by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 29th 2008 2:28pm
The lawsuit of Atlantic v. Howell got a ton of attention late last year when some folks, including the Washington Post, misinterpreted an RIAA filing to suggest that the RIAA had claimed that merely ripping your CD to your computer was file sharing. While the RIAA may actually believe that (and has made other statements to that effect), the filing in this case did not say that at all. Instead, it clearly stated that it was the combination of ripping the CD and putting the music into a shared folder that made the songs no longer "authorized." It was simply yet another version of the RIAA's theory that "making available" is the equivalent of distribution for copyright purposes. Still, based on this theory, the RIAA asked for summary judgment against Howell. The court has now come out with a detailed and well reasoned decision completely rejecting the RIAA's "making available" theory, highlighting why it does not appear to be supported by copyright law. It's worth reading if you're interested in this stuff. Either way, the RIAA isn't getting its summary judgment, and the case will proceed later this year.
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