At the end of last week, I reported on the story of how a carefully worded court document meant that the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) was stepping up its claims of copyright theft from just file sharers to just about anyone who has ever copied an mp3 on to their PC. It seems, that this may not have been entirely accurate, but time will tell.
The original story, which I sourced from The Washington Post, claimed that should this case be decided in favour of the RIAA, that everyone who has put an mp3 on their computer, no matter whether it was legally bought or not, would be criminalised overnight.
It seems that despite reports to the contrary, and claims which were then repeated here on Blorge, the RIAA wasn’t going after defendant Jeffrey Howell purely for uploading CDs to his computer, but more the placing of said files in to a shared folder, in this case, a Kazaa folder.
So the original story may have debunked thanks to Techdirt, but I still think the RIAA will do all it can to extend copyright law to bring more people in to being criminals accused of illegal activity.
Even the fact that when you place files in to a shared folder means those files are no longer authorized is a worrying trend, as there’s a fine line between unauthorized and illegal.
As for the fact that this story, once written up in The Washington Post flew around the blogosphere so quickly, well that just goes to show the level of anti-RIAA feeling there is amongst ordinary people, and technology journalists alike.
And of course, with the RIAA seeming to be becoming increasingly desperate to fight this losing battle to the death, the chance is the story will come full circle, and prove true in the end anyway.