Germany, French courts disagree on responsibility of ISPs for illegal content

Courts in France and Germany differ about the way ISPs and online file-hosting services should deal with take-down requests, with Germany putting more responsibility on service providers to police content.While the German Federal Court of Justice said that online storage services should look for similar infringing content when notified that they host one infringing file, the French Final Court of Appeal ruled that copyright holders should file an objection for each disputed upload.To continue reading this IDG report, go to: firms ‘responsible for pirated content’, German court rules
Summary: Germany’s top court has ruled that file-hosting service Rapidshare must strengthen its anti-piracy measures after a pirated copy of the Atari title Alone in the Dark was found on its serversGermany’s federal court of law, the Bundesgerichtshof (BGH), has decided that online file-hosting services are at least partly responsible for the contents of the files on their servers.The legal wrangling started when Rapidshare deleted a file containing a pirated copy of the Atari game Alone in the Dark after the game company notified it of the copyright breach. Atari Europe decided to take the matter further, and went on to sue Rapidshare in order to force it to improve its anti-piracy measures. German court says RapidShare must monitor link sites for piracy
The Federal Court of Justice, Germany’s highest court on non-constitutional questions, has ruled that file-sharing sites share responsibility for infringement by their users if notified of such infringement by copyright holders. The decision is a setback for RapidShare, which had argued it should not be required to proactively monitor its users’ content.The case was initiated by Atari, which accuses RapidShare of turning a blind eye to piracy of its game Alone in the Dark. Atari won at the district court level, but the ruling was overturned by a German appeals court. The high court has now affirmed the district court’s position. The high court rejected RapidShare’s argument that it was merely a passive file-storage service. “The service is called RapidShare and not RapidStore,” said Judge Wolfgang Kirchhoff, “and that says it all.”

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