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IPEC Comments

IPEC Comments

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07/10/2013

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Office of the U.S.

Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator Executive Office of the President The White House Washington, DC 20500 Re: Development of the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement Introduction RapidShare AG (RapidShare) submits these comments as part of the Office of Intellectual Property Enforcement’s request for public input to assist in the development of the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property. RapidShare is a global market leader in secure data logistics and file-hosting. Based in Switzerland, the company operates more than 1,000 servers offering over 800 Gigabits of server capacity and several Petabytes of storage capacity. RapidShare was recently awarded the coveted Huber Verlag German Industry Prize in the category of IT and Software. RapidShare believes that the U.S. government’s intellectual property enforcement efforts can be improved by concentrating on third-party web sites that facilitate access to copyrighted material stored remotely by cloud services. Additionally, RapidShare believes that IPEC should continue its efforts to encourage voluntary industry “best practices” by all parties involved in the hosting, storage, and distribution of copyrighted content on the Internet. Strategy Recommendations IPEC seeks “specific recommendations for significantly improving the government’s intellectual property enforcement efforts” and “seeks information on approaches that are particularly effective as it drafts a new strategic plan.” RapidShare welcomes the opportunity to provide input into the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. RapidShare has always embraced its obligation to protect the intellectual property and copyright interests of creators. The company has a strong interest in actively promoting legitimate uses and discouraging illegitimate uses of its service. Fully a third of its staff is devoted, seven days a week, to curbing copyright infringement. RapidShare makes two recommendations based on the company’s years of experience in addressing online piracy. 1) The Joint Strategic Plan should focus enforcement efforts on third party web sites that facilitate mass indiscriminate distribution of copyrighted content by making the access credentials of encrypted files publicly available. Cloud storage services are becoming an integral feature of modern computing platforms. Consumers are demanding alternatives to local storage on computers, devices or storage media that can be easily lost or stolen. In today’s increasingly mobile society, workers often prefer to rely on computers and devices available at their destinations rather than carrying equipment and data with them. Employers may make select documents available to employees via third-party services. Collaborators may share projects and

large files with each other in a location where no single person controls the platform. Publishers may make their works widely available using cloud-based storage as an efficient and cost-effective alternative to direct hosting. Rather than enacting legislation that could stifle innovation in the cloud, the U.S. government should crack down on this critical part of the online piracy network. The only way that content stored with RapidShare can be accessed by a third party is when a user makes his or her access credentials available to others by posting this information on websites. These very sophisticated websites, often featuring advertising, facilitate the mass indiscriminate distribution of copyrighted content on the Internet and should be the focus of US intellectual property enforcement efforts. Cloud computing services have enormous potential to increase worker productivity, promote collaboration, and lower IT costs— but only if consumers have confidence that secure data logistics companies are legitimate and that their files will be kept private and securely stored.

2) IPEC should continue its work to secure voluntary industry agreements to address repeated online piracy and counterfeiting and include cloud storage and file hosting companies in these efforts. As IPEC noted in its May 2012 testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee “effective enforcement must involve private-sector stakeholders.” To that end, IPEC reported that it had been instrumental in securing voluntary agreements with Internet Service Providers, advertisers, credit card companies, payment processors, search engines, and domain name registrars and registries that outline specific steps to address infringement. RapidShare believes these efforts should be extended to include all industry stakeholders, including cloud storage services. While cloud storage has been available for years, with a variety of both well established and newer companies providing it, certain high-profile cases have put cloud storage in the spotlight. Some accuse customers of cloud storage services of misusing those services to carry out copyright infringing activities. Some cloud storage providers also stand accused of encouraging and exploiting those customers’ abuses. For years RapidShare has been working diligently on multiple fronts to distinguish itself as an important and responsible company in this growing industry. Because any customer can misuse cloud services to engage in wrongful conduct, RapidShare has taken the position that it has an obligation to protect the intellectual property and copyright interests of creators. In April, RapidShare released voluntary industry guidelines for Cloud Storage Services. We believe that adoption of these responsible practices for cloud services could significantly reduce the availability of infringing materials online. RapidShare’s Responsible Practices for Cloud Storage Services outlines a number of principles aimed at curbing copyright infringement and

protecting customer privacy while ensuring accountability, transparency and swift detection of online piracy. A copy is appended to this filing. Conclusion RapidShare appreciates the opportunity to provide input into the development of the Joint Strategic Plan on Intellectual Property Enforcement. It is most important to focus enforcement efforts on those entities that facilitate the mass indiscriminate distribution of copyright materials on the Internet and to encourage industry to develop voluntary agreements that spell out specific actions to thwart piracy. We believe that these efforts will be effective in reducing copyright infringement online. Thank you very much. Sincerely,

Daniel Raimer General Counsel

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