File locker website Rapidshare has been making headlines today, after its chief legal officer, Daniel Raimer, suggested that cloud storage websites like Rapidshare weren’t facilitators of piracy at all – it’s the link sites that are to blame.
Of course it didn’t take long for those with strong moral standings to take to blogs and comment sections, pointing out how ridiculous it is to say that the owner of the house where the the illegal activity is taking place isn’t to blame, it’s the person running the billboard that says ‘party at Dave’s.’
That’s where you’ll find the real criminals.
However this isn’t just some public statement he’s making in response to a crack down, or a press release to counter piracy claims; this is an address to a Technology Policy Institute forum, as well as the US Government.
While on the surface, Mr Raimer might be trying to pass the buck to link sites – as if they need any help being hit with legal action – just to save his own skin (and that of Rapidshare’s), it’s not too far of a stretch to see that he could be going further by attempting to ingratiate his company and the file locker industry with the US authorities
In a sort of, ‘enemy of my enemy is my friend’ situation, perhaps Rapidshare has decided the only way it will be able to legitimise its industry, is to point the finger at someone else.
It’s been noted that as part of the speech that condemned linking to files on Rapidshare and other sites, Raimer also suggested that the US Government should push for voluntary industry regulations, instead of more legislation or lawsuits. This lends a little more credence to the idea, but it does still make him sound like a hypocrite.
KitGuru Says: You could take things in the other direction and go all conspiracy theory-like. What if Raimer is merely a puppet for the copyright lobbyists? Is he a gatekeeper? Is he full of it, or just a hypocrite? What do you guys think?