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Judge to RIAA: You can't sue over songs 'made available' via P2P

Postby curzlgt » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:46 pm

Story : http://www.news.com/8301-13578_3-9908353-38.html

A federal judge in New York has dealt the Recording Industry Association of America a setback in its thousands of lawsuits over piracy on peer-to-peer networks.

In a widely anticipated decision, U.S. District Judge Kenneth Karas ruled Monday to reject the RIAA's claim that a Kazaa user who merely "made available" copyrighted music necessarily violated the law. Rather, he said, the RIAA would have to demonstrate that unlawful copying actually took place.

"Plaintiffs' allegations--insofar as plaintiffs wish to hold defendant liable for acts of infringement other than actual downloading and/or distribution--fail to state a claim," Karas wrote.

This is not necessarily fatal to the RIAA's lawsuit against Tenise Barker (referred to as Denise Barker in some court documents) that will continue in the Southern District of New York. That's because the music labels also have alleged that she actually did distribute copyrighted works--meaning that if they can prove that happened, which is more difficult, they can still win.



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Re: Judge to RIAA: You can't sue over songs 'made available' via

Postby curzlgt » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:51 pm

Update 8:01 p.m. PDT: While the judge rejected the RIAA attorneys' "making available" argument, he did provide them with a road map showing a detour that might still allow them to arrive at their destination. Specifically, he ruled that an "offer to distribute" can amount to a distribution. The RIAA needs to, he wrote, "affirmatively plead that defendant made an offer to distribute, and that the offer to distribute was for the purpose of further distribution, public performance, or public display." Look for the RIAA's revised complaint--it has 30 days to resubmit it--to argue just that.
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Re: Judge to RIAA: You can't sue over songs 'made available' via

Postby Paladwyn » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:09 pm

So, from what I can gather...

Making available isn't grounds for suing, but if they had the intention of distribution...if they WANTED to share the song, that still would be hard to prove, without going into the minds of an individual, one would never know if they intended to share it based on it merely being made available.
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Re: Judge to RIAA: You can't sue over songs 'made available' via

Postby curzlgt » Wed Apr 02, 2008 2:31 pm

Paladwyn wrote:So, from what I can gather...

Making available isn't grounds for suing, but if they had the intention of distribution...if they WANTED to share the song, that still would be hard to prove, without going into the minds of an individual, one would never know if they intended to share it based on it merely being made available.


I think the difference lies in weather someone intentionally "made available" the copyrighted file. For instance, back when kaaza had default sharing set up on install, it could be argued to be unintentional by a defendant. However, if someone creates a folder called something like, "files for kaaza", it would be easier to prove intent. Or if it could be shown that some one responded to a request by someone else for a particular file. Further, If someone uploads a torrent, It would pretty clearly fall under the judge's definition of intent.

least thats the way I read it.

It appears to me that the judge is trying to step away from the old interpretations of copyright infringement. the ones where it doesn't make any difference whether someone did so on purpose or accidentally. To a newer interpration based more upon clear intent. Thats a nice step forward, imo. But unfortunately won't make much difference to most file sharers, as the usually have the intent to share.....................
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Re: Judge to RIAA: You can't sue over songs 'made available' via

Postby Paladwyn » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:08 pm

Oh, I do agree...but like I had said, if the only information they had available to them was that the file was in a Kazaa shared folder and everything set to default, then they would have no way of proving that those files were indeed meant to be distributed.

But there are always circumstances, like deliberately sharing files by making a folder called "To upload to Kazaa" or what not...or making a bitorrent tracker, or posting the files to a newsgroup. Those are pretty clear signs of intent.

I do remember the days of these programs being installed and searching your entire drive for all media files and sharing them, in no way should the people be responsible for some of that. In that case it would be hard to determine intent.
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Re: Judge to RIAA: You can't sue over songs 'made available' via

Postby piXelatedEmpire » Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:44 pm

dupe, but the ArsTechnica article has a different conclusion on the ruling. Also, Ray Beckerman's take on the ruling.
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My criticism of Judge Karas's decision

Postby RayBeckerman » Thu Apr 03, 2008 9:57 am

Here is my criticism of Judge Karas's decision. :?
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