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ExtraTorrent.cc > Articles > Innocent Infringer Case Brought to Supreme Court

Innocent Infringer Case Brought to Supreme Court

Innocent Infringer Case Brought to Supreme Court

Added: Thursday, August 26th, 2010
Category: Recent Headlines Involving File Sharing > Ridiculous Criminal Trials
Tags:ET, p2p, Torrent, Piracy, Peer To Peer, Network, Hackers, Internet, BitTorrent, Google, utorrent, bitcomet, extratorrent, 2010, www.extrattorrent.com
The Supreme Court was recently filed a brief from a group of scholars, professors, and attorneys specializing in the area of technology, law, and copyright, asking it to hear the Whitney Harper’s case. The girl was a 14-year-old cheerleader, when she was accused of copyright infringement for illegally downloading a number of copyrighted tracks. However, she argued to have no understanding of the essence of file sharing and the fact that she was committing a crime.
chp_suprem_court.jpg


She won the first court ruling 2 years ago, when US District Judge allowed Harper an “innocent infringer’s” exemption making the fine $750 per case of infringement lower to $200 per case instead, $7400 in total for 37 songs downloaded illegally.

Whitney Harper claimed to be an “innocent infringer” as she didn’t know that file-sharing is illegal, while P2P applications like KaZaA didn’t tell her that, as well as that files available on their networks were actually a stolen or abused copyrighted content.

The judge on the initial trial agreed with her argument, because the Record Industry Association of America couldn’t convince him that labels, placed on the physical copies of the CDs the tracks originally came from, were a sufficient warning that the tracks are copyrighted. The judge ruled that the girl couldn’t see the warning just because no CDs were involved in her actions, so according to the Copyright Act, she had a right to be granted an “innocent infringement” exemption.

However, this ruling was revoked earlier in 2010 by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to be overturned, deciding that the notifications on original CDs were sufficient, and rising her fines up to $27,750 for all 37 cases of violation. This ruling was interpreted by public as the one removing innocent infringement as a defense in case the Internet is concerned. Really, if a schoolgirl couldn’t claim the exemption, then who could? A newborn?

The brief filed to the Supreme Court argues that the ruling raises questions concerning the application of the law. In this particular case, the economic burden of $27,750 in fines could be outrageous to a college girl which Harper is now.

Well, if the ruling stands, it would only mean that everyone out of accused file-sharers, regardless of being unaware of the illegal nature of peer-to-peer sharing, would also be rejected to claim the “innocent infringer” defense, thus bringing it to nonexistence.



By:
SaM
August 26th, 2010

Posted by: 
SaM

Date:  Thursday, August 26th, 2010



Comments (7) (please add your comment »)

1
posted by (2010-08-26 22:45:06)
D4T4 avatarThanks again Sam. Even though it stinks the law is the law. You don't get let off for speeding just because you didn't see the road signs. It's up to the bent politicians to change the law and that will only happen when they are voted out and the reasons made clear to them. They are in politics for one thing only, to fill their pockets, so hit them there with your votes then we may just see them making some form of non-money orientated decisions in favour of the public interest.

2
posted by Blocked (2010-08-27 01:06:24)
menahunie avatarAgain how much money has the RIAA spend going after this girl?
Again only the lawyers are the one's who win in all of this..

3
posted by (2010-08-27 03:13:41)
uax4it avatarDid she have peer block?

4
posted by (2010-08-27 04:07:28)
NaTaS avatarDoesnt matter, the internet is ever changing and teh economic powers that be will fade away as bands and all get smarter and dont use record labels any longer..so hold on brotehrs and sisters..freedom is around the corner!

5
posted by (2010-08-27 23:54:35)
sharinggoblin avatarFirst off I don't really agree the fines and punishments and all that stuff.

Secondly I still think that the whole innocent infringer thing is crap for the most part, because file-sharing is not illegal in itself its the files that are being shared that are the illegal part and really unless your somewhere under the age of 12 then you probably know it's illegal. But hey im all for a good excuse to get me out of trouble.

6
posted by Blocked (2010-08-28 16:47:54)
No avatarRUIN one person's life to try to EXTORT as much as possible from ANYONE ELSE

and they call this . . justice

7
posted by Blocked (2010-08-28 16:53:36)
No avatarI curse the USA 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to HELL with every curse ever made or ever to be made . . . .



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