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Judge agrees with RIAA about distribution

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 28 Aug 2007 21:38 User comments (28)

Judge agrees with RIAA about distribution One of the claims the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) likes to (and has to) make is that simply sharing a file (putting it in a shared folder) on a P2P network is the same thing as distributing. Otherwise, the trade group would need to provide evidence of actual infringement in a case. It seems now however, in Atlantic v. Howell, a Judge has sided with the RIAA that sharing is equal to distribution.
After being sued in 2006, Pamela and Jeffrey Howell decided to defend themselves and submitted a short three paragraph answer to the RIAA. In it, they argued that the file sharing program was not set to share, the music was legally purchased for private use and was stored on the hard drive to be transfered to portable devices.

Judge Neil V. Wake dismissed the Howell's claims and awarded statutory damages of $40,500 to the RIAA along with $350 in court costs. A permanent injunction against future copyright infringement by the Howells was also handed down. "Several cases suggest that Kazaa users commit direct infringement by employing the Kazaa program to make their collections of copyrighted sound recordings available to all other Kazaa users," wrote Judge Wake, citing three other cases and Howells admission that the Kazaa account in question as in fact his.

Source:
Ars Technica

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28 user comments

128.8.2007 22:20
webe123
Inactive

Frankly,I think the supreme court will have to decide weather or not just putting files in a p2p shared folder is infringement.

228.8.2007 23:16

Common sense dictates that sharing regardless if getting paid for it it or not without a liscence is still distribution,the people attempting to get away with it will loose,it's copyrighted material when you buy a product be it game,cd,dvd,mp3 or OS you also buy a liscence to use it,that does'nt give anyone the right to redistribute to others how stupid can you be

328.8.2007 23:46

Originally posted by scorpNZ:
Common sense dictates that sharing regardless if getting paid for it it or not without a liscence is still distribution,the people attempting to get away with it will loose,it's copyrighted material when you buy a product be it game,cd,dvd,mp3 or OS you also buy a liscence to use it,that does'nt give anyone the right to redistribute to others how stupid can you be
That is how the law is writen but if you have a program that you use the search/index through your HD files and this is used via a media server then you'd be breaking the law.

the above is how all media servers work and that isn't P2P so nero windows media player would all be breaking the copyright laws.

I think it was a bit much how the judge put a permanent injunction as well, so they can't sue RIAA or appeal.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Aug 2007 @ 23:48

429.8.2007 0:26

Cough......Bribe......cough

529.8.2007 4:15

Originally posted by eiamhere:
Cough......Bribe......cough
I was totally just thinking that, the RIAA has every judge they're involved with in their pocket/on the payroll. Its sad that this can be called "justice".

629.8.2007 5:32
webe123
Inactive

"Common sense dictates that sharing regardless if getting paid for it it or not without a liscence is still distribution,the people attempting to get away with it will loose,it's copyrighted material when you buy a product be it game,cd,dvd,mp3 or OS you also buy a liscence to use it,that does'nt give anyone the right to redistribute to others how stupid can you be"


Yes and how many WEBSITES have content on them that is not "authorized" as you put it? If "sharing is sharing" then sites such as google are in trouble.

Therefore, this opens up a can of worms that they may not be able to close by just limiting it to p2p programs!

How stupid can you be?

729.8.2007 5:34

Is this is about putting files in "share folders", it's not the RIAA who's to blame, it's Microsoft for having shared folders...the main reason for folders is to "SHARE" so sue me

829.8.2007 6:16
webe123
Inactive

Originally posted by PocketQs:
Is this is about putting files in "share folders", it's not the RIAA who's to blame, it's Microsoft for having shared folders...the main reason for folders is to "SHARE" so sue me

But it WON'T stop with just share folders....this is about making someone or some company responsible for having any copyrighted content on their computer or server.

Eventually, they will get to the point to where they want ISP's to take off any content they THINK is copyrighted....which is a very dangerous road to go down....because where does it stop?

929.8.2007 6:51

I think this was rigged so that the RIAA won...

ugh!

Angry!! >( ®

1029.8.2007 7:58

Well the Riaa may have won in the U.S. But....

Us Americans can't share then, we can simply take from Sweden and other countries that don't have an Riaa, when the file is done..move it out of a shared folder and don't upload anything.

1129.8.2007 8:17

Originally posted by c1c:
Well the Riaa may have won in the U.S. But....

Us Americans can't share then, we can simply take from Sweden and other countries that don't have an Riaa, when the file is done..move it out of a shared folder and don't upload anything.
If everyone had that attitude, there would be nothing to share.

1229.8.2007 8:43

Originally posted by scorpNZ:
Common sense dictates that sharing regardless if getting paid for it it or not without a liscence is still distribution,the people attempting to get away with it will loose,it's copyrighted material when you buy a product be it game,cd,dvd,mp3 or OS you also buy a liscence to use it,that does'nt give anyone the right to redistribute to others how stupid can you be
I can see your point, but let me give a counter point. If I have a car (pc), and I bought some cds and placed them in that car (pc). Say later down the road I installed tented windows (a p2p client). I leave my new cd on the seat. Now say I went into work, and didn't lock my doors and someone opens my car (pc) and takes that cd. I'm I now responsible for someone else coming in and stealing that cd? I may be negilgent for not locking my doors, but I never asked anyone to take that cd nor did I offer it to be taken.

1329.8.2007 9:03

Quote:
...and I bought some cds and placed them in that car...
What's that got to do with copyright infringement? The RIAA doesn't care if your purchased CD gets stolen, they don't care if you give it away or sell it either...

If you make 100 copies of the CD and leave them in your car, you might get busted... Especially if you put a sign on them that says "Free" or "For Sale".

1429.8.2007 10:46

It seems like every couple of days there's a lawsuit being brought against some random person that the RIAA pulls out of a hat. This is totally out of hand, some organization needs to step up and confront RIAA and ask them why in the hell they go after common citizens so often. People know that it's obviously not to recoup loses but to instill fear. This needs to be stated clearly and openly while being backed by a consumer advocacy group. All of these cases seem very shady, if not downright illegal. Notice how the RIAA never actually goes after some one with money or clout?

However there is one example that comes to mind... a week or two ago there was a news report that one of president bush's daughter's gave him an mp3 player for his birthday that had songs she acquired without paying for them... all the news casters laughed and it was a big joke, there was some mention of the president offering to pay for the songs but of course that wasn't necessary. I wonder how many other songs she's downloaded.
(sorry couldn’t find a link)

Now of course the idea of suing the president or anyone related to him is ridiculous, but it just goes to show you that if you have money or power you will not be touched. I'm just waiting until they try to sue some ceo's nephew and only realize it after the team of lawyers come marching in.

1529.8.2007 11:29

Originally posted by webe123:
"Common sense dictates that sharing regardless if getting paid for it it or not without a liscence is still distribution,the people attempting to get away with it will loose,it's copyrighted material when you buy a product be it game,cd,dvd,mp3 or OS you also buy a liscence to use it,that does'nt give anyone the right to redistribute to others how stupid can you be"


Yes and how many WEBSITES have content on them that is not "authorized" as you put it? If "sharing is sharing" then sites such as google are in trouble.



Therefore, this opens up a can of worms that they may not be able to close by just limiting it to p2p programs!

How stupid can you be?
Sigh, all content on all websites is copyrighted except open source etc,however this isn't about web content if it was we'd all have to pay for every link we clicked on,there's an agreement that all web content providers sign upto that allows the surfers to download web pages without prosecution that also includes google for providing the means to do so & a wbsite displaying such content, someone with a little more knowledge can provide the rest or a clearer picture of what i'm saying as i can't explain it properly,anyone who uploads copyrighted material without the original authors consent along without any wording that gives said permission is in violation of any licences thats as clear as i can be.


@ xtago
You'd have to get into the legal aspect of the web to understand how it's possable to use a search app without fear of reprisal.


@ djizmo
the differece if there is one..lol.. is you no longer have that copy as there is only one tho it's not quite the same as file sharing,nice try tho..lol..

1629.8.2007 14:58

Well there is one family's life ruined for the next 7 years. They will file bankruptcy and have bad credit. I hope they have the major stuff (car,house etc.) paid for or the creditors will come a walking and taking. Unless of course they have 40g's hidden under the bed.

1730.8.2007 6:37

Originally posted by sssharp:
Well there is one family's life ruined for the next 7 years. They will file bankruptcy and have bad credit. I hope they have the major stuff (car,house etc.) paid for or the creditors will come a walking and taking. Unless of course they have 40g's hidden under the bed.
This is true but at least we get to watch the musicians "cribs" on mtv get larger and larger at the expense of some individuals that made a mistake.


1830.8.2007 8:51

This isn't just about the Artist as they do get a chuck of change but the record labels (RCA…) and regulatory board (RIAA) get the big chuck. Wouldn't it be great to have an industry pretty much locked up and you’re in total control forcing artists to go through you if they want to make it big, the God syndrome. Trust me artists do not like the big recording labels and would prefer to make it on there own. When some of the free sites popped up on the internet promoting artists the big labels were outraged and started law suites to stop these sites, they don't want to loose their control. In summation the evil is the Studios not the Artists in most cases.

1931.8.2007 9:40

I'm sorry, but if they are dumb enough to still be using Kazaa I have no sympathy for them.

2031.8.2007 11:01

Originally posted by wetsparks:
I'm sorry, but if they are dumb enough to still be using Kazaa I have no sympathy for them.
Nah man it's not the app as to why they got caught,when you first install kazaa,limewire etc it includes a section that lists folders that can be shared by default,if you don't remove those folders from the sharing or the contents within that means you will upload if a search from another p2p program finds the material in those folders,which in turn makes you a distributor,the RIAA have special software that specifically targets those shared folders it is also capable of knowing who's downloading any material,how do i know this,a documentry on piracy and the tactics the recording industry use to track n trace was screened here in NZ,all i can say is holy crap

2131.8.2007 11:43
frankacne
Inactive

Thanks Judge, your cheque is in the post and theres a little bonus attached, lets just call it your Toady Allowance.

all the best
Your Pals at the RIAA

221.9.2007 0:53
randyleep
Inactive

You have the right to copy your own cds. You have the right to access those copies of your cds in any way that is available. Other do not have the right to access your copies. For others to access your copies would be a violation of copyright law, however that is a violation done by them not by you.

It's like you left your door unlocked. Someone comes in your house and uses your computer to make a copy of your cd. They have broken the law by infringing the copyright. That is not your fault - you have done nothing wrong. Nor is it wrong for you to make a legal copy available to yourself by whatever means including the Internet. You do not have to lock it away. It is the responsibility of the other person to not make an illegal copy if they come across your property. It is not your responsibility to prevent them from doing so.

This decision is unjust and that judge should be disbarred as incompetent. Vote for Ron Paul and return this country to sanity.

231.9.2007 1:03
randyleep
Inactive

Let me take this one step further. This judge's decision is like holding Person A responsible for Person B stealing Person A's wallet just because Person A set it down in a public place. Only it's worse than that because nothing has been stolen yet. Person A has set his wallet down in a public place and now he is sued because he made it possible for someone else to steal the wallet, only it hasn't happened yet.

It's like something out of a Kafka novel - totally absurd!

241.9.2007 1:46

The rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the middle class dissapears. I have an idea for a new reality tv show. It will follow all the music artists who because of file sharing, have their vehicles reposessed, loose their houses, who just can't make ends meet anymore. This country will soon be overtaken by a new class of poverty stricken music artists. Just the thought of a major artist having to switch to paper plates brings a tear to my eye. If you believe the claims of the RIAA, these poor folks will be showing up on a street corner near you soon.

252.9.2007 0:10
randyleep
Inactive

Yeah, I love music, but I don't really see what all the fuss is about in reference to recordings. Music is, first and foremost, a performing art. Musicians who want to get paid should get out and PLAY! Recordings and the industry that grew around them are the product of a technological discontinuity where it was easy to make recordings, but it was difficult to make copies of recordings. That is so over. Now it is much easier to make copies than to make the original recordings. If it had been like this all along there would be no recording "industry" Instead there would be comfortable and user-friendly performance venues all over the world where musicians could earn a living and their customers would be treated with respect. Recordings would assume their rightful place as a very effective promotional tool to bring in the paying customers. They would be advertisements. People don't pay for advertisements. In fact if they are not pleasant and fun, people find ways to avoid them. That is how it would be, and that is how it will be.

262.9.2007 7:52
plastruk
Inactive

Its a shame the govt allows simple middle class families to be so violated by a corporate identity such as the RIAA. Personally I feel my tax dollars are better spent on those corporations that intentially defraud and steal from the hard working American middle class. Just look at what the middle class spend on medical insurance, car insurance, life insurance, liabilty insurance, home owners insurance ( which dont pay after promising they would). I dont see the RIAA going after the rich or the corporations... just mom and dads and grandparents.

I haven't downloaded or even used a P2P in over 6 or 7 years. I also don't buy cd's and have no plans on doing such either. If I cant listen to it for free i just won't. I think Cd's should be forced to put a " I support RIAA" on their cd's so we as a consumer know who not to support.

Basically shame on the U.S. govt for allowing the RIAA to run rampant around this country like some big bully on the playground. Someone needs to step up and offer protection from the big bullies. After all this isnt a fair legal system... how can mom and dad fight someone with that kind of money? Has this ever happened at anytime in the past 200 years? How can any court hearing be fair? Basically they aim and shoot and with no protection we loose. All under the protectful eye of the U.S.A.'s wonderful judicial system of the rich for the rich.

273.9.2007 11:11

You know its easy to overlook the benifits of filesharing when you are the copyright holder, or the guy thats supposed to make all the money from the file that is being shared.

I personally get my stuff off p2p networks, and then decide to get the thing, based on whether I like it or not, as such, I save tons on things I dont like and dont have to buy, so all this crap about a loss on profit, and all these other losses are stupid, because if we cant be bothered to buy the thing in the first place, then that means that market just was not there in the first place, so this "loss" is not a factor, if anything, filesharing spreads the word!

Up yours RIAA!

285.9.2007 4:17

Well the only thing i would do in this case is rename the folder if they did not set it to share just rename it :)

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