Monday, April 17, 2006

Dismissal Motion Denied in Arizona in Interscope v. Duty;Court Says It Doesn't Understand Technology;Defendant May Have Defense Based on Kazaa

A motion to dismiss the RIAA complaint has been denied in an Arizona case, Interscope v. Duty.

April 14, 2006, Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss*

Some interesting quotes from the decision:

1. The Court labeled the case as "NOT FOR PUBLICATION"

2. The Court apparently thought, mistakenly, that the 'exhibit A' songs were songs that the RIAA claimed had been illegally downloaded or uploaded (as opposed to songs that the RIAA had ITSELF downloaded):

it is clear to the court that exhibit B is an alleged representation of Duty's Kazaa share folder, and that exhibit A is a list of some songs that the Recording Companies claim were illegally downloaded or distributed by Duty through her Kazaa share folder.
3. The Court cited the Napster 2001 decision, but not Judge Patel's 2005 Napster decision interpreting the 2001 decision.

4. The Court stated that its decision was based in part upon the fact that it did not fully understand the Kazaa technology:
we do not conclude that the mere presence of copyrighted sound recordings in Duty's share file constitutes copyright infringement. We have an incomplete understanding of the Kazaa technology at this stage, and the ultimate issue of liability is more appropriately considered on a motion for summary judgment where the parties will have an opportunity to fully explain the Kazaa technology, and the means by which a file can be made available for public download on Kazaa.
5. The Court stated that Kazaa's misconduct may constitute a defense for defendant:
Duty argues that to the extent copyright infringement took place, it was not caused by her because Kazaa has an automatic upload feature which causes any user to unknowingly distribute computer files over the internet. To the extent this is true, it might be a valid defense.

* Document available online at Internet Law & Regulation

Keywords: copyright download upload peer to peer p2p file sharing filesharing music movies indie label freeculture creative commons pop/rock artists riaa independent mp3 cd favorite songs

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