RIAA Lawsuit: A Threat to the Whole Web?


Ray Beckerman, a lawyer defending his client in the Electro vs. Barker RIAA piracy lawsuit, has stated that the lawsuit being brought against his client is done without "any acts or dates or times of copyright infringement as the law normally requires." Beckerman goes on to state what is particularly shocking about this case:

In this case they basically decided to go for the gold and they made a bold argument claiming that merely making files available on the internet is in and of itself a copyright infringement. It was a shocking argument because if it were accepted it would probably shut down the entire internet.



How exactly does this shut down the internet? Perhaps it makes it very difficult to share copyrighted materials, but I don't get how they go from that to the complete and total destruction of the net.

what i understood to be the

what i understood to be the critical issue here is that the RIAA has no basis for filing this lawsuit. the defendant moved to dismiss the lawsuit on these grounds, but the dismissal is being challenged by the RIAA (with help from the MPAA). if the lawsuit is not dismissed, then that opens the door for the RIAA to bring up a lawsuit against anyone, without needing to provide any kind of proof. given legal costs, this poses a problem to a lot of people, and an opportunity of sorts for the RIAA.

in the article beckerman also stated

But if our motion to dismiss is granted and sustained on appeal it would mean the end of the RIAA juggernaut against innocent people not known to have committed a copyright infringement. And yet we've received no support of any kind from anywhere, and Miss Barker has no resources to defend this case.

at least that was the way i understood it, although i'm not a lawyer.

Shutting down the Internet is impossible

Shutting down the Internet is impossible, therefore the premise of that logic is false. Move along, nothing to see here.

shutting down the web is

shutting down the web is impossible, and lots of rich powerful people would fight it anyway so even if it was possible it wouldnt happen. but IMO stuff like this moves us closer to a regulated web.

I've read about these

I've read about these lawsuits before, and it *seemed* as if at least the one I read about was against an innocent party. If that were true, the defendant would rack up huge costs in lawyers fees for nothing save avoiding

Unfortunately, making alarmist statements along the lines of "will take down the entire Internet" can tend to disprove by association the very real issues being discussed.


A guy posts a story about something and uses a little dramatics to get attention and he is attacked???

These things do have a tendency to add up... I remember Acadia Media filing suits against 100s of adult sites (easiest and most profitable online area at thew time) for a patent they had on stream media transfers - though not well determined many of the people folded and paid large amounts to make it go away while others fought and were vindicated - nice thing was the early signers had made a contract and had to continue to pay fees.

An awareness of such events are needed by people who really keep on top of their industry. There are a lot of moves being made that are shaping the future of the web which may be global but can be rstricted nationally as has been shown quite a lot lately.

I havent seen

much good come out of the RIAA or MPAA with their escapades though. Any precedent like this is oppressive and not in the interests of the internet or its users IMO, just like the rest of their antics.

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