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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Judge Says RIAA's "Making Available" Argument is Bullshit!

The act of making music available online may not be a copyright violation after all. And if that's the case, Jammie Thomas of Minnesota may not have to pay the $222,000 judgment won by record companies last year, an amount Thomas' attorneys argue is unconstitutionally excessive.

In his blog on Thursday, Google senior copyright counsel William Patry wrote, "Today, district judge Michael Davis issued an order indicating he may order a new trial based on an entirely different ground: concern that Jury Instruction N. 15, which permitted the jury to find infringement based on the RIAA's making available theory, may be contrary to the Eighth Circuit's binding precedent in National Car Rental System, Inc. v. Computer Associates Inc., requiring the distribution of actual copies."

RIAA Setback: Making Music Available May Not Be Copyright Infringement

I've never been able to get my little pea-brain around the "making available" argument. It simply goes against everything our system stands for. I mean, come on, we live in a country where "if the glove doesn't fit..then you must aquitt." pretty well sums up our judicial philosophy. If you can't prove that someone actually broke a law by a preponderence of the evidence you simply have no case. So, I could never understand how the "making available" theory passed the smell test.
As I've stated in previous posts, I think the RIAA's shady tactics are starting to unravel. You can be sure this won't be the last ruling that doesn't go the RIAA's way. My limited courtroom experience tells me that the Judiciary doesn't like to have the wool pulled over its eyes and like an elephant, it never forgets. The days of the RIAA lawyers sliding shoddy legal practices by Judges are numbered. It will be amusing to watch as they go down in flames right before our eyes. I'm pretty sure I won't be shedding any tears...unless they are accompanied by some serious belly laughs. As a wise man once said, "Fuck the RIAA!"
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