Yesterday Daniel Raimer, chief legal officer of the file-locker service RapidShare, met with tech-biz figures and law enforcement officials at the Technology Policy Institute’s multidisciplinary Aspen Forum. Like other file-locker services, RapidShare has attracted substantial criticism because it’s seen as abetting copyright violations on an epic scale. File lockers are of course popular for legitimate purposes too, like sharing large files between collaborators—the project files for a digital-recording collaboration between two geographically distant musicians, for instance—but when combined with blogs and other social media they provide an easy way to share copyrighted material without the exposure of seeding on a P2P network, where snoops can sniff out your IP address and serve you with multimillion-dollar RIAA lawsuits.

Some file-locker sites have been brazen about hosting intellectual-property black markets—an investigation into megapopular site Megaupload turned up e-mails in which employees discussed user-reported errors in copyrighted material downloaded through the site, and these contributed to an ongoing federal case against the site and its larger-than-life founder, Kim Dotcom. RapidShare puts forth a more professional, less piratical image, and in fact has made attempts to negotiate a treaty with the major labels regarding the rights and responsibilities of file-storage sites when it comes to copyrighted materials. (The labels said no.) It makes sense for Raimer to take his argument to people in law enforcement, because copyright holders—namely the RIAA and MPAA—have been lobbying to increase the Department of Justice’s role as copyright enforcers. And what he’s telling them makes sense too, and on top of that raises some interesting questions.