Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RIAA terms Judge Wake's decision "strange" and "outside of mainstream"

According to a report in Ars Technica, the RIAA had this comment on Judge Wake's decision in Atlantic v. Howell:

"This is a strange decision that is outside of the mainstream and inconsistent with countless court rulings on these issues," RIAA spokesperson Cara Duckworth told Ars. "We are currently considering all options going forward."
[Ed. note. The RIAA's vehemently dishonest reaction demonstrates how important this eminently clear, quite "mainstream", not at all "strange", decision was. It was in fact the clearest and most mainstream decision of all on the subject, because it completely harmonized (a) the clear wording of the statute, (b) decades of caselaw applying the clear wording of the statute, and (c) unanimous agreement of all of the leading copyright law treatises. One wonders which "countless rulings" Ms. Duckworth is referring to: Motown v. DePietro, a case against a pro se litigant who never briefed the issue, or Atlantic v. Abner Anderson, another case in which the defendant never briefed the issue. And I guess Ms. Duckworth is forgetting about Atlantic v. Brennan, London-Sire v. Doe, and Elektra v. Barker, all of which thoroughly thrashed the RIAA's "making available" theory. - R.B.]

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


Anonymous said...

if you live in a reality distortion field like the RIAA/label guys do, of course you have the feeling that such a well reasoned decision is "strange" and not "mainstream"!

(just a drive-bye posting today)

Kathleen Williamson said...

I think the Judge was very kind to them, considering that the facts are very clear that the RIAA attorneys violated ethical rules concerning candor with the tribunal in their motion for summary judgment. Their opinion about the legal substance of Judge Wake's ruling is equally distorted and unfair.
Kathleen Williamson

James said...

Let's see what kind of indignant response we see if a judge finally decides to slap them with the sanctions they've deserved for so long...

Interested Observer said...

Everyone should read Wm Patry's comments on this case in his blog comments of today.

Todd said...

The RIAA is completely correct, a sensible decision by a judge over these issues is both "strange" and "outside of mainstream". This is the most honest the RIAA has ever been.

Faethe said...

Thank you for your blog Mr. Ray :) Back in 2002, when all this began, I read the copyright act. Being I am not a lawyer, this was a chore. But I did read it, and the associated arguments concerning 'distribution' and 'file-sharing'. There was almost nothing there, and what there was was inconclusive, or did not acknowledge that MP3's were considered an 'exact facsimile' but rather, a copy of a copy that's origins were shrouded in mystery.

In RIAA vs Diamond Multimedia, the judge found that 'Moreover, MP3 files do not even contain the codes which provide information regarding copyright and generation status' and thusly were not required to be subject to the SCMS. Furthermore 'the copy which the Rio made would be labeled under the SCMS as having "original generation status," thereby allowing an additional copy to be made'.

This, of course, does not apply to today's media which contains DRM, but I do suppose it does apply to 'mystery MP3s' which have no fixed origin. Files of this type are the ones most commonly associated with file-sharing networks. I remember a time when Media Sentry bragged that they could trace an MP3 all the way back to the original Napster. While that might be true, being that the file may contain a hash, it does not indicate the origin of the mp3, merely that it was once shared on Napster. Who introduces MP3s to filesharing networks today remains largely unknown. Unless the file itself contains DRM that states it's origin, it is foolish to assume that an individual bears responsibility for disseminating thousands of copies.

At any rate, the whole ruse of 'felony distribution should draw to a close now. More and more people will cite this decision in their cases. I imagine a lot of judges will be relieved.

Thanks again,