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EFF Takes on RIAA Lawsuit Strategy in Wednesday Court Hearing

PRESS RELEASE
March 3, 2008
Phoenix File-Sharing Suit Based on Bogus "Making Available" Argument

Phoenix, AZ - On Wednesday, March 5 at 2 p.m., the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) will urge a federal judge in Phoenix to block the recording industry’s effort to sue two Arizona residents for simply having music files in a “shared” folder on their computer.

The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is seeking thousands of dollars in damages from the defendants in the case, Pamela and Jeffery Howell, for alleged unauthorized distribution of copyrighted digital music. However, instead of proving that the Howells actually distributed music files, the RIAA claims only that they had songs in the "shared" folder of peer-to-peer file-sharing software Kazaa -- without any proof that anyone other than their own investigators actually downloaded the songs from them.

EFF's Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann will argue at Wednesday's hearing that the RIAA cannot take this shortcut in its lawsuit campaign.

"This amounts to suing someone for attempted copyright infringement -- something the Copyright Act simply does not allow," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Fred von Lohmann. "If the RIAA wants to keep bringing these suits and collecting big settlements, then they have to follow the law and prove their case. It's not enough to say the law could have been broken. The RIAA must prove it actually was broken."

WHAT:
Atlantic Records, et al. v. Howell

WHEN:
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
2pm

WHERE:
U.S. District Court
401 West Washington Street, Courtroom #504
Phoenix, AZ 85003-2118

For more about the case:
http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2008/01/eff-files-brief-atlantic-v-howell-resisting-riaas-attempted-distribution-theory

For EFF's amicus brief:
http://www.eff.org/files/filenode/atlantic_v_howel/EFF_amicus_atlantic_howell.pdf

Contact:

Fred von Lohmann
Senior Intellectual Property Attorney
Electronic Frontier Foundation
fred@eff.org

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