AAPL Stock: 118.03 ( -0.85 )

Printed from

Legal foundations of RIAA suits challenged

updated 03:25 pm EDT, Tue August 21, 2007

Challenge to RIAA suits

An upcoming lawsuit, scheduled for hearing in September, may already be threatening the basis for the RIAA's case against illegal file sharing. Ray Beckerman, the defendant attorney in Warner v. Cassin, has filed to dismiss the lawsuit on the grounds that the RIAA can no longer use its "making available" argument. The group's view has been that simply by making music visible in peer-to-peer (P2P) sharing programs, a person is guilty of "continuous" copyright infringement, as files can then be downloaded by virtually anyone.

But due to the nature of P2P software, it is essentially impossible to determine whether someone other than the RIAA's investigative arm -- SafeNet -- has downloaded the music, constituting a specific, provable infringement. "The complaint," Beckerman's filing reads, "fails to set forth...any instance or example of 'downloading' a recording; any instance or example of 'distributing' a recording; any instance or example of 'making [a recording] available';...or what law would support a claim for 'making [a recording] available.'"

The attorney also contests that if "making available" is ruled identical to distribution, it could set an unintended precedent: "almost all participants in the Internet," he says, "would become vulnerable to accusations that they 'make available' a variety of content, including copyrighted materials, to users." Even hyperlinks could be construed as giving access to copyrighted material.

The subject of the RIAA's theory has come up in other cases such as Elektra v. Perez and Elektra v. Barker, but the latter has yet to be ruled on, and with the former the topic only arose when Perez wanted dismissal with prejudice. Cassin's case may be the first in which the subject of "making available" prevents the suit from reaching court. [via Ars Technica]

by MacNN Staff




Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.


Network Headlines

Follow us on Facebook


Most Popular


Recent Reviews

Ultimate Ears Megaboom Bluetooth Speaker

Ultimate Ears (now owned by Logitech) has found great success in the marketplace with its "Boom" series of Bluetooth speakers, a mod ...

Kinivo URBN Premium Bluetooth Headphones

We love music, and we're willing to bet that you do, too. If you're like us, you probably spend a good portion of your time wearing ...

Jamstik+ MIDI Controller

For a long time the MIDI world has been dominated by keyboard-inspired controllers. Times are changing however, and we are slowly star ...


Most Commented