'Innocent Infringement' As A Way To Lower Copyright Infringement Damages?
from the seems-like-a-stretch dept
You often hear it repeated that “ignorance is no defense” to breaking the law, but it may actually be working in one copyright infringement lawsuit. Ray Beckerman has the details on a case where the RIAA is suing a teenager who claimed “innocent infringement” as a way to get the damages lowered from the $750 to $150,000 per file that the RIAA always pushes for. So, while the RIAA pointed out that there was a copyright notice on every CD, the court sided with the girl who pointed out that there was no such copyright notice on Kazaa or the songs she downloaded. In fact, she wasn’t even aware that she was “downloading” — assuming that Kazaa worked more like a radio. Of course, before others make the same argument, it does pay to recognize that the facts in this case are likely to be unique to this case, and probably don’t apply in many other cases. The real problem still remains the ridiculous disconnect between the amount of “damages” allowed under the law and the actual “harm” (if any) caused by file sharing.