Not a good spot, if the RIAA gets its way.
The always amusing US record industry cartel has run into yet another problem with its ongoing series of lawsuits against the entire world: when it attempted to sue Debbie Foster for "stealing" music, it was unable to prove that she'd taken the music because of her wi-fi ste-up. Anyone could have swung by and used Foster's connection to offload mp3s. The RIAA has been ordered to pick up some of Foster's costs for defending the action.
Naturally, rather than accepting that it had screwed up again, the RIAA is looking to have the law changed again in its favour. (Through interpretation and new legislation, the RIAA is already playing downhill rather than on that mythical level playing field, and yet it still can't find the goal.) This time, they're seeking a motion of reconsideration of the judgement:
Wired's Listening Post blog points out that, not for the first time, the RIAA's attempts to extend the cloak of criminal activity could have a horrible effect on all Americans:
In short: if you don't know how to lock up your wireless connection, you could soon find yourself having to write enormous cheques to Sony-BMG because someone with a laptop happened to borrow your bandwidth to download a tune or two.
The analogy, of course, would be if your car was stolen for ram-raid on Currys, you'd have to pay for the stolen goods.
[Thanks to Michael Moran for the story link]