Jury Says MP3Tunes Was 'Willfully Blind' In Building A Music Locker
from the well-there-goes-that-one dept
The case then bounced around a bit, and with the appeals court ruling in the YouTube case, the judge in the MP3Tunes case withdrew the original ruling and decided to take another look. That's now resulted in a jury apparently finding that MP3Tunes was "willfully blind" to infringement. That's a troubling find on many levels. While the link above focuses on the jury also finding Robertson personally liable for "sideloading" songs, that part isn't all that surprising. Without thinking too deeply about it, it's no surprise that a jury would think that sideloading (moving songs found publicly online into a locker) might violate copyright law, even if it does raise some significant legal issues. Robertson made the rather valid point that it was impossible for him to know if the songs were infringing, especially since EMI itself was giving away songs for free, and knew that having such songs freely available increased sales. So to blame him for not knowing which songs were authorized and which were not seems unfair -- but the jury apparently disagrees.
What's much more concerning is this claim that an online locker service might be deemed "willfully blind" to infringement, even in the absence of things like DMCA notices. It raises serious questions for pretty much all cloud services that might store content, much of which may be covered by someone's copyright.