Megaupload today, RapidShare tomorrow?
Even with the end of Megaupload, numerous amount of other
file sharing sites still exist: sites where its legality is still being
questioned, whose users must be feeling unsure now. "We are however only
tracking such sites, which knowingly misuse legitimate technologies like file
hosting, without possibly infringing the copyrights", explains Peter Carr,
spokesperson for the district attorney's office for the US state of Virginia,
who is also involved in the charges against Megaupload.
Nevertheless, quite a number of sites have reacted
immediately: FileServe and FileSonic have deleted massive data and accounts,
(one can still download a few files), and others like 4shared or file jungle
have discontinued their premium services. Portals like MediaFire or RapidShare
on the contrary are proceeding unchanged. Still, they do not offer any rewards
for illegal copies and such files are deleted immediately the moment copyright
holders file a report. Both the main accusations directed at Megaupload are
therefore not applicable to RapidShare. In fact, these services are now
profiting from the demise of Megaupload. According to a statement by Alexandra
Zwingli, the CEO of RapidShare, RapidShare has already recorded a distinct
increase in the number of users. Even Damian Schmidt, chief executive officer
of the Strato AG, does not expect any consequences in the case of HiDrive, the
online storage service as "the possibilities for file distribution are
limited, like in the number of downloads and the validity of share links".
An exploitation scenario such as Megaupload's is therefore is barred.
There are small distinctions that differentiate these offers
from the illegal ones and these could turn into standards in the future for
other file hosters. Among these is an effective file reporting system for the
holder of rights, but this also counts that the contents is not indicated in
search engines, or even be made traceable. In the last year alone, Google
deleted five million links to copyrighted contents, almost double the amount
from the year 2010. Online storages like the HiDrive and Dropbox may be at
large, but its one-to-one connections places its users on the legal side.
RapidShare, however, remain in the interim of doubt.
“Checking files would be a massive invasion of the private
sphere - Daniel Raimer, Spokesperson for RapidShare”
Daniel Raimer, Spokesperson for RapidShare
Saving songs from web radio streams as mp3?
This is allowed - just like one is allowed to record songs
from radio. In addition, it is also applicable that you are allowed to
distribute MP3s in a private circle (rule of the thumb: seven individuals).
Fundamentally, one can always save a private copy of a legal original, whether
music, movie or software (and/or backup copy in case of software).
By passing IP blocks to view foreign services such as Hulu?
It is very argumentative whether one is allowed to disguise
one's IP address using tools such as
Whether one is allowed to disguise one's IP address using
tools such as Hotspot Shield or the web service UnblockUs - there is as of yet
no judgment on this. Few judges stand by the view that IP blocks must be
handled legally just like a copy protection. After that, circumventing such
technical protection measure would be punishable with indemnity. Who that still
registers oneself with fake details as a US citizen to view such services, must
anticipate the blocking of one’s account.
Posting photos from the web on Facebook or Google+?
The issue is open-ended due to two reasons. One is the fact
that it is controversial whether the posting of images and commenting on them
fall under the right to quote (i.e. it would be allowed), since such a posting
rarely represents a decidedly dispute of the user with the work. The other is
cloudiness of whether the site operator or the user can be made directly
responsible for the content on one's Facebook profile. Jurisdiction is still
fighting over this issue