File-upload site Rapidshare has been fined 24 million euros by a court in Hamburg, Germany, after being sued by collections society GEMA - the German equivalent of the PRS.

The site is also now forbidden from making any of 5000 music tracks from GEMA’s collection available on the internet. Previously, the site used file hashes to identify tracks, but this was dismissed by the court as ineffective.

Quite how the court expects Rapidshare to be able to filter content out of the system is unclear, given that the majority of tracks on the service are shared via encrypted, password-protected, ZIP or RAR files with random character names.

Rapidshare's Swiss CEO Bobby Chang commented that instead of suing, content companies should offer music fans the right products and services at the right price to “open up a new source of income for music-markets on the internet".