File hosting service Rapidshare has been fined €24m by a German court and ordered to filter online content more effectively.
German royalties collector GEMA, which brought the case against the company, had called on the Regional Court in Hamburg to order Rapidshare to prohibit around 5,000 music tracks from being made available online.
"The judgment states that the hosting service itself is now responsible for making sure that none of the music tracks concerned are distributed via its platform in the future," according to a GEMA statement (in German).
"This means that the copyright holder is no longer required to perform the ongoing and complex checks."
A few things: There's no case law in germany, so this doesn't mean that another judge won't say the contrary tomorrow. Also, the court in hamburg is known for it's crazy rulings in all things internet related. They've been overruled in the past, but I don't know about this case, I have no clue wether it the ruling will hold up.
Bad for rapidshare, as their primary business was "we don't know the files we host *wink wink*" and the sale of premium accounts will probably sink rapidly if they start filtering.
not taken enough preventative measures to (from the link above)
Depends what you mean by "enough".
Some years ago I signed up with a photo hosting service. The first post for a new account was always held back for manual review together with a random sample of subsequent posts. The size of the sample gradually reducing as the account reputation was established.