being around 10MB in size, was worth on average about $6800. That's a lot of money for something which takes up so little space, and which is so easy to copy.

Can we just fix copyright? (5, Insightful)

realcoolguy425 (587426) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can we just fix copyright? (4, Insightful)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Can we just fix copyright? (1)

realcoolguy425 (587426) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456889)

You bring up some interesting points. Really any system would have to be unbelievably simple to correctly change how we handle copyright. The example I gave before was obviously a bit oversimplfied. The actual numbers that would be most effective would have to be researched. Perhaps a free period of 2 years could be included for all works. It might actually create an interesting market, when a work about to hit the next copyright cost 'tier' the artist or creative person would likely be looking for a buyer. If it's not worth it like I said though, it goes back out for the rest of us. If it is worth it, copyright is maintained, we provide unusual protections for the works; however there is a trade there as the works themselves help pay for these unusual protections. Personally, getting rid of copyright entirely might be preferable, but I'm just trying to come up with practical, workable solutions that are not the run-away Mickey Mouse laws we have now. [Disney will still pay to keep Mickey Mouse, which is part of the reason copyright has become such a large number of years before falling into public domain].

Copyright law does drive me nuts. I still remember, my scanner broke, I was tasked with just making simple copies of a collage of items on a piece of paper. One item included a photo of my brother who was going to graduate high school. Anyway, long story short, the person would not let me make copies of the collage, because she claimed the photograph was taken professionally, and it was protected by copyright. Obviously since this was just for a graduation party invitation, and was mostly other items, it should count as fair use. However Walgreens didn't seem to care that I thought it was fair use. A trip to Kinko's later and I got it done. [had to drive 30 miles since I'm in a fairly small down]. Regardless, copyright has become a 10 headed monster that's running out of control, and there is no end in sight.

Re:Can we just fix copyright? (1)

JustinOpinion (1246824) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457199)

A no-cost grace period would be a very good idea in any "tax copyright" system.

I've often thought that the protections of copyright should be related to the license the author selected to release the work under. The more "useful" the license is to society-at-large, the greater the protections would be (e.g. length of term). This brings copyright back to the notion of a contract between the public and the artist: the public provides incentives to produce work on the condition that the public benefits in the long term.

So, for example, a work released under a fairly liberal license that permits derivatives (e.g. creative commons or GPL) would be given longer protection (e.g. 14 years) than a work released under a highly restricted license (e.g. "all rights reserved" would get a 10 year protection). There could be a small number of classes (public domain, derivable-with-attribution, all-rights-reserved) and perhaps the default case would be "derivable" unless the artist/company explicitly labels it as "all rights reserved". This appeals to me because it forces everyone (from starving artists to big companies) to explicitly consider the tradeoff between short-term control and length-of-term (whereas right now it is a hard sell to get companies to be free with their content).

My suggested "graded licenses with graded protection" could conceivably be combined with copyright fees, with the fees depending on time and the license (e.g. derivable works get a longer time of no-fee protection).

But again my main worry, even with my own proposal, is that when the laws become complicated, it can be hard for "the little guy" to compete against the big players. Thus I think it is critically necessary for copyright law to be cleaned up. Rather than adding a bunch more exceptions (like fair use), the law should be cut back in scope so that common uses are no longer presumptively illegal. (In a digital age, fixating on "copies" doesn't make sense... it's really "distribution" that is the issue here.)

And I totally agree that current copyright law is out of control.

Re:Can we just fix copyright? (1)

sanosuke001 (640243) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457461)

5 years and then it goes into public domain. no loopholes, no exceptions, no greedy lobbyists.

oh, and outlaw lobbyists....

Re:Can we just fix copyright? (1)

baKanale (830108) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457523)

Anyone else sick of the current Mickey Mouse copyright laws we have now?

Hear, hear! It's funny calling our current copyright laws "Mickey Mouse", what with Steamboat Willy still under copyright, and continuing to be so until 2023.

But How? (5, Insightful)

Voyager529 (1363959) | more than 5 years ago | (#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? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455889)

What is the viable solution to this?

You could try paying for the files instead of stealing them. Ass holes -- all of you.

Re:But How? (3, Informative)

Rysc (136391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456055)

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.

Re:But How? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#28458805)

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.

Good (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455007)

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 (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455027)

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? (5, Insightful)

EvilToiletPaper (1226390) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:How to filter? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455791)

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.

Re:How to filter? (1)

jack2000 (1178961) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455919)

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? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28457049)

Most places do not even give rapidshare a referer as they list it as text and expect you to use your own download managers/etc. I paste my links into a text file and use aria2c

Re:How to filter? (4, Interesting)

Rysc (136391) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456091)

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.

Re:How to filter? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457043)

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.

Mail you a song? (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456327)

Just imagine if we all started mailing each other burned copies of music over the postal system. The RIAA would then demand to open all mail and screen for it. This whole business of screening all content seems to be bordering on unconstitutional to me. If I'm a copyright holder, does that give me the right to root through downloads and uploads on your personal computer for possible violations? It's certainly an interesting gray area for the legal system. On one hand you have the copyright holder's rights and on the other the computer user's rights. Whose rights are more important?

Which Rapidshare? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455055)

Would this be rapidshare.de or rapidshare.com ? They are significantly different.

Re:Which Rapidshare? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455181)

It's all in Deutschland [flagfox.net] , Süsse. So no, they're not significantly different.

of course (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455061)

Unfortunately for GEMA, Rapidshare placed a dog/cat CAPTCHA to access the check. That is, of course, after they've waited out the time delay for free-users.

Re:of course (3, Funny)

Kushieda Minorin (1453751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455159)

Not to worry, they have the $34 million premium account.

That beats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455087)

That beats being fined $80,000 per song like they do over here in the states.

Serves them right. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455261)

Guys, stop whining!

Rapidshit is *the* hub for swapping pirated works and software. I mean i'm all for net neutrality and against condemnation of technologies (bittorrent), but this is a business that somehow manages to distribute huge amounts of stolen material.

Re:Serves them right. (1)

nicolas.kassis (875270) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455577)

They don't just do this for pirated crap. They actually are used for legal purposes. They don't promote it even near the level the piratebay was. They are beeing agnostic to what is uploaded to their servers. They shouldn't be required to police the data users are uploading because they frankly are no different than an ISP who offers webspace.

Re:Serves them right. (1)

Spyware23 (1260322) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455617)

Not sure if you're trolling or not, but you realize that when a site like RapidShare goes down, it's users will just move to another hosting-service and "abuse" that one, right? It's not RapidShare's fault, they aren't uploading any material. They can't prevent any illegal material from being uploaded, so they really have no fault in this matter.

For every HTTP-based upload service you take down, you'll get ten in return. You can't prevent this from happening.

Re:Serves them right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455923)

Once president is set, it will be trivial for GEMA or other *AA organizations to just go after the sites one by one. A new download site comes up? Once the ball starts rolling, it would only be a matter of 30-45 minutes from a download site coming online to being shut down via a call to the ISP and a motion of discovery. Give 2-3 hours for filling out the legal pleadings, and a lawsuit might be filed the same day.

Remember after the Napster win by Lars, the total destruction of AudioGalaxy and many other file sharing applications until they moved their servers offshore. Even then, all it did was get the *AA to focus on suing (and winning) multi-million dollar cases against individuals.

Re:Serves them right. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456443)

The President is set already.

Re:Serves them right. (1)

alfs boner (963844) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457949)

Once president is set

Hahahahahahahahaha you are so fucking STUPID. Haw haw haw haw haw! "President" Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. You went to a public school, didn't you?

Pointless.... (1)

psycho12345 (1134609) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455363)

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!

That's a lot of money to pay (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455513)

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---

Re:That's a lot of money to pay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28457543)

Oh you BASTARD!!!
I can't believe I got Rickrolled by a /. comment!!!

Re:That's a lot of money to pay (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457929)

Rick Rolled in a Slashdot story.
BTW, I lost the game and so did you!

So it's about censorship, is it? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455563)

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.binary & Co. -> Napster & Co. -> BitTorrent & Co. -> eDonkey & Co. -> Gnutella, WinMX/NY & Co. -> Darknets & Co.
(Yes. BitTorrent also is a step backwards, because the search function is not inside the application, and you have to download little header files, instead of ed2k/magnet/etc. links, which makes it unnecessarily complicated.)

Re:So it's about censorship, is it? (2, Insightful)

melikamp (631205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455953)

BT is better than Gnutella, imho. The search happens on a website, which can also provide feedback (boards) and some form of authentication. Here [thepiratebay.org] , 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.

Re:So it's about censorship, is it? (1)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456039)

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:So it's about censorship, is it? (2, Insightful)

steelcaress (1389111) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457527)

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 what he saw in your files. It's not the tech that's important here -- something can be the coolest thing in the world, but if it doesn't work it is useless to me. Rapidshare, Megaupload, etc work, and work well.

Re:So it's about censorship, is it? (1)

thalassinos (1006625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28458163)

Rapidshare has its legal uses and personally I find it very convenient.

I have a premium account and I use it to share very large files with clients instead of using FTP. Bandwidth costs would have killed me if I was hosting my own files. Rapidshare is also much faster than my FTP site.

A friend of mine uses Rapidshare to share files used in large civil engineering projects with dozens of subcontractors and the local government. Perfectly legal.

You upload your (preferably encrypted) file once, share the link and stop worrying about it.

Now, if you are looking at Rapidshare from the point of view of (ahem) sharing questionable material, then yes, Rapidshare is a step back (more akin to FTP). They even try on purpose to make the content that they host difficult to index in search engines. They offer a single point of failure. But, as I mentioned earlier, they did not start with the aim of becoming the-next-big-thing-after-torrents.

end of an era (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 5 years ago | (#28455629)

I have used rapidshare quite a bit. I liked it because most of the stuff on there was clean. It was easy to download. There is actually a website rapidlibrary or something that you can use to search for stuff on rapidshare and you will not believe the kind of stuff thats on there and by that I mean everything you can think of, someone has uploaded it on rapidshare, especially ebooks, music and movies. I guess this means an end to the free downloading era for me. I am little skeptical about getting stuff off from torrents because of the viruses/malware either on the torrent files or on the sites that hosts these torrents. Anyway, I also know of other sites that will popup, however, usually such sites have lots of annoying flash/porn ads on it.

Just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28455741)

Here's a new and innovative idea: Why don't you actually pay for the copyrighted material that you wish to use instead of worrying about how you'll skirt the copyright laws.

Re:Just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456079)

Because the stuff is out of print and not sold in stores? Or one lives in a part of the world that major stores like Amazon or iTunes sell for way outrageous prices, or just don't sell at all?

Same tired old argument, just like "if you are not doing anything illegal, why would you mind xxx", "xxx" being some intrusive technology or method.

Re:Just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456469)

Because the stuff is out of print and not sold in stores? Or one lives in a part of the world that major stores like Amazon or iTunes sell for way outrageous prices, or just don't sell at all?

BS. A small percentage of the copyrighted files that are downloaded might be out of print, but the vast majority of files are for relatively new material that can be easily purchased and used in a legal way.

And why exactly does it matter that the material in question is sold for outrageous prices? Does that mean any time you feel that something is overpriced, you have the right to steal it? If you think that shiny new car you want is overpriced, you're going to steal it? Or that new top-of-the-line laptop costs too much money (in your eyes) so that gives you the right to just walk out of the store with it?

And don't get me that shit about downloadable files being different because there's no cost associated with them. Bullshit. Regardless of what the file contains, someone worked very hard to produce the material contained within the file -- perhaps devoting months or years of their life to the work. It is their intellectual property and they have every right to be paid for its use.

You're looking for excuses to justify stealing, that's all.

Re:Just a thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28458327)

You're looking for excuses to justify stealing, that's all.

What if I just want to borrow it for a bit? My library has a pretty decent collection of DVD's available. Recently, I wanted to watch a particular film by a director I've been getting interested in. Went to the library, they didn't have it, but could get it for me, the woman said. It'd take about a week. No thanks, I said, and went home, found a torrent, made dinner. By the time I was ready to eat, the file was ready and waiting. It was, as I expected, a pretty good movie. A few days later, I'd seeded enough, and deleted the file. From my perspective, the effect was exactly the same: I watched a movie I wanted to see, and didn't pay for it. That I ended up getting it from the internet and not the library seems irrelevant to me, as I wasn't going to pay for it to begin with. I simply found a service that allowed me to do so faster than my library would have, so I used that instead. If you have some ethical problem with that, well, fuck you.

Small potatoes (2, Funny)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 5 years ago | (#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 [slashdot.org] . That's not even noteworthy. ;-) *hides*

Opera Unite! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28456391)

This is why I love Opera Unite! My family is always asking me to 'fix' their computers for them... for free. Yeah, well, now any files I want to share on sites like RapidShare I just put in a hidden folder on their computer and then install Opera Unite as a startup service to run in the background!

Might take a while, but I think once they've had the RIAA raid their house a couple times, they might put it together and stop asking me for computer help. :)

Cost of Compliance (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456453)

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 message saying "Due to Company vs. State, if you are a resident of region, you are not permitted to use this site.... [legalese]...".

425 songs is that all? (1)

AmigaHeretic (991368) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456505)

>>$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.

thank god (1)

Darth (29071) | more than 5 years ago | (#28456801)

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?

Re:thank god (1)

thalassinos (1006625) | more than 5 years ago | (#28458031)

If Rapidshare is hosting, say 20000 songs, does this means that the remaining 15000 songs are fair game now?

Thank you GEMA!

Safe deposit boxes (4, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457739)

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?

Re:Safe deposit boxes (1)

guybrush3pwood (1579937) | more than 5 years ago | (#28457889)

You beat me to it... I was going with the warehouse analogy. Or even further: should the owner of the appartment I rent be hold liable for printouts of the ebooks I make at home? Nonesense.
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