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File-hosting site critical of inclusion in Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus’ list of the world’s top 6 most “notorious” illegal websites, especially after a US judge recently cleared the site of copyright infringement claims.A few days ago I mentioned how the Congressional International Anti-Piracy Caucus rolled out its annual list of “Top Priority Countries,” aka “Piracy Watch List,” which it claims have lax intellectual property enforcement.For the first time ever they even added a list of the world’s top 6 most “notorious” illegal websites that it claims are “overwhelmingly used for the global exchange of illegal movies, music and other copyrighted works.” Of the six was the German-owned file-hosting site Rapidshare, and it isn’t happy with being included in the list, especially after recent court victories in both Germany and the US clearing the site of copyright infringement charges.“It is outrageous that a caucus of the United States Congress connects our website to piracy,” says Christian Schmid, founder of Rapidshare. “Our company caters to our users’ legitimate interests. Neither does RapidShare copy copyright-protected content, nor does RapidShare make such content publicly accessible.”This is basically what both courts ruled, that only the actual users responsible for illegally making copyrighted works available can be held liable. Links to copyrighted files are not made public, and it’s the user themselves who make the conscious decision to make them available to others in violation of copyright law.“Moreover, it is important to point out that we have taken all measures within our power to prevent copyright infringements on our site,” continues Schmid. “This has been acknowledged by two recent court rulings in Germany and by the Southern California district court. RapidShare’s stance is to engage in a dialogue with copyright owners.”In the US case, the judge even took copyright holder Perfect 10 to task for failing to name a single location where its copyrighted material could be found on the site.That victory, though admittedly occurring after the unveiling of the world’s 6 most “notorious” websites,” makes it inclusion on the list puzzlingly ironic being that it would have to now say that our own copyright laws are “lax” and in need of strengthening.“Adding RapidShare to an enumeration of shady companies, most of which pursue business models and goals that differ completely from ours, demonstrate that the RIAA and the US Congress lack in-depth knowledge of our company’s operations,” says Schmid. “Anybody looking for scapegoats to add to such a blacklist should have a closer look at numerous other file-hosting sites that – in contrast to RapidShare – actively encourage piracy.”Too bad we can’t add the RIAA to the list of “shady” companies.