back to article US beak pecks at RIAA's 'making available' filesharing attack

A US federal judge has shot down one of the Recording Industry Ass. of America's key arguments in its brave pursuit of students, idiots and grandmothers it accuses of sharing music over peer-to-peer networks. In an order in the case of the Atlantic vs Howell in Arizona yesterday, Judge Neil Wake said that the RIAA's claim that …


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  1. dervheid

    A poke in the eye...

    for the RIAA!

    Good ol' pr0n to the rescue again. (Possibly a little less of the 'good' in this case!!)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Does anyone still use that Limewire/Kazaa crud? I thought it was only moronic 8 year olds who used it. There was only ever one reason for using Kazaa and that was for getting knocked off stuff, that was back in 2000! I think the rest of the world moved to using torrents for our nefarious purposes, several years ago.

    Listen pillocks, if you want do something slightly naughty like little Chardonay wants the latest Britney album, get your computer savvy mate to put Peerguardian on your PC, then at least you will be slightly better off, not perfect, but a stab in the right direction at keeping you out of clinky for a few megs of knocked of crap!

  3. GettinSadda

    "Making Available"

    Um, so if I rent a DVD from Blockbusters, and then copy the DVD on my PC, is Blockbusters guilty because it made the film available to be copied?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Making available

    So can I be prosecuted if I throw an old cd in the Bin? After all anyone could get it and copy it.


  5. tim
    Thumb Up

    Recording Ass.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ooo yeah

    although in the UK he best hope that porn didn't look like a person involved may of been at risk of anything bad... He'd go from a fine to a 3 year jail sentance + sex offenders register.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Porn Cums To the Rescue

    Noticed that porn 'came' to the rescue here....although I wouldn't get too 'excited' since the RIAA are in everyone's pocket who has influence.

    Although, if it was a little too kinky, in the UK at least they could still be screwed by the criminal law.

  8. Kanhef

    Proof of distribution

    The RIAA could produce logs showing that they had in fact downloaded copyrighted files from someone's computer. Not sure how far that would get them, since they already own the music. Also a bit like suing someone for letting you steal things from them.

  9. Jason Harvey

    this isn't tax court... is it?

    I thought people were innocent until proven guilty. so if they are guilty of infringement... where's the proof? The RIAA thinks this appeal flies in the face of precedence... umm... they're seriously smoking some bad dope. To find someone guilty, you have to prove their guilt. This facet of the law has be reinforced, not only in the US's legal system, but in the UK's legal system that the US is based on. Now, that's what... well over 1000 years of law precedence? (not that it's always followed depending on who pays off who, but that's another story)

  10. Luke Wells

    I dont understand how these cases ever get to court

    I though the RIAA would have to have some kind of evidence to take these cases to court.

    I do not understand how a printoff of a list of files and ip addresses proves someone is guilty? Look how many times the RIAA has got it wrong ..... their piece of paper has an ip address and a filename on it, yet somehow they end up trying to drag unborn children, dead grandma's and Armish people with no electricity to court claiming that they have proof.

    I could write down the ip address of the register's webserver, write the name of one of my software packages next to it, stick a time and date on it and then try and sue the register saying I have proof that they have been illegally distributing my software to thousands of people.

    I am glad that one judge has enough sense to realise that the RIAA have not actually produced any proof that anything has been distributed.

    Even if the RIAA did download files from the defendant, how on earth could they prove that they did actually come from the defendant other than by carrying out a forensic examination of the defendants computer

  11. Anonymous Coward

    A more concerning question...

    is this: did the Judge change his mind because he realized he was wrong, or did he change it because of another reason?

    In the initial instance, the couple defended themselves. Reasons could include costs, etc.. whatever they were - they stood for themselves.

    Once a legal "informed" representative comes forward for them, notice how the Judge backs down off his initial judgment.. in the face of convention, overturns the "make available" decision.

    I think we're starting to get the picture here. At least, I certainly am.

  12. Jon Styer

    Limewire vs. torrents...

    I still use Limewire quite a bit... as for torrents, my ISP is Comcast (it's all I can get unless I want to go back to dial-up!) and so my torrents will download for a minute or so and then stop for two hours. Then they'll start back up for a couple of minutes, then... well you get the picture!

  13. Herby

    What do libraries do?

    Make books (covered by copyright!) available. Most have a copy machine (usually for huge amounts per page) as well. Combine the two and...

    So, we close all the libraries. Wonderful thought! Next we burn books, I assume?

  14. Anonymous Coward


    Personally the amateur isnt what I go for. I usually go for the stuff that would get me a fine and a 3 year sentenced in the UK (you know BDSM, DV/DA) that sorta stuff.

    /mines the one with the Orgasmarator in the pocket.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Proving a case

    @Jason Harvey

    "I thought people were innocent until proven guilty"

    You're thinking of a criminal case. In a civil case, there just has to be a "preponderance of evidence". The plaintiff doesn't need to prove guilt, just show that it's likely the defendant is guilty. It's up to the defendant to prove they're innocent by refuting the evidence.

    That's why "making available" is critical. Without that, there is no evidence that the defendants distributed the files to anyone.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Proof of distribution


    "The RIAA could produce logs showing that they had in fact downloaded copyrighted files from someone's computer"

    That's exactly what they are doing via MediaSentry. The EFF argues that since MediaSentry is an authorized agent of the RIAA, the downloads don't count, that there is no proof that *others* have downloaded the music. Hence the "making available" argument.

  17. frymaster

    @Jason Harvey

    assuming the RIAA are right in the "making available" argument, the proof would be that they were, er, making the files available :P This is trivial to check in any current popular P2P system. Fortunately it would appear there argument is flawed :)

  18. TS

    Difference between prosecuted and sued

    @Stu Reeves

    "So can I be prosecuted if I throw an old cd in the Bin? After all anyone could get it and copy it."

    There's a difference between getting prosecuted and being sued by the RIAA. The RIAA can't have you arrested for throwing out the CD, but they could sue you. Anyone can file a lawsuit for any reason. Of course, it would probably be dismissed, but you never know. Especially if it's a promotional CD, the studios claim those are still their property and throwing it out constitutes "illegal distribution".

  19. Moss Icely Spaceport
    Thumb Up

    As Bart says:

    I didn’t do it, nobody saw me do it, you can’t prove a thing!

  20. Paul

    Boo Hoo

    How sad for the RIAA, being upset in their destruction of people's privacy. I wish these scrotes all the misery their coked-up lives CAN'T handle for ILLEGALLY ruining my computer and many others searching for downloads. It seems due process only counts if THEY do it to you.

  21. Steve B

    A better analogy?

    Strikes me as more like watching a DVD and leaving the curtains and windows open so that any passerby could watch and listen as well. And if they have their own camcorder!

    But I thought some of these stuff is so insecure that it would be like leaving the DVD player too close to the window and having some toerag sticking his own DVD in it for his mates to watch while you are out shopping.

  22. Nick Drew

    Better just to give in?

    Given that the defendants' defence is that they weren't trying to distribute music, just some home-made p0rn, might it not have been better just to pay the fine?!

  23. Mark

    Re: Better just to give in?

    Only if you're afraid of puritans attacking you.

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