Ken Nicholds


computer networks, copyright, disttibution right


Of the thousands of lawsuits brought by the Recording Industry Association of America against individuals for sharing music files over the Internet, the case of Jammie Thomas-Rasset was the first to complete a full jury trial. The judge vacated the intial judgment against Thomas-Rasset because he found, sua sponte, that he was mistaken when he instructed the jury that making a file available over a computer network for others to download is sufficient to find infringement of the exclusive distribution right of the copyright owner under 17 U. S. C. § 106(3). This Note argues that there is no making-available right, but that making-available may be considered as circumstantial evidence of distribution.

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