Rapdishare Injuncted by GEMA
GEMA, a collecting society for German authors, last week won an injunction against the direct-download site Rapidshare from a court in Cologne. the terms of the court order forbid the making available for download of works by their members, mostly musicians. How Rapidshare will give effect to the order is unclear, as it is a service offering free storage space for users who want to distribute files on the web (I use it to circulate family photos when they exceed a reasonable size for email), and thus the hosts do not conduct any filtration of the content. You can read the GEMA press release here. Less trumpeted was an identical injunction obtained against UseNeXt, a service offiering access to content on UseNet.
The return to Vogue of direct download in the last couple of eyars ahs been one of the most perplexing and ironic twists to the file-sharing saga. Whilst the wave of media industry prosecutions has prompted many cognoscenti to promote the use of anonymized alternatives and led many important Bit Torrent and eMule sites to transform themselves into private gated communities, the great unwashed of the web couldn’t give a toss. There has never been more copyrighted content available on the web, and innumerable Rapidshares. From a privacy point of view this is a nightmare as the IP data can be directly gathered under court order and so does not even require masquerading as a user as occurs in BT or on the mule.
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