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 Rapidshare Terminates Accounts of Illegal Downloaders

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PočaljiNaslov: Rapidshare Terminates Accounts of Illegal Downloaders   Sre Mar 24, 2010 6:14 am

Rapidshare Terminates Accounts of Illegal Downloaders
March 23, 2010

For many years Rapidshare was considered to be a safe way for people to download copyrighted content without having to face repercussions. Recently, however, the company has been actively going after users that upload or download copyrighted files through the service by terminating accounts and logging IP-addresses for legal purposes.

rapidshareIn common with BitTorrent and other file-sharing services, Rapidshare has steadily increased its user base in recent years. The site has hundreds of millions of visitors each month and is listed among the 50 most-used sites on the Internet.

Like most file-hosting services, Rapidshare is hosting a wide range of music, movies and music files that are distributed without the consent of the rightsholders. This has dragged the company’s bosses into several lawsuits with copyright holders already, most recently they were ordered to proactively filter 148 book titles to avoid jail time and huge fines.

Although it is no secret that many people use Rapidshare to distribute copyrighted content, the site’s users have remained largely untouched until recently. Over the last few weeks, however, reports are coming in from users who’ve had their accounts terminated for downloading or uploading copyrighted files. From the emails being sent out, it is clear that Rapidshare is taking a more aggressive stance towards ‘infringing’ users.

“It came to our attention that illegal uploads which have violated third-party copyrights that can result in lawsuits are being hosted on our servers, thus voiding the Terms of Service. We have detected and removed these files from our servers, as requested by the legitimate owners, and are now in the process of terminating accounts that have downloaded or stored those copyrighted materials in order to prevent them from circulating and breaching copyrights again,” the email from Rapidshare reads.

Terminating accounts is not the end of it though, as Rapidshare informs the users in question that their personal details will be kept for legal purposes. “A log file of all your login IP addresses and uploaded/downloaded file details will be kept for legal purposes,” they write. Rapidshare advises users who want to appeal the decision to hire a lawyer.

The email doesn’t elaborate on what they mean by “legal purposes” but we assume that the company is going to use it as leverage, and that logs might eventually end up in the hands of copyright holders. If anything, the email from Rapidshare makes it clear that the company places the interests of copyright holders above the privacy of its users.

There is little doubt that this active termination policy is the result of ever-increasing pressure from copyright holders. At the same time, these actions might very well be the end of Rapidshare’s limitless expansion, as users will quickly move over to competing file-hosting services upon hearing this news.

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