Online copyright lawsuits aren’t all about music. Video game publisher Atari Europe recently became concerned that copies of its game Alone in the Dark were floating around one-click file-hosting service RapidShare, so it took the hosting company to court. The publisher wanted RapidShare to take responsibility for the files hosted and downloaded via their service – and to block any which compromise copyright or intellectual property agreements.
The first court to hear the case – in Düsseldorf, Germany – found in favour of Atari‘s arguments, but RapidShare didn’t like the decision, appealed, and finally won when the case was heard in the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf.
RapidShare have released a statement:
“The Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf acknowledged RapidShare’s efforts against the distribution of material that is protected by copyright and deemed the additional measures required by Atari to be unreasonable or pointless.”
This is not the first time that the file hosting company has come under the legal spotlight. Last year, the same German appeals court overturned a separate ruling against them, while a US court has also decided the company is not liable for its users behaviour.
Spokesman Daniel Raimer added:
“The ruling demonstrates once again that RapidShare is operating a fully legal range and has taken measures against the misuse of its service which go beyond the level that is legally required. We are confident that copyright holders will gradually come to accept this conclusion.”
Gradually is the key word there though, as Atari and other major copyright holders around the world still aren’t keen on the court’s decision. I doubt this will be the last time that RapidShare are in the legal spotlight, with worldwide music trade group IFPI also highlighting “Unlicensed download sites, news groups, specialised search engines, forums, blogs and cyberlockers” in their 2010 digital music report as significant channels for copyright infringements.