by Mike Masnick
Mon, Aug 27th 2007 1:37am
One of the key points in the various lawsuits that the RIAA has filed against people for file sharing is whether or not the RIAA can prove actual copyright infringement. Many have argued that there needs to proof that an infringing file was actually distributed -- otherwise, there's no violation under copyright law, which requires "distribution." The RIAA, of course, feels that just making a file available is enough to be considered distribution. It's not a settled matter of law with some judges ruling that making available is not distributing, but others feel the other way. In the latest such case, a guy who was defending himself without a lawyer (generally not such a good idea) failed to convince a judge that making available wasn't distributing. Unfortunately, in not getting good representation, this ruling is now in the books, and the RIAA immediately used it to push other judges to rule the same way. Luckily, the defendants in those other cases do have lawyers, who are questioning the original ruling by pointing out that the guy didn't have a lawyer, the judge made incorrect references to other cases and that the judge never showed how making available qualifies as distribution under the law.
If you liked this post, you may also be interested in...
- The Reason The Copyright Office Misrepresented Copyright Law To The FCC: Hollywood Told It To
- Free Open Shared: A Conversation With Me About Copyright At Wikimedia
- Shameful: Perfectly Reasonable Academic Book On Gene Kelly Killed By Bogus Copyright Claims
- Even The Usual Defenders Of The RIAA Are Pointing Out They're Simply Lying About YouTube
- Appeals Court Gives Big Loss To Record Labels In Their Quixotic Lawsuit Against Vimeo For Lipdubs