Ray Beckerman, a lawyer that's been involved in several cases with the RIAA is reporting that the group has argued in one of his cases that simply "making files available for distribution" violates copyright laws. This means that regardless of the legality of a file somebody has on their computer, just putting it in a shared files folder than can be accessed by other people is illegal. Although it's asinine, it really shouldn't come as any surprise given the RIAA's legal campaign that's more about what it believes than what the law actually says. I noticed this morning that I left my car unlocked overnight, and there was a CD sitting inside. Does that make me a criminal in the RIAA's mind since I empowered the potential theft of some music? Update: Mike's pointed out a couple of previous posts on this issue. Although it is a somewhat complex legal issue, at least one judge has said making files available does not equal distribution.
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