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NewYorkCountryLawyer's Journal: Connecticut Judge rejects RIAA 'making available' theory 3

Journal by NewYorkCountryLawyer
A federal judge in Connecticut has rejected the RIAA's "making available" theory, which is the basis of all of the RIAA's peer to peer file sharing cases. In Atlantic v. Brennan, in a 9-page opinion (pdf), Judge Janet Bond Arterton held that the RIAA needs to prove "actual distribution of copies", and cannot rely -- as it was permitted to do in Capitol v. Thomas -- upon the mere fact that there are song files on the defendant's computer and that they were "available". This is the same issue that has been the subject of extensive briefing in two contested cases in New York, Elektra v. Barker and Warner v. Cassin. Judge Arterton also held that the defendant had other possible defenses, such as the unconstitutionality of the RIAA's damages theory and possible copyright misuse flowing from the record companies' anticompetitive behavior.
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Connecticut Judge rejects RIAA 'making available' theory

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  • This is a blow not only against the RIAA legal machine, but also against "thought crime" of all sorts (such as the argument that selling guns facilitates murder). So even as significant as it is by itself, it is a FAR more important decision than it appears.

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