RapidVideo Reaches the End of the Road Due to Legal Pressure

By Bill Toulas / October 22, 2019

RapidVideo is down, and it will stay that way as it has given up fighting against the MPA, ACE, Warner Bros, and Netflix. The legal pressure from these giants was just too much for the popular file-hosting platform to handle, and their business model simply didn’t allow them to continue the funding of their legal defense. This is another example of a popular pirate entity going dark, and another win for the ACE and its members, but we’re certainly very far from calling the war over yet.

RapidVideo was one of those file hosting services that didn’t scrutinize the contents of its users’ uploads, so many of the files were the products of piracy. When this happens, piracy-fighting coalitions like ACE send notices to the platform and ask for the removal of the copyright-infringing content. The platform then either ignores the notices, or removes the content only to have the link reappear quickly. This makes it obvious for the rightsholders that the only way to deal with file hosting platforms is to take the legal prosecution path, and that’s what happened in this case too.

The related lawsuit was submitted in Germany, and it was signed by the four entities mentioned above. The operator of RapidVideo decided to shut down the website immediately after receiving the summoning invitation from the court, so there was no convicting verdict out yet. This left the millions of users of the file-hosting platform at stale, as they didn’t expect this development right now. TorrentFreak reached out to the admin of the file-hosting site, and confirmed that the shutdown is permanent. As they point out, the operator even considered pulling the plug earlier this year, when the new EU Copyright Directive passed.

Whether or not this voluntary shutdown will help in shaking the lawsuit off remains to be seen, but we don’t believe that the coalition will be satisfied without a permanent injunction and a hefty compensation. File hosting providers who are witnessing a significant disruption on their advertising revenues cannot possibly implement the file filtering systems that are required by the new copyright laws, so their whole kind is under threat of extinction right now. Sure, there are always going to be ways, and when something goes offline, new platforms pop up to take its place, but file hosting services have trouble with their business model right now, and that’s fundamental.

What do you think about the future of file hosting platforms? Let us know of your opinion in the comments down below, or on our socials, on Facebook and Twitter.

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