The file-hosting website Rapidshare was once the absolute horror of the content industry, it was for a long time the first choice for piracy content of all kinds. In 2015, the final end followed, but the legal aftermath was only recently closed. And that in favour of the defendant.
Rapidshare has not existed for many years, and its former operators have also turned to other things. But the people behind the Swiss file hosting service had to answer in court years after the plug was pulled. The (for the time being) last chapter concerned the couple Christian and Alexandra Schmid and one of their former lawyers.
The Zug public prosecutor accused Schmid, the founder of Rapidshare, of having committed massive commercial violations of copyrights. High compensation was also demanded. The prosecutor argued that Rapidshare had enriched itself at the expense of the authors. The accusation: They knew about the piracy activities, but deliberately did not do anything about it.
Two and a half years of waiting
The negotiations were already half an eternity ago and after a two-and-a-half-year waiting period, the verdicts have finally been pronounced or announced: As the Schweizer Tagblatt reported by TorrentFreak there were acquittals for all three. According to the Zurich lawyer Andreas Meili, who represented Alexander Schmid, all of them have been “fully acquitted”, but the court has not yet published a reason.
The downside for the Schmids: According to the report, they have to pay a “considerable amount” of the costs of the proceedings. For this purpose, Meili and Schmid want to wait for the reasons and will then possibly contest the judgment. It is also unclear whether the public prosecutor or the plaintiff publishers intend to appeal.
However, the costs of the proceedings shouldn’t hit the Schmids too hard, because the couple only bought Eugensberg Castle in the canton of Thurgau in 2019. Price: around 40 million euros.
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