A REPORT, which has been seized by the RIAA as proof of the rise of piracy amongst direct downloading sites, has been refuted by one of the outfits which was "named and shamed".
Markmonitor yesterday claimed that P2P filesharing was "so last year" and the weapon of choice amongst real pirates was direct downloading sites like RapidShare.
Today Rapidshare hit back saying it had "read with incomprehension" MarkMonitor's study which names RapidShare the world's biggest online piracy platform.
It calls the report "defamation" and it was considering taking legal action against MarkMonitor.
"RapidShare is a legitimate company that offers its customers fast, simple and secure storage and management of large amounts of data via our servers," the outfit told the INQ.
Markmonitor managed to get the company's business model completely wrong and there were some serious questions about the study's methodology.
A company spokesman said that Markmonitor concluded that RapidShare has to be the biggest digital piracy site from looking at the number of page visits.
It totally ignored the fact that millions of customers use the service for perfectly legitimate purposes.
"Private customers use RapidShare to share their personal pictures, videos and documents or to make backup copies of their hard drives. Business clients rely on our services to exchange large files with colleagues at different sites, with clients or with service providers or to make available free programmes or programme updates to its customers," the site said.
Markmonitor's VP of communications, Te Smith said that she did not consider websites like Youtube piracy sites as they "have procedures in place where brand owners can take down the material."
However RapidShare offers the exact same take down features to copyright owners as YouTube does so RapidShare wondered what the difference was.
The company denied it was turning a blind eye to the fact that some people misuse our service to upload copyright-protected works to our servers.
"These users are in the absolute minority compared with those who use our services to pursue perfectly legitimate interests. Furthermore, we take a great many steps to prevent and combat copyright infringements," the spokesman said.
Rapidshare pointed to the fact that several courts have acknowledged that we do even more than we would be legally required.
The outfit has hired a lobby group to counter any fallout that might come from the Markmonitor Report from the likes of the RIAA. The company feels it is really important to explain to Washington politicians what it really does, rather than what the music industry and Markmonitor think it does. µ
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