Rapidshare has announced that it is going to appeal a recent ruling of a German court that could have potentially forced the company to shut down its website. A Dusseldorf court ruled in January that Rapidshare has to block access to musical works from rights holders that are represented by the German music rights group Gema. The ruling included a mandate to "take measures that might have the risk of making Rapidshare's service substantially less attractive or even close it down completely."

The company has now told the German online magazine Netzwelt.de that it is going to appeal the ruling. "Rapidshare wants to clarify the legal situation for hosters", a representative told the magazine. She explained that there have been different rulings with sometimes contradictory requirements for file hosters in the past, and argued that it is impossible for Rapidshare to filter its uploads because files can be renamed, split up or saved in different formats.

Rapidshare's spokesperson also added that not all uploads of musical works were illegal, because music fans could use Rapidshare to make back-ups of their own MP3s for personal use without giving the links to anyone else.

Gema on the other hand told Netzwelt that it is in settlement negotiations with Rapidshare btut didn't want to comment on any details. It will be interesting to see if the two sides can actually agree on a solution.

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