Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick




RIAA Makes Case For Why Parents Should Be Liable For File Sharing Of Kids

from the doesn't-seem-to-fit-with-the-law,-you-know dept

Earlier this month, we pointed out that a judge had told the RIAA it needed to pay up for the legal fees for a woman it wrongly sued over unauthorized music sharing. Not surprisingly, the RIAA has asked the judge to reconsider, but there's also something even more interesting in the request. In the filing, the RIAA lawyers dispute the judge's claim that the RIAA's suit was frivolous and note that if they had been allowed to present more evidence they would have made it clear that the woman being sued should still be responsible for the activity on the account, even though she had nothing to do with the file sharing. The filing argues that, as a parent, she should have been aware of what her child was doing -- and that since the terms of service she agreed to with her ISP placed responsibility on her, then it automatically was her responsibility. On top of that, the filing points out that since she used the same computer, she should have noticed things like the Kazaa icon on the desktop or the annoying popup ads that come with the adware bundled with Kazaa. Of course, the filing doesn't explain how someone who isn't particularly computer savvy is supposed to immediately recognize that pop-up ads = your kid file sharing -- but that seems besides the point. Since it's become increasingly clear that the RIAA is filing these lawsuits based only on an IP address and a prayer (which hasn't been working out so well lately), it's interesting to see the lawyers hitting back and making the case that the owner of an account has liability for the actions of others. It's an argument that's been tried in the past and usually fails, so hopefully the judge will set the RIAA straight again.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. identicon
    norman619, 23 Feb 2007 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Weak legal position

    So.... if someone manages to plant a trojan which opens a backdoor into your system and starts using your system as a distribution point for copyrighted material you are somehow guilty? Get real. I agree if their kid was the one that actually did the sharing then hey the parents have to face the music. But if they can't prove that's what happened then the RIAA can go screw themselves. Hackers and spamers use this trick all the time.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Insider Shop - Show Your Support!

Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.