A German court has upheld the imposition of fines in excess of 150,000 euros ($197,325) against file holding site Rapidshare and its principals that the court had imposed for violating the injunction it issued earlier this year. The injunction was obtained in February 2010 by Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group, a subsidiary of Macmillan; Cengage Learning; Elsevier; John Wiley & Sons; The McGraw-Hill Companies; and Pearson Education. It prohibits Rapidshare from allowing 148 of those publishers' copyright-protected works to be made publicly available in digital form on Rapidshare.com. After obtaining the injunction, the publishers learned most of the injunction-protected works continued to be available on Rapidshare.com, so they asked the court to impose the fines.
The court made it clear that Rapidshare must implement effective measures to prevent illegal file sharing of the works. In its initial ruling issuing the injunction, the court had ruled that Rapidshare was required to monitor its site to ensure that the publishers' copyrighted content was not uploaded and that users couldn’t gain unauthorized access to the material. The Court has now concluded that Rapidshare “culpably failed to take reasonable examination and control measures,” which include using a word filter.
An attorney representing the publishers said the court’s measures “provide needed safeguards to protect these titles in the future from unlawful copying and distribution, reduce downloading of infringing material, and prevent businesses like Rapidshare from profiting from unauthorized access to and illegal distribution of copyrighted works."