The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Fred von Lohmann sez, "Agreeing with EFF's amicus brief, a federal court in Boston in a 52-page ruling concludes that 'merely exposing music files to the internet is not copyright infringement.' The Boston court disagrees with a ruling in New York on the same day, which found that a mere 'offer to distribute' a song could violate copyright, even if no one took you up on it. Obviously, this is a fight that's not over yet."
EFF filed an amicus brief in this case (formerly known as Atlantic v. Does 1-21), and our arguments appear to have found a more receptive audience in Boston that they did in New York City (the judge thanks us for our participation on page 11). The 52-page ruling is the most extensive analysis yet of the recording industry's "making available" argument, which claims that you infringe copyright merely by having a song in your shared folder, even if no one ever downloads it.
As we discussed yesterday, a key issue is whether a mere "offer to distribute" is enough to infringe the distribution right, in light of the fact that a mere offer can be enough to constitute "publication." Unlike the court in Elektra v. Barker, the judge in London-Sire v. Doe concludes that "distribution" and "publication" are not identical -- "even a cursory examination of the statute suggests that the terms are not synonymous." If you are interested in the details, the court's analysis is highly illuminating (p. 24-27), touching on a number of earlier rulings, such as Hotaling v. Church of Jesus Christ of Letter-Day Saints and A&M v. Napster (copyright nerds will recognize those as pivotal decisions in this area).
I’ve written an open letter to HP CEO Dion Weisler on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, asking him to make amends for his company’s bizarre decision to hide a self-destruct sequence in a printer update that went off earlier this month, breaking them so that they would no longer use third-party ink cartridges.
In Sweden a legislative proposal will let repair shops will charge lower sales-tax, and allow people who repair their appliances and bicycles be to write off their expenditures.
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