Accused File Trader Suing RIAA – Claims Sharing Not Distribution

from the interesting-legal-tactic dept

In all the legal accusations flying back and forth over the RIAA’s plans to sue everyone they possibly can, none of the individuals who have been subpoenaed have filed counter lawsuits against the RIAA. That’s about to change. A lawyer in California is getting ready to file a lawsuit on behalf of one such user with a slightly different argument that has been seen before. He says that just because a user has a particular file available for sharing, that doesn’t mean the file was actually shared. In other words, since the RIAA doesn’t have actual proof that the individual distributed the file, then they have no case. It’s a fine line – and I doubt a judge will see it that way. The RIAA will (I’m sure) respond that just making the file available is the equivalent of distribution, by itself.

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Comments on “Accused File Trader Suing RIAA – Claims Sharing Not Distribution”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Intent to Distribute

While I root for the plaintiff, I’m afraid Mike is right if criminal laws are used as a precedent. INTENT to distribute will land you in jail as fast as actually distributing heroin. However, I don’t think this is a slam dunk since some judges have said there really can’t be precendent when it comes to new technology.

Ed Halley says:

No Subject Given

I don’t bother with music trading– I respect the licensing arrangements of copyrighted materials, and even if I didn’t, it would cheapen the meaning of music for me.

However, answer this? Aren’t most music trading systems set up (by default or by convention) such that any file uploaded to a node becomes immediately available for download to other nodes? So I’m sharing some of the mp3 cuts from my folk music session at my own studio, when some lamer “gives” me a copy of Wall-O-Noiz-Harlot’s latest best-selling candypop single. Did I even have the intent to share any illicit tripe that ends up on my node?

bastard sam says:

No Subject Given

Honestly, I don’t know if intent is enough. And even if it was, just because it’s there doesn’t necessarily mean intent. It gets real sticky. I think this guy just might have a chance, if he could prove he did not intend to trade. For example, if you attempt to download it and for whatever reason, it was not possible, due to firewall, or what not.

D says:

What about this argument

How can the RIAA not only prove that he distributed the file, but how can they prove that it was the file? In essence just because I have a file that i am sharing called “Eminem – My name is”, doesn’t mean that it is really that file at all so they couldn’t prove it was unless they downloaded it and played it in court!!!!!!!

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