Monthly Archives: September 2008

Copyrights and you (in court)

A $220,000 verdict against an allegedly innocent file sharer was thrown out by the district court handling the case. The court's reaffirmation of the standard of evidence in a copyright case is good news for human beings like us.

Apparently a copyright owner needs to prove actual copying. Who knew? Oh yeah, I knew because I'm an IP attorney. The RIAA had argued that providing access to copyrighted music was sufficient to prove actual copying. Think about that. Should a music store be liable because a customer could buy a CD, pull it out of the case without breaking the seal, copy it, and return the original? How about the library? What about the the possibility of a hacker busting into your WiFi and making copies of your iTunes files? Should you be liable for not securing copyrighted material? Of course not; copyright law does not recognize attempted copying and hopefully for us it never will. You can store all your CDs on the outside of your front door if you want to.

Huzaa to Judge Micheal Davis, who raised this issue (referred to as *sua sponte*).

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