More bad news for file sharers: the German file hosting site RapidShare has been hit with a $34 million copyright infringement ruling by a German court. Like similar internally capitalized services like zShare and YouSentIt, RapidShare has a lot of potential legitimate uses but is most popularly known as a site where one can up- or download copious amounts of copyrighted material and pornography.
The suit was filed by the German performance rights group GEMA, which has tussled with RapidShare before. GEMA won a temporary injunction against RapidShare back in 2007 on similar charges.
After the Jammie Thomas-Rasset verdict last Friday this makes two potentially precedent-setting rulings against file sharers in less than a week. Of course this doesn’t mean that file sharing’s dead by any stretch of the imagination. Newer technologies like BitTorrent might be able to throw enough technical complications into the mix to stay a step ahead of rights holders, and other RapidShare-like services will likely continue to operate in willful disregard for the law. So don’t worry about not being able to find your pirated jams online for free for at least a little while longer.