Thursday, October 04, 2007

RIAA wins copyright lawsuit against Minnesota woman for P2P file-sharing

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports tonight (Thurs. Oct 4, 2007) that a civil trial jury in Duluth found for the plaintiffs in a suit brought by the RIAA against a woman for illegally downloading and copying 24 songs. She was ordered to pay the six companies $9250 per song.

What is disturbing is that the woman, while admitting that she was a user on Kazaa and had used a particular screenname for P2P sharing, claimed that a hacker was impersonating by spoofing her during the downloads in question. So far, media reports don’t seem to support the technical likelihood that this really could have happened, but the idea that it could happen is frightening. In December a woman in Arizona was convicted of crimes apparently done by her kids on her home computer without her knowledge (this blog).

The Star Tribune story is by Larry Oakes and it is titled: Brainerd woman guilty in Internet music sharing: Duluth jury ordered Brainerd defendant to pay $222,000 for violating song copyrights. The link is here.
Wired News has a particularly detailed blog about this case here:

This appears to be one of the first major RIAA cases to go to trial rather than settlement upon complaint and demand.

Message board comments (on AOL) from musicians indicate that it is illegal to share tabs or transcriptions of copyrighted songs for specific instruments.

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