Supreme Court Asked To Explore Whether 'Innocent Infringement' Is A Legit Response In File Sharing Cases

from the might-not-matter-after-acta... dept

A few years back, we wrote about a teenager who used "innocent infringement" as a defense to an unauthorized file sharing lawsuit brought against her by the RIAA. Innocent infringement is in the law, as a way to reduce the statutory awards from the $750 minimum to $200. It doesn't absolve the person or get them out of paying, but can greatly lower the amount. The district court agreed, and said she could just pay the $200 rate. However, an appeals court overturned, saying that because CDs have copyright notices on them -- even though the girl never saw the CDs -- the girl should have known that the mp3s were infringing. The logic there made very little sense. How can you hold someone to a clause that was never seen?

The girl's lawyers have now appealed the case to the Supreme Court, which now has the option of weighing in on the matter (the Wired article linked here is a little misleading, in that at the beginning and in the headline, it implies that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case). If I had to guess, I'd say the Supreme Court won't take the case, even though it is an important issue.

Filed Under: copyright, innocent infringement, supreme court


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  1. icon
    The Devil's Coachman (profile), 28 May 2010 @ 8:24am

    Burger King Theory? Off your meds today?

    I have no idea what point you are trying to make here. Neither, I suspect, do you. Please desist from posting until your medications stabilize. Or perhaps you've stopped taking them entirely? Read the label on it or the package insert, and I'm sure you'll find words to the effect that sudden cessation of the drug can have serious side effects, as we all know you are now doubtless well aware of. Unfortunately, doubling up on skipped doses is not generally recommended, but if you go back to bed right now, and take it as soon as you get up tomorrow, I'm sure you'll feel much better then. So will we.

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