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Know All The Famous P2P Infringement Cases Easily

Know All The Famous P2P Infringement Cases Easily

A&M Records, Inc v. Napster, Inc was the first major case between the recording industry and a peer-to-peer file sharing network. Napster became wildly popular after it was developed by a computer science student attending Northeastern University in 1999. 
The P2P service offered the easiest to use and overall best P2P file sharing network at the time. Napster made millions off copyrighted materials available for download by using indexes created by Napster to search other people’s available files. The record industry believed this was copyright infringement and it was costing them large profits. Musicians were also greatly upset their intellectual property was being stolen.
In the suit, A&M Records represented the following companies:
       A&M Records
       Geffen Records
       Interscope Records
       Sony Music Entertainment
       MCA Records
       Atlantic Records
       Island Records
       Motown Records
       Capitol Records
       LaFace Records
       BMG Music
       Universal Records
       Elektra Entertainment Group
       Arista Records
       Sire Records Group
       Polygram Records
       Virgin Records America
       Warner Bros. Records 

Napster’s Defenses
Napster tried to claim it was free speech to let users download and listen to material on their computer. They also claimed the content on Napster was open to fair use. Napster believed they had three fair use defenses. The first was sampling, meaning potential customers had a right to sample music before they bought it. This was turned down by the judge because the sample was full and permanent.
The second fair use defense was space shifting. This meant audio files on CD were shifted to mp3 format and were open for circulation on the Internet. This was thrown out by the judge because the shifted audio was made available to anyone for free which was against the record companies’ intent. The third defense succeeded. It only gave Napster the right to distribute copyrighted material of artists who gave permission.
Ruling
The United States Court of Appeals ruled Napster could be held responsible for contributory and vicarious copyright infringement. Napster was eventually shutdown and ordered to pay $26 million to the plaintiff.
RIAA v. Joel Tenenbaum
Another separate case is sure to scare off some P2P users who think they are immune from the repercussions of copyright infringement. In this landmark case, the Recording Industry Association of America sued a 25-year-old Boston University student, Joel Tenenbaum, for $675,000. 
The doctoral student was sued for downloading and distributing 30 copyrighted songs. There were more songs in his folder but the RIAA focused on 30 songs. Tenenbaum was just an average P2P user who regularly swapped copyrighted material since P2P networks became popular around 2000.
The RIAA would win the lawsuit against Tenenbaum. Tenenbaum was represented by a Harvard University professor who took the case free of charge after hearing of the case on the news. Tenenbaum’s chances of a fair use defense were thrown out in the pretrial. Tenenbaum could have been ordered to pay $150,000 per song but ended up being charged $22,500 per song, still far too expensive for Tenenbaum to ever afford. The suit came out to $675,000. 
The suit led to more lawsuits against individual users who could be found after their computer’s IP address was determined. Most of the suits were for far less than Tenenbaum’s case, around $3,500. The RIAA recently announced they would stop suing P2P users because the defendant could rarely pay the court-ruled amount and the money spent on lawyers was far greater than the money coming in. The RIAA is now working on having users’ Internet access shutdown based on IP address rather than suing for a monetary value.

What Most People Don’t Know About P2P Sharing

What Most People Don't Know About P2P Sharing

Peer-to-peer file sharing is so easy and effective to use that people ignore or deny the fact that sharing copyrighted material is illegal. The extent to which it is used makes people feel like if everyone is doing it, it is alright. P2P networks have the ability to download and upload copyrighted files that exist on user’s computers that contain the file sharing software. The actual software is not illegal.
There are legal ways that non-copyrighted material can be shared from one computer to the next. However, the majority of people that own P2P software use it to distribute copyrighted material, such as songs and full length films. The record and film companies view this as stealing and flagrant copyright infringement.
Background
Computers that connect to other computers with the help of certain software is known as peer-to-peer. Some well-known existing or no longer existing P2P software programs include Napster, Kazaa, Limewire, WinMX, and Ares, among many more. Peer-to-peer file sharing gives users the ability to download large files at rates faster than most connections over the Internet take place. When a user makes files available for download, other users can browse a shared folder and select which files they would like to download for permanent use on their own computer.
Often, the files available for download are copyrighted material, which creates confusion regarding copyright infringement. While people may not even realize they are committing copyright infringement, record and movie companies certainly do. They have won cases against file sharing networks as well as individuals for taking part in distributing copyrighted material.
Problems with Copyright Infringement
Famous P2P Infringement Cases
The first landmark case involving major record companies and a peer-to-peer network was the case A&M Records, Inc v. Napster Inc. In the suit A&M Records represented music industry heavyweights such as Sony Music Entertainment, A&M Records, Universal Records, and Warner Bros. Records. Napster was the P2P network that received the most media due to its huge following and convenient index for locating music. 
The peer-to-peer network could easily search files and then download them. A&M Records sued the company for copyright infringement. Napster’s fair use and free speech defenses failed. Napster failed to assure 100% of the copyrighted material was removed from all available download folders. The company was shut down and ordered to pay $26 million to the plaintiff.
One of the most famous suits against an individual user occurred when the RIAA sued Joel Tenenbaum, a Boston University student. Tenenbaum’s defense failed and he was ordered to pay $22,500 per song. He was ordered to pay a total $675,000. The judge could have ordered him to pay $150,00 per song. 
There have been other individual suits settled for sums in the range of $3,500. The RIAA has ceased suing people because they were losing too much money on legal fees and the users could not afford to pay the RIAA. They have since begun attempting to have Internet access removed from those who commit copyright infringement over P2P networks.