Judge Tells RIAA: Irreparable Harm Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means

from the try-again,-folks dept

The recording industry loves to throw around the term “irreparable harm” in its various lawsuits — as if someone hearing a song they didn’t pay for will mortally wound the industry. While some say that this is just standard legalese and we shouldn’t read too much into it, it looks like a judge in New Mexico disagrees. In denying the RIAA’s request to have the University of New Mexico simply hand over info on someone using their network (without letting that individual fight back against the request for info), the judge notes: “While the Court does not dispute that infringement of a copyright results in harm, it requires a Coleridgian ‘suspension of disbelief’ to accept that the harm is irreparable, especially when monetary damages can cure any alleged violation.” However, the judge argues, turning over someone’s private info without giving them a chance to defend themselves and protest could cause irreparable harm: “the harm related to disclosure of confidential information in a student or faculty member’s Internet files can be equally harmful.” Nice to see the judge recognize that just because someone may have listened to a song without paying for it, it doesn’t mean that they lose all other rights.

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Comments on “Judge Tells RIAA: Irreparable Harm Doesn't Mean What You Think It Means”

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James says:

Re: Re:

While I agree that the downloading of copyrighted material is overblown by the RIAA, as since the boom of filesharing began the profits of the RIAA have gone nowhere but up, I fail to see where you get your rediculous statistic of 50,000 to 1. If someone really really wants a CD and downloads it illegally instead of buying it, that has affected the sale of 1 CD.

Paul says:

With iTunes Plus, things are really starting to look up. Yea, some people complain about the pricing, but when it comes down to it, we’re finally getting the product we want. It’s true CD quality audio (so those of you who complain its not good enough, then i’d like to know what is) and there’s no copyright protection. The usual album cost is still $9.99 or a few bucks more for new releases and what not.

Also, they let you upgrade your library without re-purchasing the songs. They inform you when a song you’ve purchased is available on itunes plus and then you only have to pay the difference (30 cents a song).

Kubuntu Rules says:

I Tunes kills kittens

First off Smart Judge
Second groups like RIAA and MPAA will never adjust their business models unless they are forced to. As long as the Justice system protects their frivolous lawsuits they will keep doing what they have been doing. I really hope the rest of the American Judicial System starts ignoring them (also I dislike both these groups because they allowed Studios and Record Companies to pay Paris Hilton money to sing and act. And even worse then allowed them to release those products in stores).

Beefcake says:

Heinlein's Life Line

Life Line is a short story in the serialized compilation The Man Who Sold the Moon (and quite probably elsewhere). This whole concept of technology outmoding certain industries is certainly not new, and Heinlein’s protagonist offers some great arguments. Granted, it’s just science fiction and hardly legally binding, but it’s an excellent parallel to what we are seeing today.

Anonymous Coward says:

Heinlein Rules !

He’s so much more than just a science/speculative fiction author.

Although his stories are “can’t put them down” good, he also states ideas worthy of consideration.

Here’s one of his quotes:
The phrase “we (I) (you) simply must…” designates something that need not be done. “That goes without saying” is a red warning. “Of course” means you had best check it yourself.
These small-change cliches and others like them, when read correctly, are reliable channel markers.
Robert Heinlein, from Time Enough for Love

mawst says:


The problem I have is with these so called statistics. I download everything I can get my hands on. On the other hand, I’ve never really been a music or movie shopper.

It’s not like if the internet didn’t exist I would be buying these cds. No money can be lost when i’s not actually COSTING the company to download them. That’s another point. None of these companies know about me, or for that mater any accurate number of how much downloading actually occurs.

for the sake of not implicating anyone, I’m not going to get into specifics, but the sheer amount of methods people acquire music is staggering, and impossible to calculate.

How much do these money hungry bastards spend in lawsuits, suing fans?

The whole thing is pathetic. Everyone knows you make your money off touring anyways.

Go cry.

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