Thursday, June 12, 2008

RIAA Walks Out On P2P Case

After two years the RIAA has voluntarily dismissed the case Warner v. Cassin, or more commonly know as the "making available" case.

Cassin was originally sued by the RIAA in April 2006 for copyright infringement. The complaint used by the RIAA at the time doesn't provide many details, but the exhibits attached to the filing show that MediaSentry detected a user with the handle omc@KaZaA sharing 406 files on KaZaA, including tracks from Madonna, Bob Seger, Dixie Chicks, and Sade.

Instead of filing an answer, Cassin's attorney filed a motion to dismiss in early 2007. One of the issues raised in the motion was the now-well-known argument that merely making a file available over a P2P network constitutes distribution. Indeed, Warner v. Cassin looked as though it would be one of the first cases where the issue would be argued in court.

Subsequent rulings against the RIAA may be behind their sudden change of heart. In April Geek-News.Net reported on federal court judge Judge Nancy Gertner dismissal of an RIAA subpoena. Judge Gertner stated that "Merely because the defendant has 'completed all the steps necessary for distribution' does not necessarily mean that a distribution has actually occurred." She also noted that " merely exposing music files to the Internet is not copyright infringement."

More on this story:
DailyTech - RIAA Suddenly Walks Away from Longstanding P2P Case
ARS Technica - RIAA suddenly walks away from old, contested P2P case

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