Introduction: Cloud-based storage lockers are becoming increasingly important. Most of us probably use Dropbox. But of course they can be used to move any kind of forbidden digital content around. Hence US strong-copyright-interests are suspicious of them.RB
The last year has been a stressful period for online locker sites. Hotfile is currently defending itself from a lawsuit by the Motion Picture Association of America. In January, the federal government shut down Megaupload and indicted its officers. While the courts have yet to decide whether either company is legally responsible for the infringing activities of their users, there’s no serious dispute that copyright infringement accounted for a significant fraction of their business.
RapidShare argues that its service is fundamentally different. The company promotes non-infringing uses of its service and actively polices its site for illegal content. On Wednesday, at an event at the National Press Club, RapidShare formalized its anti-piracy stance with a new document. Its “Responsible Practices for Cloud Storage Services” outlines the steps the company takes to fight infringement on its site.
As we’ll see, these steps go well beyond the minimum enforcement efforts required to qualify for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act’s safe harbor. Yet even RapidShare’s aggressive anti-piracy approach has not satisfied piracy hawks like the Recording Industry Association of America. Ars talked to RapidShare General Counsel Daniel Raimer following Wednesday’s event.