German Court Levies More Fines Against Rapidshare for Continued Violation of U.S. Publishers' Copyrights

File Sharing Site Owes an Additional 160,000 Euros in Fines For Continued Copyright Infringement

Aug 22, 2011, 13:17 ET from McGraw-Hill Education

HAMBURG, Germany, Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In a decision handed down on July 25 by the Regional Court of Hamburg, Rapidshare AG and its principal were found to be in continued violation of the Court's previous order requiring Rapidshare to cease making available through its file sharing service numerous copyright-protected titles of six publishers, resulting in additional fines of 160,000 Euros, along with an assessment of costs. In a previous order dated May 31, 2010, the Court imposed a fine of 150,000 Euros against Rapidshare for illegal hosting of 148 collective works from six publishers, including Bedford, Freeman and Worth Publishing Group, LLC a subsidiary of Macmillan; Cengage Learning Inc.; Elsevier Inc; John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; and Pearson Education, Inc.  

The German court declared in its latest decision that Rapidshare "...continued to culpably violate the prohibition order issued by the Chamber and specified in the operative provisions of this resolution.  Between July 16, 2010 and July 18, 2010, 100 of the total of 148 works in dispute were fully accessible via the service on  In 34 cases, individual works were stored and accessible several times, so that a total of 134 links were found to files containing the works in dispute."  

Further, in addressing the required changes imposed by the previous prohibition order, the Court determined that Rapidshare did not "...implement continuous measures to prevent the works in dispute from once more being made publicly accessible… [including] the application of a word filter which checks the file name during the uploading of files onto the servers of [Rapidshare] with regard to whether it contains the author, the title, the ISBN number or the publisher... Should the implementation of a word filter for the uploading of files to the servers of [Rapidshare] actually not be technically feasible, [Rapidshare] would have to change the hardware and software used to a different system which allows the implementation of such a word filter."  In addition to the utilization of the word filter, the Court further held that Rapidshare is "obligated to search the known relevant external links libraries" for the infringing postings and to remove any such infringing files discovered.  

"The Court's decision to fine Rapidshare in its continued violation of hosting written, copyright-protected materials underscores the serious nature of this offense, sending a message to the public that unauthorized file-sharing of publishers' works will not be tolerated," said Dr. Ursula Feindor-Schmidt, an attorney representing the publishers.

The publishers that filed the action support the development of online services that promote legal distribution of works.  The publishers will continue to monitor vigilantly content-sharing sites in an effort to promote lawful and innovative services for communities seeking consumption of copyrighted materials in a manner that complies with the copyright interests of content owners.

About Bedford, Freeman & Worth and Macmillan

Bedford, Freeman & Worth Publishing Group, LLC ("BFW") is a leading publisher of educational content and resources used by colleges and universities worldwide.  BFW's imprints include Bedford/St. Martins, W.H. Freeman and Company, and Worth Publishers.  BFW is part of Macmillan, a group of America's leading book publishers and educational content companies. Macmillan's operations include St. Martin's Press; Farrar Strauss & Giroux; Henry Holt; Picador; Tor; Macmillan Audio; Macmillan Children's; Bedford, Freeman, and Worth; i>clicker; and Hayden McNeil.  For more information, visit

About Cengage Learning

Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. The company's products and services are designed to foster academic excellence and professional development, increase student engagement, improve learning outcomes and deliver authoritative information to people whenever and wherever they need it. Through the company's unique position within both the library and academic markets, Cengage Learning is providing integrated learning solutions that bridge from the library to the classroom.  Cengage Learning's brands include Brooks/Cole, Course Technology, Delmar, Gale, Heinle, South-Western and Wadsworth, among others. Cengage Learning is headquartered in Stamford, CT.  For more information on Cengage Learning please visit

About Elsevier

Elsevier is a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services. The company works in partnership with the global science and health communities to publish more than 2,000 journals.  A global business headquartered in Amsterdam, Elsevier employs 7,000 people worldwide. The company is part of Reed Elsevier, a world-leading publisher and information provider. 

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP)  is a leading global financial information and education company that helps professionals and students succeed in the Knowledge Economy. With leading brands including Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates, the Corporation has approximately 21,000 employees with more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2010 were $6.2 billion. Additional information is available at

About Pearson

Pearson, the world's leading learning company, has global-reach and market leading businesses in education, business and consumer publishing (NYSE: PSO). For more information:

About Wiley

Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:  JW.a and JW.b), has been a valued source of information and understanding for more than 200 years, helping people around the world meet their needs and fulfill their aspirations. Wiley and its acquired companies have published the works of more than 400 Nobel laureates in all categories: Literature, Economics, Physiology or Medicine, Physics, Chemistry, and Peace.   Our core businesses publish scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, encyclopedias, books, and online products and services; professional/trade books, subscription products, training materials, and online applications and Web sites; and educational materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley's global headquarters are located in Hoboken, New Jersey, with operations in the U.S., Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia. The Company's Web site can be accessed at

SOURCE McGraw-Hill Education