Thursday, September 25, 2008

New developments in the copyright wars

Bush administration opposes RIAA-based copyright bill
George Bush and I agree on something? Huh.

In other copyright news, a mistrial has been declared in the RIAA's high-profile lawsuit of a filesharing individual. The defendant, Jammie Thomas, had argued that it was true that she had uploaded copyrighted songs, but unless the RIAA could prove that people had downloaded them, she couldn't be found guilty. The trial judge had explicitly instructed they jury that this argument was invalid, but now he has changed his mind; thus the mistrial. It seems a patent fantasy that you could upload songs on a peer-to-peer filesharing system and not have other people download them, but the burden of proving that just shifted back to the RIAA. As IP owners have feared, it's loopholes like this that could make their copyrights worthless.

1 comment:

James Hanley said...

Burden of proof is a very important legal concept, and I always cringe when the person accused--even in civil law--is expected to bear the burden of proving their innocence.

Yes, it's a fantasy to assume the songs weren't then downloaded by others, but it shuld be the accuser's task to prove it.