RIAA Suffers Setback In File Sharing Ruling
May 2, 2008 at 12:15 PM (PT)
THE RECORDING INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA suffered a legal setback this week in a music piracy case where a judge ruled that the sole act of making a music file available in a "shared folder" does not violate copyright laws, writes PCWORLD.COM. In ATLANTIC v. HOWELL, the RIAA made the legal assertion that a "sound recording" that is ripped to a computer and stored in any kind of a shared folder is unauthorized.
In the ruling this week, U.S. District Judge NEIL V. WAKE denied the RIAA's summary judgment motion and shot down all of the RIAA's theories of file distribution where the digital file did not change hands. This includes the "making available" and "offer to distribute" theories that pertains to storing songs in a shared folder.
This judgment could have significance on all of the RIAA's pertaining lawsuits. It becomes harder for the RIAA to prove that a copyrighted file actually changed hands given the anonymous nature of file-sharing programs and the lack of cooperation from Internet service providers with these lawsuits. And if it's harder for the RIAA to smite these alleged file swappers, it's harder for the RIAA to make a case against file-swappers.