Wednesday, May 7, 2008

RIAA loses a case on music file posting

Arizona Judge Shoots Down RIAA Theories

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes "In Atlantic v. Howell, the judge has totally
eviscerated the RIAA's theories of 'making available' and 'offering to

In a 17-page opinion (PDF), District Judge Neil V. Wake
carefully analyzed the statute and case law, and based on a 'plain reading
of the statute' concluded that 'Unless a copy of the work changes hands
in one of the designated ways, a "distribution" under [sec.] 106(3) has
not taken place.'

The judge also questioned the sufficiency of the RIAA's evidence pointing
towards defendant, as opposed to other members of his household. This is
the Phoenix, AZ, case in which the defendant is representing himself, but
received some timely help from his friends. And it's the same case in which
the RIAA suggested that Mr. Howell's MP3s, copied from his CDs, were
unlawful. One commentator calls today's decision 'Another bad day for the

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