American Madness

Intelligent Criticism in the Service of a Better Nation

RIAA Lawsuit Setback… Kinda…

Posted by Matt Cipriano | No Comments

Earlier in the week there were a few news stories around that caught my eye, but I was hesitant to post them. ‘Why?’ you ask, well it was April 1st and I tend to take any news that comes out on April 1st with a grain of salt. Since there hasn’t been any retraction of these stories they get the full posting treatment.

The Recording Industry Association of America just received some bad news. A New York Federal Judge has made a ruling that is going to greatly effect most of their lawsuits against file sharers. According to Judge Kenneth Karas making a copyrighted file available for download does not necessarily violate the law. Instead it now needs to be proven that the file was actually downloaded or intended to be downloaded.

This is kind off a complex issue and this ruling will actually influence a lot of future download cases (NY courts are apparently known for how well they handle copyright issues). Essentially what this case ruling means (or can mean) is that the RIAA needs to show that some one had the intention of sharing copyrighted materials just having copyrighted materials available for download is not illegal. It is a complicated issue, I am sure complicated more with P2P file sharing programs. CNET has some decent coverage on the issue with explanations better then I can provide here.

This doesn’t really mean that anyone is going to get off scott-free in any of the pending lawsuits, but it does mean the RIAA is going to have to do a bit more legwork to prove that individuals were working to intentionally share copyrighted files.


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