One of the arguments the RIAA has made in every file-sharing lawsuit it has ever filed is that making a song available on a P2P network is the same as distributing it, therefore violating the record label’s copyright on the song. So far, judges have been favorable to the RIAA’s interpretation of the Copyright Act, with the latest victory for the RIAA coming in Atlantic v. Howell.
Pamela and Jeffrey Howell were sued by the RIAA in 2006 for copyright infringement. The Howells decided to defend themselves against the charges and submitted a remarkably short answer to the RIAA’s complaint. In it, the Howells argued that their file-sharing program was “not set up to share” and that the files found by Media Sentry were “for private use” and “for transfer to portable devices, that is legal for ‘fair use.'” Their three-paragraph response was miniscule in comparison to those filed by file-sharing defendants with professional representation.
RIAA, Copyright, Online File Sharing, P2P, Online Music