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RapidShare Releases Anti-Piracy Manifesto, Now Allows Account Deletion Literally “Without Proof Of Infringement”

Ever since the takedown of MegaUpload, other cyberlockers have been a little antsy. If it can happen to the biggest player in the game, it can probably happen to whoever steps up to fill that pair of shoes. FileSonic, for instance, stopped allowing file-sharing at all, and BTJunkie — a torrent site — went whole-hog and completely shut down. RapidShare, another big player in the cyberlocker game, is trying to stay alive and has recently released an anti-piracy manifesto, detailing the extreme lengths to which they are going to completely avoid piracy. Besides taking anti-piracy far more seriously than any other cyberlocker to date, RapidShare’s manifesto explains these measures as “responsible practices” and encourages all other cyberlockers to do the same.

The manifesto reads like the MPAA and RIAA’s collective wet dream. Along with more reasonable steps, like disabling the accounts of repeat infringers and making files private by default, the RapidShare manifesto also includes some pretty wildly proactive measures. For instance, the manifesto literally prohibits any evaluation, verification or questioning of properly formatted DMCA takedown requests, and allows for the deletion of accounts based on nothing but complaints from copyright holders, that is to say, account termination “upon a substantial body of accusations without proof of infringement.”

From the manifesto’s text:

Services should terminate account holders or subscribers not merely upon proof that they are infringers but when sufficient copyright holders have called their conduct into question. In such cases, services deserve an explanation from the users as to why the suspicions are unfounded.

The manifesto, the provisions of which RapidShare will be enacting, will almost certainly reduce some of the piracy on the service. It’s likely, however, that it will also make the service nigh unusable for many users, and plain unsavory for many more. The new policies clearly — explicitly — put the importance of quashing any and all piracy far, far ahead of user experience. It should be interesting to see how this affects, or fails to affect, the size and happiness of their user base as well as the amount of copyrighted material that can be found on their service.

You can, and should, read the full manifesto here.

(via TorrentFreak)

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