Tuesday, August 21, 2007

RIAA lawsuits face a major challenge

The RIAA lawsuits against filesharers are facing a strong legal challenge, as attorneys in Warner V Cassin are set to argue that the "evidence" presented by the label - screenshots identifying songs in a shared folder on a peer to peer network - doesn't satisfy the demands of US copyright law that actual infringement must be proved; the RIAA is unable to demonstrate that anybody downloaded copies of the shared files.

Although this isn't a unique defence, the judges in cases up until now have chosen to not rule on this point of law. This time, though, the courts are being asked to give a ruling on whether making available is the same, in law, as copying material. If it goes against the RIAA, they're going to find a lot of their "evidence" is suddenly evidence no longer.